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 almost time for the images ūüôā (Even though some will remain unpublished for a while)!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: 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
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:…

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.

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:


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, Рyet 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……… ūüôā

With warmest regards,
Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova

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

August 2016

Link to the Newest Newsletter:


August 2016

Dear Friends,

That was a loooong¬†silence, – sorrrrry! So much going on, NO¬†time for typing ūüôĀ

_DSC9637_cr_2And 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:

    1. ¬†exhibition_and_workshop_in_abingdon02Last¬†May Olga and myself¬†were invited to make an exhibition of icons¬†and teach an icon workshop in Saint Helen’s church in Abingdon (Oxfordshire, UK).Right for the exhibition Olga painted 5¬†icons of Early British Saints, one of which was donated to Saint Helen’s parish as a sign of our gratitude.¬†You can see icons¬†individually¬†in a special¬†album, or click the¬†photograph on the right to see them¬†at¬†Saint Helen’s.
    2. 12274471_10203886999214226_4606563841399491656_nRight 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, Рlighting was bad indeed!
    3. icon_painting_workshops_usa_2016_002In the middle of June we had two scheduled icon painting workshops in the USA, and this was as always a great experience for us. First was in Wesley Seminary (Washington DC, for the third time) and second in Gage Academy of Arts (Seattle WA). I uploaded photos to Flickr to show them larger-
    4. 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.
    5. _DSC9733In 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:¬†
    6. Contemporary-christian-art-russia-july-2016-087Right after this conference Olga and myself visited were honored to visit studio of Irina Zaron and Sergej Antonov. After that Рa 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 Р117 photos in total:
    7. _DSC3283Few 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.romanesque_images-043I 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…
      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! РHere is a little text I am happy to share if anyone wants to see this art in situ.
    8. romanesque_images-008Our 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 All updates will be eventually posted to his website 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.
    9. At the end a little diptych of wedding icons by Philip Davydov, painted in spring but only published now:
    10. 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.