Studio Articles

The Title “Saint”

Introduction Today, it is taken for granted that the title, “saint,” must prefix any saint’s name. Failure to do so seems highly disrespectful. This is our culture, and must be respected. But it must also be examined. We cannot simply change the practice here and now because it was different in another time and place. […]

The Blessing of Iconographic Style

Introduction When it comes to Orthodox iconographers, the question of style is a difficult one. Wanting to affirm the living tradition of iconography, we can instead be circumscribed by a dead traditionalism. This struggle involves every member of the Church. The faithful who commission icons are often attached to certain historic versions of an icon. […]

Toronto Icon Painting Workshop

Sunday, June 30th to Friday, July 5th, 2019. Arrival: 4pm on Sunday.Completion: 8pm on Friday.Registration deadline: June 24th, 2019. Location St. John’s Convent Guest House 233 Cummer Avenue Toronto, ON M2M 2E8 Contact Information Phone: 416-226-2201, ext. 305 E-mail: foodforthesoul@ssjd.ca Web: www.ssjd.ca Fees: $650 $350 for the teaching and supplies + $300 for overnight accommodation […]

Making a Traditional Icon Panel

Working with wood to make a panel remains something I love about making traditional orthodox icons. Maybe it’s the smell of the cut wood, which always takes me back to my Grandfather’s woodshop where we built things together when I was a child. Or, maybe it’s the fact that there’s always something more to learn […]

Kitchener Icon Class: Level 1

In this introductory iconography class, Symeon will teach 12 participants over 4 months to make an Orthodox icon using traditional methods and materials. The Level 1 class provides the experience of making an icon by copying one of Christ the Pantocrator created by Symeon for this purpose. Such work from a prototype makes room for new students […]

Woad Blue

It seems to me that all blues are the colour of the air—and this is certainly the case for woad blue. As the fall season comes to Canada, the hazy sky of summer clears and becomes a blue as deep as eternity offset by the flaming yellows and reds of the trees’ autumn leaves. It […]

Local Colour in Icons

Yesterday an article of mine appeared in the Orthodox Arts Journal entitled, “Local Color in Icons”. The piece is a reflection of how living in Conestoga for the last 15 years has shaped my iconographic work, and is ultimately about how much I’ve found that the material world (especially its local colour pigments) can inspire sacred artwork. As […]

Our lindenwood harvest, including three long lengths for lumber and lots of firewood to keep the studio warm.

Local Lindenwood Harvest

Finding inspiration in something local is a big part of the studio’s work. While it is most obvious in the pigment colours foraged and used to make paint for its icons, it exists in other ways, too. Today that search for local sources took my son and I out into the woods to harvest a […]

Making an Icon Talk in Waterloo

Friday, February 24th, 2017 at 7:30 pm Great Hall at Conrad Grebel University College All are welcome for this public talk. Over the years, I’ve worked through a number of ways of sharing about the traditional practices of iconography. In this talk, we’ll weave together the theologic, historic, stylistic, and material considerations that all combine […]

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