>The Angel(s) of the Lord

>Today is the Feast of The Annunciation, when we celebrate the Archangel’s Gabriel’s greeting to the Mother of God, foretelling the conception and birth, life and destiny of Jesus. Equally important, Mary accepted her role when she said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord! Be it done to me according to Your word.” The icon of The Annunciation at left is at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Clinton, Mississippi, and was done by the Russian iconographer Fr. Andrew Tregubov.

Here’s part of our icon corner, with the second icon I ever painted (in 2002) of Archangel Gabriel, and the Lenten and Paschal Calendar on the wall next to it, the one Deacon James and Corinne gave us. We open a window every Sunday, revealing another icon and another step in our journey towards our celebration of the Lord’s resurrection.

This is another icon of Gabriel (right) which was the prototype for an icon workshop I taught a couple of years ago.

We celebrated the Feast with Divine Liturgy at St. John Orthodox Church here in midtown Memphis this morning, followed by a breakfast coffee hour. God visited us with the most perfect day: 72 degrees and sunny. After spending a morning with my brothers and sisters at St. John, I returned home to continue the work Kerry and I have been doing in preparation for the icon workshop that I’ll be teaching at St. John beginning Thursday night.

It’s fitting to be working on another icon of “The Angel of the Lord” on this feast day (prototype, from a monastery on the island of Patmos, Greece, left.) In Holy Scriptures, the term “angel of the Lord” sometimes refers to Gabriel, sometimes to Michael, and sometimes we don’t know which angel it’s referring to. There are actually nine archangels and many other angels in the Lord’s “army.”

Yesterday Kerry and I finished the lines and the garment highlights and the names (right).

Today I did the shading and highlights on the hair (left).

I took a break tonight to celebrate the Feast with my husband and two dear Godchildren, Damon and Madeleine, at Tsunami Restaurant in Cooper Young. We had the best sea bass I’ve ever tasted. Ever. Nice break from the Fast!

Tomorrow we hope to finish the face of the icon, pack everything up, and set it up at the church, with help from a friend who will haul the heavy stuff. The workshop starts Thursday night. I’m looking forward to introducing this ancient liturgical art to a new group of students and a couple of returning ones. Stay tuned for photos of the workshop later in the week! Happy Feast!

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