This little icon has taken many months. Not because it takes many months but, for many reasons, I kept liking the stage we were at & leaving things be for a while. Having finally completed the enormous icon of the Transfiguration – more on that later! – I wanted to complete this so I have, as it were, a clean slate. This icon is based on the extremely old Theotokos of Philermos, but after a 16th century example. I saw it on the cover of a book by Egon Sendler and was transfixed. I have only experienced that feeling a few times and never before from a computer monitor rendering of an icon!
Purely for my own interest and to spend more time with the icon, I began a tiny copy. The board is only 15x10cm and should really have been only for testing paints, techniques etc. still, I found myself drawing and redrawing those direct, tender, unsentimental eyes and that delicate but resolute chin.
And then LIFE happened. Christmas, New Year, January, illnesses etc. so the icon stayed at roughly this stage for a long long time.
I had to hesitate. Strictly speaking, this icon does not follow the rules: there is no halo, no room for a title, no figure of Christ, etc etc. and yet. Yet. I decided to restart the icon and pray about it.