It is a long time since I updated the News, but that doesn’t mean nothing is happening! As I am now at a monastery in Greece, life has changed quite a lot. I can no longer do the one-to-one online tuition – partly because of a poor internet connection, and partly because of sheer lack of time. I have been putting out feelers to other people who may be able to take this on, and some possibilities are emerging, so stay tuned! Practical workshops too, are temporarily on hold – but stay tuned, as there are some ideas in the pipeline. Meanwhile, you will find some tutor info. on the recommended pages – I am still on the lookout for recommendations, particularly for a tutor in Greek Iconography, so again, stay tuned!
The tuition page on the subscriber pages has therefore also changed in character. It will now offer more substantial guidance on following the course on a d-i-y basis, and using it as supplementary study. The course can be a great help to students of the icon who cannot attend a full time course or are looking for an in depth background and seeking to improve their technique by supplementary design and painting exercises. It can also be of great help to priests, those involved in church architecture committees or the use of images in churches, as well as being of more general interest to teachers and catechists.
Now – to the Updates. For a long time, I have been hoping to add pdf versions of the podcast lecture pages. The newer podcast lectures now have these files attached, and eventually the older pages will be updated. We have had some issues with making the podcasts because, since Apple discontinued their Garageband podcast software I have been trying to find replacements and also to make the pictures a bit larger! We are still working on it, but we have been able to start posting the podcast lectures again.
So – what are they? The main work is going into the Hellenistic Judaism section. This is not as obscure and irrelevant as it appears at first. In fact, the longer I work on it, the more critical I realise it is, to understand the icon and the origins of Christianity. It shines a light on so many of the Old Testament and Gospel icons, that you find yourself tripping over a new understanding of the Gospel and its icons at every stage. Although it is loosely based on a historical timeline, starting with Abraham, in fact it is thematically arranged.
For example, I am currently working on the theme of Bread. This is in context of the feast of Unleavened Bread, which started as ‘food for the road’ when the Hebrews escaped out of Egypt. Bread opens many doors in the Gospels – Jesus refers to getting rid of old leaven. Leavened vesus unleavened communion bread is still an issue between east and west, and the karpas – bitter herbs – of passover are depicted in many icons. Bread includes the harvest themes, of which Pentecost and it’s icon is one…and so on…
I have, at long last, managed to get up the red bole section preparatory to gilding, and am now working on the ‘collecting your gilding materials’ podcast. Meanwhile, I am learning classic Greek iconography technique here, and an alternative gilding method and gesso finishing method which, eventually, will be added into the course materials. If you yourselves have stage by stage material on icon and gilding techniques you have used, and would be willing for them to be part of these pages, so that we can build a key iconography resource, or any other contributions – even purely on liturgy ( Greek Orthodox first) I would be very glad to hear from you.
Finally, if you are signed up to the course and would like general comments on your work, or want to share a project you are working on, please send me some photos by email with some text explaining your project, and I will make a response on the subscribers tuition page. Material will be posted anonymously by default, unless you specify otherwise!