Since our guild meetings are only once a month, I thought I would start a new practice project to work on while I wait.
This is what wikipedia has to say about The Angel with the Golden Hair:
The Angel with Golden Hair (Russian: Ангел Златые власы, Angel Zlatye Vlasy) is a tempera icon by an unknown Russian artist, painted in the second half of the 12th century. It is displayed in the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg.
The Angel with Golden Hair is the oldest icon from the collection of the Russian Museum. Most experts attribute it to the Novgorod school of icon painting. What characterizes this icon is the golden hair with added gold leaf. For each hair of the angel a thin gold strip from a gold leaf was laid, which makes the hair shine with a celestial light, as the gold symbolizes the divine.
The icon is one of Russia‘s oldest surviving icons, dating from the pre-Mongol invasion period. It was hung at the Kremlin church in Moscow in the 16th century. The icon was possibly brought from Novgorod to the city of Moscow during the reign of Ivan the Terrible, when he pillaged the city and moved its sacred objects to his capital.
During the 12th century, the most prominent tier of the iconostasis, a screen of icons in front of the altar, was the Deesis (also known as “Supplication”) tier—an image of Christ with his mother surrounded by angels and saints. It is thought that ‘The Angel with Golden Hair was part of that. The huge cheeks and a wide almond-shaped eyes of this icon resemble the frescoes in the Chapel of the Theotokos on the Patmos island in Greece. Otherwise it is close to the style in the murals of the Saviour Church on Nereditsa Hill (1199) in Novgorod, where it is suggested that it was part of the Deesis tier. The artwork is the result of the Byzantine art influence of the city of Novgorod between the late 12th and early 13th centuries, which spread to the city of Moscow around the year 1200.
I have been trying different areas of art over the last few decades. I had wanted to be a botanical artist, and I still putter around with nature journaling but I have not been able to develop my skills beyond a certain point. Much of it has to do with not being able to sit and do the fine details associated with botanical art. I just do not have the patience required to sit and fiddle with tiny circles to create the different tones in the drawing.
Iconography has its own challenges but if I keep my diet clean, use my essential oils and my reflexology ring, my hands do better. As challenging as iconography can be, it is more forgiving than I ever imagined it could be as far as recovering from mistakes.
Here is an informative video on the topic of the history of Christian art.