May His peace be always with us!
This time we have very few news, and the first one is about…
1. EXHIBITION in Melbourne – Visions of Beauty 2019!
Such a shame I have forgotten to announce it in our previous issue, – hope it’s not too late, here I am doing it:
!!! Welcome to participate in Visions -2019 in Melbourne !!!
As always we feel deeply grateful to ACU for another possibility to use the Visual Arts area for our workshops, therefore we invite all our students, colleagues and friends, who have a possibility to bring own works to show.
We should begin installation on Saturday, 12th of January 2019 in the morning, usually it’s something around 10 or 11 AM at Brunswick street 26, Fitzroy Melbourne, Australia. If you plan to bring your image (and/or object), make sure it has a hook or anything else to hang it on the wall and please, email us the title in advance, so we may print out all labels together so they look uniform.
Choosing works for the exhibition we give our preference to larger scale pieces. Those, who have already participated, remember, – we do our best to include all the images/sculptures/objects in the show, but we can not guarantee that everything you bring will be exhibited.
Besides, if you have a chance to spread the word and share information about the exhibition, we kindly ask you to share and invite those who can come on Monday 14th of January, towards the end of the Workshop day, around 5 PM.
The flyer is uploaded to our website and it is available here:
PDF: www.sacredmurals.com/exhibitions-of-icons/visions_2019.pdf (12.5 Mb)
3. BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR ICONOGRAPHERS (Continued)
We have had some positive responses after publishing the Bibliography for iconographers, so we continue. This particular list of books was shared by our friend, student and fellow iconographer Alexandra Irini from Melbourne.
Plus to this, I have asked Todor Mitrovic to share his list… he did… well, maybe not actually “his”… but it was a cool answer to my question – a link to a Book-Search-Engine! Look what he shared: http://b-ok.cc/s/?q=byzantine+art&yearFrom=&yearTo=&language=&extension=&t=0
I shall ask him to shorten the list!
As previously, we invite you and all our subscribers and friends to share with us the titles of your most favorite books – most decent and serious studies, as well as uncomplicated and well reasoned original books, worth to be shared with everybody. They should help people to enter the world of Christian iconography and to see right benchmarks and values right from their very first steps, as well as those, fitting professionals’ needs, helping to understand own work in a deeper way.
4. ONE MORE MOSAIC is finished!
This image of Archangel Michael is made with marble, granite, golden mirror and tumbled glass. I love making this kind of mosaic because I am thrilled to see how different materials interact. The surface can be so material and so immaterial at the same time, rich in textures and colors. The most intriguing for me is the moment of planning, – simply dropping some pieces of glass and stones on paper side by side and looking at them, checking, if they coop well. And by cooping I mean all their qualities, – what they add to the future image, how they render it’s essential idea, whether they help or not
5. Our parish (Feodorovsky Cathedral, St Petersburg) published a Calendar with Olga’s graphic images. It consists of 14 full color pages (12 Feasts), page size 44 X 31 cm (18 X 12.5 inches). The introduction is written by Fr. Alexander Sorokin and translated by Paul Williams.
We have shipped the Calendar orders made by Sunday the 9th of December 2018. Cost of one calendar with worldwide shipping was US $20.
The shipping is performed with regular registered Airmail. The Post Office kindly informed us that the regular shipping time to the US, Canada & any European country is about 2 weeks, although in Christmas/New Year period it takes longer.
Wishing everybody lots of creative energy and time for the realization!,
With warmest regards,
Philip (and Olga)
Life is a great gift and every single day has a bunch of new opportunities, – tempting and waiting for us to explore them. Olga and I – each of us was carried away in a new direction. Olga continues her researches with fabrics (photos below) and I am inspired to combine classic ancient technique of mosaic with tumbled glass.
The image on the right is about 24 inches high and it was the first anthropomorphous mosaic piece. This was a totally new experience of combining traditional technique of little tesserae with larger irregular pieces of tumbled glass, but I feel that it helps to enhance the power of the image. This work itself brought me a bunch of discoveries about art principles in general. and it did not come out exactly what I expected, but it taught me a lot of new skills and drills.
