21. jul. 2012

Masterclass med Theodoros

Masterclass med Theodoros

Jeg er lige kommet hjem efter 3 herlige uger i Larissa, Grækenland, hvor jeg har deltaget i et kursus i ikonmaling hos Theodoros Papadopoulos.
Det har været meget lærerigt og inspirerende.
Under samtaler med Theodoros kom ideen om at forsøge at lave et kursus med ham her i Danmark.
Tanken er at samle 6-8 kursister som deltagere i et 9 dages kursus.  Theodoros måde at male på er ganske unik, det som karakteriserer hans arbejde er den smukke måde hvorpå de forskellige farvenuancer og også forskellige farver, toner ind i hinanden, de smukke overgange fra mørke til lys.
Tanken er et kursus som løber over 9 dage, en mulig dato kunne være f.eks. 9. til 17. februar 2013.
Selve maleprocessen foregår på staffeli, med temperafarver.
Prisen på kurset vil ligge på 8000 kr.  Det vil blive et kursus som er beregnet på ikonmalere med erfaring, som har malet ikoner i nogle år.
Kurset er endnu kun i støbeskeen, jeg undersøger om der er interesse for et sådant kursus.
Hvis du kunne være interesseret i at deltage, vil jeg meget gerne høre fra dig.

Vil du vide mere om Theodoros kan du besøge hans hjemmeside her: www.theodoreicons.com

16. jul. 2012

The face of Christ

What could be more appropriate than to finish this course by painting the face of Christ...
I was very happy when Theodoros told us that this would be our final task.
So this day we have been painting the first layers of the face and hair,  the beard almost finished.  He is looking very mild.. and I like it a lot!
I am looking forward to finishing this before I leave---

Every monday morning there is a huge market here in Larissa, in the street just outside our window.  So I bought a few presents on my way and some greek mountain tea, and fruit to eat during the day.

It was a very hot day as usual, but maybe I am getting used to it? 
Tonight Theodoros and his wife will take us out (again), this being my final evening here in Larissa.  They are so very kind and helpful in all ways.

Anyway, tomorrow is my last day, I will take the train to Thessaloniki in the evening  at 21.00 to catch a very early flight (04.50) to Zurich and then Copenhagen.  That will not be too bad either...:))

14. jul. 2012

Wings that can fly!

The last two days we have been paining this wing.  It is part of an angel with six wings. 
Might look simple, but I can assure you, it was not...
Tomorrow is our day off, and I then have only two days left before I return to Denmark.

A little bit sad; I will miss the lessons with Theodore - but I will not miss the heat...

12. jul. 2012

Face of Maria - finally finished

Today we finished the face of Mary.  We have been painting eagerly for 3 Days under close, very close supervision of Theodore.  Although there are several things  that could  be improved, I am very happy about the result.

This is what I have been trying to accomplish for years, now I know how to do it, what  it takes now is some more practice.

The last part of the day Theodore showed us several different ways to paint backgrounds and halos.
Tomorrow - we will take a closer look at hands.

11. jul. 2012

Marias new face II

Oh how much I enjoyed this day. Working with the eyes and mouth of Mary!! I like it so much.  We did not finish it all today, there is still some work to be done tomorrow.
So even if the heat today was extreme, I was content with it all. Went outside and poured half a litre of water down my back - it felt very refreshing.
Now, I will spend the rest of my day in my hotel room, toooo  hot outside.

I so much enjoy todays lesson in A Course in Miracles:  "Everything that happens to me are lessons God would have me learn".  I only have to remember one thing: there are no exceptions!

"Forgive, and you will see this differently." These are the words the Holy Spirit says to all my trials, my sufferings and my pain.
My answer: I will forgive, and this will disappear.

10. jul. 2012

Marias new face...

ENDELIG da, er vi kommet til det sted i undervisningen, hvor vi skal male Marias ansigt...  Tænkte det ikke skulle være så svært. Og det var det heller ikke.
Men det var en fuldstændig ny teknik stort set.   Nu er vi halvfærdige, og jeg kan næsten ikke vente til at gøre arbejdet færdig i morgen.
Dette bliver muligvis det smukkeste jeg har lavet til d.d.  :))


Finally, we have arrived at painting the face of Mary..  Thought this would not be so difficult, and it was not.
Although the tecnique is totally different from my usual way to paint, I did not find it totally new.
It is difficult to wait until tomorrow - to finish the work on this icon.

This might probably be the best I have ever done.

I will show you when it is finished... Theabove icon is one I painted last year...

9. jul. 2012

Flowers for my teacher

Because you are worth it...

Be mild...

I thought today was going to be - not so difficult. I was wrong!  But I felt so ready, after a good night's sleep and all.  Not so.  It seemed as if I could not even draw one straight line.  And when I did, I wanted to improve it a little bit, and it was all wrong - again.  Theodore helped me out, and I made the same mistake again, it should be just a little bit darker towards the end, and then - ups the dark area got too big.

