I told people I was starting a blog. Many of them, astonished, asked “why?” I admit, it seems kind of an egotistical thing to do from one perspective. I mean, who cares what I think? But to answer the question “why?”—I am an iconographer, and have studied icons for about 15 years under excellent instructors. I love traditional Russian-style icons, and strive to follow the canons and traditions established by the Orthodox Church as best as I can in my work. The icon has formed my spirituality and transformed my heart. It has led me deep into prayer and the study of God’s Word. The icon is not about me, an artist, but about and for the glory of God.
I would like to explore the value of the icon in contemporary U.S. culture, its function as a bridge between all Christians, and the experiences of God and prayer through the image as well as through the rest of life. I welcome thoughtful comments and replies.
I am certain that these traditional images of God are vital to our society. They speak subliminally to a culture starved for positive and holy images. They are a powerful witness to faith and truth in a time of darkness, discouragement, and spiritual emptiness.
The icon was the original artistic expression of all Christians. In time, it became the liturgical artistic expression of the Eastern Church, and was more or less lost to the West. The Orthodox have safeguarded and kept strong the meaning, symbolism, and form of the icon. Now, the rest of the world seems to be rediscovering it. I believe the Holy Images are a bridge between denominations, leading to understanding and brotherhood between Christians. We have more in common together than we do differences.