“An icon is not just another kind of art, it is considered a prayer. Once blessed, an icon is actually a window into heaven.For example, when you see an icon of ‘Our Lady, Star of the Sea,’ you are actually looking at an image of her, and she is looking at you. That's what makes Icons so unique. They are meant to help with meditation and prayer."
- Vivian Imbruglia -
A student once told me, 'I want to paint a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and I want her gown to match my wallpaper." I had to tell her in Iconography there are rules, and you have to honor those rules. The rules matter because the icon tells a story. Certain colors are used because they represent certain things, and certain symbols represent other things. History has amassed these rules so that people seeking to know God's Word can understand what they are seeing.
Heavenly beings exist now in glory and behold the beatific vision, the Face of God Himself. Hence, we adorn them in the most majestic treatments, including ornate jewels, 22 or 24 karat gold embellishments and foil, and patterns worthy of royal beings.
An iconographer abides by color codes in writing an icon, because each shade depicts meaningful symbolism, such as royalty, humanity, service, or glory.
Further, an iconographer can mix real holy water or actual earth from sacred pilgrimage sites into her paint powders. In fact, the miraculous spring water from Lourdes was stirred into the paint when the icon of Our Lady of Lourdes was written.
Also, Mary is painted in blues, reds and whites. White for purity. Blue for royalty. Red for mercy and royalty (royalty is symbolized by both blue and red).
May your own eyes be drawn heavenward via their gaze.
“I stop and pray during that time that those eyes will draw the person that needs to be drawn in. One person could walk by one and go, ‘Oh yeah, that’s pretty,’ but you may walk by, and maybe kneel down and feel so drawn into it. And that is why I pray so hard during the creation of those eyes, that they actually draw that person in to know that devotion even more. It’s very, very personal...very personal.”