Testimonials 2017 - 2023

(See earlier testimonials here)

Online Course Egg Tempera Basic

Hi Philip and Olga, I find your courses easy to follow and very instructive. I really appreciate the opportunity to learn from people who know what they are talking about and deliver the message in and clear and understandable manner. I find the videos demonstrate the techniques clearly. I also find the feedback I get from you is very helpful as it focuses my attention on what I need to improve. The rest is now up to me to continue to practice and learn.
May 2023

Printed Icon The Annunciation.

I just wanted to tell you that I received my copy of the beautiful icon you painted. I ordered the one on wood. I love it!
March 2023

Icon Our Lady of the Sign.

Thank you so much I received the icon, it is beautiful! I look forward to seeing more of your work.
Happy new year!
-A. N.
January 2023

Icon of St Vladimir.

Hello Philip,
I can confirm that the icon arrived safely to Pennsylvania. It is absolutely marvelous!!! The encaustic icons look much more vibrant and alive in person, and I feel honored to have this one as a life-long addition to my prayer corner.
I took a look at your "Georgian Series" and they are likewise striking. Should you and Olga plan to live in Georgia for the foreseeable future, I would take great interest in visiting you. I will be in the country within 18 months.
If any of my friends or family show interest in a patronal icon, I will recommend you enthusiastically. Many thanks and blessings,
N. D. June 2022

Icon on Fabric.

Dear Philip,
yesterday I finally got both icons on fabric. I am really happy to see this wonderful piece of art! Say Olga please, that I'm now even more impressed by her work and very grateful for the image!
I wish you and Olga all the best and thank you very much for all the time you took to solve the problem!
Sincerely yours
June 2022

Icon of Christ.

Dear Philip and Olga,
Thank you so much for taking the time to check on the status of the icon. It arrived yesterday afternoon in perfect condition. I was thrilled to receive it. It's even more beautiful in person. And how appropriate for it to come during the Christmas season and just before my birthday (which happens to be tomorrow December 31).
I wish you and Olga all the best and thank you very much for all the time you took to solve the problem!
Thanks again for all your efforts to ship it to Canada. And thank you for producing such fine work. I believe the icon will be a part of our home for many years to come which means that you are also in some sense with us too.
I'm attaching a picture of the delivered icon. Many thanks and warm wishes to you both. I hope you have a great Christmas season and a happy new year.
With gratitude,
December 2021

Icon Painting Workshop. Melbourne (Australia) January 2020

Dear Philip,
You are a great teacher – super generous as the breadth of knowledge and skill required for these sacred images is absolutely mind-blowing! So I am so glad you are delighted! Feel free to share the article on your website as an extra resource/media.......
Will be in touch and thank you so much once again, Philip!
Warmest regards,

Icon of Flagellation of Christ

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 Perfezionamento a Desio (Settembre 2018)

Grazie mille [per le foto], manca ***, lo inseriremo con Photoshop :)
Ancora grazie per questa nuova prospettiva che ci hai regalato, per l’impegno costante con il quale ci hai seguito e per la passione che metti in tutto quello che fai.

Un forte abbraccio!
A presto!


Caro Philip,
Grazie per aver condiviso questi bei ricordi con noi corsisti. Approfitto per risponderti direttamente con la mia mail e ti ringrazio per essere stato un eccezionale insegnante, paziente e gentile. Spero di portare a frutto tutto cio che ho appreso in questo corso e ti ringrazio per avermi dato la possibilita di confrontarmi con altri iconografi e di poter crescere nel mio percorso!
Un caro saluto


Buonasera Filippo,
Grazie mille per le foto.
Grazie anche per il corso e stata veramente una bella esperienza. Cerchero di mettere al piu presto in pratica cio che mi hai insegnato.

A presto


Icon Painting Workshops in Wesley (August 2018)

Dear Philip,
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!
Thanks again!



Thank you for such a wonderful week of learning!!!! I just loved all the art making, the aesthetics & history. My brain feels truly stretched and grown! I would be pleased to have you share the photo! Funny, I realized as I was finishing that I made the same mistake with the alignment of the eyes in the miniature as I originally made on the panel!



Hello Philip,
Thank you for the wonderful workshop. I enjoyed it very much and learned so much in just three days! It was great to hear about the theory behind Iconography and different artists' approaches. I was really glad I chose your workshop. I appreciate your art and dedication to this sacred art form.
Thanks again and God bless.


