January New Beginnings

Dear Fellow Iconographers:

Even through the freezing temperatures and snow storms, Icons are still being made in New York!  I’m about half way through the series of large Icons for Saint Vincent’s Catholic Church in Albany.  There are eight panels, 4’x3′ in egg tempera with gold leaf gilding, _MG_9706__ (2) _MG_9698__ (2) photoof Holy people- some of them like Dorothy Day, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Louise De Marillac, Pope John XXIII, and Kateri, have not often been portrayed  through Iconography. It’s exciting!  And exactly what I’m interested in -creating Icons for contemporary (within the last 150 years) Holy people who perhaps have not had Icons created of them yet.  Here are a few work-in progress photos: Saints Louise de Marillac, Rose of Lima and St. Francis drawing, and Pope John XXIII.


Albany: Ongoing Advanced Iconography Workshop, meets weekly, Monday evenings 6- 9pm, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Albany, NY

Hillsdale:  Christian Community Church, Hillsdale, NY, Beginning Icon Writing Class, Thursday evenings 6-9pm

New York City: Saint James Episcopal Church, NYC, Introduction to Icon Writing Retreat, Fri-Sun, February 20-22.  

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Troy, New York, Arts Center of the Capital Region, Introduction to Icon Writing Wednesdays 2-5PM, Feb. 25-March 25

The Museum of Russian of Icons is having an exhibition of Ethiopian Icons from January 23 through April 18.  We hope to have a field trip sometime in March.

EthiopiaX14-smallRecommended book of this month: Danny Silk: Culture of Honor-Sustaining a Supernatural Environment.

Until next month, Blessings and prayers,


Christine Simoneau Hales



Merry Christmas!

christinglory Hello Friends and Fellow Iconographers:

Beginning this month, the new Blog look is starting!  The goal is to have this blog be an information source for artists and Iconographers internationally.  I am collecting Iconographers’ website links and blogs so if you’re reading this and would like to be included or have links that you think would benefit the larger community of Iconographers, please email me with them: christine@newchristianicons.com, so they can be included.

My Icon Retreat news for this month is the Icon Retreat I’m teaching at Saint James Church on Madison Ave, New York, NY will be held Fri-Sunday February 20-22. There are still some spaces but you should book early. We will be writing the Icon of Saint Raphael the Archangel of healing, and guide for those on journeys of all kinds.raphaelunframedweb

Also, have updated my Icon website: www.newchristianicons.com– let me know how you like it!

A new Beginning Icon Writing class is starting in Hillsdale, NY at the Christian Community Church, Thursday evenings 6-9PM starting January 15. Email to register.

Just returned from seeing two pretty wonderful museums in NYC and want to share what’s on there-in case you can get there this season, or view online.

First, at MOBIAtimthumb.php, the Durer, Rembrandt, Tiepolo and Blake, exhibition of Master Prints is incredibly satisfying as an exhibition with both scope and depth.

Particularly interesting is the combination of Scripture – the written Word and the visual images. The exhibition continues through January 11, 2015 and admission is free.  A second exhibition at MOBIA is “A Bible for our Nation”timthumb-1.php– also interesting, particularly the Mohawk and Seneca translations.

The second exhibition of great interest is at the Morgan Library, 225 Madison Ave. at 36th street, “The Crusader Bible: a Gothic Masterpiece”. One of the great illuminated manuscripts in the world, believed to have been made in Paris, 1250, it has beautifully colored egg tempera illustrations of biblical scenes by seven anonymous artists.   Open until January 5, this exhibition is delightful and a rare opportunity to view this manuscript.Crusader

There’s also an exhibition of Cy Twomby’s Treatise on the Veil. I love Twombly’s work, but in the context of these more structured and time intensive arts, the Treatise  pales by comparison.

Make More Happen

Dear Friends:                       popefrancisweb

I saw the above title on an advertising circular and thought it to be a good slogan for artists!  Put simply, just do it!  In the artist Way group that’s been meeting at my home, the idea of inner resistance comes up a lot, and it’s very interesting to observe what happens when we get past some of our resistance!