The process itself – dealing with pure colors, textures, and rhythm is incredibly inspiring and we hope to continue sharing it at our website and a designated Mosaic Instagram account. The research is continued and there I am sure that the next one will be better.
Now it is 10 years since Olga started volunteering at our parish embroidery studio. She was invited to make drawings and to set up the integrity of the vestments, choosing appropriate fabrics, threads, stitches, and other details. After drawing, projecting and planning several vestments Olga decided to make some herself, applying a wide range of printing techniques on traditional hand-made fabric. The image on the right is a pair of orthodox banners (Khorugvi) with the central part made by Olga and frame with hanging parts produced by Yaroslav Starodubtsev’s team.
Inspired by immense possibilities Olga continues to work on other projects, similar and larger. If you wish to keep an eye on the process, it may be a reason to subscribe – the photos are posted as the work goes on.
P.S. If you feel your church or home might need a liturgical image on fabric or a mosaic, commissions are accepted with a great pleasure 😉
3. PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE WORKSHOPS
In August – September we have had 4 workshops: 1 in Italy and 3 the US. It’s been a challenge to set up so many different programs and to make so many trips, – but (glory to Our Lord!), all went well.
Now it’s time to choose new models for the new workshops for the next year. It’s very likely that we are going to have some iconography workshops in different locations and a new thing -a true fresco workshop in Wesley Seminary in June 2019. Planning is a hard and a long work, but we promise, – as soon as we have any news we will share them.
In the meantime, 2 of the 3 of our announced workshops in Melbourne (Australia) are full, and there are only a few spots left for the last one, which is dedicated to assist gilding.
4. COLOR CHARTS
As promised, I visited the Kremer store in NYC and finally publish a color chart, – scanned from my own album of charts. I hope to publish more next time and make a kind of a palette eventually, but now I only share our favorite colors, – the most complex and rich. Yes, these are the colors we used and mentioned at all of our workshops earlier this year. These pigments for us are the most interesting now because they contain shades of different colors and therefore wonderfully “complete” other possible colors used in the image.
In CAPITAL letters I wrote the number (if any) and the name of the brand, and below – “commercial names” of the pigments.
I checked the names with online catalogs of KREMER , KREIDEZEIT and ZECCHI, and I was really happy to discover both Verdaccios – it’s on the list again!
5. BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR ICONOGRAPHERS
It’s been a while we promised to publish a Bibliography for iconographers. It was still January when we received two lists from two very dedicated iconographers, who’s names I should probably not list for the reason of privacy. Since that time I always wanted to take my time to review and make a long list myself, but – yet did not make it. Well, let’s make it a “collective mind” project, – like the “Manual“, which is made together as well.
Therefore I hope, that this current version of Bibliography (available at http://sacredmurals.com/texts/bibliography.pdf ) can be taken as a little base for an extensive development.
We invite you and all our subscribers to share with us the titles of your most favorite books so we add them and share with everybody. Please consider, that these should be most decent and serious studies, as well as uncomplicated and well reasoned original books. They should help people to enter the world of Christian iconography and to see right benchmarks and values right from their very first steps.
We also plan this to be a hub for professionals to share and obtain information about the best texts, helping to understand their work in a deeper way.
6. ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT
As you probably know, I love sharing resources. This time it’s a IX century English manuscript, known as “Harley Golden Gospels”, digitized in British Library. Click the link: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?ref=Harley_MS_2788 , click the “empty page” and use little arrows on the top right to navigate. Hope you find something for inspiration!
Wishing everybody lots of creative energy and time for it!,
With warmest regards,
Philip (and Olga)
Life is running fast and we feel honored to share a great news:
Our Icon Drawing workshop Holy in Cross Monastery is not filled up yet, – there are still some available spots (unlike the one in The New Skete with a couple of people on waiting list). We have had this program in Melbourne and it worked wonderfully, – by the end of the 5th day, everybody gained much better drawing ability, including the instructors. And one more time everybody approved, that even if drawing is a difficult part, one can enjoy painting much more, having set up a good construction.
