May 2020: Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women

Christ is Risen! my warmest wishes for a joyful Spring, in spite of all we are facing. I almost titled this post "Glory to God for all things" - for surely we are being called to find comfort and joy in the face of all the disasters and trials that are magnified in each of our lives. This week I completed my first orders of face masks - you are more than welcome to have a look on my Etsy shop here I am grateful to be busy and occupied. In 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, my husband and I visited St Vladimir's Seminary to see our koumbaros & my godparents, studying and with their first … [Read more...]

Bright Week, Bright beginnings

Edinburgh sunset The speed that Bright Week has passed seems unbelievable - helped along with the joy of Easter, the feasts of Ss Raphael, Nikolaos and Eirini, St George the Trophy Bearer and today, The Life Giving Spring (Zoe). Many years to all who have celebrated their name day this glorious week. Spanish Flu: a lady wearing a mask, as mandated by law This week I have been finishing off a small painting (to be shared after the new owner receives it, planning a longer term drawing project and making masks for sale. While there are many people making them for charities and key … [Read more...]

Pascha 2020

A commission for the parish of St Andrew in Edinburgh: a traditional icon of the First Called Apostle, following the request by Kiria Olga and Kiria Androulla from London. Christ is Risen! Surely this is the strangest Pascha many of us have ever experienced. What can I say, except that Christ is Risen and that this strange time will pass, one day at a time. During Holy Week and Bright Week, we used an Ipad to have the livestream services from Church alongside the texts available from the Ages Initiative. A very strange experience but far better than being alone and one that allowed us … [Read more...]

Saint Andrew – Little & Large: Personal and Church Commissions

My icons are commissioned for many reasons - sometimes just to show how important a friendship or relationship is, sometimes to mark special occasions. They are commissioned by individuals or communities (such as the icon of Saint Antipas) or by churches. Recently, I have been working hard on several commissions which cover each of these.  Baptismal Icons These three small (10x15cm) icons were for a family having their children all baptised together. The oil gilding makes them more robust for small hands and the intimate size means that the children will, we pray, feel more … [Read more...]

Recent Completed Commissions

At the moment I am busy with commissions - a blessing that keeps me hard at work - and planning an online gilding resource for students, as well as the joy of parenting an almost 11 year old, gardening and watching the babies in the parish grow into toddlers (my favourite age). Saint Antipas of Pergamon:Edinburgh is blessed with many doctors and dentists - especially in our Community, where students come from Greece for the high standard of post-graduate course available at the University of Edinburgh. Two Cypriot friends who have sadly gone back now got together with ten others in the Church … [Read more...]

Fanouropita: Recipe & Tradition

Fanouropita - literally 'Fanourios Bread' - is a traditional cake baked in the Greek & Cypriot Orthodox community in honour of Saint Fanourios, the saint who 'brings things to light' whether that is a lost key, a job, a new home, whatever. He is not very well known beyond this role and there is little literary evidence for him beyond the means of his martyrdom shown on the icon in his little church in Rhodes (Rhodos). A fortuitous discovery by nomadic pagans, not Christians, brought to light this unheralded saint when a roving band of Arabs, who had pillaged the island of Rhodes … [Read more...]

Bright Week, Bright Spring

This year Spring took a while coming. Weather has been slow to change but finally, during Holy and Bright week, we began to see the signs of life again. We celebrated all the services in Edinburgh with the help of Fr Raphael, Fr Luke, Fr Avraamy and it was a blessing to see so many children as well as senior members of the community coming along. While the building has a long way to go, the important things - the laos - the people, are there and are serving with their presence. In spite of a small disturbance at the Resurrection matins, the overall feeling was one of renewal, life and joy. … [Read more...]

On seeing and the Theophany

Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year and a joyful Feast of the Theophany in 2018. I'm re-establishing my working pattern, now that (we hope) my daughter is in a more settled rhythm at school and very soon, the days will start to lengthen. Part of the challenge of working as an iconographer within a home setting is that being a mother must come first. Over the autumn I completed a couple of small icons and began work on a large family icon - that should be progressing this month - and drew then watercoloured a small Christmas image which became both prints and a Christmas card - there … [Read more...]

Saturday of Souls, Pentecost and more

It's hard to believe I returned from Shropshire and teaching a beautiful group of people almost three weeks ago. Let's say that life is hectic and hurried - I am studying psychology and a full-time parent/homemaker as well as a full-time iconographer so fitting three vocations into one life is rather pressing. I promise that this week I have two icons to complete and once they are done, I will write about the course: teaching is -another- vocation, I fear.  Today I attended our local Church for Saturday of Souls, when we commemorate the departed both by name and those of all generations … [Read more...]

Hands to work, hearts to God

The above is a phrase popular with the American religious group called "Shakers". For a while their furniture and very simple aesthetic became fashionable in the 1990s and while visiting St Vladimir's in New York, I drove up to the Shaker museums to visit Hancock Shaker Village. There is no doubt that it was a beautiful way of life: everything simple, carefully made, an elegance of form and function allowing the gifts of God in creation to be used in a dignified and calm way for work. It was also a communal and fair way of life - at least in its aims, if not final results. "The Shakers based … [Read more...]