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The Icon Breadcrumbs so far...




My journey so far, learning about Icon painting and the art history that it is a part of ...I am realising there is so much history and connections between other eras and cultures! There really is so much to glean from this study. My big "takeway" so far is that Icon painting derived a lot of its simplicity from the Egyptians. Their style and thinking was very much an influence of this era of painting. They also drew from the Greeks and Mycenaeans.


One of the main things the lectures have shown me is that everything in an icon painting is for a reason. They are very economical with information, but they make it clear the things that need to be included. The negative space (i.e the space around the figures is also just as important as the images) This is something the Greeks were very good at with their simplicity of colours with their vases etc.. but each design was very mindful of the space in between the figures too.


The Background is super important in Icon painting. The background in these works is to represent the Presence of God, it's not a blank space. The colour is often a rich gold, or blue to represent the Heavens. You will see that in the photos below you can see the stunning architectural design as well as the wall painting coveys something very grand. The pictures were taken by a friend in Montenegro when she visited the Orthodox Cathedral in the town of Barr.



In my studies, I am not trying to be be an icon painter, rather to peruse and let the history of it sink in, and in someway influence my work. It may be in a subliminal way, but already I can see things that are sparking my interest! I am only just scraping the surface of the study so far...


The icons often have a circle around them, and in my mind it's a way of containing the information in a more condensed way, than it just floating on a page.


I have often veered away from doing figure paintings or portraits as I find I ruin a good face and therefore feel the whole thing the does not work well, and I do not like the feel of the result. However, being more focused on the shape of things and negative space, and the relationship between the figures (like in the Greek and Icon paintings) - I am starting to see a connection in the shapes. In isolating a particular relationship and looking at where the joins come in / the seams of relationship/ the dynamic of the relationship, between the spaces around and in between the figures - I am much more able to boldly take down a shape - using simple shapes and lines to connect what I am seeing..


Here is a bunch of family photos I am seeing shape and line, as a way of breaking it down into bit size chunks, like never before...



I find myself circling the "units"... and it seems in circling them, it defines the connection.. and draws it in..


My work based on the Book of Psalms is being influenced also by this study, alongside the study of the Book of Kells. Purple is a sign of Royalty. The tri-dot pattern is also used as a sign of expensive material, that would define a person of Nobility or Royalty. This is a study of the Psalm 59. ( words that are impressing me ..) and images that are coming together..






There are some exciting shapes coming from a verse from the book of Mathew 10:16 Jesus said "Let the little children come to Me..."

The the shapes I am using, I am sure are inspired by the many photos of my grand daughter! The embrace of a loving person surrounding the little form! ...





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