Icon Diploma Student

Learning to see with the eye of the heart

A Day at St Luke’s Icon Centre

St Lukes Icon Centre

Marcella, Susan, Jane and Chris at work applying layers of gesso

Hello icon friends!

Part of our homework over the summer has been to gesso our own boards from scratch to reinforce what we learnt at Dylan Hartley’s workshop a few months ago. By the way – Dylan sends his love to the group and wished us well for the day!

One of my fellow icon students, Susan Mobberley, runs a weekly icon painting session where members of the St Luke’s Icon Centre meet weekly to paint and pray in the sacred context of St Laurence Church, Rowington, Warwickshire.

St Laurence Church Rowington

13th century tower of St Laurence Church, Rowington, Warwickshire

Lee and I were delighted to be able to join the group on the recent ‘gesso day’. It was a treat to  experience the wonderful hospitality and companionship that is flourishing in this small but dedicated gathering.

Pray before an icon

Gathering to offer a prayer before work begins

Gessoing boards is messy and long-winded! It requires a lot of floor and fabric protection, at least 7 hours of even tempers and even temperatures, so once the dust sheets are down, the setting within the church is ideal. No phones or distractions, just concentrated effort.

measuring gesso

Marcella and Susan measuring out quatities of whiting

St lukes icon centre

Susan and Lee adding final layers of gesso

St Lukes icon centre

Susan and Lee still at work

dried icon boards

Results: Icon boards dried overnight with not a crack nor bubble in sight!

Dylan – if you are reading this – our thanks for your clear instructions and for drumming it in that for the best results, stick to the rules!

St Luke’s Icon team – a big thank you for making your guests so welcome.

Last but by no means least, it was the feast of St Lawrence of Rome yesterday, 10th August. There is an interesting blog written by the British Library on illuminated manuscripts and yesterday it featured St Lawrence as a tribute on his feast day.

Thanks for reading.




4 Responses to “A Day at St Luke’s Icon Centre”

    • ronniecruwys

      Hello Fr Gregory,
      I have a pencil drawing of St Luke, which I prepared for one of Aidan’s workshops a couple of years ago. It’s not brilliant by any means, as I drew it up from a grid. Once my computer is working ( it’s being overhauled) I will scan and email it to you then if it is any use to you, then feel free to use it.
      Best wishes

      • Fr Gregory P Cormier

        thank you …:) it brings me great joy! i already love this sight!! I wish that I would have come into icon writing very early in my priesthood! It brings me tremedous joy! once the icon angel has anointed you you are never the same! 🙂

  1. ronniecruwys

    I think that icon painting is at least 90% spiritual preparation and 10% painting skills, so as an anointed priest, you are well on your way!


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