Monday, December 3, 2012

St Benedict's School of Iconography

St Benedict's School of Iconography runs workshops at Galong Monastery once a year.
Our Master Iconography is Patrick Bernard.
Allan is a very  passionate artist, he loves to experiment with new and old techniques.

Jeff is a very capable artist, he is writing the Baptism of Jesus at the moment. He recently attended a workshop  in the States.

Allen does magnificent icons on a slightly larger scale. He is working on the Agony in the Garden
Mick as a number of other members joined our group last year. We gather 12 times a year and Patrick guides us in the Byzantine method of Iconography.  We are very grateful to have Patricks expertise.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

63rd National Cherry Festival at Young NSW December 2012

We went to Young today to buy some of the delicious cherries in season at the moment.
We had orders for cherries from several of our Canberra friends and have eight kilos awaiting delivery.
Fresh from the farm they seem to be much more juicy than we are able to buy in the shops.
We bought 'Van' cherries - they are a large, juicy, flavoursome variety - yum.
 We did enjoy the Cherry Pip Spit Competition.

How does anyone spit a cherry pip 11.55metres!! - ask Nick from Young NSW he can - amazing
There were many different cherry spitting techniques

And the Champions of the Cherry Pip Spit - Nick, Lara from Germany and Nick from Young are with the Young Cherry Queen Maddison O’Hara
Well done guys - I don't know how you did it.

Friday, November 9, 2012

St Michael the Archangel Icon

 At the moment I am writing the Icon of St Michael the Archangel.
As you can see from the process pictures below it is not completed yet.
I am using Egg Tempera on a prepared gesso board. 
I will add gold leaf and gold assist.
I have a great devotion to St Michael.
As you will see earlier in my blog I went to 
Saint Michael the Archangel's Cave in Italy - Mont Santangelo- in the Gargano, a wonderful experience.

St Michael the Archangel Icon

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Trinity Icon, by Andrei Rublev

Based on The Trinity Icon by Andrei Rublev circa 1410
This is the Icon of the Trinity by Andrei Rublev. I have almost completed writing this Icon.

It has been a wonderful journey, I started 6 years ago - not  a wise choice as it was the third Icon I commenced to write.  The journey has been pains taking each step of the way.

Trying to capture what Rublev was conveying has meant a lot of research, soul search, looking at other works of the same image and deciding what to keep and what to discard.

A query I had - was do I guild the sky or leave it ungilded. I was delighted to find that when the sky was gilded the figures became more prominent. This surprised and fascinated me as I thought the gold would be over whelming, but as you can see it 'makes sense' of the composition.

There are so many symbols in the icon.
I hope it will bless you as much as it has me.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mother of Tenderness Icon

This is the Icon I have been working on recently - Mother of  Tenderness.
She is from the book - A Brush with God - an Icon Workbook by Peter Pearson.
I has been a joy and blessing to follow the instructions in this little book and write such a beautiful Icon of the Blessed Mother. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Canberra in Autumn

Nara Peace Park in Canberra ACT is beautiful in Autumn           Just one of the many beatiful vistas in Canberra.
Canberra is a colourful sight during autumn. Because of the cooler weather in Canberra we are blessed to experience all the colours and autumn season can bring. The streets are lined with a numerous variety of trees just bursting with colour.

Clear blue skies highlight the autumn shades on the trees

We have planted a number of Liquidambars, Claret Ashes and Silver Beerches in the hope of having a garden which is restful and cool in Summer, magically coloured in autumn and fresh and life giving in Spring. Here's hoping.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Trinity Icon

Trinty Icon - Andre Rublev, by Sue Orchison 2012
This is my attempt at writing the Trinity Icon written by Rublev C1400s.

I am currently working on the Trinity Icon - based on the magnificent Icon of Andre Rublev.

 I commenced writing this Icon six years ago. In the six years following I have written several other Icons, had breast cancer, become a grandmother, gone to the Canonisation of Mary of the Cross MacKillop etc, etc I have enjoyed writing this Icon. When I started I thought it would be a good learning Icon - I would learn from the Master.
I have chosen not to hurry which has given me a great sence of freedom - no pressure - it does not matter how long it takes. 
 Every stroke has been accompanied by decisions - what was Rublev trying to say, how did he portray the robes, the hands, the back ground, the mountain, the tree? Each area of the original is worn and so I needed to look at what other Iconographers had done to interpret the work and choose what I would do.
I loved researching the tree of Mamre - - has a wonderful photo of the Tree of Mamre - do have a look it is amazing - considering how old it is. 
I am still challenged with the chalice -  what is the symbol in side? Icons are written portraying a  bullock, or a calf, or a fish - I am not sure what I want to express in my interpretation.  Another query is how much gold would Rublev have used. My reconning - at the moment - is that he would not have used very much as it would not have been available at the time. If I use too much it will distract the eye from the three persons on the Blessed Trinity.

Coffee at the National Library Canberra

The National Library in Canberra is a fabulous place for lunches or just coffee and cake.

The View from the Terrace at the National Library Canberra is breath taking.
I think it is one of Canberras best eating venues.
Inside or out it is beautiful.
The exhibitions at the Library are marvellous also. It is well worth a visit.
Drop in for a cuppa to test it and I am sure you will include it in your regular eating spots.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Archbishop Mark Coleridge - quotes St Bonaventure

Dear Friends
I just want to share this passage of Archbishop Mark Coleridge's homily at his intallation ceremony to the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Australia 11 May 2012.

