If you are exploring the layers of meaning in Iconography you will quickly discover it is an ancient language of symbols and shorthand for theological concepts. The word icon is a popular word these days. For the googlers, the idea of an icon gets mixed up with moggies and symbols. One dictionary definition describes an icon as a devotional painting or artwork representing Christ or another holy figure.
Iconography is a visual language of theology in color, shape, and form. Icon imagery legitimizes and defines Jesus Christ, saints, angels, holy persons, biblical narratives, principal feast days, and of course, the Mother of Jesus. The visual theological language holds its meaning because it is based on biblical storytelling, explicated by theologians who hammered out the fundamental ideas in the early church.
It is commonly said that a well-painted icon makes the unseen visible. For instance, Baptism is a spiritual concept illustrated through a narrative picture of Jesus in the Jordan being blessed by the Holy Spirit. The icon becomes a door or window, like an opening in a wall. If you get up very close to the glass you can see more than from across the room. It calls the viewer to be drawn into the meaning of iconography where you can wander and reflect.
My Collections celebrate Meaning in Iconography
I would like to share my icon collections as downloadable PDFs for your use and reflection. The PDF features work covered in the last two decades and represent several styles, both traditional and contemporary. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exploring the Layers of Meaning in Iconography reveals the origin of the early Orthodox artists who took up the practice of painting portraits of saints. They used egg yolk to replace the tedious wax emulsion used by the earlier Egyptians. For me the meaning in Iconography deepened even further using egg tempera. Tempera paint is an emulsion of egg yolk and colored earth pigments mixed together to create the holy image. The emulsion and transparent color are applied in very thin layers. There is a spiritual significance for each layer. I reflect on colors, shapes of my emotions, and watch until a layer dries, and then apply another layer. The process of painting with Mother Earth and egg yolk connects my soul with the creator, creation, and the early painters of this great tradition handed down by the Orthodox Church.
Layers of colored ground stone from the Earth.
Ocher yellow, green, and red, titanium white, cobalt blue, raw umber, Prussian blue, and Venetian red are only a few colors. I use 21 pigments for all the work and have seldom changed or added others over the past 3 decades.
The wood surface we paint on represents the wood of an altar. The linen cloth is drenched in rabbit skin glue to bind it to the board. It is like a sacramental garment stretched out over the altar. It is then covered with several coats of white gesso, sanded smooth to receive the holy image. There is where the liturgy begins.
Symbolism and Meaning in Iconography and Meditation
Icon Painting Technique Book Sign Up for a workshop → http://sacrediconretreat.com/ Visit Mary Jane´s website https://www.millericons.com/ Follow me on LinkedIn → https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-jane-miller-8b76893a/ Follow me on Instagram- → https://www.instagram.com/sanmiguelicons/ Schedule a workshop at my studio → https://www.facebook.com/groups/195362550513489
You Tube https://www.youtube.com/@mjmiller54