Besides, in October we plan to create a special page for mosaics on our website. To start spreading the word about it we decided to begin publishing little images in a separate instagram page run by Philip.
More – later!
With warmest regards,
Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova
I. The only word I can use – Blessing, that’s what it was! – Our friend Sergei Shikhachevsky invited us with his other friends to join a guided tour to see painted cave churches of Cappadocia. Sergei Shikhachevsky had already visited this blessed country 7 times) and wanted to make one more trip to gather some more materials for a book (hopefully it will be published soon).
In these blessed 9 days we have seen a lot and now step by step we start publishing photos. Here is the first one, – Haçlı Kilise (Church of the Cross) in Güllü Dere (Rose Valley near Cavusin). It’s a cave church, like most old churches of Cappadocia. And with the most powerful impressions to share, – how our medieval colleagues approached their work. They start from spots and shapes, not lines, – covering certain areas with local colors our colleagues added details later. They did not “hang” their images on perfectly studied drawings, they preferred their figures to be born from interaction with the wall and each other. Figures, ground and secondary elements are all bound together so fluently and smoothly, that these murals look like as if they were native to walls.
It’s already our second visit, the previous one was great too, – -we had published photos of Ağaç Altı Kilise then: https://www.flickr.com/
II. Workshops in Melbourne – finally launched:
We start with the one for everyone:
1. “How to Work from Models: Byzantine and Romanesque“.
And two advanced workshops for iconographers with certain experience:
2. Full Figure Drawing
3. Assist Gilding
We tried to give an extended description on our website, but feel free to ask if you have any questions!
III. Latest icons by Philip Davydov (all about letter format):
To be continued!,
P.S. As always we like hearing from you!, – Especially your inquiries regarding our work and the workshops!
With warmest regards,
Philip and Olga
P.P.S. A couple of bonuses, – lately discovered collection of frescoes, some of them we have never seen published before: https://yadi.sk/a/dFn2lgyb3VyBbz
And a video about famous Codex from Rossano – such a joy:
Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
With all the sad news and issues we face, we need to move on and do what we have to do.
May Our Lord help us to find what to do to bring Kingdom of God to the world!
This time we have only 4 news.
First, – we should mention a special event, widely discussed in the Orthodox world: – dome mosaics of St. Saba cathedral in Belgrade have been completed. The project is announced as stunning and genius one, especially because of it’s enormous size and amount of work.
We have to admit that unfortunately this meticulous work can’t be considered serious artwork firstly because of the fact, that the composition itself and because 16 of 20 figures are simply enlarged copies from St. Marc cathedral in Venice. Besides, there are some composition errors, like an angel standing “on halo” of the Mother of God and lettering on the halo of Christ. In order to give more grounded and extended information, we are happy to share an article, written by our friend Sergei Brun and published on our website: http://sacredmurals.com/texts/dome_of_barrenness.htm
Second: Lately, Olga has been working with printing on fabric, we did not publish these images on our website yet, but we are happy to share the first results on our Instagram and in this Newsletter. Instagram indeed appeared to be a nice tool for instant information sharing, and especially good for photos of the working process. Please, subscribe if you use it: https://www.instagram.com/sacredmurals/
Third: Our workshop in Italy is scheduled for 3-7 September 2018 and we have already some people registered. Since Italy has a long tradition of the revival of iconography in XX – XXI centuries we have made a complex and intense program for professionals to break their patterns. The workshop will be taught in Italian, so, if you feel it’s a language you know – have a look at the program and see, if you are interested:
And the last point as always, – this time it’s only one image, – Icon of Saint Patrick by Philip Davydov, – the one, which currently participates the “Undivided Saints” project:
To be continued…
With warmest regards,
Philip & Olga
Thank you again for your interest to our work! We’ve had lots of little news, but Newsletter is just for the most serious, and the first one dates back to December 2017… Here they are:
Last June our friends launched a project, named “Saints of Undivided Church“ and we were invited to participate their first exhibition. It took place in National Museum of Belorussia in Minsk (December 20, 2017 – February 18, 2018. It was a great pleasure to be at the opening, – more than 200 visitors and a great bunch of icons, painted by almost a hundred iconographers from different countries. I admired how much freedom can iconographers have without pressure. To share the information I published some photos on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/25669502@N07 and we are happy to share our friend’s video on https://youtu.be…
The project continues and different iconographers continue to join it. Let me know if you are interested, – I will give you Sergei’s email (he speaks english well).
