“Where do I begin?”

After announcing the workshops this year, I've had several emails from people who want to come along but don't know where to begin. Looking at finished, gilded icons is a daunting prospect, no matter your artistic background but particularly if you are a beginner with little experience in art of any kind. Let me start by reassuring you that iconography is easily understood, at least in it's practical steps. There are several high quality videos available which show you how the layers of paint are built up and indeed, on the courses the focus is usually on mixing, handling and layering the egg … [Read more...]

Shropshire and exciting news

I recently returned from my second trip this year to see Aidan Hart at Walcot Hall in Shropshire. I think it is fair to say that I am in love with that part of the world and Walcot, with its dreamy arboretum, unusual accommodation and friendly staff in particular. The five day workshop is a joy - not just in the creation of new icons but in the forming of friendships, the softening of our hearts and the joy of escape (there is very limited internet access and often no phone signal!). How rare in these days to have true rural bliss! Shropshire has this in abundance. On the first day, there … [Read more...]

Useful Things

Very rarely I find something that will be useful to other painters & craftspeople. Here is one little gem.  The egg tempera mixture I use has to be kept in the fridge and I use variable amounts. I know others use small bowls or jars but I like the flexibility of squeezable bottles with dropper tops. Finding them has led me to very obscure websites in the past and I hadn't found any in the shops, until now. This little pack of three 35ml/1.18oz sauce bottles from Sistema, made in New Zealand from BPA free plastic are pretty close to perfect. They are big enough for a large egg mix but … [Read more...]

Slow and steady

As all mothers will know, we never quite achieve as much in a week as we hope. Last week I had hoped to make major strides with the icon of the Transfiguration but everyday duties intervened. We have given the house an early spring clean, I'm preparing for a small Christmas Fair at our school and just keeping all the plates spinning sometimes uses more energy than I have. On Sunday, we finally had our house blessed - we had a few friends here, as well as Fr Raphael (Pavouris), and it felt so wonderful to see the icons of our home 'Church' being blessed. As a small diversion, I began the … [Read more...]