And when Theodore said he did not understand why I was so good the other day and today could do nothing, I was prepared to wnkjwhiohnfvxszk!!!
Perhaps it is the heat, my age, the noise etc. etc.?  No, the thing is - this is me.  This is my skill, the problem is I want to be perfect, or at least very good.  I push myself,   I am never content, it is as if I am hearing my parents in the background, come on, you can do it,you can do better than this, be good now, work on it...

This will stop now.

I will be mild with myself.  I will not compare myself with a master. I do the best I can, and that will be fine! I will accept myself, just the way I am.

So help me God.

8. jul. 2012

Busy days in Larissa...

This is NOT a vacation I am on.  This is hard work from 9 o'clock in the morning til at least 15.00 in the afternoon, 6 days a week.
After several days painting different garments and also the open book, our teacher thought we might be ready to paint a face.
We will be painting the face of Mary.  But first we will paint her garment, this time in a very dark red colour, lightened with blue.  It is so beautiful!  So the whole day yesterday we spent painting her garment,mainly the part covering her head, nice clean parallel  arches, fading out on one side...
It takes much practice.  I cannot wait until tomorrow where we will continue.

This is not just another ordinary course in iconpainting.

When the course was finished yesterday, Theodore and his  wife had invited us (Violeta and me) for an excursion.  We headed towards the north of Larissa, and our first stop was in a valley, where the river comes from the plains of Larissa and is passing the mountainous area on its way to the ocean.  Here - on the other side of the suspension bridge is the well of Daphne, with wonderfully clear and clean water. Just like in Norway!
We also visited the small old church at this place with a very wonderful old icon of St. Paraskevi, which is said to give miracles to people, especially with eye problems. You can read about the saint here:

Leaving this peaceful place we went further north - towards the sea.  I was so much looking forward just to float on my back....
Theodore's parents have a summerhouse just two steps from the beach, so we quickly changed and went for a swim. AHHHH....

They prepared the most delicious grilled dinner for us. (the father at the grill), they are so very friendly.  Interesting it was to listen to Theodore's father tell stories from his own childhood, and his fathers' childhod, stories about fleeing from hostile invaders of their country, bulgarians, turks and germans, and about living as refugees in Jerusalem for years.This is where he learnt to speak english so well, attending an english school for 6 years. Amazing stories.Thank you mr. Papadopoulos!

At 8 in the evening we left for mount Olympos, to visit the  small village Panteleimon. 
I could hear some music as we entered the village - a girl playing the song "I am on the top of the world"  - that is what we were!
 This is the favourite place of Theodore and his wife.  And that I can understand.  It looked like a village from a fairytale.

So, this is where our day ended - in a nice restaurant with a panoramic view of Olympos on one side, and Thessaloniki in the far distance , the lights from the ancient castle and -  the sea.

I am very blessed.

6. jul. 2012

From darkness to light...

The day started with talks about iconpainting - especially in Scandinavia.  It would be such a delight to have Theodore come to Scandinavia! And the best thing about this - is that he is not unwilling to do that.  So now I will have to start making some connections... What a joy!

Today, after we finished the garment of blue and beige colours, Theodore decided we should paint the Book...  Seems so easy, just a book - a little darker in the middle, fading lighter towards the edges.
Now I am beginning to learn - alert when Theodore says something is easy...

With this book, we start with a proplasmos, and make it a bit darker in the middle.  Fading is softly out to the edges. Seems easy!  Theodore tells me I am working too fast.  I thought he meant the strokes were too fast, so moved the brush more slowly.  But he still said I was moving too fast...
Finally I understood - I was moving too fast from the darkness to the light!
I have to move slowly from the dark to the light...

Hm  Reminds me of my life, I have to be patient.  I want the light, I want it now.... but I must move slowly - step by step.  It says so in a Course oin Miracles, every step can only be taken when I am prepared to do it,.
Like my brush - I cannot go further until the work is done where the brush is - not moving too fast forward.
When I learn to be patient, finishing each step before I go on, I will succed.

Dear God, thank you for this blessed day.

