Monday, August 3 - Saturday August 8, 2020
Instruction daily, Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. - 4 or 5 p.m.
St. George and the Dragon or The Theotokos, Vladimir Virgin
The Iconography Guild of St. Theodosia and
St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church
(Not mailing address) 60 Clifton Chapel Lane, Stafford, VA 22555
Fr. Igumen Mefodii, Instructor for the Prosopon School of Iconology, Skete of St. Maximos the Confessor, 434-589-8530, firstname.lastname@example.org
For emailed updates, contact:
Jo Anne Laymon (Mat. Joanna), workshop coordinator, email@example.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
Each student will create an icon using ancient techniques of painting and floating with egg tempera, 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 each of 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 the Theotokos. Intermediate/advanced tudents who have attended previous workshops will be writing the icon of St. George and the Dragon or they can contact Fr. Mefodii in advance to discuss options.
For more photos from our workshops, visit, like, and share our public Facebook page: St. Herman of Alaska Russian Orthodox Church: https://www.facebook.com/StHermanOrthodoxStaffordVA/. The workshop page Event can be found also on Face Book.
Instructor: Father Igumen Mefodii, Master Iconographer and student of Vladislav Andreyevof the Prosopon School of Iconology since 1991, was appointed instructor in 2006 and promoted to Master Iconographer 2008. He has conducted workshops throughout America, in the Philippines, in England, and at St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church since 2011. He is an Orthodox priest-monk (Hieromonk) of the Skete of St. Maximos the Confessor in Palmyra, VA, and has been an ordained priest for over 35 years. Additonally he has been a spiritual director of a college seminary, a representative to various religious and interfaith organizations, and an author. He holds two degrees in theology: Magister der Theologie (M.Th.) from the Theology Faculty of the University Innsbruck, Austria; and a Master of Arts (MA) in Eastern Christian Theology from the John XXIII Institute for Eastern Christian Studies at Fordham University, Bronx, NY.
Tuition and Materials: A Non-refundable deposit is due, (applied toward the tuition/materials fee) no later than July 10, 2020. Your deposit is needed to hold your place as class size is now limited to 15 and we filled up quickly last year.
Price includes: tuition, use of tools, all of your materials, the wooden board (beginning/intermediate students), pigments and egg emulsion, brushes, palette, gold leaf, and your pattern given the first day of class. Instruction lasts from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. for the six days, and you may stay to work until 5:30 p.m.
Beginning/Intermediate students: Beginning/intermediate students will be doing the icon of The Virgin, Vladimir. Total: $755. Includes your board, all materials. The non-refundable deposit will be $155 (included in the total), divided. Contact Mat. Joanna for the address and registration form.
Intermediate/Advanced Students: Those who have done the basic set of icons, or other intermediate/advanced level icons in the Prosopon method, are invited to write the icon of St. George and the Dragon. They will use a larger board which they must purchase and prepare before the workshop. Total tuition and materials fee will be $650. The non-refundable deposit will be $150. Contact Mat. Joanna for the address and registration form, suggested board size, and pattern.
Students are responsible for their lodging and meals, and we may share potluck lunches during the week.
(There are several hotels in the area. Mat. Joanna will be happy to send you the list.)
Contact: Mat. Joanna Laymon, firstname.lastname@example.org
Iconographer, workshop and icon guild coordinator
Monday through Saturday:
Begin with prayer: 9 a.m. (Arrival Monday, however, about 8:30 to set up and finish registration.)
Lunch break: Potluck, for about an hour starting around noon.
Fr. Mefodii leaves about 4 p.m.
Continue working if you wish until about 5:30 - 6 p.m.
1. Explanation of the preparation of the board with gesso ground, levkas
2. Transferring the Image and its engraving: preparation of the surface under the gold (red clay application)
3. Gilding and burnishing
4. First layer of color, roskrish
5. Redrawing of the outlines; first highlights, vokhrenie
6. First float of transparent color, plav'
7. Second highlight
8. Second float
9. Second redrawing; third highlight, enliveners, ozhivki
10. Linseed oil application, Olipha discussed.
11. Questions, make-up, review of the process, and instructor's comments regarding each icon. Photos, before you leave!
Our annual iconography workshop was held Sept. 12 - 17th, 2016. It was taught by Fr. Igumen Mefodii, of the Skete of St. Maximos the Confessor and master iconographer of the Prosopon School of Iconology. It was a blessed week of prayer, lessons, a few struggles, and spiritual growth, to create an icon on the board as well as to grow into the Icon (Image and Likeness) of Christ. We are looking forward to our next workshop, Sept. 11-16, 2017.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Our Parish
- About St. Herman of Alaska
- About Orthodoxy
10:00 Divine Liturgy followed by Fellowship Hour
7:00 Adult Religious Education
4:00 Catechumens Class
6:00 Great Vespers and Confessions