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Archive for February 23rd, 2012

An Icon Completed

I have completed my first icon since August. To give some perspective to this, I have averaged two icons a month over the last ten years.

As regular readers know, I began having trouble painting last spring, and it took a while to figure out that I had cataracts, which made hand-eye coordination excruciating.

After cataract surgery, which wonderfully restored my sight, with new detail and even brighter colors, I did not paint much because, at first a lack of time, and then a lack of confidence.

I was out of shape, and trying to complete the Mother of God of the Sign icon that I had been working on since last Lent was daunting. My bride wisely suggested that I do something simpler, so I did an image of the Saviour, one I have assigned to my students in the past.  It was good advice, and I again began to gain skill and confidence. For the first time in a long time, iconography is again calming and refreshing.

 

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And a New One Begun

I can hardly believe that it was a year ago, at the beginning of Great Lent, that I told you that I was beginning an icon of the Mother of God of the Sign. I explained that while this may appear an unlikely image for Lenten icon writing, that it in fact was appropriate: the task at hand in the season of fasting is to renew the image of Christ within, and what better icon than the icon of the Incarnation?

But I never completed that icon; I tried several times but my then-undetected cataracts confounded my attempts. I went on to other images, hoping that a fresh start would help, but I even when I returned to it I never finished it. I felt bad, as this was a commission, and I thank my patron for her patience, but what could I do?

After finally finishing the icon above, I decided that rather than return to the half-completed Sign icon I had begun last summer I would start afresh, so I completely redrew the pattern, using a ruler to make sure everything was symmetrical, which is pretty essential for this particular icon.

And I decided to post my progress, which I have never done before. Here is the first step, with the pattern transferred and outlined on the panel:

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