Icon Classes and Workshops 2019

Union Theological Seminary, 3041 Broadway, New York, NY    

  • Introduction to Icon Writing  March 22-23  

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This will be a brief introduction to Icons and the process of icon Writing.  Beginning Friday, March 22, 1-6PM and continuing Saturday, March 23, 9AM-5PM.

During this class we will begin with painting an Icon using egg tempera natural pigments. There will be a brief slide show on Icons, and hands on time painting and praying with the Icon.

Union Theological Seminary

3041 Broadway at 121st Street

New York, NY 10027

212-280-1341 (office)


Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico

  • Icon Writing Workshop  April 7-13

Ghost Ranch is a 21,000-acre retreat and education center located close to the village of Abiquiú in Rio Arriba County in north central New Mexico, United States. It was the home and studio of Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as the subject of many of her paintings.

During this Icon painting retreat you will lear how to paint an Icon with egg tempera natural pigments and use gold leaf gilding.  We will create an Icon of the face of Christ within the context of prayer and  study of the history of Icons.

There will also be time to enjoy the facilities of ghost Ranch. Come join us for an extraordinary retreat!


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Why Paint Icons?

Icons are intended to respond to deep questions, and every age has its own set of problems that trouble the heart.” Windows to Heaven, Zelensky and Gilbert.

Today we are experiencing a re-birth in Iconography as churches of all denominations realize the beauty and power these sacred images are able to bring into our contemporary world.

The process of learning to paint Icons is two fold: first, we learn how to use our eyes and hands and hearts to create a sacred image, and secondly, through prayer, we simultaneously enter into a deeper experience of God.

Icon Writing vs Icon Painting

We use the term “Icon writing” sometimes, instead of ” Icon painting” in order to make clear the difference between a religious art expression and the copying of Christian Traditions handed down through the centuries as we do in Icons. Both have  merit, but they are not the same thing.

A Change of Perception

In these classes you will learn the difference between a post Renaissance work of art and an Icon, and explore the vibrancy of the very early Icons.

It normally takes about 30 hours to write an Icon.  In the short introductory classes you will experience the process of painting Icons with egg tempera and natural pigments.  The fullness of a many layered technique will happen in the classes that have longer time periods .  The shorter classes are intended as an Introduction and to create a more thorough understanding of what an Icon is.

Icon Painting Classes are for everyone: Beginners and More Advanced Artists!

Russian-Byzantine Icon Retreats

Byzantine Icon Workshops facilitate the process of combining prayer, meditation, and painting.  

Visio Divina, the process of receiving God’s Word through Sacred Images  is combined with the painting practice of learning classical painting skills in an environment conducive to spiritual growth and transformation.

Religious art,Mary Icon, Byzantine Icon, modern Iconography by Christine Hales
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