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arch996677
08-07-2001, 08:46 PM
Hi im Stephen,
I have know about your board for awile now. but have now taken the time to post a question witch i have been wondering about.

Ok i was not really sure where to put this topic,so if one of you think there would be a better place. feel free to tell me and ill move it.

Ok,
I'v grown up in a cathlic family, and my dad has always enjoyed collecting icon paintings. witch are a sort of serreal art of religious art,(witch im sure most of you know) Any ways i've been thinking it would be nice to do a painting like this for my dad some time.
So what i was wondering is what sort of Tools and paints do i need? a round how much would this all run$$?
And i have heard the board you paint on has to be soaked in sea water (or salt water ) for a long time (like years) is this true?and if so can you buy it some where presoaked?

May come up with more to ask but for now.
Thanks
Stephen

arch996677
08-08-2001, 02:02 PM
HMM starting to think its a lost art.
maybe i could check history of art.
though i would like to know how to do it now about it.(sort of one in the same though)

Stephen

Ohju
08-12-2001, 07:22 PM
I'm not too sure what you are asking, but you could put a topic in the painting section like oils or acrylics to find an answer. I'm not a pro painter, sorry I can't help you. Good luck!

JeffG
08-13-2001, 05:08 PM
Stephen:

Icon painting, as was done in the early catholic church is still being done in the Eastern Orthodox and Greek Orthodox churches. These are traditionally done in Egg Tempera paint and gold leaf on a wooden panel. I'm getting familiar with using tempera (but not for icons), and here is a link on that:

http://www.eggtempera.com/index.html

I do know that making an icon in the traditional manner requires training and a precise series of steps. It's considered not just a skill or craft, but a contemplative religious experience where each step in the preparation has a highly symbolic meaning. I have seen where workshops are offered (there was one by me last month) for beginners, but I dont know where you'd begin searching for this.

miek37
08-16-2001, 10:31 AM
Hi Stephen----
Starting back in 1975 my husband, son and daughter converted from being Episcopalians to the Eastern Orthodox church in Kansas City, MO. I was trained in iconography for the church by a monk in Kansas City. I have done iconography for churches in Missouri and in Colorado. Traditionally, these "windows on Heaven" on done by practicing Orthodox believers as there are many prayers and blessings involved in the "making" of an icon.
There are many monateries in America;Greek, Russian and the Orthodox Church in America where icons are produced also. I have a wonderful book back in 1976 "The 'Painter's Manual' of Dinoysius of Fourna" An English translation, with commentary, of cod.gr.708 in the Saltykov-Shchedrin Public Library of Leningrad (now St. Petersberg) by Paul Hetherington printed by The Sagittarius Press 78 Redesdale Gardens, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 5JD I am sure both you and your father would enjoy reading this lovely book. It is paperback. It was a gift from my monk-teacher so do not know the price. Now days the production of icons is done with tempered masonite, primed with acrylic gesso of three to four coats with sanding between each coat and very fine sanding on the final coat to prepare the surface. The iconography is done with acrylic paints and sealed with acrylic varnish. The monks of Mount Athos in Greece do still do the work on wooden boards. The soaking in sea water I had not heard but well be in some part of the world. I imagine the salt in the sea water might serve as a preservative and of course am assuming that the wood is thoroughly dry before the priming and painting takes place. I am so happy you have asked about this art form and will be glad to answer any questions you may have either here on this thread or by e-mail. Helen:)

arch996677
08-18-2001, 01:44 AM
Hi, Sorry i did not get back too all of you soonner, I sort of thought this was a bit of alost hope or something, i know ppl are still doing it. and i thought there would be ppl on here.. just was not sure if i had it in the right place or what ever, and you know the way life is you get busy and stuff.

The egg tempera seem differnet, and not really forgiving.
If i do anything thats got detail i make alot of mistakes, (im sort of new artist or something)

Gold leafing, sounds like it could take some learnning as well, i may just use gold paint. (is that bad) i know it does not last as long, (um ) well ill have to think about it.

Jeff, thanks for the link, did not have alot of time tonight but i read some of it over, gave me alot of info.

Would be nice to find a workshop or at least somone to help me along, though i live in the midle of Wisonconsin, ( could be a long shoot)

Helen.
I have heard there is alot too doing an icon, Right now i allmost think too much (at least for me right now), too learn all the prays and the traditional way of doing it(witch would be great) would take close to a life time or longer with out a teacher, (it seems) (or inless i already know some of what there is to know)

How, much does it cost to get a nice set of tempra paint?
Would be cool to do it on wood . :) (sorry)

Do ppl do it on canvas too?
I thought i read off of the site jeff had, that they use some other sort of gesso,
And you can use acrylic paints?

The sea water thing i was unsure of as well.

Um, How long does it take you to do one of these paintings?(round about?)

