Dear Mr Nichols,
I am a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Michigan. I today I discovered that you are using the icon of “St. Teresa of Jesus” (Avila) on your Caelum web posting with no credits displayed and no permission from us, the SSIHM. I am the artist and have been given the responsibility of managing the copyrights for all of my icons (www.saintjosephstudio.com). I am working closely with our intellectual copyright lawyer and must ask you to send me a donation of $300 for illicit use. You must also remove it from your site. I will allow two weeks for this to occur, or you will hear from our lawyer.
Thank you kindly,
Sr. Nancy Lee Smith, IHM
I don’t remember using any of your icons; if I did it was unintentional. I try to credit the artist when that is known. I probably, if I used it, found it somewhere uncredited. My apologies.
As an iconographer myself (www.eighthdayicons.com) I am appalled by your attitude. I don’t know how much you have studied iconography, but in the tradition the iconographer is not an “artist”, not obsessed with his or her individual creativity, but is a vessel of God. He or she would no more think of copyrighting whatever image came through them than they would think of suing someone who used it. I surely hope that you never try and sue an Orthodox blogger who used one of your images, as this would add to the scandal that Roman Catholic “iconographers” have already stirred by their use of noncanonical models and general ignorance of the tradition.
ps: Getting sued by a nun, vowed to poverty; that is rich. I may have to blog about it.
pps: Found your icon, from two years ago; contrary to what you claim, I in fact gave you credit, but have gladly deleted it.
Icon of St Teresa of Avila NOT by Sr Nancy, but by Lynne Taggart. I was, by the way taught by IHM sisters in late elementary and junior high. I wonder if “Sr Nancy” was one of the two or three mean nuns that I had…