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)

 

Pics from Cappadocia +

  1. Cappadocia
  2. Workshops Jan 2019 – Melbourne
  3. Our Icons

    Dear Friends,

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).

Frescoes of Hacli church, Cappadocia
Frescoes of Hacli church, Cappadocia

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/

Icon Writing Workshop
Icon Writing Workshop

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):

Contemporary Icon of Christ
Icon of Christ

Contemporary icon of Christ
Icon of Christ with golden hair

Icon of Holy Mandylion
Icon of Holy Mandylion

Icon of the Mother of God
Icon of the Mother of God

***

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!

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.

Reflections on the Dome Mosaics of St. Sava’s Cathedral in Belgrade
Reflections on the Dome Mosaics of St. Sava’s Cathedral in Belgrade

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

 

Printing on fabric
Printing on fabric

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/

Corso Iconografia Milano
Corso Iconografia Milano

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:
http://sacredmurals.com/iconography_courses_workshops.htm

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:

Contemporary icon St Patrick
Icon of St Patrick

 

To be continued…

With warmest regards,
Philip & Olga

Tons of Models + Workshops

Dear Friend,

Thank you for being our subscriber! We value your time and do our best to publish only most essential news and valuable information.  This time we are happy to share some archives of models for icons, finally launch our workshops in Melbourne and publish two icons by Olga Shalamova.

  1. It’s always a great pleasure to share good things and we decided to start sharing our models for icons: http://sacredmurals.com/more_images/_icons_from_mount_sinai.html . Largest number of icons was downloaded by our friend from Princeton University website: http://vrc.princeton.edu/sinai/, but there are also other albums as well. And the new feature is following, – you don’t have to click hundreds of images one-by-one, you can download entire archives and unzip them directly on your computer. Check the menu on the left side from the thumbnails and on the right side from the images, – hope you enjoy it.By the way, – always forget to mention! – All large size album images on our website are clickable, – image works like “NEXT” button when you click it.
  2. It’s been an intense time here and it’s only now we are launching our program for our workshops in Melbourne! Sorry for being late, but this time the task seemed so hard, – we wanted to produce a brand new series of workshops, dedicated to drawing and we made it!
    Iconography Workshop models to learn iconography drawing
    Iconography Drawing Workshop Models

    The first workshop practically is made entirely to train drawing, from point of view of theory it will include a series of brand new lectures. The second one is more focused and made for more advanced level students. We also do lots of drawing (mostly different types of garments), but at the end we should come out with a drawings of different half figures and one almost finished image of Saint Anastasia. Please click here  to see the details and descriptions >>

     

  3. A little Icon of Christ
    A little Icon of Christ

    It’s a shame have so few new images, but that’s how it is. Researching for new means and ways is a hard and exhausting work, it takes time and efforts, but it keeps us alive and helps moving forward! This time we only can share two icons by Olga, hoping that more images to come in June.

    This Last Supper took more then 2 months to complete. As additional note – the one, which we published in previous Newsletter functioned as one of the sketches for this one, and I think it worked well 🙂 Board size is 56 X 99 cm (about 23 X 40 inches), and it’s done in egg tempera.

    Icon the Last Supper
    Icon the Last Supper

     

  4. The last but not least, – sometimes we all need promotion! So, we are happy to promote our friend’s work and this time it’s father Justin Mcdonnell, who makes  icon boards in Melbourne (Australia). Here he comes:**********
    Traditional gessoed icon boards

    “Fr Justin McDonnell-based in Melbourne, Australia.
    0402-324-694.
    “Constructed from best quality sustainably/ethically sourced local  timbers. All joinery is done by hand using solid timber. Flat or kovcheg, with support struts in the back of the board as required. Boards can be of any size, large or small. Fr Justin is a fully qualified cabinet maker and has worked in a variety of timer related areas-furniture making, wood carving, and is a qualified pipe organ builder. He and his wife, Pani Matushka Lydia, are both dedicated to manufacturing and supplying icon boards of the finest quality to our local iconographic community. We use locally grown timbers and have tried to adapt this ancient craft to the unique conditions present in Australia. We would be very glad to receive your enquiry for any icon board requirements”.

            

    Thank you again for your time and please let us know if you have any questions or comments!

    With war,est regards,
    Philip and Olga