June 25 - 29, 2012
Iconography Workshop Description:
Our Workshops are dedicated to the Old Masters method of creating a work of art. This approach takes into account the artistic methods employed by Medieval Iconographers as well as refined, Classical Renaissance goals and principles developed by the Great Masters.
2012 SCHEDULE CHANGE:
As we planned, we have made some changes, regarding the teaching proces and also regarding the schedule of the workshops, they will commence at 9 am on Monday and end at 6 pm on Friday. Besides, this time we are targeting our courses/workshops more on learning the fundamental skills, necessary to any kind of art-painter. So, before we start to draw on a the icon-board, together with our students we practice modelling forms with black and white pencils and also dedicate some special time to egg-tempera technique. We have tried it in Australia and as I see now, this new system shows very good results, being made rather for active learning process, then for a representative material result with sophisticated details.
Who should attend: The workshops are beneficial for beginning students as well as for advanced iconographers and anyone drawn to practical and theoretical study of Byzantine and Early Russian Painting.
The detailed workshop description: We teach participants to pay most attention to the content of the image, we do not teach how to clone the old forms. Practically, the workshops are dedicated to the proccesses used by medieval iconographers, and in general – Old Master methods of creating a work of sacred art.
This approach takes into account the artistic techniques employed by Medieval Iconographers as well as refined, Classical Renaissance goals and principles developed by the Great Masters.
Each student will be presented with a white-gessoed board, brushes and other instruments and materials kit. Every workshop participant will experience step by step instructions to start and complete an icon according to the traditional egg tempera method. All materials will be provided by the instructor. Daily presentations will include discussions of the development of iconography, the spirituality of creating an icon, and praying with icons.
Every session will begin with prayer.
Our iconography workshops are the only ones in US and Canada, where students are encouraged to make free hand drawings without tracing paper or any other copying tools. This approach allows the iconographer/ participant greater responsibility for the resulting icon and also gives the iconographer more possibilities for individual variations – as we can see was also true among the iconographers creating sacred images during Medieval times. The instructors will help students who need assistance in drawing the image.
Each course will last six and a half very intense consecutive days, beginning on Sunday at 14.30 and finishing at about 17.00 Saturday. Most of the time will be dedicated to practical exercises, which will be supplemented by theoretical lectures with slideshows.
Iconography Workshops 2012 – New features: In August 2011 we have carefully analized our current workshop schedule and in this coming workshop in Melbourne we decided to change some principles of our teaching schedule.
First, – we changed the schedule, and this time we start all the workshops on Monday mornings at 9.00 and end at 18.00, the same for the last workshop day – Saturday.
Our previous programs were targeted in such a way, that the instructor was writing (painting) the same icon together the students step-by-step. That method had good results (as we see it on our students icons, made after the courses), but now we see, that sometimes it was too tough for our students.
While developing our own painting methods we discovered, that it helps a lot if we spend more time for the preparation and for the initial stage of the working process i.e. We more carefully plan the future image and make the drawing for it.
Keeping in mind these two aspects, for the Iconography Courses in Melbourne we have chosen two models – two images of the Holy Virgin Mary, – IX-th century mosaic from Hagia Sofia, Constantinople, and XIII century icon from Mount Sinai. We have chosen these particular images from all the available heritage of Medieval Christian art because, being classical works of spiritual art, they are also among the most deep, beautiful and well-preserved Christian medieval images of all times.
This time we plan to dedicate more time to the drawing and modelling the form. Besides, on our workshops in 2012 we plan to demonstrate and practice with students our individual technique of sketching. We introduce this new feature because it gives more freedom in studies and researches to find the best composition and color solution before we start doing responsible work on the board. This “sketching” schedule allows to get at the same time more seriously studied and more creative final results. Besides, it helps to save time, because we can start working when the board and gesso are not ready for painting yet.
We are absolutely sure, these new excersises will give our students much help to feel much more trained and self-confident, while working on their icons.
Practical matters: Writing an icon is taught to be done in a totally focused and concentrated way. It is very important to go slowly at all times, living and understanding each of the steps deeply in our being. The students are encouraged to come to class each day with a refreshed, open mind and heart.
We emphasize, that this method is not a craftsman’s practice which supposedly guarantees good results. Rather our approach aims to give students a professional attitude which can be used for almost any kind of traditional painting. Running parallel to the daily practical sessions will be the incorporation of short, theoretical discussions on Iconography: History, Theology and artistic, technical concerns. Previous experience is not required but any art background can be very helpful.
All students are encouraged to take notes during teacher-demonstrations and ask questions for clarification. Students are advised to bring photographs of their icons, previously painted (if any). The needs and questions of each student will be taken into account.
Each day, the instructor will distribute color photocopies of the individual steps to be used in painting the icon. Workshop schedule: each day (except for the first one) the workshop will begin at 9:00 a.m., break for lunch at about 12.30 , resume at 13.30 , and finish at 6:00 p.m.
There will also be short breaks during the day. This is a rigorous schedule, so plan on getting plenty of rest each night. If you are arriving from outside the area, we recommend that you arrive early the day before the workshop begins to get a good night’s sleep, so that you are refreshed on Sunday Afternoon.
(See some housing variants at the bottom of the page)
What the student will be taught during the Iconography Course:
1. to define the basic forms through free-hand painting techniques
2. to understand methods of mixing and applying egg-tempera emulsion
3. to use basic colors to create shadows and highlights
4. will practice oil gilding
5. will learn to control the finer highlights
6. will practice writing proper lettering on the icon
7. and will be given recommendations on how to varnish the completed Icon at home, once the paint dries up.
About the Instructor: Philip Davydov is a professional, second generation iconographer with more than 15 years of experience. He is currently a lecturer and scientific secretary at the Institute of Theology and Sacred Arts and head of Sacred Murals Studio in St. Petersburg, Russia. Philip’s goal and the goal of his Studio is to create icons and murals in the Christian tradition, while being inspired by contemporary works of Christian sacred art.
In fact, Philip attempts to work in the same spirit as the long line of his predecessors, the Christian craftsmen did. It is vitally important for him and his co-workers to study the best prototypes of iconography, to follow traditional Church canons and thus perpetuate traditional techniques and materials of our medieval colleagues, keeping alive a tradition that is nearly two millennia old. Philip shares this creative and responsible approach as well as his own experience and professional discoveries with his students at his Workshops.
Classes will take place daily, Monday through Friday, 9 am – 6 pm in
Saint Mary’s Parish Hall, St. Mary’s City, Maryland