Exciting Pentecost Icon Dedication

Hello Fellow Iconographers and Friends:

Last Sunday, in Pentecost, the beautiful eight Icon panels for St. Vincent’s Church in Albany, NY, were unveiled and dedicated.  It was a glorious celebration as they were warmly and enthusiastically welcomed into St. Vincent’s Church! Father Richard Vosco reminded us that as we are looking at the Icons, they are looking back at us! This invitation to draw near to God is a striking quality of Icons._MG_3841

“Gradually the Icon will re-educate us, correcting any inclination we may have to think of God as harsh or distant (Psalm 103:8).  It will call to mind his loving kindness and infinite humility.  We should ask, like the monks and mystics of the East, that a ray of uncreated light-God’s transfiguring grace-may shine in the darkness of our hearts. Then a spring of compassion will rise up in us to flow out to all who are in need.”  The Glenstall Book of Icons, Gregory Collins, OSB

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Certainly the Saints depicted in the Icons speak to a life of compassion for the poor and downtrodden: Saint Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac, Dorothy Day, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Kateri Tekakwitha, Pope John XXIII, Saint Francis, and Rose of Lima. It was an honor and a  privilege to work on the Icons for a church like Saint Vincent’s who’s motto is “radical hospitality” and unity.  The scale of the 48 x 36″ Icons fit perfectly in the arched alcove and worked with the placement of the altar in the center of the worship space to convey the feeling that we were worshipping with “the communion of saints”. Betsy Rowe-Manning, church administrator, created a beautiful sheer gold veil that was pulled down during the worship, allowing for a clear view of all the Icons for the first time. Breathtaking moment! I was blessed to have my son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter in attendance, along with Iconographer friends from the St. Luke’s Guild present. Special thanks to Thomas Nelson for his expert installation of the Icons!

This coming week – June1-5, I will be taking a course with Russian Iconographers from St. Petersburg, Philip and Olga Davydov, held at the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC. They have a unique style and vision which is well informed since Philip learned Iconography from his father, a  Russian Orthodox priest.

Here are scontemporary_icon_of_holy_mandylion fresco_mural_mother_of_god_in_altar_apseome quotes from their website that give me the impression that theirs is an evolving genuine sacred art, working to create a contemporary visual language for today’s Iconography: Sacred Murals.com

“One can say that Philip and Olga typify a new generation in icon-painting in the sense that they relate to a new stage of its development.”

” they have developed their original style, while upholding strict canon rules and deep tradition. In the modern Orthodox art these qualities often do not blend. ”

saint_john_the_divine_fresco_in_altar_apse“Meanwhile, modern copies attain neither the depth of spirituality, nor the artistic quality of the ancient monuments. The period of replicas has been exhausted; nevertheless some iconographers persist in cloning old masterpieces.”

The “New generation icon painters proved to be more creative and free. Even though young artists were mastering traditional icon-painting technology, following the canons, and referring to the ancient samples, they nevertheless have quickly realized that copying, once useful at the time of studies, prevented them from creating a genuine sacred image. Based on a centuries-old tradition, it must express today’s faith and acquire a language of its own. ”

Don’t Forget the upcoming Introduction to Icon Writing Retreat on June 12-14 in Hillsdale, NY.  The total cost, including lunch,, snacks, and materials is $215.00. Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon schedule. We have a limited amount of lodging available from the Christian Community church so reserve now. Email:Christine@newchristianicons.com   72040c31c54a5fd74d8d44b2675e79ac

This month’s featured Iconographer is Veronica Royal, a fellow Iconographer I met in Washington DC.  She works primarily in acrylics and travels widely with her writer husband, Robert Royal while at the same time maintaining a popular weekly Icon writing workshop on Saturday mornings.

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Veronica is sponsoring Romanian Iconographer Daniel Necula, June 22-27. His Iconographic style incorporates both the Greek and the Russian styles. She agrees that teaching Iconography is a big responsibility and can only be done through prayer and incorporating all the Canons so that people can read the Icons correctly. That is especially important when creating prototypes for new Icons. Studying with Iconographers from Russia, Greece and Europe, is one way of maintaining an Iconographic practice that allows for creativity and honoring the traditions.  Her website is:  Royal Icon Studio in Annandale, VA.  Veronica is part of the worldwide Iconographic renaissance, maintaining a studio in the Washington DC area.ea3a3e4745f331ac96cef816fa641f90

 

 

Bless you all, please keep my work in prayer, as I do yours! One of Dorothy Day’s mottos was “Work and Pray”!  I second that!

