Unexpected turn in the last few weeks where commission inquiries have come through for 3 potential icons. So, I have been working on these and dialoging with the 3 clients. While awaiting news as to whether the second Totem exhibit will be before or after the March exhibit, I could possibly also have 3 icons to get done; 2 by mid-October and a large one (a centenary icon) by mid-January. Can't complain as being busy in my studio is what it this is ultimately about. :-)
A 7"x14" icon of St. Malachy has been confirmed for St. Francis University in Loretto PA USA. It will be going out October 15th or earlier if possible. It will be a copy of an earlier St. Malachy icon which I wrote for a client in Dublin Ireland ( can be viewed under the Iconography tab - 'Others' ).
I'm in the finishing details and confirmation for a 14"x18" icon of Sts. Anna & Joachim with the infant Theotokos, for a client in Calgary. It is a larger icon and it will present new challenges as it wants green filigree added over the gold leaf background. I'm hoping to get this one completed by mid-October.
During all this, I need to keep 1) dialog going with the client in Winnipeg about options for the centenary icon which will want to get to Winnipeg by mid-January (more details to come once a composition has been agreed upon) and he timeline is short, and 2) continue building my series 'Journeying with the Totems' as I will need double what I currently have if I'm going to be able to adequately present in 2 exhibitions.
September 27, 2014:
Managed to get the 2 icon boards prepared, with sanding out on the terrace in between the rains this week. Got the two designs inked in on the boards and started blocking in the base colours. Need to get these commissions done before I can return to the totem series. It always takes a few days to get back into painting the totems against after being away from them for a few weeks; shifting from one style of art to another.
Sept. 28, 2014:
Blocking in the base colours on the 2 icons, and adjusting them as required. Note that the red background on the Sts Anna & Joachim icon and St. Malachy icon is where the gold leafing will be applied at a later stage. The St. Malachy border will include a Celtic ornamention.
October 3, 2014:
Gold leafing day for both icons. Need to let it set a bit more before doing the burnishing to remove the excess leaf bits.
October 7, 2014:
Before I could seal the gold leafing (to protect it), I had to do all the ornamentation and inscriptions that needed to go right onto the gold leafing (to assure proper adhesion). Tricky process in that the gold leaf is vulnerable to scratching and you have to avoid setting your fingers on the surface.
The Sts. Anna & Joachim icon has a unique foliage added to the raised frame and background, and the St. Malachy icon has a tri-colour Celtic pattern with 23K gold.
Now that the sealer is in place, I can get back to writing the icons. I have a long way to go yet.
October 13, 2014
The St. Malachy Icon has been completed and will be traveling to Pennsylvania tomorrow.