If you are in northern hemisphere we wish the most beautiful spring, if in the southern, we hope you are having an enjoyable autumn!
As the time runs, we have to make some changes in our workshop schedule, couple of new works, couple of exhibitions and a special website to share.
Groups in Calgary and Seattle are filling up well, but last week we have been contacted by Wesley Seminary (Washington DC) and we were informed that our workshop has to be cancelled because of widescale renovation works.
But since every cloud has a silver lining, with a generous invitation of Peter Pearson’s now we happily launch a brand new Icon Drawing Workshop in the Holy Cross monastery in West Park NY,– reachable by direct trains from NYC).
It’s a 4 days course for $650 with lodging and meals included, – lots and lots of drawing! We think it’s essential for all.
Only two works to publish since our previous Newsletter:
One by Philip:
And a Last Supper by Olga Shalamova:
Besides, we are surprised to see constant and unpredictable interest to iconography exhibitions. As always we publish some photos at our Flickr, hope you may find something inspiring.
The first one was a “85 years of Union of Artists of Saint Petersburg“, which included our iconography section not a special one iconography (February 20 – March 10 2017, St. Isaac’s Square Manege, Saint Petersburg, Russia).
The second in Feodorovsky Cathedral (also in Saint Petersburg) exhibition
After this, – at last but not least, as the best desert, we are also very proud of an opportunity to share a brand-new website of our fellow iconographer fr. Silouan Justiniano, constant author of Orthodox Arts Journal and a friend of ours. It’s very minimal, just the essentials for now. Take a look: www.frsilouanicons.com
Thanks you very much for your time, hope next one will have less news and more images to share!
The first word of this newsletter we want to be the word Gratitude!
Though we often wished to say it before, somehow yet there was no special occasion. Now we think it can be a good time. Looking back at our 10 years of workshops in Melbourne and even more in the US, we are happy to say how grateful we are to God, to our friends and relatives. We feel that in these years we had been immensely blessed, helped and inspired, our work – valued.
I know, I should list the names, but it would need many pages and simple listing of course would not be enough… We thank you all very much and wish that this coming year (and many more to come) will bring you the peace, joy and blessings in Christ.
Now we are back home-sweet-home, and thanks to Margaret Broadbent (see the photograph) we had a great cultural program in Sydney and feel very much rested… Time to stir paint for new sketches, time to bring together all we have seen and experienced lately.
NEXT ONES are planned for June 2017 (Seattleand Calgary, – filling up). In addition to them we announce our traditional workshop in Wesley Seminary (Washington DC, USA).
Though yet it’s not sure, but we may as well have one more workshop in the UK, but this should be happening in the second half of the year, – it’s just a “maybe” for now. And to conclude this listing, it’s good to say, – we always look forward to hear your critique, questions, comments or proposals, hoping that our educational methods and principles may be considered as an open system, changeable and upgradable.
EXHIBITION “From the Star till the Water”
With most grateful feelings about the Moscow exhibition “Gifts”, where traditional icons were placed next to contemporary Christian artworks, I decided to share a local one. We only visited it because this Exhibition Center is very close to our home. The exhibition was open for the period between feast of the Nativity of Christ and the Epiphany – 24th of December 2016 till 29th of January 2017. We especially enjoyed some of the objects and images and happily share them with you on Flickr too: https://www.flickr.com/photos/25669502@N07/albums/72157676464356904
As always few ones finished:
And hopefully more to come!
One more time we thank you very much for being with us!
With warmest regards,
Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova
P.S. For those, who like to travel, here is a number of opportunities from our friend fr. Ilia Gotlinsky:
The history of Russian Sacred Art and Architecture through Millennia July 10 – 30, 2017 The “Russian Icon” tour is the first comprehensive study tour that along with all of the major collections of Russian Icons will include many less famous, generally overlooked, but yet very important monuments and collections of the Russian Medieval Sacred Art. The itinerary includes visits to Moscow, most cities of the Golden Ring, Vologda, Ferapontovo, St. Petersburg, Novgorod and Pskov. Travelers will get a real in depth course not only on the History of Russian Sacred Art and Architecture, but also on the History of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian State. Another benefit of this trip is the fact that we will work directly with museum staff and clergy along the way. With many of them we have longstanding and personal friendship that enables us to see and to do learn about the things that usually remain behind the closed doors.
Link to the program: http://orthodoxtours.com/july-10-30-2017-russian-icon-history-russian-sacred-art-architecture-millennia/
We wish you a Joyful and Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year! Let us pray for Peace together, – through the whole coming year! – Let’s make it TheYear of Prayers for Peace!
In the meantime we prepared some our local news and hope you may enjoy reading them and seeing new images…
New Images in all senses… This time we present you a new type of images…
Hmmmmm… What?? Wait a minute…What kind of “New Type” can an iconographer talk about, if the whole his or her life has to be dedicated to the main vocation – painting the Face of Invisible God and His saints???
And, yes, – now we have an answer… For a number of years we wondered about extending iconographers professional possibilities. The question is this – what can an icon painter paint, avoiding to compromise or disgrace tradition and own skills, but trying to make a new type (genre) of image with different goals and functions.
And we found the answer… simply working with our sketches… The answer can be a GRAPHIC WORK. From point of view of the materials, it’s similar to the manuscript illumination process, but since we are not obliged to make it a direct text illustration, we may think of a special kind of visual, recalling traditional iconography, but using a slightly different language and pursuing different goals.
