February Inspiration

Icon Exhibition In Troy at the Arts CenterIt takes a lot of inspiration to make it through all these snow storms!! On the right I am standing in front of my “Baptism of Jesus” icon currently on view at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, NY.Christ the Healer2civa

There is an interesting exhibition at the museum of Russian icons this month “The Symbolism of Color”.  Here’s the link: Russian Icon Museum.  I plan to visit February 27th.

On the left here is my original “Christ the Healer” Icon which was commissioned for Father Nigel Mumford.  The seven scenes around Christ are seven stories of Christ healing – each one is repeated in at least three of the Gospels.  This tile of icon is called a “Vitae” icon because it has scenes from the life of the saint, who is in this case, Jesus Christ.

In my studio this month I’m exploring a few contemporary “Memorial Portraits” . I’ve been reading biographies of Nelson Mandela all winter ( a very good one is: “Mandela” by Anthony Sampson)  and find such a wealth of inspiration in how he lived his life. He was far from a perfect person, often making mistakes, but he had such an ability to have deep enduring, mentoring relationships in his life.photo copy 8  He also mentored many of the young revolutionaries while in prison. So Mandela’s need for and value of relationship  helped to keep him on track in a constantly changing political world. His faith, too, in the victory of his cause for freedom for all people helped him overcome so many hardships. He kept his focus on that goal and befriended many people who were his oppressors so that his goal could be accomplished.     Here’s a preview of my “Nelson” memorial portrait – almost finished!

News: I have a page on Saatchi Online Gallery for my landscapes; Click here to view it.  Also a page on Artspan: Click here.

I will leave you with three ideas on what to do if you’re an artist who is snowed in for the fourteenth time this winter:   1. Order art supplies from Dick Blick – check out the minimum for free delivery and check their websites for the discount of the day. (click the red “save now” button at the top of the page and see what you can get!)   2.  Take an online class from Skill Share.  I’m taking pencil portraits for this snow storm and it’s fun! There’s a $10 discount for each of us if I refer a friend so let me know if you want to try that. 3. Spend an extra 3 hours in your studio – you’ll be glad you did!!

Cheers, everyone!  Looking forward to your comments!

Christine

www.newchristianicons.com

www.christinehales.com

January Icon News and Links

Sign up For Free Monthly Icon Blogs!    photo copy

The nice thing about writing icons is that whether it is “January Freeze” or “January Thaw”, you can usually manage things to be able to write icons for a few hours a day!

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My new “Christ” icon study has accompanied my prayers over the last two weeks in the area of inner healing.  Particularly  the idea that Christ came to FORGIVE us of our sins. That call for us also to forgive has been part of the prayer journey for this icon.  I really love it!  It’s almost finished now.

“The degree to which art has a liturgical quality is in direct ratio to the spiritual freedom of the artist.” from The Meaning of Icons by Leonid Ouspensky

I think that making twenty first century icons has to incorporate the Traditions of the Church as well as spiritual freedom.  Andrey Rublev in the Fifteenth Century being able to occupy that place of Spiritual freedom, training,  and artistic skill points toward what we aspire to today.     photo copy 6

The icon class I teach in New York is a spiritual and artistic container for the students and myself to grow in relationship to each other, God, and the icons.  It’s an honor to be able to serve such a courageous group of people.

The Art Center in Troy, New York is hosting a student/faculty exhibition of our icons later this month. Here’s the description and you are invited!

Contemporary Icon
January 31 – March 2, 2014 | Faculty Student Gallery
Reception: Friday, January 31, 5-9PM at Troy Night Out | Artist Demonstration at 6:30PM

              image001Master iconographer and faculty member, Christine Simoneau Hales will exhibit her icon paintings along with selected pieces from her past students.  Icon writing is a traditional method of painting that dates back to the ancient Byzantine era of using egg tempera, rare natural pigments and gold leaf gilding to create beautiful works of art. Hales takes the step-by-step method of classical painting and infuses it with contemporary inspirations all while keeping with the spiritual subjects found in these works on panel.

I came across the website that offers short introductory art and business classes that looks very good.  Here’s the  link:     Skillshare

Also a link for icon boards that I use and like: St. John’s Workshop.

