Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hail the Icon Painters

Hail the Icon Painters, and there seem to be plenty of them. At the direction of the local priests, I've lodged with them many times now and have enjoyed every experience. They're always a happy, peaceful group. Mostly, they work in teams of 6 or 7 painters, remarkably young, generally, and take years to paint the interior of a single church. Styles vary... at one place, I was surprised at the number of chickens running about the churchyard until I was shown how they laboriously grind minerals and mix them with eggs to apply as a vibrant paint of incredible durability. Others use ready-made paints from small plastic containers. Some styles the standard religious figures in bold cartoonish ways, others in muted ancient tones. There have been countless churches refurbished since the independence of the nation almost 20 years ago and each gets it walls and dome interior painted as a matter of course. It's beautiful to see complete, but I've immensely enjoyed seeing the work in progress. The icon painters proudly take me up the [non-OSHA-approved] scaffolding and explain the details and inspiration of their subjects. The themes may be repeated from one church to another, but the intensity of the individual artist is expressed when the artist shows it off. This wonderful way of traveling, but foot, slowly through the hospitable land, has given me these grand opportunities to be part of the prosperous regrowth of this country. Way cool.

8 comments:

Ukiefriend said...

392 kms already! Way cool that you are enjoying this trek so much and learning as well! The egg is very important in Ukraine (pysanky) so chickens are indispensable, eh? Who knew?

Sylvia said...

Ann, now you see why I wanted to go with you! I am so glad you are having a wonderful experience! It sounds like it is so much better than you expected. Best wishes! Sylvia

Anonymous said...

Ann, I am so happy to hear that this trip is so much better than the the last time you walked the Jakobsweg. And glad to spoke to you before you started. I am with you! Katja

mom said...

Ann, It is great to learn that the ancient fresco technique is still being used. Who knew?

I am glad you have met with so many artists and those who will continue to help you.

Anonymous said...

Ann, when I travelled Western Ukraine with my tour group and we visited churches, many of the older tour members remarked about the Chorna (Black) Mother Mary frescos especially the ones in the older churches. I wonder if you have seen any Chorna Mother Marys.
Vera from Erie

Betty said...

Ann, it's wonderful that everyone is so kind and helpful to you. I love reading your blogs & learning all about your trip. My prayers are with you!

Betty

Anonymous said...

Ann,
I am so glad that you are having such a good experience. I will follow you and keep you in my prayers daily.

Pittsburgh Suzy

Milka said...

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Alisha

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