It is a rare treat to see the work of Fr. Patrick Doolan in progress. A renowned iconographer trained by Leonid Ouspensky, Fr. Patrick is a master of true fresco. For a number of years, he and his assistant, Fr. Moses, have worked to fresco St. Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church in Santa Rosa, CA (OCA). Their work there is recognized as among the best iconography in our hemisphere.
After many years of anticipation, they have now begun to fresco the dome. The project is only begun, but their progress photographs sent to us so far suggest that this will be truly an extraordinary work. The photos are highly interesting for showing Fr. Patrick’s technique and preparatory drawings. We will post them periodically as the work progresses. Completion is expected in the spring of 2014.
The sepia preparatory drawing was done several years ago when the dome was first plastered.
The iconostasis is covered and the scaffolding installed.
Fr. Patrick prepares a more refined drawing on paper.
Elements of the original sepia drawing that need to be saved are traced onto paper prior to application of plaster.
The drawing is taped to the ceiling for final consideration.
Fr. Moses begins the finish plastering. All the painting must be completed before this plaster dries.
Fr. Patrick transferring the drawing.
The final sepia drawing takes shape on the wet plaster.
Painting in the colors.
Shadows are added.
Plastering for the next session.
Before plastering the robes, Fr. Patrick sketches in some changes to the drawing.
The robes are plastered over and the final drawing applied.
The apse mural at the church – the first phase of painting, completed by Fr. Patrick a number of years ago.
It is a true joy to know such gargantuan work can still be done. The final result is both translucent and immediate, yet we sense the firm assurance of fr. Patrick’s hand. Looking forward to see the work advancing.
Thank you so much for putting together The Orthodox Arts Journal. I really appreciate all the work it entails to collect and to distribute this material. It is important work — both to let the faithful know that these arts are still vibrant and to serve as a forum for artisans for the Church to explore and to share new techniques. Thank you.
Thank you so much for posting these beautiful photos, and I look forward to hearing more about this project.
What a blessing and pleasure to be able to participate and observe such a humble man as Father Patrick create; our own Andrei Rublev! God bless, Father Patrick and Father Moses!
I am thankful that such artisans still practice this ancient technique to such a high level.
Does anyone know what the divot in the throat of Christ is? It looks like it may be marking the geometric center of the dome.
Mr. Mize, that is exactly what you are seeing. Fr. Patrick made a point of installing that and leaving it exposed when the dome was originally plastered. From it, they tie a string in order to draw/paint perfectly concentric circles in the dome, for borders and for proper spacing.
Please allow me to use the correct theological terminology to summarise my thoughts on the above work of Fr Patrick….WOWWWWWWW!!!!…… I pray that the Lord continues to bless him in his sacred work and also to bless you all of the Orthodox Arts Journal community.
Thank you for the beautiful work that you do. Your Mum sends me the updates that you do and they are just a work of real art and your love of the church.
Absolutely beautiful, and wonderful to see the scale of Fr. Patrick’s thoughtful, skilled work.
Amazing job being done by true artists. I look forward to your future postings and the end result. Many blessings to Father Patrick and Father Moses.
The dictionary holds no words that can eloquently express how talented and devoted Fr. Patrick is! Aren’t we privileged to witness his work in a time when so few cling to the production of masterpieces as such these…..God Bless Him!!
[…] Santa Rosa Iconography […]