Modern Iconography Class, Mary Jane Miller, Instructor

No artistic experience is necessary for the iconography classes in egg tempera that follows the morning practice. The iconography classes are taught as meditation, watching the mind like a window to the divine. The process of painting the icon will hopefully result in an image reflecting our thoughts of God and ourselves in the world. The process of icon painting moves us beyond the act of painting, eventually revealing a clearer vision of the god in who we place so much trust and the limits of self.

Wednesday 9:30-11:30, $1900 pesos for 3 week commitment. San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. Call +52 (415) 152-5762 now to confirm!

The purpose of our lives is to transform ourselves so that we can receive complete and ultimate fulfillment. We are here in this world to reach our full potential and attain our full spirituality, with giving and sharing as the foundation of our being.” We are all servants of a current priesthood in the maintenance and increase of faith, no matter what our religious beliefs.

Over the past few years, thousands of people from a wide variety of spiritual traditions have found themselves drawn to the mysterious and prayerful images found in the icons of Eastern Christianity.

 ICONOGRAPHY IS THE OLDEST TRADITION  of Christian sacred art, found in monasteries and churches from ancient times, embodying the work of thousands of iconographers, many of whom were themselves saints. Unlike other approaches to painting, the creation of an icon does not begin in the artist's imagination. Rather, the iconographer's first work is to study how the subject at hand has been traditionally depicted in this rich iconographic tradition 

PURPOSE OF ICON PAINTING. Icon painting appeared as far back as the 4th and 5th century and it was from the beginning meant as a spiritual movement rather than an Art movement. From that time the content of icon painting was interwoven with life...evolution...traditional values....knowledge.
The essence of icon painting is the beauty of the spiritual world, and tries to interpret that world. It expresses holiness and is more than just a representation of physical beauty. Icon painting is not about the naturalness of form, but of the sublime of the spiritual world. It is made to serve the ideals of faith.

Mixing dirt and mystery is amusing, every brush stroke with egg tempera reminds you of the moment in Genesis where breath and creation meet. Anything can happen. In the icon painting class, the painter gets to be the creator and at the same time created. While the work is done in solitude and contemplation, we listen to our deep human interior dialogue. The Byzantine style iconography practice crosses cultures and faith traditions. Million year old dirt is trapped and suspended in egg yolk (the raw potential for life), for me it is a symbol of my own relationship with God, I am trapped in God. The icon painting process is simple, moving paint. Imagine a small shift in consciousness as we blur the lines between who we are as humans and who we are as divine light all because of egg tempera paint?


RETREATS. 5 day immersion iconography workshops include instruction, slides, lectures, prayer time and life within the Benedictine Community at the Soldedad located in the beautiful countryside beyond San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Email for more information.

LONG DISTANCE LEARNING.  We are currently in the process of developing a movie combined with instruction for those unable to come to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Books are available as well as continual assistance from Mary Jane Miller upon request.