Posts

Dirt to Divinity Presentation

I’ve been invited to give a public talk by the University of Toronto Art History Department about my work as an artist and iconographer on February 8th. I’m looking forward to sharing images of some of my latest icons, talking about the tradition that informs them, and why they’re made the way they are. I

A New Home and Studio

It’s been three months since our family pulled up with our two-car convoy setting off to our new home in central Alberta. Although the landscape we travelled was awe-inspiring, we arrived pretty exhausted after months of packing, saying our goodbyes, and dealing with twenty years of accumulated stuff in my barn and studio. It was

The Soldiers and The Fiery Furnace

With the angel and the youths depicted in The Fiery Furnace, all that was left was the rendering of the soldiers in the bottom third of the icon. And, it was here that I think the vision inspired by St. Basil’s commentary on the nature of fire in consumption and illumination really took form. The

The Angel in The Fiery Furnace

In sketching a cartoon for the icon of the Fiery Furnace, I found that it divided quite naturally into three horizontal layers. In the centre layer were the three young men and their prayerful worship of God. As my pencil moved to the upper third of the icon’s drawing, The Angel of the Lord began

From Narration to Theology in The Fiery Furnace

To my understanding, there are many ways an icon can beautifully depict an event. The most simple of these is a historical narrative. In this case, the iconographer brings together scripture, tradition, and history, and renders an image of that event. The result of such icons can be beautiful and meaningful as the icon weaves

The Story of The Fiery Furnace Icon

In the Book of Daniel, there is an account of four young men who are forcibly taken from their home in Jerusalem to serve in the Babylonian courts after the city falls to the armies of King Nebuchadnezzar. The most famous youth is Daniel himself, whose exploits are recorded throughout the book, but in the third chapter, we also have an account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—his countrymen and fellow captives. The icon of The Fiery Furnace centres on the story of these young men.

Painting Noah amid the animals

One of the icons painted this summer was Noah the Just. As a saint chosen to be part of the studio’s Icons at Home Project, and as an icon that I was planning to highlight in an article for Mortise & Tenon, it was one that I looked forward to on many different levels. What I

New Article in Mortise & Tenon Magazine

Without a doubt, my favourite woodworking magazine is Mortise & Tenon. It is a publication that always has exceptional and profound articles, along with photos that are beautiful and inspiring. Last year the editors and I spoke about the possibility of writing for them on the topic of making an icon panel, and I’m delighted

The Washing of the Disciples’ Feet

The belief that icons reveal the eternal truth embodied in Jesus Christ within the place and time is at the centre of the studio’s work here in Conestoga. It was with great joy that the studio accepted a commission to paint an icon of the Washing of the Disciples’ Feet last year.  The Washing of

The Making of the Washing

During the months of April, May, and June, this icon of the Washing of the Disciples’ Feet was created at the Conestoga Iconographic Studio. Since the patron, David, lives in California, he couldn’t visit the studio to see the progress for himself. Instead of that, regular photos were sent to him as the icon progressed.

Conestoga Blue

Ever since I did the 100 Mile ART Project for the city of Cambridge in 2008, the studio has used indigo for its blue pigment. Finding a local blue in southern Ontario was one of the project’s biggest challenges. As with most of the work, it was the fantastic community that formed around the project

The Life of Saint Anthony the Great

Saint Anthony is known today as the “Lamp of Monasticism,” the father of all who seek the ascetic life. In his time, there existed unmarried men and women who lived ascetic lives in the Church. But, it was he who established a life of seclusion and prayer as a means of dying to the world