Growth is not linear

 6. calming the waters 4

The nature of painting in this style requires that we return to the same areas again and again, alternating with highlights, or the detail work, and floats, or washes of color. Fibonacci is speaking to us here again, taking us on the spiral path — circular, but ever higher, and building on what was done before. Teachers learn this technique in an education best practices method called scaffolding, but regardless of the nomenclature assigned to a particular field, it is all the same…go back and get a little better each time. Beginners to iconography are convinced they will never learn all the steps required, and most drop out being overwhelmed by the vastness of the voyage. Others remain as toddlers, always waiting for their teachers to hold their hands before they take a step. But look around at those that learn to walk, and they are those that try…and fall. And fall again. And that’s ok. Not comparing one’s work to that of others helps. Not absorbing someone or other’s thoughtless comments about your work helps. Remembering you are a beginner helps. And sticking with it, slowly, slowly one begins to enter the playground. This style of painting does not transfer well in change of scale from a small painting to a large one, and again , you are falling down. It is the way of the spiral path. Very zen. Iconography teachers are difficult to find, so one must largely rely on books, the internet, and experimentation. I remember that every time I think I have mastered one technique, there will be another one to learn just around the bend. There Fibonacci waits for me.

                            see my icons at

About Olga Dytyniak

artist, librarian poet, byzantine icon painter, perennial student. Join me on
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