Orthodox Christian Sacred Art
by the hand of Alex Ionescu


IconWriter.Comô offers:
- Design/Build and Restoration Services for Icons, Murals, Crosses and Mosaics in sacred spaces, public and private.
- Consulting on educational or commercial projects involving Murals or Mosaics.
- Private Lessons in Iconwriting (Acrylics or Egg Tempera) and Mosaics (Smalti).


 
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Alex Ionescu
IconWriter.Comô
20900 Behrendt Ave. Suite 1
Warren, MI 48091
Cell Phone: (248) 709-4713
E-Mail:
alex@iconwriter.com


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Iconography Work:
St. Arch. Michael


Saint Archangel Michael (Revelation 12:7-9)

- Egg Tempera technique
- 24 Kt. Gold Leaf halo 
- 9.5"x12.5" Poplar Board with Red Oak braces
- Prosopon School of Iconology design, based on St. Andrei Rublev original
- Finished on 10-02-2004


 
Impressions from the Fall 2004 Dormition Monastery Iconwriting Workshop, taught by Tatiana Berestova from the Prosopon School of Iconology
Tatiana Berestova and Alex Ionescu

During the last week of September 2004, I attended the Fall IconWriting Workshop at The Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Christian Monastery, in the secluded countryside location of Rives Junction, MI.

The theory and practice of iconwriting were helped along by the spiritual and material nourishment of the monastery environment. The room and board were excellent: the Guest House was designed to accomodate classroom space, so we did not waste time and effort commuting to class. The food was amazing in taste and presentation throughout. In addition, we had the privilege to have Father Roman (Braga) and Mother Gabriella (Ursache) instruct us in the Orthodox theology of the icon, providing an opportunity for spiritual growth, along with the improvement of our iconwriting techique. Our minds, bodies and spirits were well nourished during this week of pilgrimage and work at the monastery.

This Saint Archangel Michael icon, written in Egg Tempera Technique, with durable mineral and organic pigments, is available for sale. The original model is based on part of a Deisis icon by iconographer St. Andrei Rublev, and was realized under the guidance of iconographer Tatiana Berestova from the Prosopon School of Iconology, New York. The Prosopon School of Iconology was founded by iconwriter Vladislav Andrejev, and the theory and practical skills taught in the workshops are outstanding, representing a rennaissance of the XVI-th Century traditions of the Novgorod and Moscow Schools.  Alexander Boguslawski writes on his website dedicated to Russian Painting: "In the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, Novgorod produced some of the greatest works of medieval Russian art, best represented by the paintings of Theophanes the Greek (Feofan Grek). In some of his greatest works it is possible to find the combination of the local style with the style of Constantinople, where he worked before coming to Russia. [...] Later, Theophanes moved to Moscow and contributed to the development of the Moscow School, particularly by working together with [St.] Andrei Rublev and other Moscow masters."

The St. Arch. Michael icon features a saint halo that consists of two layers of burnished 24 Kt. Italian Gold Leaf. The wooden board is 9.5"x12.5" Poplar, with kovcheg('ark' in Russian) on front and Red Oak braces on back. This board was produced in the studio of iconographer David Payne.

I look forward to attending future Prosopon School workshops at the Dormition Monastery.


'Rostirea - The Voice' Romanian-American Culture Magazine


Read the latest issue of the Romanian-American Orthodox Christian culture magazine "Rostirea - The Voice",
sponsored by IconWriter.Comô.


About Icons:
Saint John the Forerunner - Acrylic/24K Gold Leaf on Wood


Icons (eikon="image", in Greek) are images of the invisible, windows on the kingdom of heaven. An icon is a visual prayer, made through prayer, and as an aid for prayer. Icons are images of the God incarnate; Saint Apostle Luke painted icons, including the first image of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. Saint Basil the Great wrote in the fourth century that "the veneration of icons goes toward the saint represented", not the icon itself. Icons are made to praise the Lord our God and his Saints, and help strenghten the faith of those who pray with them.

Icons are "written", rather than "painted", according to rules established over hundreds of years of efforts by Orthodox Christian artists and theologians. An icon is a visual prayer, made through prayer by the Christian artist, and is a prayer aid for the church or the person who commissioned it.

As an aid to prayer, icons help increase faith and add a spiritual dimension to people's life. The Holy Trinity, the Mother of God and the Saints are known to have performed miraculous healings of mind, body and spirit when the faithful's prayers have been focused with the help of icons, throughout the ages.