Icon Workshops in New Zealand and Australia went well, and this time we publish almost one hundred photos: www.sacredmurals.com/icon_writing_courses…
Now preparing to hold the ones in DC and New York, plus within two weeks we will launch another workshop in Italy. It’s going to be 6-10 September 2018 in Milano, made exclusively for iconographers-professionals and taught in italian.
Our latest internet discovery: A very famous illuminated manuscript of X-XI centuries “Menologion of Basil the II” was recently published online by Vatican Library: https://digi.vatlib.it/ .
Even though many images depict wild scenes of martyrdoms, it’s a great source of visual information, and may be very useful.
For many years we tried to build up a text, which could describe our working process, a “Manual“. Here is a current version of it: http://www.sacredmurals.com/manual.pdf, feel free to download and use it if you like. We hope to update it from time to time, and if you have any enquiries or comments, please feel free to share, – we will consider your feedback very seriously. In the nearest future we will add list of our favourite pigments, – what else should be changed??
Lately we also started to compose a “Bibliography for Iconographers”, as soon as it’s ready we shall publish it too. ANd if you have any of your favourite books, – books or quotations, which you think may be useful, – please share!
To be continued 🙂
With warmest regards,
Philip and Olga
Published on: February 18, 2018
Hello, dear Friend!,
Before sharing news we are proud to repeat our CALL FOR EXHIBITION “Visions of Beauty 2018” one more time: – if you have a possibility to bring your image(s) or object(s) to ACU Visual Arts Building (26 Brunswick st., Fitzroy) about 11 AM on Saturday 13th of January, – please do so! We particularly appreciate large scale works, even though smaller ones are accepted with a great joy as well. Even if we can’t guarantee, that every work will be accepted, we try hard to exhibit all what we can.
At the end of October we have spent 7 graceful days in some old Italian cities, looking at great mosaics and icons. We took some thousands of photos (start sharing them below), but the most romantic moment happened in a pigment shop, which I remember visiting 20 years ago…. And it was still there!!! A cosy “Drogheria” (drug store), on Piazza delle Erbe in Padova selling almost everything, including the pigments… As we entered there, we could not find the pigments at first, but the salesman helped me to remember, where exactly in 1990s I enjoyed so much pulling out these ramshackle boxes with colors. We found them, and shared the fun with the new team. I am speaking about this just to remember Michelangelo, who I heard used to say: “The pigments can be purchased in a drug store”.
Visiting Ravenna and looking at it’s stunning treasures we could not stop thinking of showing them to everyone we know. Thank’s God, humans invented cameras and internet! – At least we can share photos and upload them for everyone to see! Feel free to visit our latest Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/25669502@N07/albums/72157689660467604, – it’s Mauseleum of Galla Placidia. All images can be viewed and downloaded in full resolution (about 4000X6000 pixels). Enjoy!
We also wanted to share one of our latest internet discoveries, – Utrecht Psalter, available in full resolution: http://psalter.library.uu.nl/page?p=10&res=2&x=0&y=0
Scholars, designers and web-masters in Utrecht University did a great job, – the website gives unique opportunity to read comments to every scene and detail in more then 180 pages with drawings, possibility to enlarge and download page by page. We downloaded them all and if you like to have them downloaded too, let us know.
Forthcoming workshops – very short! All our workshops in Melbourne (Australia) and in Auckland (New Zealand) are full.
Now we announce three workshops in the United States for 2018:
Wesley Seminary (Washington DC) – August 6-10
The Holy Cross Monastery (NY) September 18-21
The New Skete Monastery (NY) – September 25-29.
And more to come!
