Iconography Workshop

Tatiana Nichita is an icon-painter and restorer from Romania. She studied painting restoration at Bucharest University. Her icons can be seen in churches in Romania as well as in the United Kingdom in Birmingham, Liverpool, Lochgilphead, Leigh, Polesworth, Worcester etc. For her icons, she uses the traditional Byzantine technique and stylisation. A few samples of her work can be seen at tatiananichita.blogspot.com.

(There is one on the Cathedral's website made by Kirrilee Reid, who took part in the first icon-painting course at the Cathedral).

The course will incorporate both advanced and beginners together.

During the five day course, you will paint a Byzantine-style icon, using the traditional technique and materials: 20/30cm gessoed boards made of lime wood, pigments mixed with egg yolk, 7 karate gold leaf (or 23 karate gold leaf on request at the price of 1.5 pounds a leaf). The participants can bring their own image/icon to paint or they can choose their model from a variety of images of icons that are shown at the course. By the end of the course, everyone will have their own icon, painted by themselves.

1. The first day is about meeting each other, discussing how you got interested in icons and see and choose an icon to paint.

2. On the second day, you will transfer the outline of the icon on the gessoed board and then prepare the gesso for oil gilding. Finally, the gilding.

3. On the third day, you will start painting the icon, mixing pigments with egg yolk and laying the base layers of the colours, starting with the darker shades on top of which we add the lighter shades.

4. On the fourth day, you will continue to paint, to add the layers of lights on the icon and to do the details and the final accents.

5. On the fifth day, you will paint the border of the icon as well as its back, so that it looks like a complete object. In the end, you varnish the icon, which would provide it with a beautiful, even look as well as with resistance.

A  priest/minister will bless the icons in the church, as well.

Each evening, after dinner, you can spend time discussing the meanings of various icons, the practice of praying with icons, more about the technique of painting icons or other subjects that are brought up by the participants.

At the end of the course, everyone would have an icon painted by themselves that can be used in their prayers. 

This retreat is offered to residential participants initially. Due to limited availability, we recommend that you book early to avoid any disappointment. Depending on numbers, there may be limited availability for non-residential.

There is a fixed price per person for each course of £595.00 Full Board, which includes accommodation, all meals (breakfast, a light lunch and a 3 course evening dinner), tuition, materials, mid-morning and afternoon teas and group discussions.

Accommodation is available on a first come first served basis.