Everything teaches you

 12. sinai christ 5  “Rabbi” by Olga Dytyniak

This blog begins a new venture in sharing my world of painting. I have always been a very private person and so it feels extremely odd to be sending these words into the ether and eternity. But, I have learned that the value in life is in the sharing, and I am hoping my experiences can help some new tentative painter who has not yet developed the moxie to do their own thing.

As in all fields, as with all people, I have encountered two schools of teachers. There are those who are open and generous and whose aim is to pass along any knowledge they have accrued with a giving heart. There is another school which grasps tightly, and stingily. These persons may pass along partial knowledge, never wanting the pupil to flower. It is easy to discern the intention of either type.

If you have the good fortune to have the first type, your growth will be sure and steady. With the second group, you will have to compensate with self-study, and fortunately, there are many teachers sharing techniques on the internet. Read them all, try them all, eventually the darkness will begin to break. In all cases, as in all disciplines, knowledge without practice and application will not lead to mastery. I spent an intense year early on painting, and painting, and painting some more. Eventually, my hand began to learn the lines and the beauty of tempera. I will share some of the lessons with you as I continue this blog.

I have always been a very private person and so it feels extremely odd to be sending these words into the ether and eternity. But, I have learned that the value in life is in the sharing, and I am hoping my experiences can help some new tentative painter who has not yet developed the moxie to do their own thing.

On my first icons, I was very disappointed when my icons did not remotely look like the model the instructor had pictured at the front of the class. Slowly, I began to realize that the drawing the students had been given was poor. In some places, folds of garments and such, this did not much matter, but in others…eyes–always, the drawing was critical–and off. In time, as I began to work on my own, I knew I would need a light box. I am a ne plus ultra fan of ebay, and was able to purchase a very fine used LED raised light box from a tattoo artist. The 14″ x 18″ has proven indispensable to me, and, as most iconography tasks, I find the tracing to be very meditative. Best done in the evening hours, with most lights off, your image reveals itself through the tracing paper in all its glory. Ah, but how to get the image? you say. Well again, the Internet rides in to the rescue, but you must have a printer as well, and a color printer is even better. The process is this. Find an image, copy and paste it into a document, size and print it. Voila! Yes, there is some cutting and taping for the larger sizes if you need to re-size an image, a minor detail. While on the subject of tattoo artists, I would like to comment. Learn from everyone. Appreciate what they have to offer. Do not look down your nose in haughty fashion. Usually, they will have tools you need for iconography at a fraction, I emphasize FRACTION of what it costs in painting catalogs. Early on, I discovered that manicurists use very attractive pink glittery brush rests you can purchase directly from China for around a buck fifty. And, they also use very fine brushes. Take a look. We’re not all gazillionaires, and we’re certainly not Rublevs that need to use hundreds of dollars in supplies. I doubt that Rublev even did…think about it. People painted with what people had. None of this elitist stuff. What I have in plentiful supply is bottle caps. Jar caps. Water bottle caps, especially.  These I use as disposable throwaway palette cups. Look around you. The love is everywhere.

                       see my icons at http://www.frangelicoblueicons.com

Advertisements

About njacacia

artist, poet, perrennial student. Otherwise eccentric live and let live type. Follow the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh philosophically. Loving the acceptance of all people by the Pope. Raised in a traditional Christian environment, but always wondered about the absence of the Divine Feminine and have found Her in the lost gospels from Nag Hammadi.
This entry was posted in byzantine iconography, learning, sharing techniques and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s