OrthodoxChristianity.net
October 01, 2014, 08:27:57 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Hand-Painted Icons?  (Read 2287 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Alveus Lacuna
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,891



« on: November 10, 2008, 03:18:01 AM »

Do you all have any recommendations as far as purchasing quality hand-painted icons?

I am thinking about graduating up from printed icons to pained ones, but I thought perhaps you all could help me to avoid some quality-related pitfalls.  Are "hand-painted gold leaf" icons very impressive to look at?  I just did not know if they were perhaps of lesser quality than one might think initially.

Here's an example of a hand painted triptych I am thinking about getting for when I travel:

http://www.archangelsbooks.com/proddetail.asp?prod=LUM136602906&cat=304

Or here's a hand-painted icon for veneration at home:

http://www.archangelsbooks.com/proddetail.asp?prod=LUM136607722&cat=103

So do you all know of different places I could get things hand painted that would be as reasonable as these icons I've posted?  I guess I just figure that I might be getting what I'm paying for.  Do these kind usually come out looking cheap?  Anyway, thanks for any help!
Logged
LBK
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 10,877


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2008, 05:09:24 AM »

A fully painted 8"x16" icon for less than $200? Sounds like the iconographer churns it out in an afternoon.  Tongue Also the proportions of the Christ figure are not right: the lower half of the body is too short. I have a feeling the triptych may, in fact, be painted with gold paint (it doesn't quite look like leaf, which is a brilliant gold, nor is it water gilding which gives an almost mirror-like finish), and the figures of Christ and the angels are printed, and then attached like decoupage. I've seen this quite often. There's nothing wrong with this, but it would be rather sneaky to pass off an icon made this way as a "hand-painted" icon.

A good iconographer would spend at least a week or two on one that size. Yes, such an icon would cost more, but good workmanship deserves its reward. Make the effort to track down as many working iconographers as you can, and ask to see examples of their work for yourself, not just online images. Look out particularly for the detail and accuracy in the modelling of the garments and the skin of the figures, the proportions of the figures, and, very importantly, look at the eyes of the saint. I have lost count of the number of times I've seen icons where the person depicted looks cross-eyed or astigmatic. Not good.
Logged
Elisha
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,422


« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2008, 05:32:21 AM »

It's probably acrylic then.  Acrylic icons can be painted much faster and cheaper then the traditional methods of:  egg tempera, fresco, mosaic or others (all slower and more expensive of varying degrees).

Note though, that I've seen icons on walls advertised as "fresco" when they are no such thing.  Case in point:  St. Paul's OCA in Las Vegas is having Vladimir Krassovsky paint "frescos" for them (what their website says).  I know his work - he paints in acrylic on canvas, then it gets rolled up and shipped, then glued onto the walls.  Many parishes do this too.  While faster and cheaper, acrylic is also synthetic and not time tested.  There is a beautiful Serbian church in Sacramento that had some of its acrylic "frescoes" flake off due to leaks.  My parish (one of few with real frescoes) used to have leaks, and while we could see water mark streaks on some of the frescoes, they weren't actually affected.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2008, 05:37:48 AM by Elisha » Logged
LBK
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 10,877


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2008, 05:46:20 AM »

The use of acrylic only very slightly shortens the time taken for an icon to be painted, by a few hours at most. In the hands of a skilled iconographer, the results can be superb. In the hands of an unaccomplished artist, the results can be dire.

Elisha, were the icons in your church painted directly onto wet plaster?
Logged
zoarthegleaner
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 398



« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2008, 10:32:44 AM »

http://www.orthodoxinfo.biz/fralexisflash/fralexisart.html
Logged

Courteous is my name,
and I have always aimed to live up to it.
Grace is also my name,
but when things go wrong
its Courteous whom I blame;
but its Grace who sees me through it.
Alveus Lacuna
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,891



« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2008, 11:23:46 AM »


Thanks for that link!  Can other people post some other iconographers' links?  Ones in the United States would be preferable.

Also, thanks to some of you for clarifying about those other icons.  I think I should probably just avoid them altogether.
Logged
Quinault
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 4,518


What about frogs? I like frogs!


« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2008, 04:23:18 PM »

Personally I don't see a need to "move up" to hand painted icons. The printed ones are blessed and many have long and quite moving histories! To hear about how the Vladamir Theotokos came to be is really quite moving. Icons and "windows to heaven" and those that are printed are not lesser quality, or "clouded" windows. Concentrate on finding the icons that move you the most, that draw you into worship. Practice your prayer rule before the ones you have. Maybe wait to pick up a handpainted icon until you can visit a monastery in person.

There is plenty of time, just wait a bit.

And just to put things into perspective; an icon painting class for ONE icon (that you make yourself) is $350 for a hardboard icon.
Logged
Elisha
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,422


« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2008, 05:16:15 PM »

The use of acrylic only very slightly shortens the time taken for an icon to be painted, by a few hours at most. In the hands of a skilled iconographer, the results can be superb. In the hands of an unaccomplished artist, the results can be dire.

Elisha, were the icons in your church painted directly onto wet plaster?

I'll ask our Matushka about point one - she may disagree.  Both she and the main iconographer, Fr. Patrick Doolan, studied under Leonid Ouspensky in Paris before he died.

Yes, all the icons on our walls are frescoes in the traditional sense (paint on wet plaster) except the crucifixion, which I think was tempera on dry plaster.  The icons on the analoi (plural of analogia?)/columns/iconostatis are about 3/4 Fr. Patrick and 1/4 Mat. Anne Margitich, of which all are egg tempera on wood.  I'm not sure if any acrylic icons have even slipped into the big church.  In the older, Pokrov church (Prot. of the Theotokos), there are many icons of various ages (include modern, 19th and turn of the century styles) and types. 
Logged
Elisha
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,422


« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2008, 05:22:25 PM »

They're the best, but are with HOCNA if you don't mind supporting them (their abbot left the OCA around 7 or 8 years ago).

http://www.gsinai.com/index.html
Logged
Elisha
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,422


« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2008, 05:27:40 PM »

Alveus Lacuna,

I second what Quinault said.  Most people just use prints/mass produced icons.  I have one approx. 8.5 " x 11" egg tempera icon of my patron (prophet Elisha), which was a gift from my dad.  The rest are paper, cheaper mass produced prints - and I have no issue with them.  Unless you have money to burn, save it for other needs.  How about this?  You can donate money to your parish's icon fund.
Logged
Quinault
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 4,518


What about frogs? I like frogs!


« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2008, 06:37:04 PM »

I completely agree with Elisha. Those frescoes are expensive.
Logged
zoarthegleaner
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 398



« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2008, 08:34:59 PM »

Many Icons which may wrongly be deemed as only "prints" have been miraculous Icons.   Here are but a couple of examples:

http://www.visionsofjesuschrist.com/weeping84.htm

[urlhttp://stpaulhempstead.org/j/index.php?option=com_gallery2&Itemid=27&g2_itemId=2510][/url]

Logged

Courteous is my name,
and I have always aimed to live up to it.
Grace is also my name,
but when things go wrong
its Courteous whom I blame;
but its Grace who sees me through it.
Elisha
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,422


« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2008, 10:08:03 PM »

I completely agree with Elisha. Those frescoes are expensive.

Mosaics ($$$) > Fresoces ($$) > Icons ($)

Logged
Alveus Lacuna
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,891



« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2008, 12:14:03 AM »

Your points are well taken, and I would do well to just be satisfied with the icons that I do have as they work just fine.  Perhaps having Christ and Theotokos icons down the road that are hand-pained might be some sort of personal luxury, but I am certainly in danger of the sin of acquisitiveness. 

It's simply hard to own up to that when you are spending the money on religious items, but covetousness is always a temptation even with spiritual items.  For now I probably should just donate some of the money I have to the parish and help them to build the new church they are talking about.  Our current parish has simply run out of room!
« Last Edit: November 11, 2008, 12:14:25 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Arystarcus
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Posts: 836


« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2008, 09:52:18 PM »

Those "hand painted" icons are serigraphs - and priced at nearly double the price that I've seen them for, so I'd take a pass on them if I were you. It's quite shameless of these folks to pass them off as the real deal.    Sad
Logged
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.065 seconds with 42 queries.