Icon Drawing Workshops in Melbourne (January 2018)

Dear Phillip & Olga,
Glad you have reached home safely.
I'm very happy for you to publish any of the photographs, and also thank you for the ones you have sent to me, they are very much appreciated, just love the group photo.
The very next day I began painting a new Icon...so the process continues.
Once again I can't thank you and Olga enough for such a wonderful five days, and thank you for shareing your knowledge and experience so generously. I hope that I may be fortunate enough to participate in another workshop in the future.
In the meantime...God bless and take care. Warmest wishes and regards,



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.



Hi Philip,

I was looking at my work from the last two weeks and realised what a well sequenced program Olga had put together for us. Please than her for me. She is a talented and patient teacher and a gifted artist. ( no doubt you taught her all she knows!)
Many thanks for all that you both taught me over the last two weeks.


Dear Olga and Philip

I would like to thank you both again for the workshop last week.
Once more it was most stimulating to get back to the basic principles of design and graphics and of course managing the magic medium of tempera. You are both excellent teachers with exacting standards reflecting the importance of Art as another language as well as the Russian Education system.
I trust you are enjoying our warm weather, cultural interests and laugh at our peculiarities.
God bless you and keep you both. B*H*


Dear Philip and Olga
I just wanted to thank you both once more for the tremendous and overwhelmingly generous teaching you gave us all this last fortnight. I find it so inspiring and useful for all my artwork not just icon painting. I remember you both often during the year and refer many times to the copious notes I have written and the many photos. But above all, I remember your spirit, vision and encouragement.
You ask for suggestions: I am content to learn whatever topics you think we need at the time. My only suggestion are the hours.
I would be most willing to pay the same fees but for less hours even if the quantity of topics covered is reduced. I shall continue to attend at the current hours at future workshops providing health and finances allow etc!
My thanks again to you both. Every good wish and blessing to you and your family for the year.
Regards, I*A*


Dear Philip and Olga,
Thank for the workshop this past week. I thoroughly enjoyed it, was challenged by it and learnt even more!
Could you please send me a photo of St Anastasia with the final highlights?
I hope all goes well this coming week with the next course. Thank you for the dishes and pestle!
God bless you both, along with your families.
In Christ,


Dear Philip and Olga
Just to express my thought specifically...
I would like to thank you again for a wonderful workshop. Contrary to what you thought I thought there was a tremendous amount of content in one week...but not to the point of overwhelming.
I don't think I've ever attended, (and I am a "life long learner" and have probably attended over fifty workshops in the last twenty years - no exaggeration), such an information-rich, well resourced and sensitively paced workshop.
You were both so attentive and caring of your students. The atmosphere you both created was calm and reassuring which is a rare quality in a workshop. What I learned has given me a great creative start to the year.
Thank you both again and kind regards


Iconography Workshop in Auckland (6-10 January 2018)

Hello Philip.
Sorry in the delay in writing. Things got hectic when we returned home.
I thoroughly enjoyed the icon painting course. I learnt so much and filled in some gaps. I will certainly carry on painting on an easel as opposed to flat on the table top!
I really appreciated your work on my icon especially on the morning I was ill. Thank you. I also appreciated how you worked with us and respected what we had done - even if it was wrong!
You have certainly given me the momentum to carry on writing icons. It's often hard when one works in isolation. However, the possibility of another course in the future is further motivation.
Thank you again for a wonderful five days.
Kindest Regards,

Advanced Icon Workshop in Melbourne (23-28 January 2017)

Dear Olga and Philip

Thank you for the photos, they look really good, especially the ones on Flickr. By the way, here is a link to my Flickr photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/110337459@N08/
Your email reminds me that you asked for comment on the workshop, so here are some quick thoughts. I have written it as a kind of testimonial in case you want to use it for promotions. I think the teaching style with movement from lecture to demonstration to doing with personal instruction is exactly right. It was good having Olga demonstrating. It worked really well hearing her explain in Russian and Philip translating - more comfortable for everyone. Learning from Philip and Olga is stimulating, enriching and challenging. This was not my first workshop, nevertheless the sessions were still fresh. We were fed with a constant flow of helpful insights - so exciting. So what was challenging? Well when you have been painting for 13 years, especially when a group of people look to you to teach this ancient craft, it comes as a shock to be corrected by your teacher all the time. Following instructions and unlearning old habits is hard. But it was worthwhile because I experienced two important things. Correction is always given by Olga and Philip so generously and lovingly. Secondly and very importantly, I think I did learn new skills that will improve by painting. It seemed to me that each of us in the class was being taken to his or her next level of competence.
Since the workshop I have had three days of teaching and I have had made some radical changes to the way our Icon School begins to teach new members to paint their first icon. We have 7 new members this semester.
Thanks again for a wonderful week. Hope you enjoyed Sydney.
Very warm regards