Thank you for being our Subscriber!,
With warmest regards,
Philip and Olga
Our latest Newsletter came out in July, but news are rushing and we have to share them before they get too old. Here are some recent things we wanted you to read about and see:
First: We are SO HAPPY to spread the word about Exhibition of our friend Todor Mitrovic and his ex–student Nicola Saric in Hannover! It opened 25th of August and will be on till the 30th of November 2017. Some information can be see on the church web-site http://gartenkirche.de/ and on a flyer http://www.gartenkirche.de/dms/kg_gartenkirche_hannover/Einladung-zur-Ausstellung/Einladung%20zur%20Ausstellung.pdf?1502302317
Todor has prepared 6 diptychs of the Mother of God and Exodus, Nikola has other subjects. Unfortunately there are no photos from the opening, which gathered 100 people. But we can see the icons the way they are distributed in the church space, which we think is good: https://www.flickr.com/photos/25669502@N07/albums/72157685959701174
It’s been a long time since we first were asked about an iconography workshop in New Zealand, and here it is! It will take place in Auckland, starting the 5th and ending the 9th of January 2018. We plan to paint an icon of Christ, taking a 13th century image from Mount Sinai as our model.
For those, who live in New Zealand, and have already signed up for our workshop(s) in Melbourne. – I don’t mind you shifting to the newer group, but please, do it in the nearest days since the group is filling up quickly, – we have only 5 spots left.
We have started a new project, – series of Visual Literacy video-lectures on YouTube. The first one is short (only 3’22): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2myJN-yQVPo, but hope it can be a good addition to our workshops, available to everyone. Next one is planned to be about Integrity… What do you think should be other urgent topics?
Looking forward to see your comments, likes and dislikes as well :).
This time we have no new icons to share, therefore we publish 74 medieval images. These are carved wooden sculptures from Novgorod Museum and Magdeburg bronze doors, which for many centuries work for Saint Sophia cathedral in Novgorod (Russia).
All our students and friends, especially those, who come to our Melbourne workshops, are invited to participate our 3rd exhibition “Visions of Beauty 2018” in ACU Gallery Space. The installation should begin on Saturday the 13th of January about midday. We can not guarantee, that all the works will be accepted, but larger ones are preferable.
More news in the next Issue!
With warmest regards,
Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova
First of all, – THANK YOU for your interest to our work and for your time. We love our work and we are grateful for your support! These two months were full of good things and we are glad we can share them with you.
We have recently had three workshops. Two Advanced ones in Saint Mary’s University (Calgary, Canada), and Gage Academy of Arts (Seattle WA). where we painted icon of Saint John the Baptist and a Drawing one, where we draw 3.5 days with pencils and brushes. (See the photos: http://sacredmurals.com/…icon_painting_courses_usa_canada_2017 )
It was a great time, – lots of challenges and, hope, even more discoveries. From the other hand, even though it seems to us, that all the three workshops went well, I feel that when next time we happen to teach one in the Holy Cross Monastery, we should better connect our workshop with worship. And it is not only about adjusting our time to the schedule of services, it’s much wider – about icons “working” in liturgical space, – both theory and practice.
We have already started thinking about the next year workshop in Holy Cross, but I think we will only be able to launch it in October.
It’s only July, but both our January Icon Drawing Workshops in Melbourne are filled up or almost filled up. We talked to the ACU and decided to launch one more, this time more universal, – like we did in the past. We called it “General Icon Painting Workshop” intending to say it’s about painting an icon from scratch to the end, going through all sorts of activities we used go to in our daily work. Planning it we mostly thought of potential students, who’d never attended our workshops before, so they could catch up and grab their piece of experience.
And – an important notice, – if you have already signed up for any of previously announced workshops and want to switch to a new one, please, let us know in the nearest time, before it is filled up.
Another video to share, – our Australian friend Sister of Mercy Margaret Broadbent was interviewed almost two months ago: https://vimeo.com/218884778.
And third one is an audio interview with a gentlema, producing pigments: http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/conversations/conversations-david-coles/8595382