Two Icons by Kathy Sievers

Two Icons by Kathy Sievers

by David Clayton on February 27, 2012

Kathy Sievers teaches at an icon painting teaching program that takes place regularly at Mt Angel Abbey in Oregon (close to where she lives). She also teaches in Illinois and Florida. You can see more of her work at her website, here and more about the Mt. Angel program here

A few things caught my eye about these two icons is the lovely rhythm and grace of the lines. As well as have that calligraphic flow in the abstract, they do describe form well (without deviating from the iconographic style); so that, for example, we can read the folding of the cloth and how it relates the form underneath very easily. This is the mark of a good draughtsman. Also, look at how she has modelled the form. She appears to do a base layer in quite mottled paint – probable quite a thin single layer of paint (I’m guessing) as a wet puddle of quite dilute paint. This evapourates unevenly an so creates that mottled effect as the white gesso underneath shows through more in some parts than others. Then she paints the mid-tones and highlights on top of that. These are much denser, opaque layers of paint. The overall effect is very attractive, I think. I am painting a large Christ in Majesty at the moment and want to paint a blue robe. I have been looking at different ways of doing this, and Kathy is giving me some pointers through her work.


Two Icons by Kathy Sievers

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David is an Englishman living in New Hampshire, USA. He is an artist, teacher, published writer and broadcaster who holds a permanent post as Artist-in-Residence and Lecturer in Liberal Arts at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. The Way of Beauty program, which is offered at TMC, focuses on the link between Catholic culture, with a special emphasis on art, and the liturgy. David was received into the Church in London in 1993. Visit the Way of Beauty blog at

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