An Iconographer? Me?

 Over a year ago I heard about the Six Days of Creation Icon Writing Workshop presented by St. Andrew Orthodox Church and considered attending. Due to my seeking the opinion of others and general procrastination and because the workshop quickly filled up, I was not able to participate last year. I was able to attend the public lecture series last year and I still contemplate them. Thankfully, St. Andrew is hosting the Icon Writing Workshop again this year and I signed up and was accepted.

It’s with quickly beating heart and trembling hands that I realize the day is upon us. Registration and the first evening session is today and during this next week I’ll be working on an icon. As I contemplate the idea of conveying the holy saints I realize my unworthiness. I’ve never painted an icon; this will be my first. I hope to use the artistic skills God has given to me for his glory.

I did a quick sketch of Saint Paul during the fast of Saints Peter and Paul earlier this year., The sketch reassured me that I can still draw. I have much to learn. I include it here not because it is particularly worthwhile—it isn’t. It is also unfinished as an icon as it is lacking label text. I thought I’d put it up anyway so we can see my starting point.

Today after common meal at church, Father David read a prayer for me and blessed me and my hands. It is very humbling. I ask for your prayers.

A Prayer for Blessing an Ikon Painter

Lord Jesus Christ our God, remaining uncircumscribed in Your divine nature, You deigned to be circumscribed in recent times when, for the salvation of mankind, You were ineffably incarnated by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Theotokos, Mary.

When You impressed the imprint of Your immaculate visage on the holy towel, and through it healed the disease of Abgar the Governor, You enlightened him to recognize You as our true God.

Through Your Holy Spirit, You granted Your godly apostle and evangelist Luke the understanding he needed to portray the form of Your most unblemished mother as she carried You in her embrace when You were a child, and she said “May the grace of Him Who was born through me be with these images.”

So now, Master, God of All, enlighten and grant understanding Yourself to the soul and heart and mind of Your servant Timothy and direct his hands to blamelessly and excellently portray visible likenesses of You and of Your most immaculate mother and of all Your saints, to Your glory and the splendor and beauty of Your holy churches, for the forgiveness of sins of those who worship in them, and who devoutly kiss these images, referring honor to their prototypes.

Rescue him from every diabolical assault as he makes progress in Your commandments, through the intercessions of Your most immaculate mother, of the holy and illustrious evangelist Luke, and of all Your saints. Amen.