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Saint Luke – a new icon


Here, for your viewing, is my latest icon. My second, in fact. The icon is on an inch-thick panel of tulip wood, traditionally gessoed over linen, water gilded (badly) and then painted with egg tempera, using earth and semi-precious stone pigments, e.g. lapis lazuli. The scrolls show the first verses from the Evangelist’s Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, translation the NJKV (Orthodox Study Bible). I have used a script style that is based on Greek icons but in English, so that it is legible to most of us here in the UK.

It is the first time for many things on this icon: furniture, drapery, water gilding (and what an arcane skill that is), painting on top of gold, inscribing a halo, script – the only thing I have done before, really, are the flesh parts and even then, Saint Silouan was a much older and ascetic saint. Saint Luke is shown here as a vigorous man in the prime of his life, hence the bright and ‘youthful’ qualities.

I hope that in a while I’ll be able to look on this as an icon, rather than something that I made mistakes on but since I’m a perfectionist that may take a little while. In the meantime, I hope that you like it (Thomas!) and that you all had a wonderful Feast of St Luke last week.

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A New Adventure


OK, so this isn’t strictly beautiful – but it’s appropriate. We leave in a few hours for another trip to the wilds of the Welsh border, Shropshire, where men drink beer and career down the street in rubbish bins pushed by their whooping friends and there is NO mobile phone coverage and NO digital TV. Four channels. Gulp.

Anyway, the point of this self-imposed exile is all in aid of my icon painting/writing. Here is the very first one I’ve done, now complete with all its errors and mistakes (play nice people) but finished. When I come back, I will have a new icon of Saint Luke, complete with gilding! Now that’s worth a week with four channels…