These images were painted by Olga Shalamova, – it’s egg-tempera on watercolor paper with some special tricks and discoveries. I also think these images might be great to be printed on paper, – we will publish them on FineArtAmerica. Size of originals can vary, the largest one is about 30 inches wide. We will look forward to hear your opinion about them, – here they are: http://www.sacredmurals.com/graphics.html >>
A reminder to our Australian Subscribers, especially to those, who signed for the workshop(s) in Melbourne! The first workshop begins on Monday, the 16th of January! Please, make sure you are coming relaxed, fresh and open in your thoughts&spirit, ready for the challenges and for discoveries!
Installation of our collective third exhibition “The Visions of Beauty” is scheduled to be done in the morning on Saturday, the 14th of January. Please, bring your works to participate, – the more and more – the better!
Some years ago our local art supply stores started selling few pigments from Armenia, produced by a little company named “Agulis Pigments“. We decided to check if they have a good palette and ordered couple of packages directly from them. Couple of weeks ago we got the first package and now we are glad to share such a wonderful source! The pigments are finely grinded, and the colors are beautiful and delicate. The price looks affordable, – average cost is about 10 euros for a kilo, some are cheaper and some are more expensive. I think the most expensive is about 23 euros for a kilo. There is someone selling these pigments on Amazon, but the cost is way too expensive. We hope you might like what they make, and – they speak and write english! 🙂
Today we just got from Moscow, where we helped installing one more exhibition in “Tsar’s Tower” hall at Kazansky Railway Station. This one is called “Tender Brush” because only accepted participants belonging to the beautiful half of humanity. Here I am posting some images taken during the installation process, so the position of the images and their actual color balance (it’s bad again, I know, the only solution is to come and see the Exhibition) is not 100% corresponding their actual state. This time it’s only about a dozen of my photos. Please, see them at our Flickr: >>
And last, but lot least – some New icons by Olga :
That was a loooong silence, – sorrrrry! So much going on, NO time for typing 🙁
And it’s the middle of August already! Started to put together the text and images for publishing… – it’s simply too much for a “Letter” in it’s usual form. What to do, we added WordPress module to our website, for our news to be cooked in a better oven.
(Yes, – they are still too many for one Newsletter, I just hope you may check the sections gradually, one after another, especially since there almost 2 hundreds of photos)…
So, here they are in chronological order:
Right after Britain we have finally completed an article, dedicated to Exhibition of Contemporary Iconographers of Russia and it was published in Orthodox Arts Journal. The OAJ editors informed me it had lots of views, from our side I just have to say it was a hard work even to put together all these most simple words about such an ambiguous. I have also posted some photos at our Flickr, and use this moment to say I am sorry for the color balance on them, – lighting was bad indeed!
Overwhelming quantity of trips and different events was not good for thoughtful icon painting process, so we made a tumbled glass image of a peacock (with Lev’s help), that brought an idea of adding special “mosaic” section to our “Gallery of Murals” – (right below the frescoes). Picture on the right shows the working process, click it to see more.
In the middle of July we were invited to an event near Moscow, called “Laboratorio de Arte Sacra” (because originally this initiative was started by some italian artists in Sicily) – a conference, combined with an exhibition. The participants were mostly artists from Russia with a group of the Italians, who also showed their artworks, architectural projects and shared thoughts. There were lots of icons, mosaics and other images and projects demonstrated, great thoughts discussed: https://www.flickr.com/photos/25669502@N07/albums/72157669560668483
Right after this conference Olga and myself visited were honored to visit studio of Irina Zaron and Sergej Antonov. After that – a couple of churches in Moscow, decorated by a famous mosaic master Alexander Kornoukhov, so i decided to put all these images together to keep together contemporary Christian art – 117 photos in total: https://www.flickr.com/photos/25669502@N07/albums/72157669560668483
Few days after this trip we visited our Fine Art Academy classmate Svetlana Sorokina, who is our old friend, being also a great old fan of Romanesque art, and currently living in France. Her family hosted us and lended us a car, so we had a wonderful opportunity to visit numerous Romanesque churches, see medieval frescoes and carved tympans for almost three weeks.I have uploaded just a few, – please, let me know if among our subscribers there is any serious interest to their most powerful expression and spirituality… https://www.flickr.com/photos/25669502@N07/albums/72157672583520536
And if the interest is serious, I am happy to say, that we know another person with same love to Romanesque art, and happily he also is a good tour guide! – Here is a little text I am happy to share if anyone wants to see this art in situ.
Our friend and Sacred art fan fr. Ilya gotlinsky is planning an icon trip to Russia and trip of Romanesque monuments in Europe in season of 2017. He would like to know how much interest there is as he is currently working on the schedule of his travels for next year. For detail please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. All updates will be eventually posted to his website www.orthodoxtours.com. all of fr. Ilya’s trips are open to all. He is looking for a fruitful and edifying collaboration with our studio and our students. We personally would like to recommend him as a good friend and courteous and reliable professional we have dealt with.
At the end a little diptych of wedding icons by Philip Davydov, painted in spring but only published now:
And at this moment I finally say a Good by. Thank you for your time and patience and hope you enjoyed reading and watching! Please, let us know your opinion, questions and comments!With warmest regards,
Philip Davydov (and Olga Shalamova)
19 August 2016.