I do not make an icon of the invisible Godhead, but I make an icon of the visible flesh of God.
–St. John of Damascus
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As a wife and mother of five, I consider it to be no small miracle that I am here, brush in hand,
making life-long pilgrimage as a defender and creator of Holy Images.
Currently a Vermont resident, I began my journey into iconography being both a 2008 and 2010 recipient of a NH State Arts Council Grant to pursue study with the late world-renowned iconographer Ksenia Pokrovsky. I worked under Ksenia's tutelage for seven years, and now continue to study with other Byzantine iconographers, including George Kordis. Originally I was trained as a sculptor with a BFA degree from Parsons School of Design in New York City, and have always been drawn to early sacred art of pre-Renaissance origins since living several years in France as a young teen and being exposed to Iconography and Early Christian Art at that time. A large retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC) on Byzantium in 2000 was the catalyst for me to finally pursue study of this beautiful living tradition.
Featured more recently in One Faith: East and West International Art Exhibition -- a traveling exhibition of sacred Catholic works that has traveled to Russia, Bejing and New York, I have also had several of my iconographic works displayed in the Portsmouth Museum of Fine Art, and a recent liturgical installation work ("Lumen Hilaire", Feast of the Epiphany) shown at the Fifth Business Projects Gallery in Woodstock, Vermont.
Currently, I am preparing to write a large icon of Our Lady of Guadelupe that will also be incorporated into a specific liturgical performance and installation. My icons are in private collections throughout the US and Canada.
I am also currently the director of OQ Farm: A Creative Sanctuary, a 500-acre non-profit project under development in Bridgewater, Vermont as place for artists to have the needed time and space to pursue work and prayer, incorporating master workshops and events in tandem with our mission. We have been hosting international iconography workshops with renowned iconographers. I hope to someday help bring a permanent school of contemporary Byzantine iconography to the US.
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The organic and sacramental nature of the process of iconography is of major importance to what I find so beautiful -- along with the delicate art of working in luminous hand-made egg tempera paints crafted from egg yolk and raw pigment, and exploring the early practice of encaustic painting (painting with pigmented wax).
I am dedicated to writing icons with a deep adherence to the rubrics of Iconographic canon, a commitment to prayer, and the freedom of artistic line grounded in a Byzantine approach. As a Catholic convert, and am also passionate about bringing the icon more into the forefront of the daily Catholic and Christian sacramental life, with the icon being one of the earliest powerful and preserved forms of sharing our faith -- from when the Church was yet one body, East and West.
Within the icon, here, now, always -- through the slow, steady and meditative process of being with an icon, entering into prayer and being in that two-fold prayer with God’s Cloud of Witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) beauty can be realized, knowing that through this incarnational gift, the reality of God’s plan on earth can speak into our lives, transform through us, and point us toward Eternity.
Being grounded in scripture, icons are a true spiritual gift of line, light, form and matter. In the Orthodox understanding, iconographers “write” icons, for the icon itself is liturgy, the Word made flesh through line and color on wood, and ultimately transforms the matter to become something other, something better and more beautiful than itself.
The incarnation for Christians is the high point of our visible understanding of God, and the joy of the incarnation is truly present with the icon. Man himself was originally intended to be the icon of God (Genesis 1:27), but when God deemed it necessary to become incarnate, He became fully manifest in human terms as His Perfect Icon, the Incarnate Christ, the New Adam.
O for the long journey that takes one to the road we are happy to travel! I have been graced with mercy in my search to find a means in which to use my creative talents through my spiritual yearnings. May I always strive to create beauty in and through my practice.
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There he stands
on a blue speck spinning
a whisper of earth remaining…
everything seems possible
between the icon and the kiss.
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:: about me ::
Email: Phone: 603-313-4822