Mary Jane Miller lives and works in Mexico. She describes herself as a contemporary female icon painter, “steadfast in the desert on cracked ground and celebrating life on a mountaintop of traditional beliefs where sacred art becomes meditation. Icon painters seek Christ in church in rituals, in prayer, and finally find him in themselves.” Miller will offer two workshops in Georgia this fall . You are invited to explore the old Byzantine style of icon painting as a form of prayer. Her understanding of the spiritual symbolic language and her technical skill in egg tempera form the foundation where art becomes meditation practice. She believes that the ideology and interpretation of the icon tradition is changing and that its meaning will reveal itself while painting.
Over the span of three decades, Miller’s quest to comprehend the boundless dimensions of what others term divinity has persisted. The sands of time have sifted through her fingers, each passing year offering new insights, challenges, and revelations. With each image she encountered, a conspicuous absence echoed in the absence of feminine representation. This absence was not merely an oversight; it was an enigma that beckoned a probing mind to seek answers. In reviewing the Russian cannon of 500 acceptable and conservative images, she found only 14 women was an unsettling revelation. This was a revelation that cast a spotlight on the biases woven into the fabric of ancient iconography—a reflection of a patriarchal era that muted the voices and stories of women. It is here where sacred art becomes meditation that changes the bedrock of how we understand God and spirituality and place in our world.
Where Sacred Art Becomes Meditation
In Blairsville we will paint the ICON of St Photini
Where Sacred Art Becomes Meditation is not a secular experience. You naturally direct your mind to be thinking about Jesus, spirituality, God, and creation,” Miller said. “The practice leads you into the understanding that it is not my God or your God. The class is painting with the raw potential for life found in the egg yolk as the emulsion. That raw potential for life is mixed with dirt, million- year-old stone ground into dust to create divine image.”
The Samaritan woman at the Well Icon
Miller chose this icon painting topic partially because of the relevance found in the ‘’
The Samaritan woman at the Well ’’ story, and its meaning in today’s context, she said. The story of the ‘’Woman at the Well’’ is recognized as being the longest conversation Christ has with any person in the Bible.
“He’s talking to a woman, which is significant in this day as women are being elevated to a higher place in society,” she said. “Not to be outflanking men, but just to have an even understanding and an even chance at being the little expressions we are as we cruise around the planet.” Where Sacred Art Becomes Meditation