The Cup 1
— Christ and the Cup —

Symen van Donkelaar, The Cup, 2022, Egg tempera and gold leaf on wood. The Crossings exhibition, Toronto, ON.

The Cup 2
— The Sleeping Disciples —

Symen van Donkelaar, The Cup, 2022, Egg tempera and gold leaf on wood. The Crossings exhibition, Toronto, ON.

The Washing
— Christ washing Peter's feet —

Symen van Donkelaar, The Washing, 2020, Egg tempera and gold leaf on wood, Private Collection, Santa Barbara, California.

The Fiery Furnace
— Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego —

Symen van Donkelaar, The Fiery Furnace, 2021, Egg tempera and gold leaf on wood, Private Collection, Papillion, Nebraska.

St Mary
— St Mary and Christ —

Symen van Donkelaar, St Mary the Guide, 2019, Egg tempera and gold leaf on wood, Private Collection, Conestoga, Ontario.

Worshipping with the Saints, here and now.

The Conestoga Iconographic Studio offers an experience of the every day as strangely holy. In its iconographic artwork, it reveals the people and events of sacred history through a peculiar style, colour, and theology. Perspective doesn’t conclude at a vanishing point but in a kaleidoscope of multiple points only found in eternity. Saints become monumental in their compact proportions, appearing in storied strength as they hold a whole church in their hand with ease. In such art we see the life of the Church through God’s wonders and miracles—a cosmos just beyond our vision, but one in which we participate nevertheless.

Along with disclosing this unseen reality, the studio also offers a new perspective of the land. It forages local colours for its artwork from the mountains, rivers, and caves. By applying these pure colours directly to his panels, each painting has a luminous depth of colour and a connection to a place. In such a local palette of the land, we are also called to a more profound regard for our fragile world and a deeper attention to the Holy Spirit who “is everywhere present and fills all things.” 

Created at this intersection of the seen and unseen world, the Conestoga Iconographic Studio presents icons that are bold and humble, revealing all of creation with meditative gravitas.


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Symeon’s Artwork leads one Into A Renewed Spirit Of Reverence And Celebration.

It is my honor and my privilege to offer this testimonial of Symeon van Donkelaar’s Iconography. His style is elegant and simple and leads one to an experience of effulgence. His use of natural coloring is lustrous and gratifying. Following the traditional cannons of Iconography he is true to the ancient traditions while offering new and notable interpretations.  His Icons lead one into a renewed Spirit of reverence and celebration. 
Fr. Edward J Tomasiewicz, C. M.
Retired faculty member, DePaul University

Symeon’s iconography is a hymn of praise.

The Incarnation calls us to a deep regard for all creatures, the beauty of flora and fauna, indeed, the earth under our feet. The earth we walk on is a reliquary and the minerals and colours of each particular place a sacred treasure. Symeon’s artwork, drawing as it does on the local palette of the land, calls each of us to a deeper regard for our fragile world, and deeper attention to the Holy Spirit who “is everywhere present and fillest all things”.

David J. Goa
Founding Director, Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life, University of Alberta

Fine Art Prints

Articles & Videos

The Fiery Furnace Soldiers

The Soldiers and The Fiery Furnace

With the angel and the youths depicted in The Fiery Furnace, all that was left was the rendering of the soldiers in the bottom third of the icon. And, it was here that I think the vision inspired by St. Basil’s commentary on the nature of fire in consumption and illumination really took form. The … Read more
The Fiery Furnace Angel

The Angel in The Fiery Furnace

In sketching a cartoon for the icon of the Fiery Furnace, I found that it divided quite naturally into three horizontal layers. In the centre layer were the three young men and their prayerful worship of God. As my pencil moved to the upper third of the icon’s drawing, The Angel of the Lord began … Read more
The Fiery Furnace Youths

From Narration to Theology in The Fiery Furnace

To my understanding, there are many ways an icon can beautifully depict an event. The most simple of these is a historical narrative. In this case, the iconographer brings together scripture, tradition, and history, and renders an image of that event. The result of such icons can be beautiful and meaningful as the icon weaves … Read more
The Fiery Furnace

The Story of The Fiery Furnace Icon

In the Book of Daniel, there is an account of four young men who are forcibly taken from their home in Jerusalem to serve in the Babylonian courts after the city falls to the armies of King Nebuchadnezzar. The most famous youth is Daniel himself, whose exploits are recorded throughout the book, but in the third chapter, we also have an account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—his countrymen and fellow captives. The icon of The Fiery Furnace centres on the story of these young men.

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