Altar Panel by Olga Shalamova
"It is lovely to see little touches being introduced into the Chapel. Yesterday, the "Icon of the Incarnation" was installed. This is found in the south ambulatory, over a flock of birds that carry our prayers to heaven. The icon is spectacular. The wisdom of the Eternal Word is captured in the older Jesus sitting on his mother's lap. From the Annunciation to the Presentation, it tells the story of the Incarnation. The artist is Olga Shalamova; she is from St. Petersburg and combines a deep adherence to the traditional form of Orthodox iconography with creativity and artistic precision.
We will add a stock of candles and create a space worthy of prayer and meditation. Meanwhile on this day, we pause and marvel at this remarkable image with such theological depth and beauty. It really is quite exceptional.
I invite everyone on this Holy Wednesday to make a journey to the icon and pause and say a prayer. Art raises the soul; and this piece does this remarkably well."
" Dear Philip, Thank you for your reply - coming from your heart, despite the fact that I am a stranger. I enjoyed looking through the gallery of your work and Olga's. It shows that iconography can be new and fresh, yet still remain within the "mainstream" of iconographic principles. Thank you for your art! "
P.S. I`ve placed my order with fineartamerica - thanks.
"CORSO DI ICONOGRAFIA: TEOLOGIA VISUALIZZATA
Quando mi sono iscritta a questo corso ero un po’ preoccupata. Pensavo di non essere all’altezza del corso stesso.
Un nuovo maestro (che non conoscevo) oltretutto russo e questo mi incuteva un po’ di soggezione. Dopo le presentazioni e la prima giornata di lavoro, c’è stato da parte mia un rilassamento e il tutto si è svolto con serenità (pur avendo il tempo cronometrato al quale io non sono abituata). Ho imparato una nuova tecnica –a me sconosciuta- e cercherò di applicarla, in parte, anche lavorando nel modo che sono abituata e che mi hanno insegnato.
Ringrazio il maestro DAVYDOV per la pazienza che ha avuto, la MARA per aver organizzato il corso e se devo dare un voto da 1 a 5 voto 5.
Non sono ancora finiti i passaggi di colore: devo fare il rosso e l’ombreggiatura, ma, per quanto mi riguarda, è già bellissima.
Grazie di cuore maestro."
A***. Busto Arsizio, 6/7/8 settembre 2019
Thank you so much for the wonderful workshop here in D.C. two weeks ago. I have been very busy and wanted to sit down and review my notes before responding to you. Every day was so full of learning! From the power point lectures to your demos to our exercises and then to the work on the icons, punctuated by refreshing breaks, it was tremendous how you established such a great 'rhythm' for us during the week, in which to concentrate, learn, and yet not to burn out! You, clearly, have given as much care to how we learn as you have to how you may teach.
The use of visual critique was really helpful...to see so many icons, and how the principles being taught were applied (or not)..use of value, weight, balance, composition, telling a story, being honest, respecting our humanity, effective use of materials, etc.
Also, it was very helpful to see how you work through creative conundrums. It was cool that you didn't have the colors and everything all worked out before you started and we could see something of your process. So reassuring that it didn't come so easily or instantly to you! You showed us that 'mistakes' are part of the process and not to become defeated by them, but to use them. You, indeed, inspired us to think through creative challenges, without being completely intimidated by them. No small feat!
I look forward to the drawing time in NY. It is sure to be challenging but will undoubtedly be rewarding as well!
R***. Iconography workshop in Washington DC, August 2018
" Dear Phillip and Olga,
Thank you both so much for such a richly rewarding workshop, on so many levels. I learnt so much even though I know we were scratching the surface so to speak.
The lectures were so informative and very deep in content, once again, I was thrilled to be able to listen to your expert knowledge.
... I hope your trip home was good for you both.
I am looking forward to making another icon soon. I have been producing Religious sculptures for last four years but I found this work to be very helpful in every way.
A million thanks.
C***. Iconography Workshop in Melbourne January 2018
" Hi Philip and Olga
.... I do want to tell you that in thirty years of university lecturing, attending workshops and more recently painting, your icon painting was the best course that I have ever done. Your presentation of the ideas and history of icons was extremely interesting, well paced and beautifully illustrated. The demonstrations of technique at the front of the class were clear and concise. The technical help from Olga was very useful and the whole experience was positive. I hope to be able to join you again for the second class.
Kind regards "
G.J.* - Iconography Workshop in Melbourne January 2017