I was able to reconnect with my ballet training and start to feel that old excitement again-only to realize that movement is an important element in my painting. It’s what makes the difference for me! Hadn’t really thought about it before, but now it’s something I can consciously include and it makes me happy!

ezekielwebSpeaking of happy, here’s a book I’m reading that I highly recommend: “Joy Starts Here, The Transformation zone” by Wilder, Khouri, Coursey, and Sutton. It talks about a life model for sustainable joy and bringing joy to low-joy areas.  It’s wonderful!  We’ve talked in our Iconography class about the Rule of St. Benedict and it’s application to successful community formation. The joy book is equally a necessary building block to fruitful community formation.  The students in my class have formed the St.Luke’s Guild of Iconography and are exploring mission, values, and identity as a guild.  We have a FB page https://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Lukes-Guild-of-Iconography/1412750012275793  that you are welcome to “like”, and see what we are up to!     StBenedictweb

Another recommendation for you: Orthodox Arts Journal blog post on Iconographer Fr. Zenon.  He’s a fascinating and controversial Iconographer whose style is both traditional and innovative and one that I personally appreciate.

Here are a couple of snapshots of the work-in progress for Saint Vincent’s Church in albany, NY. There will be eight large icon panels, of Saint Vincent, Dorothy Day, Louise deMarrilac,  Rose of Lima, Francis, Kateri, Elizabeth Ann Seton, and John XXIII.

Saturday, November 22 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Albany, NY I will be giving a workshop on “Joy and Prophetic Art”.  Starts about 12:00 noon and all are welcome.

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photo 5Sunday, November 23  I will be speaking at Christian Community Church, Hillsdale, NY on “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”. This will complete the month long exhibition of my pairings and Icons there. The talk  begins at 11:45 and all are welcome. I’ll be teaching a ten week Icon Writing Class there starting Jan. 15, 6-9pm. Email me to sign up: chales@halesart.com

Soon, my website : www.newchristianicons.com will have a new look!  Hopefully it will be finished in about two weeks.  after that, this blog will also have a new format!   I welcome suggestions :).

Blessings and Peace,  Christine

(All artwork in this post is by Christine Hales, and  copyright protected. Feel free to contact me for reproduction rights.)

October Leaves are Falling.

Dear Fellow Iconographers:  ezwebdetail

I’m finally accepting that summer is over, now that the leaves are falling like so many angels falling from the sky to earth.  I have some interesting links that I’d like to share with you:

Introduction to Icon Writing class at the Arts Center of the Capital Region , Troy, beginning Tuesday evenings, 6-9PM Oct 28 for 5 weeks. This class is a must for beginners!raphaelunframedweb

First, for egg tempera enthusiasts, here is an article written for Natural Pigments by a great contemporary egg tempera painter: Fred Wessel. It demonstrates thin glazing.

Second is the new Orthodox Art Journal post about Icons linking heaven and earth.

Also this link to a beautiful video from St. Petersburg showing the icon writing process.


This week in Hudson, NY, as part of ARTSWALK I am showing my new Ezekiel Icon as well as several others at the Elijah Slocum Antique shop on Warren Street.  Also have an exhibition of my paintings and Icons at the Christian Community Church in Hillsdale- my Holy Trinity Icon is there among several others.

My Icon cards are available for sale at O’Connor’s Church supply store in Albany.  And my Fine Art America site has three new icons available to purchase prints- they do a very nice job and have a wide range of mediums you can have it printed on.

NOTE TO ICON STUDENTS IN ALBANY: Monday, October 13, Icon Class is held at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church as usual, 6-9pm but Not having class October 20. Michael and I will be at our annual retreat Oct 20-24, for the Global Awakening Apostolic Network we are ordained through.rembrantweb

Hope to see or hear from you soon.

“We will keep before us the deepening and strengthening of our companions’ faith, assisting each other in meditation and prayer”.

from  the book of Celtic Daily Prayer, Northumbria Community






Intercessory Prayer and Painting

_MG_6742__Intercessory prayer is the act of praying on behalf of others. One can pray for one’s family, friends, the poor, World Peace, for a nation, while painting or writing Icons. Stories of Brother Laurence praying in the Monastery kitchen while peeling potatoes show us a humble and dedicated way to focus our prayers while engaging in other activities. When we are able to do this, we begin to be able to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) as Paul exhorts us.  I always love the moments in Icon writing class when you can almost hear the prayers in the beautiful silence of students working on their icons._MG_6651__


Phillip Schwartz and I visited the Clark Museum in August- eager to see the new photo copy 3renovation.  It was the perfect day to see it -warm sunny expanses of green rolling hills met the shallow reflecting pools in front of the modern addition. From inside viewing the Ancient Ritual Vessels from the Shanghai Museum it was a great contrast of inside-outside, nature-interior modern spaces and old versus new.  Phillip and I are in the same “Artist Way” group, exploring the spiritual discipline of writing morning pages every day along with other exercises to help focus our creative practices.

