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Latest information about our events and iconography-related topics.

Hello, and welcome to our Newsletter "September 2020"!

Many things to share this time, - here are the main topics:
1. Olga has received her latest liturgical banners from her seamstress.
2. Philip continues to experiment with hot encaustic. Sharing the technique and several encaustic icons on boards, tumbled by the Baltic sea.
3. The Iconographers Corner!!! (Online Community in action)!
4. We have just finished teaching our second Online Course, - some words about the experience and plans for the future...
5. A new service of personal supervision - "The Second Pair of Eyes"...

Newsletter 27th September 2020

1. Some people think that iconography is a very time consuming process, and they are right.. And yet,  who could think that production of liturgical banners can take months? Well, there are many different activities, - not solely the printing process... - The months are needed every image is produced by several people in a team...

First - the very fabric is produced by hands of weavers Elena Krylova. Than Olga brings it to our studio and cuts it into the right size, combines different printing techniques and applies all sorts of spells she knows. When she is done, the front and the back pieces, thread brushes and other necessary details are brought to seamstress Julia Nazarova to mount the image together...

And voila, - we are happy to present you two new "Khorugvi" - (Russian name for liturgical banners) - the top two images on the page:

Newsletter 27th September 2020
Liturgical banner "Holy Mandylion" by Olga Shalamova (2020).
Handwoven linen, print on fabric, hand-woven threads, pearls.

2. I guess, that most of you have heard about Hot Encaustic, and yet here I will give a very short description to give a clear idea why encaustic images look the way they look. 

"The word encaustic originates from the Greek word enkaustikos which means to burn in, and this element of heat is necessary for a painting to be called encaustic. The wax encaustic painting technique was described by the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder in his Natural History from the 1st Century AD" (WIKI).

To make classic encaustic one needs "Punic Wax", - regular beeswax, exposed to sun (for bleaching) and subject to purification procedures. These procedures (mostly boiling in seawater) rise the melting temperature, make the wax harder, and free from unstable organic substances.

It's a difficult process, (even ancient guys called it something like "Pictura Ritardata" -approximately translatable as "delayed painting". Indeed, - lots of time is spent preparing the materials, but once you get used to it, it does not feel as a heavy burden). 

The main advantage of this technique for me is that the very character of the paint invites you to make every brushstroke expressive, and when you do so, you discover, that not always you need the smoothness and flatness, usual for egg tempera. The soft semi-transparent shine, texture and brightness of wax-based colors allow to achieve an exceptional intermediacy. Overall, it allows establishing a very intimate dialog between the artist and the viewer/beholder..

Having discovered, that all images painted with hot encaustic technique are so unlike egg tempera, we decided to make a special web page for it on our website.

Newsletter 27th September 2020
Hot Encaustic icons by Philip Davydov

3. We finally open our Social Network for Iconographers!

We welcome all, who knows us in person, also those, who love iconography and who agree to obey the rules.

Read more about the Network on this page, - how it is organized and how it functions, and if you agree - join us!!! - Inform us via email about your desire to be part of our community, or, if you want to invite a friend, - let us know you have a trustable fellow iconographer, who wants to join, - we will be happy to send him/her invitation as soon as we can...

By now we have about 20 members, but there are no limits :)

See you there soon in the Iconographers Corner!

Iconographers Corner interface.
A screenshot from a discussion about unusual images of the Holy Trinity

4. Now it is almost 3 weeks since we finished teaching our Second Online Iconography Drawing Course.  This time it was even more charged with videos: we have loaded our students with lots of complicated tasks and we were very glad to see the results of their hard work. Maybe this time it was even a little too much for those, who learn iconography in addition to a full-time main job.  

Our Course 3 should be sometime after the New Year, - yet we are in a planning process, for now we suggest some alternative learning opportunities (here and below):

For those, who did not have a chance, but wants to learn at "COURSE 1" and "COURSE 2", we will launch them "zoomlessly", - i.e. providing all the assignments and interactive corrections but without live weekly zoom meetings. The students will have access to the recorded zoom lectures from the courses we conducted earlier.

The Online Drawing Course 1 will be launched again on the 6th of NOVEMBER 2020. Let us know if you like to register. We will add your name to the list of students and send you a link for the registration payment. 

Please, let us know if you have any questions.

Ancient encaustic image of an Archaic Greek poet Sappho with a stylus.

5. We were also asked if there could be an on-going opportunity for personal supervision in drawing, so we launch a service called "The Second Pair of Eyes". It is going to be a paid individual consulting service, helping our students in their own work or study. Yet we are not sure, what is the best way to organize this new activity, so we start with two options, accepting up to 10 students in total - to see how everything will work. For now, we only invite students, who have accomplished our Online Iconography Drawing Course(s).

The first option: for those of our students, who want to have a personal supervision in their own work. We found that having an extra pair of eyes is helpful for our own work, so we are glad to help others to make a drawing from scratch: to prepare it for further gilding or painting.
Students are invited to email their models and drawings whenever they are ready. Our email answers with corrections and recommendations should be given from Monday to Friday as soon as we can (no later than in 48 hours), - similar to how we had it at our courses.

The second option is for those, who want to continue drawing with models from our Online Courses (or similar). All the conditions are the same as for Option 1.

Students are asked to email photographs of their drawings made straight and in good daylight conditions.

The cost of the service is 100 USD for the supervision of the drawing process for one icon brought from zero to a completed drawing (OPTION 1), or for supervising your practice for one calendar month for those, who want to continue simply drawing models on paper (OPTION 2).

This is a pilot version starting today, - let's see how it goes :)

Newsletter 27th September 2020
Liturgical Banner

Thank you for being our subscriber!

Please, stay in touch, - more news coming soon ;)

With warmest regards,
Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova
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