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The icons of St. Herman used on this website are of the Prosopon School of Iconology

Announcing our Fifth Annual Prosopon Iconography Workshop

Monday, September 7 - Saturday September 12, 2015

Meeting daily, Monday through Saturday, 9am - 4pm,

Monday arrive by 8:30 to complete registration.

Hosted by:

The Iconography Guild of St. Theodosia and
St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church

Stafford, VA 22555

(Not mailing address)  60 Clifton Chapel Lane, Stafford, VA 22555

 

 Presented by:

Fr. Igumen Mefodii, Instructor for the Prosopon School of Iconology, Skete of St. Maximos the Confessor, 434-589-8530, sketestmaximos@gmail.com

Jo Anne Laymon (Mat. Joanna), class coordinator, sttheodosiaiconguild@yahoo.com

 

The traditional Byzantine-Russian icon-writing method of the Prosopon School of Iconology, founded by Vladislav Andreyev, is a revival of the 15th-16th century iconography style of Andre Rublev. The Prosopon School empasizes the spiritual aspects of the twenty-one step process of writing the icon. To view their icons see: www.prosoponschool.org

 

Students will create icons using ancient techniques of painting and floating with egg tampera, with natural materials: carved wooded boards, pure gold leaf, and finely ground clay and mineral pigments mixed with egg yolk. Fr. Mefodii will emphasize the underlying theology of the icon, both the one upon which we work and the Image (Icon) of God in us.

 

Previous "artistic" experience is not necessary since icon writing is as much a contemplative form of prayer as an ascetic discipline. The workshop will consist of six full-day sessions during which each student will complete an icon. Beginning students will receive step-by-step instructions and all necessary materials to paint/write the icon of Archangel Michael. Students who have attended previous workshops will be assigned an icon appropriate to their experience or they can contact Fr. Mefodii in advance to discuss options.

 

Instructor: Father Mefodii, Master Iconographer and student of Vladislav Andreyev since 1991; appointed instructor in 2006; promoted to Master Iconographer 2008; has conducted workshops throughout America and in England. He is an Orthodox priest-monk (Hieromonk) of the Skete of St. Maximos the Confessor in Palmyra, VA and holds classes there.

 

Total Cost: To be announced. The non-refundable deposit of $100, included in the total cost, is required no later than 1 August  2015 but please register early to reserve your place! Mail your deposit, check payable to Jo Anne Laymon. Email her for her address.

 

Students are responsible for their lodging and meals and may share potluck lunches during the workshop. She will reserve a block of hotel rooms, located nearby and will be emailing further information, including room rates as the time approaches.

Icon Workshop 2011 - 2014

Above:


1. On our final day the students displayed their icons with Fr. Mefodii holding one of the student's finished icons.

2. Students at work tracing their pattern onto the board.

3. New and returning students are shown the circular movements of the brush.

The workshop/retreat is conducted according to the traditional Byzantine-Russian icon-writing method of the Prosopon School of Iconography, a revival of the 15th century school of Andrei Rublev and founded by Vladislav Andreyev. The school offers both the technique of icon-writing and the spiritual symbolic aspects within the 21 steps of the process.

Above: Icons in progress, the early stages.

Only natural materials are used in this floating technique of egg tempera: wood, clay, pure gold leaf, and the pigments formed from ground minerals combined with egg yolk.

The workshop-retreat is conducted in a silent, prayerful environment with the playing of liturgical music during some of the steps. Explanations/reflections on the spiritual meanings are presented before each step. No previous artistic experience is required as writing the icon is as much a contemplative form of prayer as an artistic discipline.

Guardian Angel
Guardian Angel
Guardian Angel
St. Luke, Protoiconographer
St. Luke, Protoiconographer
St. Luke, Protoiconographer
Theotokos, Tenderness
Theotokos, Tenderness
Theotokos, Tenderness

Above: Finished icons of students.

Beginning students are provided with step-by-step instructions to complete an icon of Archangels Michael or Gabriel. Other icons such as those of Christ, the Virgin, John the Baptist, and the Guardian Angel are available to those who have attended previous workshops and have them approved by Fr. Mefodii. For more information about the Prosopon School, visit: www.prosoponschool.org.

Applying the Clay Bole as a base for the gold leaf.
Applying the Clay Bole as a base for the gold leaf.
Applying the Clay Bole as a base for the gold leaf.
Fr. Mefodii illustrates highlights found even in hair.
Fr. Mefodii illustrates highlights found even in hair.
Fr. Mefodii illustrates highlights found even in hair.
Highlighting is layered between floats.
Highlighting is layered between floats.
Highlighting is layered between floats.

All of the steps in the process are rich in spiritual symbolism. 

The Days are Filled with Instruction Followed by Quiet Contemplation and Prayer

Fr. Mefodii Patiently Instructs Everyone.
Fr. Mefodii Patiently Instructs Everyone.
Fr. Mefodii Patiently Instructs Everyone.
A Time To Work and to Pray
A Time To Work and to Pray
A Time To Work and to Pray
Many are Writing their First Icon
Many are Writing their First Icon
Many are Writing their First Icon

We are instructed as a group and individually. As we listen to soft, liturgical music we focus on prayer and our work.

The Spiraling Movement of Prayer During our Workshop

During our September Prosopon workshop in Stafford, VA, Fr. Igumen Mefodii explained to us the meaning of iconography as prayer and that the lines we paint on our board indicate our focus of prayer.

I couldn’t help but notice that the rhythm of the days within our workshop week fell into a cycle that echoed the spiraling lines of prayer.

When we first arrived all of us were chatty, fidgeting in our seats, dropping and spilling things, crinkling bags. In fact, the harder we tried for self-control, to be still, the klutzier we became! These distractions, as broken spirals, led to our unfocused prayer, and mistakes on our board, serving as lessons we must learn.

When we quieted down mentally and physically in submission to God our Creator, our prayer mixed with the prayers within the liturgical music and with each other’s in harmony. Our prayers began to spiral more smoothly inward, toward our personal logos, the presence of God within each of us.

I noticed that as the week progressed our focus and concentration improved so much that we were reluctant to “come out of it” long enough to break for lunch, to converse.

Once we resumed our work we lingered there awhile, nearest the Source of the spiral. Our best work was done while enjoying this stillness and peace, and the only physical movement was our brush. We became co-creators with God as we worked on our icons.

Slowly, nearing the end of our workday, we again emerged, almost as if awakening from sleep, spiraling outward to rejoin the world, hopefully more enlightened, and able to share our light, the fruits of this experience, with everyone.

—Mat. Joanna Laymon, St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church

Glory To God!

Finished Work
Finished Work
Finished Work
Our Group Minus Two
Our Group Minus Two
Our Group Minus Two
Enjoying our Friendships as Paint Dries
Enjoying our Friendships as Paint Dries
Enjoying our Friendships as Paint Dries

During the week we have formed new friendships through mutual sharing, helping, and encouragement. We've worked together, meeting new challenges and look forward to next year.


For weather related cancellations, please stay tuned to the following channels for updates:

  • TV - WJLA channel 7, News Channel 8
  • Radio - WTOP (FM 103.5, 103.9, 107.7, WTOP.com)
 
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