I lead the first Healing Icon Retreat in Saratoga Springs on Sept 6&7, now another one is scheduled for October 25&26.  _MG_6516__We have a waiting list for a possible one in November, so email if you’re interested.  It was an amazing weekend. Held in the beautiful Saratoga Springs home of Catherine Lanci, we had twelve students who eagerly encountered icon writing for the first time. Egg tempera and gold leaf gilding were demonstrated and each person left with their own individual icon of Archangel Raphael. Catherine and her husband John are gourmet cooks and we had lunch and dinner in the garden. Couldn’t have been better!  _MG_6623___MG_6745__





Visit the website:www.iconwritingclasses.com for updated information on icon writing classes. The Arts Center in Troy will be the location of the next introduction to Icon Writing course, starting October 28 and will run for 5 Tuesday evenings, 6-9PM. Give them a call to sign up!_MG_6523__

Last winter I heard a talk sponsored by the Catholic Artist’s Society by David Clayton called “The Way of Beauty” It was a fascinating talk and I thought pertained particularly to classical artists and iconographers. He has now created an interesting online course that I’ve been asked to review.  I hope to have that for you by the next blog.

COMING UP: At the Christian Community Church gallery in Hillsdale starting September 27 I will have an exhibition of some of my favorite Icons and landscapes. I will be giving a talk soon and will email the date.

The Beauregard Fine Arts exhibition is still up – visit if you can.

Kindest regards


PS Don’t forget to sign up to receive this blog for free.






August News

Greetings Fellow Iconographers:   1932216_686372508136394_3658146590349146209_n

August has been filled with amazing weather, good friends and lots of house repairs!  Storm damage added to the list so it’s been challenging keeping to the teaching and painting schedule that is my regular studio practice but it’s been working out – with a little help from my friends.

Here are some Icon Classes that are ongoing or coming up that I am teaching – all egg tempera:   Here’s a photo of last Saturday’s class in Philmont

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  • Monday evenings 6-9pm Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Albany, NY next class is Sept. 1 . We will celebrate  Labor Day – anyone know of an appropriate patron saint of Labor Day 🙂 ?  The class meets every Monday night in September and October, except October 20.
  • Thursday evenings 6-9PM  Cathedral of all Saints, Albany, NY meets August14, 21, Sept 4,11,18,25 and Oct. 2
  • Icon Healing Retreat, Saratoga, Sept 5&6 Fully subscribed  October 25 &26 some openings  available. Email  Catherine Lanci for a brochure and application: nurselanci@hotmail.com
  • Tuesday Evenings 6-9pm , Introduction to Icon Writing -5 weeks, Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY.


A photo from the opening reception for my landscape paintings  at Beauregard Fine Arts was fun and well attended- contact Kathy Donnelly for purchase information on the paintings.


Some of my students have their icons go to some very lovely people and places- here are some examples: Dahlia Herring’s Theotokos-Hodigitria is at St. Francis Catholic Church, Albany and her Teresa of Jesus Icon is at the Mount Carmel Convent in Maryland.  Michael Shirk’s Holy Father Augustine Icon is with the Augustinians of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Philadelphia, PA and Jennifer Richard-Morrow’s Elouisa Madonna is in a private collection.

Michael Shirk, one of the Albany Icon students is a gifted musician and also editor. He has created an English Book of Votives and several other prayer books that are available on Rene Villate Press.

I leave you with a quote from a painting I am working on this next week. It is from the book of Joshua 1:7  “Be strong and very courageous.  Obey all the laws Moses gave you.  Do not turn away from them, and you will be successful in everything that you do.”       May God bless you and the World with His peace and love.

Christine Hales

www.newchristianicons.com       www.kingdomartsministry.com

www.christinehales.com      British Association of Iconographers


Healing Icon Retreat in Saratoga

Dear Friends:dash

Getting ready to enjoy this beautiful summer – and paint as much as possible! The opening for my exhibition at Beauregard Fine Arts in Rumson, NJ will be on July 31, 5-8PM. Hope to see some of you there!  Eachmorning18x18%22

Saw two films lately I recommend: the first is an exquisite animation called “The Secret of Kells”. On Hulu plus. It’s a beautiful story about the importance of sacred artwork – the Book of Kells in this instance.  The other is Paul Simon’s “Graceland” documentary about the making of that album, the tour, and running into apartheid in South Africa.  A beautiful story of an artists’ creativity and struggle to deal with political conflict. Both are inspiring!

