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Saint John in the Wilderness

St. John in the Wilderness – 17th Century Russian Pattern

St. John in the Wilderness – 17th Century Russian Pattern


Two years ago at the Kanuga Icon conference, a fellow painter introduced me to St. John in the Wilderness. We exchanged print of some of our work. Later he sent me even more information about that somewhat odd icon. I did some research, found an old pattern I liked, printed it out and taped it to my studio wall in Jackson Hole. It stayed there until we moved.

After I got settled in my Denver Studio, I had to ask, “What next?” Many iconographers paint mostly commissions, responding to the needs of their clients. I did not believe that I was up to taking on commissions at this time, but I still needed to determine what to paint next.

I wanted to paint an exhibit – a series of icons that that would tell a story and provide me with an opportunity to examine something in depth – a series that would keep me working until about the time we leave here. The series did not have to be huge, maybe six or eight pieces.

Sitting in The Cathedral of Saint John in the Wilderness in Denver (my new church home), it seemed a “no brainer” to do something about my itch to paint the icon of St. John the Baptist with wings.

When I got home, I rooted around in various boxes in my studio and found that I already had a number of boards that would work just fine for the project.

And so I began.