Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn

21MaryCrownedAfter church last Sunday a dear friend and I visited the studio of a local iconographer, Bernadette Weber. It was all part of the ARTrails of Southwest Washington Studio Tour (last chance this weekend) but we were on a mission to see just this one studio.

When Bonnie Jean and I entered the studio I felt my knees give and I could hear the force of Bonnie Jean’s indrawn breath match my own.

We knew we had entered a place were holy things happen.

We were surrounded by images of saints and angels, of joy and sorrow — and if there is a category of joyful sorrow, then that too. Bernadette had three or four pieces in various stages of completion, dirty brushes strewn about, half-finished drawings, well-used paint jars, rosaries galore, every inch of wall space covered with color and gold and shine. It was overwhelming and humbling, but welcoming.

It was a Gift to have been allowed inside her studio.

21ArtrailsI found myself asking her, “So how do I get to be your student? Are you taking students? What do I do? How much money do I need to get started? When can I start? I need to do this!”

It’s very uncharacteristic of me to be so bold, so pushy (okay, in this situation anyway, I’m well aware that I can be pushy in others!)

But Bernadette seemed to be familiar with my brand of enthusiasm. She told a story of a man who had walked into her studio and shouted, “I MUST do this! How do I start? I want to start NOW!”

“The essential feature of the icon is a presence of the unutterable that flows out of a material form.” -Fr. Egon Sendler SJ

I can’t wait to get started. Would you mind if I took you on this journey with me?

~ by Kimberly Mason on September 24, 2009.

6 Responses to “Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn”

  1. Mind? Friend, I’d love it.

  2. I love that icon you’ve got posted up top! Non-traditional, but powerful. Love the halo, the hands, the design on her robe… heck, just about everything.

    Count me in on this journey. Would love to be writing right along with you! So many dreams, so much distance and too few resources to close the gap…

  3. Nope – actually I INSIST that you take us along!

  4. I’d like to come along also, if you don’t mind. Does the artist, Bernadette Weber, have a web site?

    • No website. Bernadette said she prefers to communicate on the phone or in person. Rather refreshing, actually. 🙂

    • BUT I did forget to add that she is busy writing a book on her techniques. One of the really cool things she shared is the green and white underpainting of the skintones AND the fact that she uses her fingertips to pat on and blend the color….

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