From the Iconographic viewpoint, I have a blog post to recommend: Orthodox Arts Journal’s recent post contains an interview with Athens based Iconographer George Kordis, who wrote the book:”Icon as Communion” which we use in our ion writing class in albany. Here the link:  The Art of Icon Painting in a Postmodern World: Interview with George Kordis.

This summer an Icon writing class is beginning at the Cathedral of All Saints in Albany on most Thursday evenings 6-9PM starting July 10. Email me to learn more.

Also happy to announce I’ll be teaching a Healing Icon Writing Retreat in Saratoga, Sept.6 & 7.  We will write the IArchangel-Rafaelcon of Archangel Raphael in the Italian style of iconography – using egg tempera and gold leaf gilding, as always.  This is in preparation for our Art/Icon Culture Trip to Italy 2015.

More information on current classes can be found on www.iconwritingclasses.com

Until next time, I bless you with favor in restoring and rebuilding the community around you, and inspiration to be the wings for your art.

Christine Simoneau Hales

www.christinehales.com      www.newchristianicons.com



June Art/Icon News!

Hello Friends:Celebrate.40 x 30%22JPG

This summer I’m teaching Icon writing at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 63 Mountainview Rd, Albany,  on the following dates: June 9, 23, July 7, 14, 28, August 4 and 11.  Classes are from 6-9pm.

Also teaching icon writing at  a Summer Icon Retreat at the Christian Community in Hillsdale, NY on August 3-9. You do not need to be an artist to attend but you do need to register by July 10! 518-325-6749


Sotheby’s is offering summer online courses that look interesting for artists: here’s the link.

If you enjoy seeing good contemporary painting, here’s a link to the recent Bushwick open studios2014, that has a surprising number of beautiful paintings in it.

I’m having a show of my landscape paintings at Beauregard Fine Art, Rumson, NJ, July 30-August.  Call Kathy to preview.

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Hear from Heaven30x24%22






Working on my new Ezekiel icon, will post it when finished. Here’s my Burning Bush Icon .  I love the way Moses and Mary& Christ appear together in Eternity.  The opposite of “real time” !  burnignbush.web

Until next month, enjoy and write back!







Woodstock and Frieze!

Dear Artists and Iconographers:

This past month I gave three talks in Woodstock – two at Saint Gregory’s Episcopal Church in honor of the Icon exhibition Hatti Iles curated, and one at WAAM- Woodstock Artists Association Museum.

The talk at WAAM was about thinking of Icons and modern art.  Understanding and being able to create  a twenty first century Icon is certainly the task of contemporary iconographers today.  “The purpose of art is nothing less than the upliftment of the human spirit.” Pope John Paul II


Excerpt from my Woodstock talk:

From the moment that Matisse arrived in Russia in 1911 he became excited and overwhelmed by the beauty and artistic excellence of the icons he saw everywhere.  “In these icons the soul of the artist who painted them opens out like a mystical flower.  And from them we ought to learn how to understand art” Matisse.  “The father of the European Avant -garde discovered (in icons) everything modern art had been strenuously seeking – color applied locally, linear composition, expressive silhouettes, two dimensionality, and image as sign.” Irina Yazykova.

So pursuing the connection between iconography and art making in the 21st Century is an ongoing exploration! Hope you join with me as it progresses!

photo 1

So, visiting the Art Fairs in NYC last weekend was a highpoint for me – so many creative ideas and people from all over the world.

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I saw the Whitney Biennial, too.  I had heard there was more “painting” in this year’s show, and there was. But not enough!  It’s good news,though, that painting is making a come back in the contemporary art world.


The summer schedule for Icon class in Albany is: We DO HAVE class on: June 2, 9, 23And July 7,14,28, and August 4 and 11.

No Icon Class in Albany Memorial Day!photo copy 11

Sunday, May 25 at Christian Community Church, 10 Green River Lane, Hillsdale, NY Blessing of the Icons written by the Philmont Iconography class of Free Columbia Art School. 10:30 Am Service, 12:00 Icon Blessing

WOODSTOCK ICON WRITING CLASS ON SABBATICAL! Email your interest in the next one starting up in the fall.


The Jubilee Museum in Ohio is mounting an exhibition, Deadline August 29 for submission, with a call to artists:  http://www.jubileemuseum.org/forms/SacredArtBiennial.pdf

That’s all for now: Until next month, I bless you with greater understanding and larger perspective than most people have, that you may enjoy His peace, and know that God holds the ultimate perspective.

Blessings,         popefrancisweb


www.christinehales.com      www.iconwritingclasses.com,   www.newchristianicons.com