Mary Jane Miller was commissioned for icon painting today, two life size Archangels. The studio is open for curious tourist wanting to know how this kind of work comes into being? “It is difficult to be driven by something you can’t see, to become enveloped by a desire you’re afraid to follow or ignore.” To take on an icon painting commission is challenging. It makes the artist step into the unknown, push to serve and stand back without judgement or fear. For 3 decades, Miller has been working in Mexico. Now she is working on these two angels. These images are exciting ancient icon painting replicas created in San Miguel Allende, Mexico. The Christmas season could not be a better time to paint them.
Painting, patience, and prayer are the format.
Iconographers live and work in a sort of double dimension where time and space are distorted; image and content change reality, and solitude speaks volumes. I am a self-taught iconographer for 25 years, the ancient media called tempera is flourishing media for icon painting today. Million year old earth pigments combined with egg yolk mixed to create divine image. Byzantine style con painting tradition dates back 1,500 years. Unique, fresh, distinct, moving, authentic, powerful, and smart are all words used to describe this amazing art form.
Miller is a passionate icon painting, artist, designer, teacher, and author today who makes her home in Mexico.
She has a dynamic and enthusiastic way for inviting you into a particular type of graphic storytelling called narrative icon painting . Great storytelling is done through images, colors, and shapes. The story is about humanity and our response to the sacred image. She invites you to engage visually, emotionally, mindfully, and imaginatively to open ourselves to a more flexible perspective for why are we here?
Mary Jane Miller cultivates a deep understanding of and love for the ancient icon painting tradition in eastern Christianity and a modern sensibility of expression. Her collections and books on iconography are visual essays about Jesus, his mother and miracles, and people said to be saintly. It is enough to say, Miller’s work is rebellious, placing women at the Last Supper, Pentecost, and the foot washing. Her icon painting today is not without thought and reflection. However the beauty is lavish and consistent.
Using the ancient medium of egg tempera helps us to realize something quite intimate about God, ‘We create as we are created’. My husband,Valentin Gomez, works on the repoussé technique and I design and paint. We live in San Miguel de Allende, which is Valentine’s birthplace and where we met over 40 years ago. Our dream is to add a few more icons to those existing in the world, hoping that this great sacred art and icon painting tradition will continue to flourish. In their hearts, all iconographers believe that ‘beauty will save the world’. I believe that the act of painting transmits a growing sense of the divine in all creation.”
Please come visit the studio this season.
Miller’s latest publication. Life in Christ, Knowledge of God made visible in Jesus the Man
Even if you do not already appreciate religious imagery, this is worth the read. The fascinating tradition inherent in icon painting today and the unique earth pigments used in egg tempera come together in this book. It will speak to you and draw you into their ancient noesis. A collection of 30 icons illustrates my dedication to become a successful iconographer. The book’s text will take you through the Life of Jesus as he is and becomes the Christ. It is a must read for your library.