Newsletter February 2023: Shorter Ways

Newsletter February 2023: Shorter Ways.

  • Courses Restructured
  • Iconographers' Club
  • Era of...
  • Watsup?
  • Zoom and Other Virtual News
  • Hello, dear Friend,
    Why do all new activities take so much time and energy? Is there a shorter way to get the result? I trust that we all once in a while have a feeling that our overall result looks OK, but looking back we realize that the road was way longer than we thought it would be…

    I feel this way after every serious project, and it’s probably a problem - to like the process more than the result. Or rather like that: obsession with finding a better way makes the path more adventurous and fun, but also lengthier. It’s like taking a countryside road instead of a highway, - you see and experience much more, it’s filled with more events, at the cost of arriving later.

    New Schedule of Iconography Courses This always happens when we plan and film our online courses. We start with a straightforward idea, but once we begin planning and discussing the options, the plot extends, multiplicates, and at the end evolves into a huge thing we can hardly bear. It’s like planting a seed, - it grows into a tree, and you can do nothing but allow it to be itself… You can’t stop it from growing…. Unless you are a gardener…


    During the last month, after we finished filming and teaching our latest Egg Tempera course, we both discovered a sudden desire to prune our most complex courses to make them more accessible and comfortable for learning. It was an interesting work, but before I speak about the news I need to say some words of gratitude.

    We both wish to say THANK YOU to those, who helped us with their advice and support, and to those who sign up to our courses. We treasure your trust and we are deeply thankful for your support!

    Now we are proud to present to you a whole new structure of our courses, which got shorter and with a schedule we hope you have more time for planning beforehand.

    Here is what we did exactly:

  • Split course IV into 3 different curriculums, which now feature A) Garments, B) Hand Gestures C) Composition.
  • Split the Egg Tempera in 2 curriculums.
  • Made a clear distinction, what courses can be taken by anyone, and which require a certain experience.
  • Made a clear year-round schedule for all courses, indicating that some of them will be launched repeatedly.
  • Now in total we have 8 independent courses. With the new calendar we hope that everybody can pick up only the desired topic(s). Now we hope that the picture is clear: - whole brand-new first page with all courses sorted and a new Q&A section below:

    If something is still unclear, please, let us know what we can do any better! - We are happy to make the changes.


    For those, who have completed the Egg Tempera Course. Contemporary Theotokos Icon Hot Encaustic

    The last Tempera Course was a real game changer! We both think it was so loaded with information, that the length of the course did not allow the learners to have enough time for practicing to absorb the new knowledge and skills. We decided that for those who want to paint some more faces consolidating the knowledge obtained during the Egg Tempera course we will organize a special “Iconographers Club” for some months. Those who will join the group will receive one model per month and every week will get special exercises for home work. You will have regular Olga’s feedback, like it was during the Egg Tempera Course.

    Now I have 6 people on the list. If you have accomplished the Egg Tempera course and want to practice more, please, let us know.

    ERA OF…

    Large projects and shorter ways? - It’s time to explain what I meant.

    Changing our location last March we had to review many practical aspects, including communication. I suddenly realized that about 90 percent of emails we receive as inquiries about our icons were from people interested in purchasing something affordable. I was surprised to see how the points of view of “customers” and “producers” differ. All artists I heard talking about their icons mainly spoke about things that did not exist yet. At the same time, analyzing the email inquiries and listening to people willing to buy an icon, I only heard about images that already existed, and it’s a whole different story.

    Print Icon Postcards and Posters For me this was the coolest thought: - when you work on an icon, it’s your creative research, and the less you think of the material side of it, the better it is for the image, but the moment when your icon (a song or a book) is finished, it falls under the rules of the world with all the attendant circumstances like size, transportability, price, etc.

    The conclusion was this: at the end of the day we all have very different ideas of what we want. For you your image may be connected with a whole bunch of different questions, problems, and discoveries, but for others it’s just an item. An Item which not necessarily has to be made by hand, - it can also be printed(!)….

    It is just a thought, but I took it as a call for action. In the beginning, when I mentioned working on complex project, I intended to say that one of them is our website update. It’s almost a year since we started, and we hope that very soon every image on our site will receive an individual page and even a price (for available ones). The whole look of all pages soon will get lighter and simpler, and it should allow people to print all our icons right from our website, - it appears that this is what many of our potential clients would want.

    In the beginning the plan was to announce all the new features together, but as I said, serious things take longer than we hope they do, and making a page for Print-On-Demand appeared to be much easier, than to make a whole website update. So, if you like to print anything from our works, the choice will be larger, than ever, with the same provider (it changed name for we worked for 9 years. Have a look if you are interested:
    (The easiest way to find something is to sort by collections in the left sidebar).


    The Mother of God. Encaustic

    It’s 11 months since we moved to Georgia and we are infinitely grateful to Georgians for allowing us to live and work here. We hope to stay here longer, and Philip applied for a Residence Permit twice. The problem is that the State Security Service of Georgia does not want many Russians to settle and they answer NO to 90% of applicants, including Philip. Now we hope that Olga’s chances can be better, so in January she registered herself as an Individual Entrepreneur too as we heard rumors that Georgian Security guys give more chances to ladies. Getting a permit would allow us to apply for visas, travel and teach in person, so we hope and pray.

    Yet, I have to mention that not only students have a hard time learning at our courses, - we both had to gain a bunch of new skills too! Producing the Tempera course we learned how to film our painting process and color mixing simultaneously on two cameras. The next plan is to get a more advanced gear to film in 4K to show more details. It’s not clear yet what our new course is going to be about, but as soon as we start planning it, we will let you know. :


    We continue discussing interesting questions on Zoom, and the next one will be on Saturday the 25th of February, - everybody welcome to join us!

    The previous meeting are all available, please, have a look. I slightly miss the opportunity to share the discussion, from the other hand, talking off-record creates a totally different atmosphere. So, we will continue and the next meeting will be most likely about choosing models. What are the points to keep in mind, when we need to select the main model for our icon? Which one to use?. If you have any better proposals, please, share! Here is the link for joining: -

    We will have the same schedule and 2 sessions as we had last time: SATURDAY February 25:

    Any other questions are welcome too, - let’s find answers together:

    SESSION 1:

    16:00 Singapore time

    18.00 PM Brisbane time

    19.00 PM Melbourne time

    8:00 AM London time

    9.00 AM Berlin, Paris, Rome time

    11.00 AM Moscow time

    12:00 PM Tbilisi time

    SESSION 2:

    9:00 AM Seattle time

    10:00 AM Albuquerque, Calgary time

    11:00 AM Chicago, Dallas time

    12:00 PM New York City, Toronto time

    17:00 London

    18:00 Berlin

    20:00 Moscow time

    21:00 Tbilisi time

    See you Online! And thank you again for your continuous support!

    With warmest greetings,
    Philip & Olga

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