Blue for human, red for divine

Icon of Theophaneia – that is literally translated as the appearance of God – a multi-person, multi meaning religious theme – The symbolism of the icon -the simultaneous apparition of the Holy Triad- , the dual nature of the Incarnate God- is obvious here, even in the colours used (red for divine, blue for human) .

An icon that bears the promise of the new beginning:  the blessings of the waters, where all nature is purified and ready to start anew- Amidst the Jordan river our Lord;submerging in it as a prelude to his ministry passion and death- rising from water as a promise of his Resurrection.

The promise of the passion is also present: The axe beside the Baptist, talking about his death, the chiton (hypokamison) that the angel holds bearing the colour of humanity (blue) and crosses on.

theophaneia epiphany the baptism of the lord 20-01-18 13-09-010
The baptism of our Lord, egg-tempera on plywood 28×36 cm

Mikael Sjælevejeren- or a Danish Soul "weigher"

Archangel Michael holding a scale, taken by the most beautiful Danish fresco painting of “Mikael Sjælevejeren” found in Højby Kirke in Denmark. A combination of Northern european, medieval painting with a modern eye.


St Michael religious icon mixed technique on wood

After 3-4 weeks of wondering how am I going to paint temptation in St Michael’s kalkmaleri- yesterday I decided to skip the question all-together and just focus on what I know how to paint.

And then the rest was pretty easy cause I ve painted a miniature (less risk) – and then to compete with the very impressive feathers of the original I decided to use gold, then the highlights were certainly golden, and the colours were already found (from your welcoming committee) etc, etc

The icon has the proportions to be fitted in a 8×10 icon favor (as you can see in the final pic)

 

Land of Holy- St John’s rock

A piece of rock, from my island Crete- a land of Saints and hermits- This rock  with the reddish color of soil was hiding the face of a Saint- St John the Forerunner with his characteristic messy hair and beard.


St John the Baptist

I love my land- A land of living history, where you can still find Holy men, hidden in its very rocks.

I added egg white on top to fix the red color of the soil. It was the same soil that made the base for “flesh” of the Baptist. Afterwards I ve   used variations of brown egg tempera to create the shadows on the face- ochre cinnabar and white, even plain white, for the highlights.

I finally added acrylics for the gold and a generous double layer of shellac to perfectly seal the colors.
 

Bodiless Powers- embodied in a slice of an olive wood



I believe that angels are everywhere and use to play hide a seek with angelic shapes I can fantasize pictured everywhere (that is how I named my shop) but I was ‘nt expecting to find one hidden on an olive branch!-

Archangel Michael carrying a soul to heaven

Archangel Gabriel on the background and the Taxiarch Michael
on the palm of my hand

A figure difficult to execute with no “easy” expression, no gender, a mighty bodiless power; The Taxiarch, Archon Michael, the first among the ranks of the Angels with his sword on the one hand and on the other a soul that is been carried to heaven. 

The artifact was created with egg tempera in a slice of an olive wood branch that was specially treated before gessoed. On top of the bright colors shellac (goma laca) and a final layer of “keronefto” a mixture of wax and turpentine was used to permanently seal the colors.


As tradition demands a full “sensory” experience while participating in the worship -Keronefto is meant to invoke the sense of smell apart from the other more obvious senses of sight and touch- and open the way to the awakening of the heart- but that is what I think painting is all about…


St Michael, photographed with the fragrant herbs of the Greek winter

 

An icon for Christmas- Nativity of Christ- A traditional byzantine interpretation

The Nativity of Christ; here the basic “figures of the story are all present: Christ Child in the manger, the little animals, Mother Mary looking at the worried St Josef, the Angels and the three kings bearing gifts.

The little shepherd playing a flute, nature rejoices, and the women (Salome) that are washing baby Jesus
Saint Josef sitting perplexed and the temptation

And on top the star of Bethlehem shining bright and the angels singing :

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men! 

Merry Xmas to you all!!!

The story behind the Angel with a Talant

What a heavenly creature has got to do with a coin, and especially in a religious wooden ornament? The painting’s theme is inspired by the Hunterian Psalter, a hand- painted manuscript of the 12th century featuring 150 psalms, liturgical texts and numerous illustrations in a characteristic sample of  Romanesque art.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunterian_Psalter)

This representation actually traces its origin in the parable of the talents in Matt. xxv:14-30.
Here we find Jesus again, describing the story where a master entrusts “talents” to his servants- Talents or talants are ancient Greek monetary units that in those ages were equivalent of a very high value, like saying a great deal of money- a million dollar (and afterwards acquired a metaphorical value meaning what it does in nowadays).
Some servants multiply what was granted to them, others simply store, out of fear that they will lose all they ‘ve got, out of laziness, out of disrespect of what was given to them

The amounts entrusted were not identical neither the abilities of people, nor their final treatment.
In the end faith and effort multiplied. Fear and laziness preserved but gave nothing fruitful in return. Only punishment and remorse

That is what fear, or laziness of using the talents granted to us actually generates- At the end all that is left is an array of lost opportunities, regret, and remorse- Blaming others or blaming ourselves.

My grandma used to say: “I believe then I fear not”. If we could only just believe.