A Brush with God: An Icon Workbook

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9780819222039: A Brush with God: An Icon Workbook

For more than a thousand years, Eastern Christians have used their hands and hearts to create icons, proclaiming God’s reality in a visible–and breathtakingly beautiful–way.  This ancient art is enjoying a renewed interest in the West, as people of faith create icons and use them to meditate on mysteries for which there are no words.

A Brush with God is a guide to painting icons and using them in prayer. Written with warmth and energy, it describes the history of icons and examines why they’ve been a spiritual tool for so many centuries. Written from a uniquely Western perspective, the book guides artists–from novices to professionals–through the process of icon painting, using traditional techniques but employing contemporary materials. Included are eight full-color plates of the artist’s icons.

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About the Author:

Peter Pearson, a former Benedictine monk, is a priest of the diocese of Bethlehem. He is one of the better known American iconographers. Through his workshops and seminars, as well as the European pilgrimages he leads, he has worked with more than 2000 students.

From Publishers Weekly:

Icon writer (that's fancy church-speak for "painter of icons") Pearson taps into Western Christians' recent interest in icons—but rather than writing yet another introductory book that explains what icons are, when they originated or how to pray with them, Pearson wants to help readers create them. (Well, okay: in the first chapter, Pearson rehearses the history of icons and ruminates about praying with them, but then he gets down to brass tacks.) Chapter two lists the supplies people need to write an icon and explains how to prepare the panels. Pearson then discusses steps like drawing, applying gold leaf and adding an outer border. After describing the different types of icon styles—Byzantine, Russian, Coptic, contemporary—Pearson walks readers through the steps for making icons of Christ's head and shoulders, the Mother of God and Saint Nicholas. Practical tips abound: avoid "fast drying" varnish, and if readers want to "communicate gold cloth," they should start with an earthy-orange or red base color. An appendix lists shops and Web sites where readers can obtain supplies, and a glossary will help them remember the difference between an iconodule and an iconostasis. Helpful illustrations round out the book. This is a fabulous resource—practical, spiritual and fun. (Oct.)
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