1. Emmanuel Greyling, South Africa

    I find a deep sense of honest spirituality permeating the interview. Thank you for that. I get the impression that, at least in the different churches I visited through the last decade, there is a need for worship “in Spirit and in Truth”. But would you not agree that one cannot express such worship without first meeting the Exalted One? Along these lines, I feel strongly that the writing of an icon is first a spiritual and worshipful act, and only then a matter of art (or craft). You both set a good example. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Emmanuel. Regarding your question of the prerequisite experience of “meeting the Exalted One” in order to worthily depict His icon, I have two thoughts. First of all, yes; and the masterful Anton Daineko wrote expertly about this in his article here: https://orthodoxartsjournal.org/the-living-icon/

      A worthy passage from that post:
      “In my humble view, the iconographer, throughout his whole creative life, strives to depict just ONE image of Christ – or Mother of God, for that matter – trudging toward them along a thorny path overgrown with different styles, techniques, and artistic perspectives. And each new icon is yet another stroke added to this one image which the iconographer had been trying to grasp from the very beginning but which has always been elusive. With the passage of time and the painting of many icons, the image becomes increasingly clear and distinct. This quest has a noble goal: to depict God as He really is, to cleanse His image as much as possible from all distortions and impurities of artistic style, momentary personal preferences, and other chance details.”

      And a second thought: not all iconographers have heavenly visions. Not all priests have seen the uncreated light during the holy Liturgy. Not all monastics have unceasing prayer of the heart. But shall we despair of putting our hands to the work before us? No. Each of us having the image of God imprinted on our inner being, struggle forward the best we can in repentance. We are members of the body of Christ; and members one of another.

    2. Indeed Emmanuel. One needs to know the Lord and His saints through the Holy Spirit in order to paint them.

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