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Hello and Merry Christmas, dear friends,

Thank you for being with us during this year and for reading this Newsletter! We would not survive without your support, and we are deeply grateful for it.

Icon on an Old Georgian Ceramic Tile Yet the year continues, so does the war and the terrible invasion of Mr Putin to Ukraine. We can’t change it, so we just work and help who we can. It's time of unanswered questions and unresolved problems, but as we can't solve them, we mostly work. Here in Tbilisi we have 9 hours of daylight, so we can work longer, than in St Petersburg, where in December we only had 6. We are still finishing the Egg Tempera course, and after months of drawing, painting, filming and video editing we can say it’s a good one.

Some days ago we had another discussion about the process of teaching and learning. Both are difficult jobs, but they both are grateful ones too! It’s really moving to see someone, who did not feel secure drawing a line, but with training learns to build a convincing face with no help. It’s amazing to know that weeks of our working time are converted into our students’ success and professional freedom, - it feels like a good investment of our lives! If you like to sign up for courses #1 and #2, we have groups starting in January and February, - have a look if you like:

Meanwhile we continue our Monthly Iconographers Meetings.The last one was about Finding Time, When There Is No Time. You can see all of them here.

The next one is going to be the 21st of January 2023. Please, join us if you have any questions about iconography and you'd like to talk about them. Now we only record the lecture and switch off the recording to talk with more freedom. Not sure yet about the topic, please, suggest yours if you have any.
Here is the right link for both sessions:

Saturday the 21st of January 2023
16:00 Singapore time
18.00 PM Brisbane time
19.00 PM Melbourne time
8:00 AM London time
9.00 PM Berlin, Paris, Rome time
11.00 AM Moscow time
12:00 PM Tbilisi time
9:00 AM Seattle time
10:00 AM Albuquerque, Calgary time
11:00 AM Chicago, Dallas time
12:00 PM New York City, Toronto time
17:00 London
18:00 Berlin
20:00 Moscow time
21:00 Tbilisi time

We will record the lecture and switch the recording off for a more private talk, questions and answers among fellow iconographers. Thank you for joining us! See you then!

Besides... In January 2023 we hope to launch a totally new gallery on our website with images we made during the last year. We will send out another Newsletter when we are done, for now - just one image above and one image below.

After the February disaster the world has changed. We used to think that all the humanitarian catastrophes on our continent were over. We thought to only experience development - economical, social, and of all other kinds, but the last year showed all this was an illusion. It has shown how idealistic our image of reality was. We lived in a state where human rights were violated, but we had no clue that Mr. Putin could get so crazy to invade Ukraine. We are terribly sorry for what he did and continues doing, and we think that this war is totally wrongful.

Icon on an Old Georgian Ceramic Tile It’s first time we celebrate Christmas away from our son Lev. He is a student in Academy of Art in St Petersburg, so now officially he is not eligible for mobilization. Nevertheless, in current situation in Russia nobody can guarantee anything and for all this past year we live in a constant fear. He signed for a student exchange program and in the first days of February he should come to Armenia. We pray him to be safe and hope to be able to visit him when he arrives. Please, say a prayer for him when you remember.

This year of turbulence, hopes and losses has also shown the multiplicity of the world. Many people revealed themselves as unbelievably sweet and caring, while many others just stepped back from reality. These people pretend they don’t see what is happening, avoiding any discussions and thoughts about the war. From what I hear from my friends in Russia and around, this war leads to atomization of society. These months brought depression and stress to Russia, while those who can, do their best to go away from it. The whole Russian state life is getting more and more like Germany in 1930-th, with the economy falling into pieces. We are eagerly waiting when the descent will be over to start hoping.

Thank you again for your care and your support!

With warmest greetings,
Philip & Olga

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