One last quote from Ouspensky and The Meaning of Icons book to leave you with:

“For a true iconographer, creation is the way of asceticism  and prayer, that is, essentially, a monastic way.”

TO see a gallery of my completed icons visit my website, New Christian Icons. 

 

Blessings,

Christine Simoneau Hales

Christmas and Joy!

Dear Fellow Iconographers and Friends:   photo copy 14

This is a time of year for all of us to truly participate in Christ’s Presence amongst us.  I am starting a new icon of the face of Christ (from a Byzantine model) to carry me through the Christmas season with prayer and thanksgiving to our savior.

The other icon I’ve started recently is that a of Saint Benedict, from a Fra Angelico model.  photo copy 13

In the weekly  icon class I teach in Albany, New York we have been reading Esther DeWaal’s book “Seeking God” as a way of incorporating a Spiritual rule within our fellowship and practice.   “..writing his rule with a community of laymen in mind, his very clear grasp of the principles underlying the commitment underlying the vows remains applicable and valuable to all who are trying to follow Christ.” We are studying this book and its possible applications to iconography.

Here is my Saint Benedict – about 3/4 finished.    The best part is the finishing!

My website about teaching Iconography has just been updated with a new materials page for those who want to take class and are curious about what materials are needed.  There are useful links for purchasing materials on the site.

Recently one of my spiritual mentors, Randy Clark blessed two of my icons at a conference in PA.  Here is the video that my husband, Mick, took of the moment.  Randy Clark is a non denominational Pastor and teacher with a world wide ministry of healing.  He was praying that God’s healing grace would bless people through the icons. One of my icons is on the cover of his wonderful teaching on Communion.

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One of my early teachers-Vladislav Andreyev has created a lovely instructional video on how to write an icon which I highly recommend.  Here is a link to a promotional video which shows some of the steps of icon writing and describes his dvd.

 

That’s all for this month.  Have a wonderful, Christ filled Christmas!  As always I look forward to your comments and iconography events.  If you email me with icon information I will try to post it in the next blog.

Blessings,
Christine Simoneau Hales

www.newchristianicons.com                  www.christinehales.com

November Icon Blog 2013

Dear Fellow Iconographers:    stlukeweb

First, thanks to all of you who are bearing with my faulty web/blog process for these many months while I try to turn this ship around!  You will notice a new format here – one which I hope will allow more readability and easier transfer of information, photos and links.  As always, your comments and suggestions are appreciated.

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The Icon Class I teach at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Albany has evolved into a lovely group desiring to form the Saint Luke’s Guild of Iconography, whose initial main purpose is spreading the joy of icons throughout the world.  Saint Luke, the physician and Gospel writer,  is our patron Saint and we are reading Esther deWaal’s “Seeking God” The Rule of Saint Benedict,  for spiritual inspiration in the formation of our community.  There is an excellent Face Book page for the Guild, set up by Jennifer Richard-Morrow.

IMG_4306        I will be teaching a new icon writing class for beginners at the Art Center    of the Capital Region, Troy, NY on Thursday afternoons beginning in March 2014.

For information about taking icon writing classes visit: iconwritingclasses.com  or newchristianicons.com

 

We begin each class with prayer using an icon, and share a time of intercessory prayer for those who are ill and need healing.  Currently myself and the students in the class have an exhibition “The Art of Devotion” at the Slate Valley Museum in Granville, New York, through the end of November.  This show has attracted a lot of community attention and has been drawing people into the museum who hadn’t visited previously.

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I have the honor of having my Christ in Glory Icon on the cover of the 2014 Missal for Oregon Catholic Press.  So happy when more people get to experience the joy of icons!

I’d like to share some photos of the icon gilding workshop I took with Peter Murphy, from the UK.  It was a superb class and I highly recommend it for next year.  This is the water gilding method – not for the faint of heart!

photo copy 3                 photo copy 5                                                   Peter Murphy’s website

The workshop was held in Fairfax, Virginia, organized by Veronica Royal.

“In all that he did in service of the Temple of God and in his effort to follow the law and the commands, Hezekia sought his God wholeheartedly.  As a result he was very successful.” 2 Chronicles 31:21

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Father, help us to please You in writing icons.  We seek Your face and cherish Your Presence in the process of icon writing.  Amen.