January 28, 2013

The Ukranian Icon

Back in my traveling days, I spent a month with relatives in Kiev. It was an amazing trip and I learned a lot about the culture. One of the things that I enjoyed the most was drawing in the museums. Unfortunately that was not officially allowed but I did sneaky quick sketches anyway. As I was drawing one icon, however, a guard noticed and came over gesticulating wildly and saying “nyet.” I spoke no Ukranian save the phrase I had learned from my grandmother which means “wait a minute.” So much to the guard’s consternation I said that. I also knew how to say “thank you,” but it didn’t seem appropriate at the time. I could have conversed in rudimentary Russian but that wouldn’t too great either. There was just too much nervousness in the air about icon forgery. Needless to say, my sketch from that time was quite hasty but yesterday, I cleaned it up and fleshed it out in my heavy grey pastels and am today posting my breaking-the-rules rendering of a Ukranian icon. I always loved this image. It reminded me of the drawings and paintings of George Rouault. My husband thinks it looks like me!

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