Two Latest Newsletters (January 22 and February 6, 2015):

Newsletter 4th of February, 2015Icon Painting Workshop in ACU (Melbourne, Australia, January 2015)

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Our last Newsletter was sent out in the middle of advanced icon painting workshop in Melbourne, but it was only today, that I have published the photos from both workshops.  Both groups were full enough (15 students each) and Olga had a great chance to practice in English after years of special studies:   - http://sacredmurals.com/iconography_courses_workshops.html#tabs-4 (Special gratitude to Karen and Julie for some very special photographs).

By now we have already got some  letters of feedback and hope to get more. We do really appreciate your opinions as they help us to understand better how to improve and develop our workshops.

Lately we have also got some inquiries about our workshops in Melbourne for January 2016. I am happy to announce, that ACU continues to favour our activity and in general terms we came to an agreement, that for the next year it can be the same period, and again we plan to have two workshops of different types, - for students of regular and advanced levels. As soon as we choose the models and save the dates I will share the information, - maybe within a month.
For now I wished to propose a list of questions:

Topics for lectures and discussions:

  1. Main purposes and goals of icon painting. «Functionality » of the image.  

  2. Main terms: Iconography as “Theology in Color” (linking the verbal and visual). What makes iconography spiritual art? Liturgical art vs Religious art.  

  3. Traditional liturgical arts (icons, frescoes, manuscript illumination): differences in characteristics and requirements.  

  4. Parameters for drawing / under-painting.  

  5. Ways to identify essential characteristics for the future image (sketches and other types of preliminary visual studies).

  6. Composition, - building and binding the image together.  

  7. Values and scales: how to make them work.  

  8. Professional use of: pigments (synthetic and natural), wood, gesso, gold and other materials.  

  9. Latest period of history of iconography in Russia (XX – XXI century: - Grigory Kroug, Leonid Uspensky, Juliania Sokolova, Ioanna Rejtlinger, Anatoly Etenejer, Irina Zaron and others)  

  10. Iconography as actual art: possibilities for correlation with environment and time.  

  11. Canon and creativity.

We look forward to hear your responses, - what would YOU think should be appropriate  questions to study and discuss?

As I heard from the participants and the visitors, the Exhibition "Visions of Beauty" in ACU Art Gallery, turned out to be a successful project and we also hope it may be continued in 2015, or may even become annual.
The concept of exhibiting icons and other types of religious art at the same space became an interesting opportunity of intermediate dialogue in verbal as well as in non-verbal form. Here finally are the photographs from the opening: http://sacredmurals.com/exhibitions-of-icons/visions_of_beauty_2015/exhibition_visions_of_beauty_jan_2015_.html
Recently we had an opportunity to  buy some pigments in an art-supply store in Rome (Italy). We are happy to share their website address because the pigments are good and the prices are reasonable (7-8 euros for a kg). The store is situated in historical center of Rome, on a little street behind the Pantheon: http://poggi1825.it
They said they ship worldwide, - go for it!
P.S. Special thanks to Ivan Polverari for sharing the information about the store.

More News (including the videos with varnishing and gessoing) coming soon!

With warmest regards,
Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova

Newsletter 22nd of January, 2015

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The new year starts for us with some special events, such as EXHIBITION " VISIONS OF  BEAUTY", showing icons and other religions art at ACU Art Space (26 Brunswick street, Fitzroy, VIC, Australia) and ADVANCED ICON PAINTING WORKSHOP at the same location.

THE EXHIBITION: We are happy to share the photographs from the Exhibition opening and if you live in Australia and have a possibility to stop by, - welcome to see it in real, - there are more then 25 artworks in total. The photographs are also going to be published soon, - just in some days.

OPEN MONDAY - FRIDAY: 11am  - 5pm

 THE ADVANCED ICON PAINTING WORKSHOP, started last Monday, is built to train drawing and painting 3 different types of faces in 5 days. Since both groups were booked unpredictably full this year, we had to come to the Melbourne together  - Olga and myself. We are now in the middle of the workshop and hope to add more photographs little later, for now - just a few photographs from the first days: http://sacredmurals.com/icon_writing_courses/advanced_icon_painting_course_in_melbourne_january_2015.html  

The second workshop, (which is not advanced) starts on Tuesday the 27th of January, and even though we had a full group and a waiting list for it, recently we have had changes - some cancellations and people signing up, so, you were thinking of signing for one, we have now one or two empty spots. No deposit needed, just inform us by email about your plans.

Our spring workshops in Canada and the US are also getting closer and the groups are filling up. Here is our actual schedule for 2015:


Saint Mary's City MD - March 30 - April 3, 2015

San Diego CA - April 13 - 17, 2015

Washington DC Wesley Theological Seminary JUNE 1 - 5


Calgary (Canada) - April 6 - 10

Washington DC area MAY 29 - 31


Our studio is also invited to participate some special Art Event in Charleston (North Carolina) at the end of May or in early June, some other things for the USA and a serious true fresco project in Russia, but can't share anything concrete for now.

With warmest regards,
Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova