St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Saturday, November 01, 2014
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Icon Writing Workshop

Icon Writing Workshop at St. Stephen’s |  August 2-7, 2015
 
We are thrilled to offer the popular icon writing workshop for the fourth year in a row. Registration details are below.
 
Painting an icon can be a compelling experience. Using techniques developed at the end of the Iconoclast period (before the year 1000 A.D.), the painter sees a face gradually emerge from the darkness, a face glowing with an internal light.
 
The process has less to do with your ability to paint than with your willingness to let go and trust. All are invited to experience this joy, with no art experience required. The language of icons is the language of prayer. God’s love and God’s presence are revealed on a deeper, non-verbal level. “The process of writing an icon”, according to Suzanne Schleck, the Iconographer who will lead this retreat, “is not about finding something new but about returning to your true being.”
 
Icons will be made using the traditional materials of egg tempera and gold leaf on gessoed panels. Participants may write the icon of St. Stephen or the icon of the Archangels Michael or Gabriel. The icon of St. Stephen always shows him vested as a deacon, often in a dalmatic and stole, with a thurible in one hand, and often either a casket with the Holy Gifts, or a model of the church in the other. This hand is often covered with a cloth as a sign of respect. The icons of the two archangels, who are both mentioned in Scripture, are robed in the Byzantine court dress of messengers. They are neither male nor female, and serve as God's messengers to mankind. The icons of the two archangels are present next to the icons of Mary the Mother of God and St. John the Forerunner on an Orthodox Deesis.
About the workshop: Days begin at 8:10 with Morning Prayer and Eucharist in the Holy Spirit Chapel followed by an anointing of hands in the studio. Each day ends around 5:00 p.m.
 
About the Instructor:  Suzanne Schleck of Whiting, N.J., is a recently retired public school art teacher. She has studied for more than 20 years with the Rev. John Walsted, master iconographer and expert on 14th to 16th century Russian icons, and has taken additional workshops with Robert Lentz and the Prosopon School of Iconography. Her work has been published in Episcopal Life and in several online exhibits with Episcopal Church and the Visual Arts, as well as at the 2006 General Convention and Princeton Theological Seminary. This will be Suzanne's fourth annual workshop at St. Stephen's. Participants--who have come from the parish and beyond--have found it a deeply enriching experience.
 
Registration:
Workshop tuition (including all supplies) is $375. A deposit of $100 is required to hold your place, and should be paid by July 10. Please call the parish office to find out if space is still available, 804.288.2867. Some scholarship assistance is available; please contact Gene LeCouteur in the parish office about assistance.