It is just BEAUTIFUL............. AWESOME

Through the years, the glimpse I had then has become a dazzling vision of the truth of the Cross, which is why I have as my episcopal motto the words we have heard today from John’s Gospel, Sanguis et aqua, Blood and water:  “One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came forth blood and water”.
In offering this great symbol, the evangelist looks back to the passage from the prophet Ezekiel that we have heard proclaimed.  The prophet sees a stream of water flowing from the inner sanctum of the Jerusalem Temple, the Holy of Holies; and we have echoed his words in the Vidi aquam chanted as I entered the Cathedral.  The stream becomes a great river flowing east into the Judean desert and down to the Dead Sea.  Wherever the water goes, it turns death to life.  The desert becomes a garden, and the Dead Sea teems with life.
In the Gospel of John, the Temple where the glory of God dwells is no longer the sanctuary of Ezekiel’s vision.  It is the body of the dead Christ; and from the side of that new Temple there flows another river – not just water, but now blood and water, flowing out into the cosmos, turning all death to life.  St Paul speaks the same truth in different words:  “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10).  There is no weakness that cannot become strength, if we allow the power that raised Jesus from the dead to touch us at that point of weakness; and that power is the self-sacrificing love of God.
This is the vision that has come to me in deeply personal ways through the years.  But what is most personal is also most ecclesial; what is true of me is true also of the Church.  The great Christian teachers speak of the Church, the Bride of Christ, as born from the wounded side of the Lord.  St John Chrysostom says that “it was from his side that Christ formed the Church, as from the side of Adam he formed Eve.  As God took a rib from Adam’s side and formed woman, so Christ gave us blood and water from his side and formed the Church.  Just as then he took the rib while Adam was in deep sleep, so now he gave the blood and water after his death”.
According to St Bonaventure, the soldier with his spear was made to breach the wall of the new Temple “so that the Church might be formed from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death on the Cross”.  He goes on:  “Flowing from the secret abyss of our Lord’s heart as from a fountain, this stream gave the sacraments of the Church the power to confer the life of grace, while for those already living in Christ it became a spring of living water welling up to life eternal”.  Bonaventure concludes:  “Press your lips to the fountain, drawing water from the wells of your Saviour; for this is the spring flowing from the middle of Paradise, dividing into four rivers, inundating devout hearts, watering the whole earth and making it fertile”.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Year of Grace commences Pentecost 27 May 2012, Seeking the Face of Christ

This icon of Christ Pantocrator - Constantinople, 6th century. Monastery of St Catherine, Sinai.  

This Pentecost Sunday in Canberra the parishes have distribuated a bookmark with this Icon the Christ "Pantocrator". 
This is the oldest know icon, it dates from the 6th or 7th century. The two differnt facial expressions on either side are said to emphasise Christ's dual nature as fully God and fully human. This is the web site where you are able to download this beautiful bookmark for this Year of Grace -

Pantocrator - Icon by Sue Orchison Canberra ACT 2006

We are called to seek the face of Christ during this Year of Grace.
Each of us has a different relationship with Christ. 
On any day my relationship with Christ can change - 
I can see Christ as the Loving Shepherd, the Bridegroom, The Lover of My Soul, 
My Redeemer, My Healer, The Lamb of God
Christ the Fisherman - the Laughing Jesus - Copy by Sue 2009
and Friend.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Iandra Castle

Iandra - the Castle

Antoher great find - Iandra Castle near Grenfell NSW.
Beautiful rambling gardens, marvelous thick walls, numberous bedrooms, bathrooms, formal dining room, sitting room, billard room and the list goes on of the places to explore in this huge Castle.
The Castle has Open Days about four times a year. It is well worth the visit. I am sure you will be able to find the dates for open days on their website -
Take a picnic and sit in the gardens, you can get a good coffee from a vendor there. There are a few craft stalls there also - which are fun.
Do go and support this wonderful piece of our Australian Heritage - we did and had a great day.

Crisp Gallery Bowning NSW

The Crisp Gallery has a remarkable avenue of hybrid New Zealand Willows, walking under the Canopy is wonderfully peaceful.
The Crisp Gallery, on the Hume Highway near Bowning, is a fantastic find. We went to view the Icon exhibition by Lucy Antiloff and Joy MacDonald and found this treasure chest.  The surrounds are beautiful. Peter Crisp is an amazing artist. He was commissioned to create a gift for Prince Charles and Camilla and also Prince Fredrick and Princess Mary.

Do browse Peter's website -

It is a wonderful day outing from Canberra. It takes about an hour to  drive to the Galley from Canberra and is well worth the effort. The Gallery and Gardens are beautiful. They also serve Devonshire teas, have a gift shop and a fascinating array of geraniums for sale.

Harden/Murrumburrah Gold Trail 2012

Folk at the Harden/Murrumburrah Gold Trail show off their historical outfits
April 14th and 15th showcases the history of Harden/Murrumburrah each year highlighting a different aspect of story of the District. Last year we watched a re-enactment of the charge of the Light horse Brigade. This year one of the attractions was the shooting of the Assistant Gold Commissioner and the stage coach robbery attempt.
There are many food and local craft stalls and entertainment which included poetry, bands and vocalist singing ballards.
Put it on your calander for 2013!!