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Food For the Soul 2018-2019

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Food for the Soul

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Chapel Brochure

Icon Writing Workshop

Icon Writing Workshop

Monday–Friday, July 1–5, 2019

In this workshop, twelve participants will work together over a week to make an Orthodox icon using traditional methods and materials. The workshop provides the experience of making an icon by using the prototype of Christ the Pantocrator created by Symeon for this purpose.

Together each participant will experience the beauty, challenge, and wonder that happens in making an icon.

In the class, we will: create a drawing without tracing; make paint from earth pigments; paint with egg tempera paint; oil gild with gold leaf; and name the icon. The class includes all the materials and tools needed for completing the icon.

Taught by Symeon van Donkelaar, an iconographer, who after completing a traditional apprenticeship in a Greek Orthodox monastery, has been working for the last twenty years to create a contemporary iconographic vision for prayer in Canada. His work is enriched by a love of nature. To make the icon’s wooden panel, he first harvests a tree. All of the icon’s colours come from the earth around his studio and share in the heritage of the land—its culture, history and spirit. In this way, even the pigments used in an icon can witness the love of God that exists in the soil and rocks of the earth. Symeon paints, exhibits, and teaches regularly in diverse settings across North America, and works as a full-time iconographer in the Conestoga Iconographic Studio outside St. Jacobs, Ontario.

  • Arrivals and registration: 4 pm Sunday; ends 8 pm on Friday
  • Fee: $350 for the teaching and supplies + $300 for overnight accommodation and all meals
  • Deposit: $50
  • Please note: the icon-writing workshop is now full but accepting names for a waiting list - Registration here »

  • All retreats and quiet days at St. John’s Convent take place in the milieu of a contemporary monastic community which has a daily rhythm of prayer. All guests are invited to take part in the daily Eucharist, and those staying overnight may like to join us in the Divine Office (Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline).
  • See the regular chapel and meal schedule here »

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