About the Painting Icons Workshop Retreat course
This course offers a practical way into iconography by engaging with some of the skills that go towards the painting of a panel icon. While the painting of icons is part of a creative tradition taking years to learn, what is on offer here gives some insights into the heart of iconography.
The primary focus over the weekend will be the drawing and painting of a single figure, in monochrome, using egg tempera on watercolour paper. For this, there will be practical tuition in a number of areas including observational analysis of an icon, the making and use of egg tempera, and the building up of painted layers towards a final image. No previous experience is required.
Interspersed within the practice of drawing and painting will be short talks and discussions on some specific underlying principles in operation when making an icon. For example, we will consider the nature of divine light and the way in which human beings may participate in this light, while throughout referencing exemplary icons past and present.
If you have ever wanted to learn the art of painting icons, this workshop retreat will offer a hands-on opportunity to get an introduction to the concepts and practice through a guided exercise in creating your own monochrome version by the end of the third day. Come and join in!
Materials are included in the course price
About the course leader
Dr Jim Blackstone is a full time liturgical artist working as part of the Chichester Workshop for Liturgical Art. He has recently produced commissioned work for St Davids Cathedral (panel icon) and Chichester Cathedral (mosaic). He regularly teaches a group in Bethlehem.
Prior to working as an iconographer, Jim worked in a residential social setting with emotionally and behaviourally disturbed children; as a portrait painter; in a contemplative monastic community; as a teacher in London secondary schools (at St Dunstan’s College in Catford and at St Paul’s School in Barnes); in university lay chaplaincy (at Clare College, Cambridge); and as an ordained minister in the Church of England (in the Dioceses of Southwark and London), among other things. He has also published research on medieval Greek theology.