5. jul. 2012


I have come to realize that every thing that happens to me, I ask for, and receive as I have asked.  And everything that happens to me is for a reason and is a lesson I can choose to learn.
So far so good.
I also know now that this journey is taken in steps... one at a time.
So here I am in Larissa, thinking I am here to learn iconpainting, by a  great teacher who paints wonderful icons.  And I am here to learn that - but I am being given anothert lesson - on top of that.  I am so lucky!
I have been teaching iconpainting for maybe 4 or 5 years now.  I often hear from the students that I am good.  Good at painting straight lines, good at painting lovely eyes, and goodlooking hair etc. And I observe how much my ego rejoices in all this!
And I do not attack myself for that, I observe it - and leave it, without judging myself.  So far so good.
Today I had another great lesson presented to me.  On working with a particularly difficult part of one of Theodore's own icons, I just lost it.  Could not see the lines, misunderstood what he said, and all went totally wrong.
And then, my teacher told me that I must practice, try to teach my eyes to see, see different shades, darkness and light,   remember I am a beginner, paint straight lines, not too blurred, blurred on one side, not the other...
Of my God, I was just about to walk out of the whole thing. Why?  Someone tried to push me from my comfort zone, and my throne of specialness!!  I knew I wanted to be special, but that it was this big?
It really pissed me off.
So what to do here?  I am so glad I was able to observe this.   But observation is not enough.   I have to show the whole thing to the Holy Spirit, look at it with forgiving eyes, and not judging it.  Just see that this is how I am,  this is the way I react.  And slowly it lost its grip in me, and I could laugh at the whole thing, and I could also tell Theodore and Violeta about my observations.
I am so grateful that they  would listen to me,  it is of great help to get it out in the open so to speak...

So - besides being taught Theodore's way to paint an icon - there are also other great  lessons involved here!
And there is great help for me to read in A Course in Miracles.
When I came home I read the following lesson :

 Light and joy and peace abide in me (lesson 93)

This is the truth bout me

3. jul. 2012

One lucky me!!

Today Theodore has shown us how he paints a very dark garment lightened in red colours.  This is an amazing process to watch. (The above is my first feeble attempt)
The bottom layer is painted, the shadows are added in 3 different tones.  First from left to the right on the left side of this icon, gradually disappearing into  the bottom layer. Then a few of the explanatory lines are added, as well as dark shadows in the areas at the bottom of the icon and around the inside of the elbow,
Gradually, very gradually we work our way from darkness to light.
What can be seen above is with the very helpful hand of my teacher.  Tomorrow we will be adding the last 2 layers of the lightenings.
Most of the morning we were watching how Theodoros was working - it is so amazing to watch his hand dancing, working effortlessly to create this garment which almost invites you to put it on!
I am so very grateful to be here and be taught by one of the best iconpainters ever.... 


1. jul. 2012

En stille søndag

Søndag er en meget stille dag her i Larissa.  Jeg sov som en sten i nat, begynder at vende mig til larmen fra Aircondition systemet. Efter morgenmaden besluttede jeg mig for at vandre en tur op til det antikke amfiteater og udgravningerne i dets umiddelbar nærhed.  Ikke mange mennesker på gaden - alle er ved vandet.

Jeg havde ikke noget kort med vidste bare det lå i nærheden af den centrale plads i byen.  vandret lidt rundt og oppe for enden af en smal gade øjnede jeg noget der kunne ligne... og sim sala bim så var jeg der

På billedet her kunne det næsten se ud som om det ligger ude på landet - men dette er faktisk midt i centrum ad Larissa, oppe på byens høj.
I nærheden er også en  udgravning af et gammelt tempel, lidt at et puslespil at kikke på de tusinder af små og store stykker.  Det projekt er støttet af EU med 300 000 euro kunne jeg læse på et skilt

Her oppe fra højen kunne jeg skimte bjergene i Larissas omegn, mod nordvest Olympos.

Jeg hørte pludselig sang i nærheden og gik efter lyden.  Og der lå en større kirke, med dørene åbne i siderne - her er nemlig ret varmt.  Jeg fik en langærmet bluse på og gik ind -der var  masser af mennesker, og jeg kunne se jeg ikke havde behøvet det med blusen.  Her var alle mulige påklædninger, kvinder i korte kjoler uden ærmer, og også bukser.  Ellers har jeg jo fået at vide at man skal have kjole på og langermet bluse, det var måske i gamle dage.
Theo har fortalt mig at folk tager i kirke for at få mad fordi de ingen penge har, og rigtignok blev der delt brød ud efter messen, jeg troede et øjeblik det var nadver, men folk kom med brød i hænderne, altså ikke bare et stykke med en hel håndfuld...  Det er meget dårlige tider i Grækenland.

Jeg nød sangen og alle de smukke ikoner - det er så overvældende det med ikonerne og vægmalerierne.

Vandrede stille og rolig hjem, for lidt vild, men gik tilbage og fandt den rigtige vej.  I parken på den store plads havde mændene (de lidt ældre - min alder?) indtaget alle bænke.  Hvor er kvinderne?  Ikke her i alle fald.
Købte mig lidt vand og en sandwich til lunch, og nu - midt på dagen er det alt for varmt at være ude.  Skønt her på værelset med benene op, gang i luftkøleren, og tilgængelig WI FI.
Jo, det er ikke helt galt det her.
I morgen bliver det ikonmaling igen fra kl. 9.00.  Da er mine enetimer desværre slut, der kommer en dame mer - fra Athen.  Er spændt på om hun taler engelsk,  det er hovedsagelig de unge der gør det.  Jeg får håbe.