Blessings,      Christine

 www.newchristianicons.com

 

 

New Beginnings

Hello Friends and Iconographers:

Celebrating the end of a long cold winter by starting new Icons! I’m hoping to get started on my Saint Brigit, one of the most remarkable Irish Saints of the fifth Century,  by the first of May.  Brigit saw God in nature and was said to have believed the dew, particularly in the month of May,photo was holy and cleansing.

I’ve finished a Christ”Not Made with Human Hands” Icon that will be in an exhibition of my landscapes at the Chatham Bookstore, opening May 8.

_MG_2146 (1)We’re hoping the eight large – 4’x3′ Icons for Saint Vincent dePaul’s Church in Albany will be installed on Pentecost, May 24 this year.  I will send out an invite when it is finalized.

 

FEATURED ICONOGRAPHER  

Each month in this blog, I hope to feature an Iconographer and his/her work, so that we can become familiar with the depth and breadth of Iconography as it is being practiced today. This month’s featured iconographer is Peter Pearson, the author of “A Brush With God: An Icon Workbook”.  I always love seeing his recent Icons- truly  beautiful expressions of his life in prayer and community.

 

vladimir doc 3From Peter:      “For the last 45 years, Byzantine icons have been a passion and driving force in my life. I love looking at them, studying them, praying with them, and painting them. Even now, after all this time, I’m pretty sure I’ve only scratched the surface. Rather than seeing icons as some lost and tragically frozen art form, I see them as a dynamically evolving part of the Christian witness through the ages. They have been a part of my contemplative practice, especially in the painting. That’s the place where I dissolve and there is only the brush stroke and the prayer. Through the icons I paint, the books I have written, and the classes I teach, I get to share this amazing adventure with others and I love it.joseph finished
As an iconographer who uses contemporary materials (acrylic paints), I am often challenged to defend my practice and that’s a bit exhausting. The witness of the centuries testifies to the fact that in every age, iconographers have used many different media to created these holy images. For me, as well as for many others, the point is prayer and not what the paint is made of. Like one of my teachers, Phil Zimmerman always says: “You can make a religion out of anything, including eggs.” I prefer not to and it’s working for me.” 

4 revised (2)For information on his workshops and full bio visit Peter ‘s website : peterpearsonicons.com.

Just a passing news note: My FB friend Dylan Hartley posted that he and Aidan Hart are in Rome visiting the Pope in honor of an Icon Aidan did for him.  Praise God!  I’m so excited for them!

And lastly, I’m offering a weekend Introduction to Icon Writing retreat :

INTRODUCTION TO ICON WRITING June 12-14
Dates: June 12-14 Christian Community, 10 Green River Lane, Hillsdale, NY 12529
We will be writing the Saint Michael Icon in the Russian/Byzantine tradition with egg tempera and gold leaf gilding. We will be painting Archangel Michael.   Weekend Retreat: Starting Friday night 6-9PM, Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 1-5PM Mid morning and mid afternoon break, lunch provided, It will be fast paced, with demonstrations and individual teaching instruction. Cost : $215.00 Includes meals and materials. To register email: Christine@newchristianicons.com, or chales@halesart.com.

“Those who have cleansed the eye of their soul and are capable of seeing beautiful things make the visible become a springboard for the contemplation of the spiritual”  Gregory of Nyssa

Blessings and love,

Christine

www.newchristianicons.com

www.christinehales.com

www.kingdomartsministry.com

 

Saint Patrick’s Day

Hello Iconographers:

The winner of the Saint Patrick competition was Starr Regan Diurcio who sent in the prayer ” The Deer’s Cry”. According to Lady Augusta Gregory, Patrick made this hymn one time when he was going to preach the Faith at Teamhuir, and his enemies lay in hiding to make an attack on him as he passed. But as he himself and his servant Benen went by, all they could see passing was a wild deer and a fawn. And the Deer’s Cry is the name of this hymn this day.st patrick
The Deer’s Cry:
I bind myself today to a strong strength, to a calling the Trinity. I believe in a threeness with confession a oneness in the Creator of the World.

I bind myself today to the strength of Christ’s birth and his baptism;to the strength of his crucifixion and burial;to the strength of his resurrection with his ascension.

In stability of earth, in steadfastness of rock, I bind myself today to God’s strength to copilot me;
God’spower to uphold me;God’s wisdom to guide me;God’s eye to look before me; God’s ear to hear me;
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
From all who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in a multitude.

Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ to shield me,
Christ in the heart of every one who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks of me.

Amen and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Just one more thing to mention here is the Icon writing workshop of Russian Iconographer Philip Davydov

Which I think will be excellent. Let me know if you’re thinking of going!

