Follow the Story of the Chapel’s Icon!

Chapel of the Transfiguration

Making an icon of the Transfiguration of Christ for the Chapel of the Transfiguration in Teton Park has been simmering on the back burner of my mind for some time. For an iconographer, The Transfiguration is an important icon to paint. Within it resides the purpose of all icons — to show the transfigured human not just as a portrait of what is there, but rather how God sees that person. So the task of …

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Blessed be the Hands

April 10, 2016

Sunday, April 10, 2016, I took the board for the Transfiguration icon to church. Fr. Trent Moore anointed my hands and gave me the blessing. The children (second graders, 345’s) who had learned about icons a few weeks ago stood with me. You can just see the board behind me on the kneeling cushions.

Below is the text of the introduction and blessing. It was a blessing, indeed.


At its March meeting, the Vestry accepted …

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Grey Man

I am working on getting the drapery of the garments on the human figures in my icons just right. First, there is the matter of how the tunics and cloaks were worn by first century Middle Eastern or Roman people. They sort of wrapped these large cloaks around themselves in an artful way. That concept works until you really look at what some of the old iconographers painted.

I was thinking that if I could duplicate on an artist’s mannequin …

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Tim’s Vermeer

Besides being an interesting foray into how Vermeer might have created his masterpieces, the film leaves the viewer questioning where the line between art and technology lies or even if there is any such line. Some reviewers criticize Tim for trying to debunk Vermeer’s genius. I hold the opposing viewpoint. That Vermeer was able to sort out and apply some very interesting technology in order to produce his amazing paintings does not diminish his artistic ability but rather enhances it. …

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Budding Iconographers

This past week, I again hauled a large suitcase of iconography supplies over to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jackson, Wyoming. This time I spoke to third, fourth, and fifth graders–a much calmer group. The music festival chamber group was rehearsing in the chancel so we skipped the field trip up there to look at the icons already in place. After a brief introduction of what icons are and how they are used, we dived straight into the craft of iconography. …

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The Transfigured Christ

The Transfiguration of the Lord, by the hand of Gay Pogue, Egg tempera and gold leaf on gessoed panel, 14x11x1 inches. $1200

Last week I wrote about the grinding of the azurite rock into pigment. Here is that same azurite in the background of The Transfiguration of the Lord icon. For those of you who have been following me for a while, you recognize that I have been working on this icon for a long time. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and …

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Making Art Can Be a Grind

The traditional medium for iconography is egg tempera. You mix dry pigment with some egg yolk and paint. After about a year all the layers of the paint molecules crosslink and you have a very durable surface. It is a pleasant experience. Although an iconographer does not really need very many different colors to create a handsome icon, collecting lovely dry pigments can be addictive. Some of the best pigments are ground from semi-precious minerals, and are rather pricey. So, I decided to jump into the craft of grinding my own pigments. I invested in a mortar and pestle, glass sheet and muller. I already had a hammer and drying plate. …

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Second Graders Get It!

I talked to seven second graders yesterday afternoon about icons, as a part of a week-long after-school program at St. John’s Church in Jackson Hole.

Second Graders get icons. They just get it. They relate to pictures more than words. They like to hold the icons in their hands and look at them.

They are amazed that you can grind up a rock and mix it with egg and paint with it.

They get symbolism. Jesus’s halo always has a …

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