All this coming week (Mon – Sat), I will be attending a Prosopon Iconography Workshop that is being sponsored and hosted by the local St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church. As the website describes, the Prosopon method is a revival of the 15th-16th century iconography style of Andre Rublev. Rublev is considered to be one of the greatest medieval Russian creators of Orthodox icons and frescoes and is known, of course, for his famed icon of the Trinity. I know some of you own and display prints of this noted icon in your homes and offices.
From the St. Herman website:
Students will create icons using ancient techniques of painting and floating with egg tampera, with natural materials: carved wooded boards, pure gold leaf, and finely ground clay and mineral pigments mixed with egg yolk. Fr. Mefodii will emphasize the underlying theology of the icon, both the one upon which we work and the Image (Icon) of God in us. Previous “artistic” experience is not necessary since icon writing is as much a contemplative form of prayer as an ascetic discipline. The workshop will consist of six full-day sessions during which each student will complete an icon. Beginning students will receive step-by-step instructions and all necessary materials to paint/write the icon of Archangel Michael.
Years ago, I fell in love with the beauty and meaning of icons when visiting Romania. Since that time, I have been able to collect some original icons from Romania and have them here at home with me. Additionally, and in my desire to know more about iconography, I discovered the 1966 masterpiece movie by Andrei Tarkovski about Rublev (a film suppressed by the Soviet Union and unseen until 1971). In many ways, the movie is as complex and multi-dimensional as the icons created by Rublev. It is a stunning and excellent film and I recommend you have a watch.
I hope to bring you photo updates each day – they will be six full days from 9am until about 6pm – of my own developing icon. And I hope to further discover some more hidden places where God also exists – places in art that I have never been before.