Tuesday, July 20, 2010

St. Elijah the Prophet

Today is the memorial of the Prophet of Carmel, St. Elijah.  As usual, Elena who writes Fountain of Elias has a nice post for his feast day, check it out here.
I haven't much to say today, so I thought I would just post one of my earlier icons of St. Elijah and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel imaging Kings 18:44 "Behold a little cloud rising from the sea."  It is not a 'real' icon since it is painted and not 'written'.  I painted it in 1986 for the Carmelite nuns in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.  The panel is small, approximately 18" x 12".  It is one of 4 icons I've painted of the prophet Elijah.
A few notes:
- I depended more upon 'hatching' than washes back then.
- I used composition gold leaf for the backgound, except for in the mandorla of Our Lady.
- I've never been any good at caligraphy.


  1. Austringer11:15 AM

    Very nice, Terry. I always enjoy seeing your work.

    Are you using the gold leaf stuff that one can find at art stores like Dick Blick or Penco? I've seen a number of different products there, though I've never used any of them. Is it difficult to work with? Are any particular precautions necessary to preserve it? (That is, does it flake off with time? Do you varnish it?)

  2. Anonymous11:43 AM

    Hello Terry,

    I must say, that's beautiful! I love that theme and the way you've represented it.

    Do you have any prints of it?


  3. John - I only have one now - if you'd like it send me an email with your address - tj.nelson@hotmail.com

  4. Austringer - Thanks. I was never trained to do gold leaf but I have found gold lays better and looks a 1000x's better than composition. The best way to do leaf is water gilding - it can be burnished that way. I use a varnish ground and apply the leaf - like sign makers. I'm not at all adept at it.

  5. Austringer12:17 PM

    Terry, just about everything you said there was incomprehensible -- not because of how you said it, but because I am completely clueless as to what gold composition or water gilding are. No need to waste your time trying to explain -- obviously this is something that needs a bit of research on my part. It sounds very interesting, though...

    A varnish ground?? You mean you varnish the panel, and then apply the gold? Are you varnishing primed (gesso?) panel, or bare panel?

  6. I want money for one reason:

    To commission artists to create Catholic art I can stare at all day.

    Seriously, this made my day... One day I will be able to afford things such as this and hang them in my house or office.

    God bless you Terry.

  7. Love the icon and thank you for the link!

  8. Beautiful!
    Happy feast, Terry, and all you Carmelites!

  9. Your work is absolutely beautiful!

  10. I'm not very good at hatching and try to compensate for my deficiencies with washes.

  11. Thank you Father Elijah...

    I closed a major engineering task today 9 days early and 25 percent under budget....

    Saved you US taxpayers some buku bucks :)

    Maybe I'll get a tiny bit of a raise this year?? :)


  12. Thank you for remembering 'St Elijah'; but this artwork from your own hand adds something wonderful !

  13. Sara: You rock!!
    Hope you get your raise, dear:<)!

  14. Terry, this lovely! My teenage son is studying these next two weeks iconography. Very excited, and he is the youngest in his class of 5 students. The only other male surprisingly is from MN and a graduate from St. Paul Seminary and had been studying in Rome ... God is good! We all got a chuckle at the coincidence.

    Your piece is wonderful ... My son's Hebrew name is from Elijah.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.