Icon Writing Retreats for 2020

Prayer and Icon Writing

Icon painting classes and Spiritual Retreats at Holy Cross Monastery are a perfect combination.  We are free to join in with the Benedictine cycle of prayer which is a wonderful support to the process of Icon writing.

Holy Cross Monastery

This much loved retreat house in West Park, New York graciously accommodates Icon writers with gourmet meals and a chance to experience the peace and beauty of the Hudson River within a context of prayer and fellowship. 

“This Icon Writing Retreat is one of the best I’ve ever taken”  quote from a recent Icon Student.

Holy Cross Monastery, Icon Retreat

Holy Cross Monastery West Park, New York

May 12-15

Tuesday evening through Friday lunch.

Drawing and Composition in the Icon

Sacred Geometry is the foundation of good compositions in Icons.  In this class you will learn the method of planning and drawing using sacred geometry.  We will also practice drawing simple compositions. 

The ancient Greeks understood the principles of harmony and beauty in design.  Through the development of the Icon from the early centuries of Christianity to the Byzantine period, the gradual adoption of these early Greek principles has resulted in a beautiful symbolic language of iconography.  

There will be slide presentations as well as hands on drawing and painting with egg tempera to create an Icon in this class. 

Essential Training for Iconographers

Sacred Geometry is a method for understanding spatial relationships of images and colors within the Icon.  This teaching is an essential part of an Iconographer’s training.  We will paint an Icon of Mary, Mother of God, or an angel using egg tempera with gold leaf gilding.

Cost $665 includes materials, meals and stay in guesthouse.

To register at Holy Cross click here

Holy Cross Monastery, West Park, New York

July 21-24

Tuesday evening through Friday lunch.

Drawing the Face in Icons

This is a great retreat if you want to understand the Byzantium  method of proportion and symbolization of facial features.   We will paint the image of the Holy Face of Christ.  This class is excellent for beginners as well as more advanced students.  You will be surprised how understanding this simple system of Byzantine facial geometry will improve your drawing  and painting of faces.  If you have a different Icon you’d like to paint, email Christine with the image and you can work together before the class to make that possible.

You will learn more detailed information about Icon writing History, color theory, and have a slide show comparing religious painting vs Icon writing as a way of understanding the difference in your own Iconography.

$665  Costs include Tuition, materials, and room and meals at the Monastery.

To Register Click Here:

Icon Writing Retreat at Mount Calvary Monastery, Santa Barbara, California

Icon Writing Retreat at Mount Calvary      March 3-6

Icon writing is a spiritual discipline, combining prayer and painting.  This Lent we will paint an Icon of Christ, the Bridegroom, Each participant will have their own Icon painted using egg tempera with gold leaf gilding.You do not have to be an artist to write a beautiful Icon. You will learn step by step and Christine will demonstrate and help students individually to paint using egg tempera and gold leaf gilding. We will paint an Icon of  Christ the Bridegroom.


Cost $700.00 (Non-refundable deposit of $100 to reserve your place) 

  • – All materials are included – Icon Boards, paints, gold leaf , Room and meals at the monastery also included.
  • – Icon: 8 x 10 Christ the Bridegroom
  • – Spaces are limited: 8 – 10 people and are on a first come first served basis. 


Icon Painting Classes

This is meditative way to engage in prayer and painting. All the steps of icon painting classes with egg tempera and gold leaf gilding are taught and demonstrated in each class

To create an egg tempera icon, it normally takes about 30 hours. There are many transparent layers and highlights that create a beautiful, jewel like appearance to the Icon that can’t be attained any other way. It is a process of prayer, meditation and painting. Icon writing and Icon painting are synonymous terms, for more details.

Come join us at the beautiful Holy Cross Monastery for an introduction to Icon writing where you will create your own Icon. We join with the Brothers in their cycle of daily prayer and Eucharist as part of the process of praying and painting Icons. Truly an exceptional experience!

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