They pick me

I spend several hours each day looking at icon images in books and online. When I find one I am especially drawn to, I usually copy it into a computer file for future reference. The icon may be one that I love as an image, or one that can teach me a particular technique I have yet to master. I expect this process to continue through to the end of my life, God willing, if I am so blessed. As a beginner, knowing nothing I collected virtually most everything, and fortunately for me I had limited my subjects mainly to those of the Virgin Mary and Christ. As time goes on and I develop discernment in eye and hand (mostly eye !) I periodically go back and delete those images which I have “outgrown.” But always, I have 6 or 7 possibilities that await me once I complete the one I am working upon. Sometimes, the choice is immediate. And sometimes, it takes several days to come to the surface, or for me to “cleanse my palate” (if you forgive the pun) from the work of the last icon to feel that I have the new project. Something draws me suddenly…and I know. I find that following the pattern of growth in nature, that is–intense, hard work in one icon followed by a simpler, one figure icon “period of rest” works well for me. Teachers all know this too. and parents surely notice, some years in school are harder than others. The benefits of age give me all the tools of life that I’ve learned which I can apply to myself, especially in new learning situations. Even when I am not actively working–painting, I am studying… it is something I truly enjoy.  Of all the wonders in my life, the internet has been one of the best. When I was a little girl, I fantasized about a library that would always been open, and…here it is! Pure magic ! Youtube videos provide me with more iconography lessons than I have hours in the day to watch. I even enjoy watching the Italian, Greek and Russian lessons, since they are mostly visual. A wonderful community has been forming on Pinterest where all that there ever was about iconography is slowly beginning to emerge. All free of charge ! How fortunate we all are to have been born in to this time and place. Thank you, God.

About Olga Dytyniak

artist, librarian poet, byzantine icon painter, perennial student. Join me on
This entry was posted in byzantine iconography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

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

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.