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Author Topic: Icon writing course  (Read 2711 times) Average Rating: 0
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Andrea
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« on: September 24, 2007, 12:40:51 PM »

Hi! I am unsure where to post this question, so I hope it's in the right place.

Lately, I have wanted to learn how to write icons, and coincidentally there is a class starting at our local craft store.  However, I know that there are a lot of people out there that write very questionable icons and don't follow the rules and that is not what I want to learn!

What can I ask or what should I look for to find out if this would be a good course to take? I have been unable to find out anything about the instructor on the internet.

Thank you!
Andrea
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pensateomnia
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« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2007, 01:21:49 PM »

What can I ask or what should I look for to find out if this would be a good course to take?

(1) Is the instructor a practicing Orthodox Christian in a canonical Orthodox Church? (2) Is the instructor blessed by his or her Bishop as an iconographer AND as an instructor?

If the answer to these questions is no, then I personally wouldn't bother with the class. Sounds suspect.

I've taken a number of classes. The best have been through the Prosopon School of Iconology in New York. Classes for beginners taught by various affiliates are available throughout the country:

http://www.prosoponschool.org/new/schedule.html
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Thomas
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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2007, 01:23:18 PM »

I would look for the depth of spirituality taught as a part of the class.  All Iconography classes I have taken have been sponsored on Church property with the daily services incorporated into the class time to add spiritual dimension. This may nt be offered in the class at the carft store.

Thomas
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Andrea
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2007, 01:55:22 AM »

Thank you for your replies, I really appreciate it!

Andrea
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2007, 08:19:14 AM »

I know that there is an Iconographer in Boston who is doing sessions as well.  He doesn't have a school, but he has his own studio set up right by a church in the area. 

Are you saying that this is an online Iconography course?  How does that work? 
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2007, 09:30:15 AM »

I don't know about an icon writing course, but I would be interested in an icon painting course Wink
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2007, 09:38:58 AM »

I understand the Russian word for 'painting' and 'writing' to be the same. Hence, the confusion...
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2007, 09:50:55 AM »

I don't know about an icon writing course, but I would be interested in an icon painting course Wink

Heresy! I, for one, only like icon SCRATCHING courses, since that's the original Homeric Greek meaning of grapho.
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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2007, 10:51:18 AM »

"Writing" icons is like wearing yellow hose, cross gartered! Grin
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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2007, 11:15:58 AM »

Heresy! I, for one, only like icon SCRATCHING courses, since that's the original Homeric Greek meaning of grapho.

Actually one of the steps in making an icon is to etch the design into the gesso so it will present the drawing of the icon even when paint is applied and drawn lines would disappear.  I was taught that the best hand painted or handwritten icons will show this etching when looked at from a certain angle. It apparrently is one of the things that is used to rate the quality of the icon by art dealers.

Thomas

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Andrea
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« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2007, 11:54:33 AM »

I know that there is an Iconographer in Boston who is doing sessions as well.  He doesn't have a school, but he has his own studio set up right by a church in the area. 

Are you saying that this is an online Iconography course?  How does that work? 

Our local craft store offers classes you can take on a variety of things. I noticed when I was there that an icon painting course was being offered. It is 12 hours over the course of the month and it teaches Russian style. I have been unable to find out any information about the instructor online, so would have to call. The thing is I have no idea what to ask her if I did call her. 

Did I make a mistake in saying written instead of painted? 
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« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2007, 12:11:50 PM »

Did I make a mistake in saying written instead of painted? 

No, no. Some people foist a lot of theological meaning on their translation of grapho, as if the only correct translation is "writing."

In all dialects of Ancient Greek, however, the word is highly adaptable. When one is painting something, grapho means painting. When one is etching, it means etching. When ones is writing, it means writing. Xenophon even uses it to mean "propose."
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But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)
Andrea
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« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2007, 12:33:53 PM »

No, no. Some people foist a lot of theological meaning on their translation of grapho, as if the only correct translation is "writing."

In all dialects of Ancient Greek, however, the word is highly adaptable. When one is painting something, grapho means painting. When one is etching, it means etching. When ones is writing, it means writing. Xenophon even uses it to mean "propose."

Thank you for clarifying that for me. It is good to know.
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« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2007, 12:46:14 PM »

Andrea,

I just couldn't help myself; this is an issue I have debated on here before and this was the perfect opportunity for me to insert a friendly push.  Not directed at you personally in any way Smiley

Anastasios
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Andrea
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« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2007, 03:29:24 PM »

Andrea,

I just couldn't help myself; this is an issue I have debated on here before and this was the perfect opportunity for me to insert a friendly push.  Not directed at you personally in any way Smiley

Anastasios

Oh, I didn't take it personally!  I thought maybe I was using the wrong word, though. Now I know!

 Grin
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« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2007, 10:07:50 PM »

Make sure you ask the person leading the class if what school they learned from, or what Iconographer.  write it down and check it out. 

Also you might want to ask if they have the blessing of their bishop to write/paint Icons.  I would only ask this if you think it's alright and comfortable.  It could lead to bad feelings...

The first question though is pretty neutral. 
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Andrea
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« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2007, 07:06:53 PM »

Make sure you ask the person leading the class if what school they learned from, or what Iconographer.  write it down and check it out. 

Also you might want to ask if they have the blessing of their bishop to write/paint Icons.  I would only ask this if you think it's alright and comfortable.  It could lead to bad feelings...

The first question though is pretty neutral. 

Thank you for the suggestions!

Andrea
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