The Thoughts of A Modern Woman Icon Painter
Mary Magdalene Icon symbolism has a lot to teach us. Peace, love, meditation, quietness. She is among the top legacy icons of all time, and she is often overlooked.
She is or should be an icon for women of all ages for all of her quiet teachings.
In her story, she teaches us how to be powerful, how to love, learn, show patience, and gain peace. She is the epitome of what Christian icons should be about.
I believe that as a modern generation, we can experience prayer and contemplation visually, simply by looking and analyzing a painted icon on wood.
As an icon painter, it is important for me to research and look through an orthodox icon set to see the story, as I have analyzed many different icons in history, I always feel like Mary Magdalene has taken on a secondary role, which is why I have given her a primary one in my painting.
For me, the saint Mary Magdalene icons hold a special message and intent. In icon painting, we can visualize how she becomes an inspiration to the modern woman. It is the story of a woman who travels from the deepest despair life gives with the death of one you love to a glorious heart and mind state filled with love, joy and peace found only in freedom.
Is The Mary Magdalene Icon a Theme for Painters?
Icon painters as far back as the Byzantine era, and even before have painted representations of Mary Magdalene. Throughout Russia, Europe, and Greece we see painted icons of Mary Magdalene. The most notable of these depictions is the Crucifixion and of her witness to the resurrection.
In my Mary Magdalene icons, she is represented as a woman who develops a spiritual path. The icon images are a possible representation of her path.
The depictions of Magdalene in ancient times have been detrimental to the foundation of the church and the female community. In the past, she was most remembered for being the harlot sinner cleansed through the love of Jesus. But was that all she was…
I think not. And it may be time in our history to unpack the relationship of love and action.
What Do I Like Most about Mary Magdalene Icons?
Mary Magdalene was a Jewish woman who lived among gentiles in the city of Magdala on the Sea of Galilee. A rock in the center of the temple still remains and has been named after her. To me, the symbolism is powerful. Her very presence is there.
Even today if you walk around the excavated Migdal Synagogue, you will find interesting and somewhat confusing representations of Mary Magdalene. In the museum, she is represented as the woman who washes Jesus’ feet with her hair, as it is mentioned in the Gospel of John. It is notable that scholars are still skeptical, especially because the name Mary Magdalene is not actually named in either text.
It Is What She Did After Meeting Jesus that Is More Significant to Me
These are the stories that inspire me as a woman to paint the icons of Mary Magdalene.
Mary watched the crucifixion close up, three times women make themselves known on the Via Crucis. Mary was present when they laid Him in the tomb. She was the first witness to His resurrection and named as the first Apostle to the Apostles.
It Is About Prayer
Mary Magdalene represents hope for me when all is hopeless. When it is not possible to pray, I can often pray visually while painting an icon of Mary Magdalene.
Research for My Mary Magdalene Icons
After doing some research on Magdalene I found that the narratives state that she remained among the early Christians. After fourteen years, she was allegedly put into a boat by Jews, along with several other saints of the early Church, and set adrift without sails or oars. The boat landed in southern France, where she spent the remaining years of her life living in solitude, in a cave.” Could this be true? So much is yet to be revealed, the debate has just begun.
Who was she? What was her message?
These are the questions that often flow through my mind as I paint Mary Magdalene icons. I have created a collection of icons based on women, and written of Mary Magdalene in my books. I have highlighted her relationship with Christ and the disciples by creating visual stories which raise important questions, The imagery is well thought out, in keeping with the entire mysterious discussion about biblical women in Iconography and Mary Magdalene.
These are the reasons I paint Mary Magdalene icons and help other painters paint her as well.