Our Lady of Paisley
Our Lady of Paisley

Welcome to the Sacred Images website.

I am a Scottish artist who studied Neo – Coptic iconography in the London studio of Dr. Stephane Rene. I am developing a personal style which has its roots at present in the Neo – Coptic tradition and this is inspiring me to follow a path where I hope to incorporate this tradition with my own original style while still maintaining a strong connection to this heritage.

What is an Icon?

The icon is a tool for transmitting the tradition of the Christian faith. The images complement the written word of scripture (and the Holy Spirit speaks to us through them.)

The icon is not meant to be a sentimental piece. No sentimentality or drama. Traditionally the faces do not depict strong feelings – suggesting only virtues such as: purity, patience, forgiveness, compassion and love. Often, for example the icon of the crucifixion does not show the physical pain Christ suffered on the cross, but rather what led Him to the cross: the voluntary action of giving his life for us.

The Silence of the Icon

Icons are silent. Close observation shows that the mouths of the characters are never open. There is perfect silence in the icon and this stillness and silence creates an atmosphere of prayer and contemplation. The silence of an icon is a silence that speaks. It is the silence of Christ on the cross; it is the silence of the witness of the Virgin Mary and the saints.

Icons are not three dimensional because the icon is not a representation of our conscious world, but an attempt to suggest the beauty of the Kingdom of God.

The iconographer uses prototypes but the iconographer’s individual spirituality is present in the creation of every icon. “Although icons are remarkably alike, we never find two absolutely identical”. (Leonid Ouspensky)

Thomas Merton explains: “The icon is an act of witness – what we see in prayer before an icon is not an external representation of a historical person, but an interior presence in light, which is the glory of the transfigured Christ, the experience of which is transmitted in faith from generation to generation”.