Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Package Arrived this Week...

...and when I opened it this is what I found inside.

I met Marcel a few years ago when he was working with a Dutch ministry in Santiago dC called Oasis Trails (A Christian organization that provides housing for pilgrims). Marcel participated in Church with our team and he and I got to know each other well by running together and encouraging each other in art.

Marcel was the first person to really explain Icons to me. He took me to an Icon
exhibit that was in the Cathedral of Santiago. He explained how they were used in the Eastern Orthodox Church throughout history to aid in prayer. He explained the artistic rules of the characters. Each personality has to be draw a certain way and certain things indicate which Biblical character is being drawn.

When I went to visit Marcel in the Netherlands in 2005 he had been taking classes in how to make Icons. He
took me on a drive into the countryside to visit the studio of his teacher. Marcel also showed me the materials in his house that he used to paint the Icons. He had different kinds of colored powders that he would mix to create colors. In order to make skin look realistic he had to paint multiple layers on top of each other. At the end he made a traditional lacker out of egg whites. I was impressed by the complicated process and amazed at the collection that he had made. He had made Icons depicting biblical scenes from Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego to Christ and the apostles.

This Icon that Marcel sent me is called "Christ our High Priest". As someone with a very amateur eye for Icons, I see Christ in his priestly robes. We can tell that it is Christ by the sign of blessing that he is giving with his right hand, the halo, and the passage of the Bible that is quoted in his left hand ( "I am the light of the world....").

Thanks Marcel! It is beautiful and hanging in our front room!