Painting with prayer

You take a simple flat piece of wood, & you make it into a Prayer.”  This quote from a friend led me to consider my own painting process, and how every step of the way is a prayer in both word and spirit.  As I prepare the blank board, each step is accompanied by prayer.  Applying the gesso, sanding–I pray steadily as I work for the person I am making this icon for.  As I paint, each stroke of the paint brush is accompanied by words of a simple prayer.  Often it is the Jesus Prayer, or the Hail Mary, broken down into phrases to accompany the motion.  Lord Jesus Christ.  Son of God.  Have mercy on me.  A sinner.   

My favorite prayer to paint with is from an Orthodox daily prayer:  Holy God.  Holy Mighty.  Holy Immortal.  Have mercy.  On us.  This is repeated 3 times.  (A version of this prayer is also part of the Catholic Divine Mercy Chaplet.)  Painting then becomes a deeply meditative, prayerful activity with the intentions of the recipient foremost in my mind as I work on the image.

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About reinkat

I am an iconographer, and have been studying Russian/Greek icons since 1995. I'm married with 3 children. I love hiking, camping, animals, my family and church--and icons.
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2 Responses to Painting with prayer

  1. Helen Jackson says:

    I would like to follow along and learn from you. As you know I too enter into prayer with the aid of icons, and your words are just reminders of my own prayer experience. And I can pray for you and your work.

    • reinkat says:

      Thank you, Helen, I feel humbled and honored that you find value in what I paint and write. I deeply appreciate all prayers. I pray as well for everyone I know as I work on images of Jesus and the Saints.

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