EXAMPLE OF A STUDENT'S WORK after our 6 day workshop
AFTER A RECITAL AT MARYWOOD UNIVERSITY
Instructor Nina Kouznetsov studied egg tempera Byzantine icon writing with the renowned master-iconographer, founder of the Prosopon School, Vladislav Andrejev for 25 years and was his assistant in the last years of study. Her icons can be found in churches and private collections. She conducts workshops and open studio classes at her icon studio in Scranton, PA as well as small group intensive workshops nationwide.
THE SAME STUDENT'S WORK with another teacher, unfinished after 6 day workshop
DURING THE WORKSHOP
Our Icon Studio offers open studio traditional icon writing classes and regular intensive icon writing workshops in Scranton and nationwide. Our groups at St. Andrei Icon Studio are limited to 6 students or to 8 students elsewhere. If you would like to schedule a workshop or to commission an icon please contact us to discuss the best possible option for your needs.
Here are the features of our studio approach:
Pictures of the main stages of the process are provided for recommended icons. Due to the small groups, each person is given maximum individual attention to help with technique including personal demonstrations as needed. There is a live demo icon written during the intensive workshops if 5 students are working on the same image. Our promise is that all students will finish their icon and in good quality if they complete required steps for each day and work on recommended icon. Intermediate students can choose a different image to work on during workshops with our permission. We explain symbolic meanings and use non-toxic natural egg tempera pigments. We sing the church hymns for the students and also play piano when available. We are kind and considerate toward every student thus nobody leaves in tears, except for tears of joy. By following Our Lord's commandment, we believe that Love is the best teaching method and therefore are seeking to uplift, to help and encourage our students at all times.
During the course, beginners complete an icon of the Archangel or another simple image and receive basic theoretical and practical knowledge for their spiritual and artistic journey through icon.
ICON WRITING CLASSES
Excerpts from the students' feedback:
I am back home with a very full and tender heart. Gabriel looks quite beautiful here. Thank you, dear teacher, for all you imparted. It was an honor to be with you. My deep gratitude and blessings. P.R., NY
God has blessed me with the chance to study under you... What an amazing class...I really feel that I learnt some really different new ways of working. You are such a beautifully talented women. As you bring so much beauty into the world I am so glad and grateful that a teacher of your caliber has come into my life. C.O., MI
You are a very gifted teacher who is patient, kind, gentle, and caring. You gave each of us your individual attention with grace and calm and peace. You approach your work with joy, a smile, and a good sense of humor. I have learned the humble approach to writing an icon but always with confidence, knowing that you are always willing to help us fix mistakes. J.D., Michigan
You have spark, fire and deep love, the love that comes from a wounded heart...What a gift the Holy Spirit has given me, a teacher, guide, to bravely help me to begin writing Icons again! N.B., Pennsylvania
Thank you so much for your wonderful workshop. Your patience and skill were greatly appreciated! You are such a talented, spiritual person, it was a privilege to spend time with you and to learn from you. A. M., NYC
It takes about 35 hours to complete an icon with one person such as Archangel Michael on 9.5 x 12.5 board using traditional egg tempera with gold leaf. Sacred symbolism of each step is explained. No art experience is needed to do this spiritual discipline. The drawing is traced on the board and a few pictures of the main steps of the process are available to facilitate learning experience.
BRIGHTON, MI WORKSHOP
A simplified version of an icon with less details on 7 x 9 panel takes about 24 hours to complete. (18 hours on 6 x 8 panel).
Nina holds a Master's Degree in Musicology from the Gnessins Russian Music Academy in Moscow. She is a free-lance iconographer, choir director, organist, piano accompanist for Marywood University in Scranton. She is a recipient of 2018 Marquis Who's Who Lifetime Achievement Award. Nina has a youtube.com channel silverfox3k for the violin/piano recordings with her son, a professional violinist, also she writes bilingual spiritual poetry and independently pursues her study of modern science/spirituality connection.
We see much better with the soul –
Our ego for its own protection
Makes vision blurry by projection
With no reality at all.
We see more essence with the heart,
True picture is becoming clear,
The love is present far and near,
Just wish I knew this from the start.
It heals the deeply hidden pain
If we just let the wounds to touch
The sweeping tenderness so much
That love is all that would remain.