Day One Icons: Blessing, Gesso-ing and Preparation
My hands, the board and brushes were blessed with holy water and prayers.I loved the feeling of the sprinkled water running through my fingers. I thought it would make me feel more serious about my work, but instead I felt more joyful.
I painted 6 layers of gesso onto my board, then wet sanded to a soft polish. I centered the image on the board and traced the outline of the face of Christ, first as a transfer, and then in paint with a brush.
I was nervous at first, I said so. Bernadette, the teacher, tilted her head as I said it and smiled at me, eyebrows lightly drawn together.
“Why would you be nervous?” she asked, she seemed slightly confused and very much charmed by the very idea of it.
When we all stood to say the Iconographer’s Prayer, she added at the end — with a giggle — “… and please let Kim not be so nervous.”
So then it was my turn to be enchanted. All nervousness disappeared.
Two other ladies are in the class, mother and daughter. The mother had to leave class early, so I was left with the daughter and decided to ask how she ended up here in this class.
The daughter said that her mother had suggested it, said it would be a good way for them to spend time together. “But I think she was just trying to get me to go back to church,” the daughter said with a grin.
“Did it work?” I asked.
She beamed, she nearly glowed.
“Oh yes,” she said as she looked lovingly down at the face she had created, a Jesus with the most kind eyes I had ever seen, “Oh yes.”
~ by Kimberly Mason on October 2, 2010.