HOLY WEEK ICON PAINTING WORKSHOP & RETREATOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The registration is open.
Course schedule: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Monday 30th of March – Friday 3rd of April 2015

Location: Holy Trinity Church Parish hall,
Saint Mary’s City, MD, USA

See Saint Mary’s City on Google maps >>

Housing possibilities: see the bottom of the page.

Payment options:
To reserve a space, you can pay full cost of the workshop – $480, or $100 as a non refundable deposit, using the button below. The rest $480 can be paid by Paypal, check or cash upon arrival.

Only for the US residents now, we open a possibility for check deposits. In case, if you wish to make the registration payment by check, please, make it payable to Filipp Davydov and mail to our very good friend Fr. John Ball: St. Mary’s Parish, 47477 Trinity Church Road, St. Mary’s City, MD 20686

Registration payments will be refunded in full if the workshop is canceled due to lack of participation. Space is limited, so sign up today! Students will be accepted on a first-come first-served basis.

Blessings and  prayers,

Christine

www.newchristianicons.com

www.iconwritingclasses.com

www.christinehales.com

Cold, Snow, and St. Patrick competition!

Hello from the frozen North!

Sitting out another snowstorm, I’m reading the life of Francis of Assisi. One of the nicest things about writing Icons is studying the Saints and their livesphoto 6, trying to understand the qualities they had that caused them to shine God’s light to those around them.

One of the most lovable traits Francis had was his love for all creation, because all creatures are a gift from God. He preached to the birds, he loved animals, but he did not like ants! He felt they worked too hard and their endless activity was a sign of greed.  Hmmmmm. 🙂

We’ve been praying the St. Francis prayer in my Icon classes and workshops, increasing our prayers for world peace. Another nice thing about writing Icons in small groups is praying together and growing closer to each other as a result.

My intention for this Art/Icon blog is to share the work I’m doing, and the work of my students and other Iconographers as well as serving as a resource of useful and interesting art/Icon links.  I do want to say that the Icon Writing Retreat at Saint James’ Church in NYC was so beautiful. What a beautiful church and such great people – I miss them already!

So, here are some good links to view:SL-34-2014-2-2-204

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Winchester Bible- beautiful medieval Bible only on view until March 8.

Modern Orthodox Icon Painting-a website from Russia with lots of good info.

Aidan Hart Newsletter: Great Britain Iconographer

Natural Pigments: An excellent source of Iconography supplies

Art/21 newsletter: Interesting contemporary art news.

Museum of Contemporary Religious Art -where we need to have an Icon exhibit!

Iconographer Veronica Royal is offering an Icon Writing Workshop in the VA area June 22-27. Contact her for  more details: veronicaroyal@cox.net

Some my Icons are currently on display at Saint Vincent’s Church in Albany, Saint Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, and Elijah Slocum in Hudson New York. I will have a painting in an exhibition in Hudson at the CCCA gallery and several more at the Red Raven Gallery in Lancaster, PA, and Beauregard Fine Art in Rumson NJ.st patrick

Who was Saint Patrick? What was the compelling spiritual essence of his story in ancient Ireland? How does he matter to you in your spiritual life?  The winning comment will receive one of my new Icon pendants that sell for $20.00,  as a reward! Email me by March 15 with your answers!

ang rnd

Have a blessed month and I’ll write again when there’s more news!

Blessings and love,

Christine

www.christinehales.com

www.newchristianicons.com

 

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.

CURRENT AND UPCOMING  ICON WRITING CLASSES

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

Christine Simoneau Hales

Icons

Paintings

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.

photo 2

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.)

Watching the “Watchmen”: A Beautiful Film from France

Worth watching!

Blog of the Courtier

If you’re interested in seeing good men doing good work on behalf of the whole world, I can highly recommend a film which for some reason had skipped my notice until last evening, “The Watchmen of the Night”.  I was made aware of it through a tweet posted by my friend Sister Veronica Young, a member of the Sisters of Faith who lives in solitude in Utah, but whom I’ve come to know through social media.  [N.B. Incidentally, if you are on Twitter, Sister Veronica should be on your follow list, Catholic or not, as she regularly posts words of encouragement, prayer, and comfort for those who need it.]

No, this isn’t a review of the superhero movie “The Watchmen”, which in fact I debated about with someone the other day.  Instead, this film is about a Benedictine monastery in the south of France, the Abbey of St. Mary Magdalene

View original post 570 more words

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.

ezekieldetail3

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

+Christine

www.iconwritingclasses.com

www.newchristianicons.com

www.christinehales.com

www.fineartamerica.com

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

Christine

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