I’ve been preparing to teach the second round of an online art workshop, in honor of the Celtic Goddess Brigid, called “Lady of the Radiant Flame.” The students in this workshop will each make her own piece, using some of my techniques and methods, to create a very personal prayer painting.
So what is the difference between an icon and another piece of art?
When you create any piece of art, there is something about it that is magical and mysterious and regenerative. Creating art has the power to transform both the maker and the viewer in a profound way.
But an icon is specifically a portrait of a holy figure that is used as a focus for devotion. It embodies the energy of the figure it represents. It’s a doorway to the Divine Being seen in the image. And the door swings both ways. The icon opens the door between this world and the Otherworld, between you and the Goddess.
When you create an icon, a prayer painting, or any kind of sacred art, you begin with an intention and an offering. You cleanse your work area. You create sacred space. You ask for direction and for blessing on the work of your hands and heart.
As you work on it, the prayer painting becomes a focus for your desires, your hopes, your dreams, your yearnings — in a very left brain, non verbal way. You pour your heart into the piece. And that’s your offering. Your heart.
The finished piece itself will be an offering and a talisman, a focus for prayer and transformation. And it will be all the more special and powerful because you created it yourself.
For every act of creation is an act of magic.
(Registration is open now, and the workshop begins on January 22nd. We’d love to have you join us.)