Australia Rules!

Dear Friend,
We have some workshop announcements but … I can’t help it!

First I shall praise our colleagues and friends Australian iconographers! It’s an unbelievable coincidence, to have so many events in a row, but they are all the fruit of much long and hard work. CONGRATULATIONS!  And here are the reasons for such praise (in the chronological order the news reached us):

A Celebration of Living Light. Exhebition and a Reception
A Celebration of Living Light. Exhebition and a Reception

First: an Exhibition and Reception “A Celebration of Living Light” at the Mercy Mission, Spirituality and Action Hub in North Carlton, Victoria. The exhibition was attended by a large number of Sisters and guests. The work of four Australian iconographers: Margaret Broadbent RSM Margaret McHugh RSM, Pauline Pervan RSM and Mrs Alice Vaughan.

We know that it took a very long time to get everything ready, but we are happy to hear that all went well. The photographs and a video are available here.

Icon exhibition Images of the Divine in Canberra. Sue Orchison (in red) who organised things, Richard Charlwood and Apostolic Nuncio, Most Reverend Adolfo Tito Yllana.
Icon exhibition in Canberra. Sue Orchison Richard Charlwood and Apostolic Nuncio, Most Reverend Adolfo Tito Yllana.

Second: About 80 people attended the opening, and several hundred guests in total saw The Images of the Divine, an exhibition organized by Sue Orchison displaying the work of 17 iconographers. 70 icons were produced and shown at the administration centre of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, Australia. Some photographs from the opening are available on Sue’s  Facebook Page, and her speech can be seen and read  on her website:  https://www.thelittlegate.com/

We are very happy and proud of our friends and students’ progress. Olga and I both appreciate and know how hard it is to progress and move forward so successfully!

Eastern Iconography in the contemporary Protestant West
Eastern Iconography in the contemporary Protestant West

Third: this news is less visual and rather verbal. However, we consider it may have great importance for all of us, especially in the long run.

This morning I received a letter arrived from Peter Blackwood, Australia. He was invited to a conference where he gave a lecture: Eastern Iconography in the Contemporary West.  Peter kindly agreed for us to share the text of his speech on our website. It has been added to our text collection and we hope you will gain some important insights and knowledge from it.

Corsi fi iconografia a Milano Italia
Corsi fi iconografia a Milano Italia

Fourth: future workshops

The first ones will be in Italy. Continuing on from last year’s “Corso di Perfezionamento” there will be two courses at the beginning of September. The first one is for those who have professionally worked in iconography for a number of years, and the second one is for other students who have just started on their journey in iconography.

It’s been almost 20 years since I last went to Italy as my father’s workshop interpreter and assistant, and it came around again! Last year I was contacted by some of his students who want to continue their education. I attempted it last year as a special challenge – to figure out the most crucial problems, and share the solutions with the “veterans”, who know almost everything. But what inspires me is that, even though they are so experienced, they are still open and still want to learn!

The US workshops are steadily filling up, and it looks like we are going to have both groups in September. At the New Skete (with the icon of “Angel with Golden Hair” as the chosen image) and at the Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, where we will continue a series of lectures on icon drawing.

At last, but not least, finally … so late, what a shame!! we can announce our January workshops in Melbourne!

Icon of Our Lady Igorevskaya for Icon Painting Workshop
Icon of Our Lady Igorevskaya for Icon Painting Workshop

We are really sorry for the delay. However, it took us a while to figure out what should be taught to people, who organize their exhibitions and lead their own icon schools all over Australia!

After discussing possible topics, and trying to find the answer for months, here it is:

The first one (as always) will be open to everyone. The chosen image is the icon of the Mother of God “Igorevskaya”. This means that students will have to study and paint two large faces, but we feel this is doable.

Model for Icon Painting Workshop Image of Crucifix
Model for Icon Painting Workshop Image of Crucifix

The second will actually be a double one.  It is has been chosen for those students who have previously painted icons.

We have to confess, it’s for the first time ever that we have decided to make a workshop as a two-session series with one model, and we are very excited about this.

We will use an image of the Crucifix for painting an icon of the Crucified Christ without other figures. However, both sessions are planned to include many studies and research results,  so we are sure it will be a fruitful time.

The plan is to work seriously, i.e. with lots of investigations and routine discoveries, so that the whole workshop could be experienced as a real immersion in a professional iconographer’s work. Please share this opportunity with others you may know who would like to join us.

The gessoed boards for the workshop icons will be made in the form of a cross. We have planned this so that these icons, when they are finished and varnished, can be used for church or personal veneration. We believe it will be a valuable practice and inspiration for everybody.

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Mosaic detail for iconostasis
Mosaic detail for iconostasis

To finish all the practical news, we will only share one tumbled stone and glass mosaic image as our fresh “production”. It’s a small section of a future iconostasis decoration by Philip Davydov. Other images are still in the planning stages.

Olga and I are both immersed in extensive projects which should be finished within several weeks or a couple of months.

Thank you very much for being our valued subscribers!

With warmest regards,
Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova

25 November 2018

Dear Friend,
This time we have very few news, and the first one is about…

Exhibition of icons and other spiritual images1. 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)
JPG: www.sacredmurals.com/exhibitions-of-icons/visions_2019.JPG

2. THE GILDING WORKSHOP in Melbourne still has some spots. Welcome to join us, – we will investigate possibilities gold provides to an iconographer and try to get as good as we can in Assist Gilding.Mosaic image of archangel Michael by Philip Davydov

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.

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Wishing everybody lots of creative energy and time for the realization!,

With warmest regards,
Philip (and Olga)

 

08 November 2018

Dear Friends,

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.

Mosaic image
Mosaic image by Philip Davydov

1. MOSAICS
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.

A pair of khorugvi by Olga Shalamova
A pair of khorugvi by Olga Shalamova

2. TEXTILES
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 😉

Advanced Icon WorkshopIcon
Advanced Icon Workshop

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.

Kremer Pigments NY
Kremer Pigments NY

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.

Harley Golden Gospels
Harley Golden Gospels

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)