I feel as though I’ve known Ronnie Cruwys for a long time even though we have never actually met! I look at her blog and when she won the January giveaway I asked her to tell us a bit about herself and show some of her Drawing the Street work. Then I found her icon blog and was gobsmacked. I know that people who view this blog will just love the illumination, so here goes…Over to Ronnie:
Lin, thank you for inviting me to tell your readers a little about what I am doing on the icon diploma course, running alongside Drawing the Street .
I first came across Aidan Hart’s beautiful work through the new St John’s Bible, when this formidable work by Donald Jackson and his team of scribes was in its early stages. (me too – Lin)
Icons and Illuminated manuscripts have enchanted me since I was a child so I followed progress of this project with great excitement. Through this, I later discovered that Aidan teaches a three year icon painting diploma course in Shrewsbury, run by the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts.
This course teaches icon painting in the traditional Orthodox way. It helps us understand the spiritual discipline that underlies the painting and we are learning about pigments, egg tempera, water and oil gilding, gessoing our own boards as well as gaining insights into the lives of the saints that we paint.
Aidan is a renowned icon and fresco painter, sculptor, wood carver and mosaic artist. He has one intake of twelve students every three years. I didn’t really think I stood much of a chance of getting on the course but I gave it my best shot and am so glad that I did! (I am not surprised that you were accepted, Ronnie!)
I am sure it helped too that some ten years ago I went on Patricia Lovett’s wonderful Gilding and Illumination course which set me up with a few pieces for my portfolio. (Yes, this was my introduction to G&T’s as well – Gilding, Illumination and Traditional tools with Patricia, but Ronnie is now in a whole other league! – Lin)
(Please note that the two finished pieces shown are Ronnie’s own work. – Lin)
The course is enriching on so many levels and I share some of the experience over on my blog . For anyone interested in icon painting, Aidan runs a week long course twice a year at Walcott Hall, in Shropshire, which in itself is worth at least another post one day!