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)

 

July 2018

Pontifex University
Pontifex University

Dear Friends,
Life is running fast and we feel honored to share a great news:

  • We are glad to announce an official Partnership with Pontifex University. From now on each of our workshops can count as a credit toward Master of Sacred Arts degree. You can see a short description at our website: http://sacredmurals.com/pontifex_university.htm . The proposal came from one of our students, who had already had an experience with them, so we decided to try.  If you want to know more, please check directly the website of Pontifex University, we hope that a possibility to have knowledge and skills officially confirmed might be a good one
    Icon drawing workshop
    Icon drawing workshop

    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.

  • Olga’s had extremely intense months doing her graphic work, so, that in several weeks we expect images to be published. It is going to be a wall calendar, approximately 40 * 30 cm (16 * 12 inches) and we hope to have some copies to share.

Sacred Murals Studio Instagram Incorporated

  • Social Media: On!
    – As Olga continues running our main Instagram and it has become a good entertainment. Lately, we decided to incorporate it into our website so that everybody might see the latest updates at the left-bottom coner.

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.

  • Five new icons and a mosaic piece by Philip Davydov:

Annunciation icon
Annunciation icon

Multiplication of bread and fish
Multiplication of bread and fish

Contemporary Image of Crucifix
Contemporary Image of Crucifix

Icon of Mandylion
Icon of Mandylion

Tumbled Glass and Marble Mosaic
Tumbled Glass and Marble Mosaic

Icon of Holy Mandylion
Icon of Holy Mandylion

More  – later!

***

With warmest regards,

Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova

November 2016

Dear Friends,
So good to stay in one place!cleaning_lapis_step
No special events, no serious trips, just work!

In these three months we’ve been working in four different directions: – mosaics, iconography, some images on watercolor paper and copper. Besides, Olga dedicated some “free time” to purify some Lapis Lazzuli by recipe of Cennino Cennini (See the bottom of the page for a link to a good article about this fabulous substance).

And now…. almost time for the images 🙂 (Even though some will remain unpublished for a while)! But first – some practical workshop info.

Saint John the Baptist. Model for Advanced Icon Painting Workshop.AUSTRALIA – For those who registered for our 2 workshops in Melbourne: please, let us know if your circumstances change. We have some people on waiting lists and if you cancel before the 1-st of December we will be happy to make a full refund.

USA We finally announce our Advanced Icon Painting Workshop for June 2017 in the USA, – it’s Gage Academy of Art again (Seattle WA) and registration has already began: http://www.sacredmurals.com/icon-writing-course-seattle-wa.htm. Please, note, we have 10% discount for returning students! And make sure to let us know if you have any questions!

Tumbled Glass Mosaic Altar Table in Saint Leonid Church
IMAGES!
First – most monumental ones: – in September we continued our work in St. Leonid church in Saint Petersburg region and covered altar table with tumbled glass mosaics: http://sacredmurals.com/mosaics-saint-leonid…

We used the same type of tumbled glass as on the wall, but this time we put tiles closer to each other to make surface more consistent. The colors and tones instead are more muted. The goal was to underline a special meaning of altar table in the church space, but not to make it too bright.
Mosaic cross on the eastern side of the altar table at st Leonid churchWe have to be very careful about existing visual balance of the interior, bringing every new component in harmony with the image of the Mother of God and with the peacocks in the altar apse.

The next two steps should be the Royal and Diakonicon gates and the two main icons on both sides of the altar. We hope and pray God that the work in this church may be continued and brought to a harmonious but powerful result. This little church interior may become a great place for services and prayers in inner peace.

ICONS:
Just yesterday we discovered, that one of Olga’s icons has many times been exhibited but never published at the website. Here it finally is, – the Transfiguration, painted by Olga Shalamova in 2012:
Icon of Transfiguration by Olga Shalamova
***

Philip’s icons are put in chronological order. The Nativity of Christ was painted last summer. As you see, the background is a kind of a blueish-grey, and the main color of the mountains has a similar hue, so somehow naturally we started to call this icon a “Winter Nativity”. We are sure most of our correspondents can easily identify it’s main model, but since the actual image is realized in a different technique and it is almost a meter high, Philip decided to make it in a more detailed way. By the way, we’ve uploaded it to “FineArtAmerica“, so, hope you might consider it as an option for your Christmas cards:
Icon Nativity of Christ

A 82 cm (33 inches high)  Crucifix, commissioned almost two years ago by a little parish of prisoners in Perm’ region of Russia:

crucifix_portable

Icon Harrowing of Hell was made to have one more chance to “speak” about the Redemption. The previous version was good, but the new one is hopefully more powerful.
Icon Harrowing of Hell

And the last image we present this time is icon of Annunciation. And also in this time it is a version of a “Blue Annunciation”, but this time Philip used some local mineral fluorite , which brought up such a wonderful color.
Icon of Annunciation

***

This seems to be all for the moment, – yet no new conferences or exhibitions to share.

Thank you very time for your time and your interest to our Newsletter!
We look forward to publish more special things in the Christmas Issue……… 🙂

With warmest regards,
Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova

P.S. An article about lapis lazzuli by renowned authority David Margulies