Sat, July 02, 2005

An Iconographer? Me? 2.0

Once again it is time for the Icon Writing Workshop. I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks and have already been immersing myself in icons. Today we open with prayer and then will begin tracing the prototype.

I’m just the tiniest bit more confident than last year. At least I know what to expect. I’m excited and realize I’m very much a beginner. I spoke with master iconographer Xenia Pokrovsky a few days ago and she likened it to learning to play the piano. You don’t start out playing some complicated piece, but work up to it, learning a bit at a time. You start to memorize some of it. You have to practice the scales and chords so that playing the notes becomes part of you. Practice, practice, practice. You learn dynamics and improve your ability to flow through the piece. And someday, you know it.

I was delighted to see several prayers included in our workshop materials. Below is one that is a variation on the one that Fr. David prayed for me last year.

A Prayer Before Beginning an Icon

Oh Divine Lord of all that exists, Thou has illumined the Apostle and Evangelist Luke with Thy Holy Spirit, thereby enabling him to represent Thy most Holy Mother, the One who held Thee in her arms and said: The Grace of Him Who has been born of me is spread through the world.

Enlighten and direct my soul, my heart and my spirit. Guide the hands of Thine unworthy servant Timothy so that I may worthily and perfectly portray Thine Icon, that of Thy Mother, and all the Saints, for the glory, joy and adornment of Thy Holy Church.

Forgive my sins and the sins of those who will venerate these icons and who, kneeling devoutly before them, give homage to those they represent. Protect them from all evil and instruct them with good counsel. This I ask through the intervention of Thy most Holy Mother, the Apostle Luke, and all the Saints. AMEN.

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