Thanks
Stephen

Termini.
09-04-2001, 02:09 AM
Replying to your question,

Icons must be produced by someone who has been approved by the orthodox church. If you paint one, it will be art, but not necessarily an icon. If you look at old icons of Christ and cover one side of the face you will see a gentle side, and if you cover the other, you will see an angry side. People who look at these will see different sides, depending on how they are doing spititually. So these icons have more than just an artistic value. In fact they are mostly performed in a 2 dimentional technique, on purpose to take aristic expression out of the process.
If you want to paint one, I will suggest that you get a piece of wood, sand it smooth, cover with acrylic gesso, put another layer of gesso, and while still wet stretch muslin material intoo the wet gesso board, and press down, until gesso come though the material. Then sand smooth when dry. Next place 20 layers of gesso on the board sanding every other one. Next draw out you image, Next begin layering on thin layers of paint using a script liner brush. start with a pale green color for the dark areas, and gradually move inward using burn sienna mixed with increasing light color (Yellow and white) leave an edge around each progressive layer, until you get to the middle of each area where the color is almost white. Look at an icon now and you shouyld be able to see what Im saying. Do not use dark shadows on the painting. use thin brush strokes, to cover areas, and many areas on the painting may be up to 80 layers thick. When done with image paint the are to be gilded in yellow ocher or red earth tone. paint on gold leaf size, and wait 1 hour dry, place wax paper over gold leaf sheets and press down next place them onto the sized area, and press leaf into size, the remove wax paper gently. you can then rud gold leaf to further secure to board with velvet (gently). Next, paint 40 layers of gloss varnish over the completed image. Poly-urethane also works well. This is a very time consuming process, and is more difficult than just whipping out a painting with oils or acrylics. Gouache paint also works well.

Good Luck,

Trankina

miek37
09-04-2001, 01:25 PM
Dear Trankina - Thank you so much for taking the time to convey all the steps to iconography. Beautifully done.

Stephen - Yes, iconography is a calling in the church, as is the choir and all the various duties in the church. It is a way of life which is the reason that many icons are written by monks, nuns and single people.

Also, the icon image to be written MUST BE AN EXACT COPY of the one the iconographer is working from. One would not think of changing an icon any more than one would dream of changing the Gospels. This means the iconographer must suppress any urges to add their own ideas and to be very precise so the message of the icon remains as pure as possible.

May Christ be with you both

Helen, Iconographer

JeffG
09-04-2001, 02:05 PM
From what I understand from my limited reading on the subject, there is a specific heirarchy of subjects one does also... I think I remember reading that for a first icon, everyone does St. Michael, and that one has to do several icons before progressing on to St. Mary, etc. Is this correct?

miek37
09-04-2001, 06:36 PM
Dear Jeff - Interesting question!! I am Russian Orthodox, although now in America it is called the Orthodox Church in America. For LOTS more information you may want to check out the site for St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York: www.svots.edu and go to the "Bookstore" part of their web site for some absolutely wonderful books on icons and iconography. In all the various Eastern Orthodox Churchs such as Russian, Greek, Ukranian, etc. there are traditions that have grown up regarding so many of the things involved with life in the church. It would make sense to "work up" to doing the Holy Theotokos (St. Mary in the western church) and Christ to prepare oneself with the proper respect and humility and love for writing icons. Hope you enjoy your visit to the Seminary's bookstore!!

Christ be with you
Helen, Iconographer

arch996677
09-06-2001, 12:34 AM
Hi everone,
Thanks for all your great replys..
I have been reading a book i got from the library about egg tempera. And have found it to be quite intresting.

Trankina, Thanks for your insight on the steps.

And Helen, I have been doing some abstrac art latie and got done watching pollack, And at the min think it would be crazy to copy exact painting somone else did, But i see the reasons. And i have done copys of photes and stuff I just dont love doing it cuz i get stuck on the fect of prefection and its more stress then enjoyment.

Well, I think ill try and hunt down the differnt things i need for doing egg tempera and just mess around with the media and later hopefully read up and do an icon Also ill try and talk to my preist about the subject.

I saw at a local art/crafts store, Some dried pigment, in jars about the size of a quart.. Is that what you need to mix with water and then mix with the egg???
I dont rember the brand but is that important?
Also it was around $3 or $4 for a jar, does this sound right?

Thanks
Stephen

arch996677
09-06-2001, 12:37 AM
Hi everone,
Thanks for all your great replys..
I have been reading book i got from the library about egg tempera. And have found it be quite intresting.

Trankina, Thanks for your insight on the steps.

And Helen, I have been doing some abstrac art latie and got done watching pollack, And at the mine think it would be crazy to copy exact painting somone else did, But i see the reasons. And i have done copys of photes and stuff I just dont love doing it cuz i get stuck on the fect of prefection and its more stress then enjoyment.

Well, I think ill try and hunt down the differnt things i need for doing egg tempera and just mess around with the media and later hopefully read up and do an icon(or hopefully more) Also ill try and talk to my preist about the subject.

I saw at a local art/crafts store, Some dried pigment, in jars about the size od a quart.. Is that what you need to mix with water and then mix with the egg???
I dont rember the brand but is that important?
Also it was around $3 or $4 for a jar, does this sound right?

Thanks
Stephen