Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Icon Workshop

My class on Medieval Art and Architecture congregated at the Phillips Museum yesterday afternoon for a workshop on icon painting by Dorothy Thayne, F&M artist in residence. The drawing, or "writing" of icons involves a fascinating process of "layering veils." Using her own work, Dorry demonstrated the spiritual process of making icons.

Teaching medieval art, one encounters the topic of devotional practices that modern students do not always comprehend. Seeing an icon painter perform the process best illustrates the technical dimensions of pigment layering, as well as, the symbology. It was a priceless experience.

The workshop took place in the Dana Gallery of the Phillips Museum, where we are currently having our faculty show. Dorry's two icons are part of the exhibition.

The demonstration brought devotional art to life. We learned how the wood is like the tomb, and the fabric on top of the wood is the shroud. We learned about the different spiritual lights that are layered on the icon. We learned about light and shadow, pigments and their hierarchy of coarseness. We learned about tempering the material. We also learned about typology (the Theotokos Eleousa, etc.) and the reasons why an icon-painter chooses the types that she works with.

(Photos by Maureen Lane)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kostis, It was a pleasure to speak with your class and to view again your curated exhibition of works by Georg von Peschke. Thanks!
Dorothy Thayne

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States