Icons, Mosaics and Murals by the Hand of Alex Ionescu:


On this website, IconWriter.Comô, you can commission a genuine Christian Icon, Mosaic or Mural by the hand of Alex Ionescu, born in Romania in 1969, now practicing the art of iconwriting in Warren, MI, USA.

Mr. Alex Ionescu apprenticed the art of Byzantine Fresco Painting and Restoration(Casein), reverse-glass painting(Oil) and mosaic(Smalti) under the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchy in Romania from 1989 until 1991, when he moved to the United States. Mr. Ionescu graduated in 1997 with honors from Michigan State University with a degree in Economics, and was a Web Design and Software Engineering Consultant with Electronic Data Services, Blue Martini Software and R.L. Polk & Co. In 2002, Mr. Ionescu attended the Icon Writing Workshop(Acrylics) at The Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery in Rives Junction, MI, under the guidance of Ms. Melpo DeFotis and Mother Olympia (Ursache). Mr. Ionescu pursued his calling for Christian Fine Art throughout the years, and in February 2004 opened the IconWriter.Comô studio in Warren, MI.  In September 2004, Alex Ionescu attended the Icon Writing Workshop(Egg Tempera) at The Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery in Rives Junction, MI, under the guidance of Ms. Tatiana Berestova from the Prosopon School of Iconology, New York. His wife, Mihaela, assists him in the preparation of the gessoed wood boards that become fine art creations.

Icons are painted in acrylic or egg tempera, with 24K Gold Leaf halos and backgrounds on wood, in 14-th to 16-th Century Byzantine style according to the Orthodox Christian Church canons. The raised edge icons are made from solid linden, oak, pine, poplar or maple wood. Larger icons use braced boards or highest quality Finnish birch hardwood plywood, to prevent warping.

Mosaics are created using Orsoni Smalti tiles from Italy (U.S. Distribuitor: MosaicSmalti.com), glued to lightweight, durable fiberglass mesh. The completed mosaics are then mounted to moveable panels or attached to walls permanently at the client site.

Mural technique is customized to the nature of the underlying wall. Drywall over wooden or metallic frame, concrete block, poured concrete, or stone walls, each can accomodate different ways of displaying durable, large works of art. Sometimes, the temperature and humidity conditions are ideal for casein fresco, while other times the conditions are more suitable for acrylics on treated canvas.

Canvas murals are created using durable, high-quality artist acrylic paints (Winsor & Newton, Golden, Utrecht) on stretched and specially treated canvas. The completed mural canvas can then be framed inside a moveable panel or glued permanently on the wall at the client site.

'Al fresco' murals are done on fresh, wet plaster at the client site, directly on the wall, using durable mineral and organic pigments in a casein base. When the fresco technique is appropriate, it can be used both inside and outside the building.

The custom-ordered Byzantine icons, mosaics or murals can depict the Lord Jesus Christ, the Mother of God, the Apostles, the Saints, scenes from the lives of the Saints, and the Church Feasts and Commemorations throughout the year.


Icon Pricing:


Icon pricing depends on:

  • the complexity of the subject matter (number of figures, surroundings, research that may be needed to accurately design the icon),
  • the urgency of the order (the current icon backlog is 4 months),
  • the size and finish of the wooden support,
  • amount of 24K Gold Leaf used for halos and/or background.

Pricing for an icon of one figure, with raised borders and 24K Gold Leaf halo and background starts as follows (sizes and prices approximate):

  •   6x9    $450+
  •   8x10  $600+
  •   9x12  $800+
  • 12x16  $1200+
  • 14x17  $2800 and up.

Please contact Alex Ionescu for quotes on custom icons and for information on New Design/Build or Restoration services for sacred spaces, public and private, and educational or commercial projects involving Murals(canvas/fresco) or Mosaics (smalti).

A 50% deposit is required to start a custom icon order. The balance of the purchase price is due when the icon is finished. Shipping and insurance arrangements are separate. Michigan residents also pay 6% sales tax. Can use PayPal, check or cash for payment.


 
Other Ways to Order:


Contact the artist by mail, phone, e-mail, PayPal Order Button or the on-line Contact Form bellow.



Alex Ionescu
IconWriter.Comô
20900 Behrendt Ave. Suite 1
Warren, MI 48091
Cell Phone: (248) 709-4713
E-Mail:
alex@iconwriter.com


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