ICON PAINTING WORKSHOPS WITH AIDAN HART 9-13 May and 19-23 September
at Walcot Hall, UK
About the Course
This year, 2022, as in previous years I shall be running a five-day icon workshop on May 9-13 and on September 19-23, at beautiful Walcot Hall in Lydbury North, Shropshire (SatNav SY7 8AU) (http://www.walcothall.com/).
In the May workshop we shall concentrate on the full figure (with an emphasis on proportion and drapery), and in September on the face and hands, so that icon will be a bust (waist up). There will be a talk with slides at each workshop. The theology of the icon is taught in the context of learning the technique.
We all paint the same icon, with Aidan guiding us through the different stages of building up colours in traditional egg tempera on a previously prepared gessoed panel. After demonstrating each stage (there are about three demonstrations a day), Aidan spends time with each student one-to-one. Icon painting is a complex process and requires many years of training. The aim is not therefore to complete the icon by
the end of the course, but to gain experience in the given area (drapery, or face and hands).
The course caters both for the inexperienced and the more experienced. Participants bring their own pigments, panel and equipment. About three months before the course, students will be sent a list of materials that they will need to bring with them, including a prepared gesso panel. The panel can either be purchased, or if desired, students can make their own (instructions will be supplied).
Students are sent a digital copy of the icon to be used as a prototype, and will be expected to do a drawing of this before the workshop begins. This is so that we have maximum time for learning painting skills during the course itself.
The course consists of around seven hours tuition per day (9.00am–5.00pm, except Monday when 10.30am–5.00pm, and Friday when 9.00am–1.00pm). There are places for twelve participants.
The nearest international airports are Birmingham International and Manchester. The nearest train station is Craven Arms, six miles from Walcot Hall. From there the best thing is a taxi (this needs to be booked in advance). Do a Google search for current taxi companies.
The cost for the teaching will be £470 (£392 plus 20% VAT). The fee includes a substantial cooked lunch and morning and afternoon teas with biscuits and cakes.
A £30 deposit will be required by those whose registration is accepted. The non-refundable balance of £440 will be due about three months before the course begins (except for a Covid related cancellation or postponement; see below). The invoice will be mailed about two weeks before that due date.
The course offers self-catering accommodation at Walcot Hall to those who wish it. Participants are given their own bedroom in one of the Walcot apartments. Each 1 apartment has two to three bedrooms and its own kitchen and bathroom or two.
Accommodation is booked through the course and not directly with Walcot Hall. The accommodation cost is £230 per person (payable to Aidan Hart Icons not to Walcot Hall). This includes bed linen and towels, and food supplies for you to make your own breakfast. Participants will need to arrange their own evening meals. Bishops Castle is 3 miles (5 km) away and has numerous shops, takeaways and eating places.
A non-refundable £20 deposit for accommodation is required of successful registrants.
The course accommodation is available from 9.30 am Monday until 1.00 pm Friday. Sometimes your room will be available at Walcot Hall for the Sunday night before the course (though not usually Friday night), but you will have to contact the office and arrange and pay for this extra night yourself directly (phone 01588 680570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Alternatively, if you need accommodation for Sunday or Friday nights, you might be able to get rooms at the following local places:
● Brumslow Farm House Ph.01588 680244 Brumslow Farm
● Walcot Farm Ph. 01588 680243
If you wish to come, please fill in and return the registration form below by email: email@example.com. Acceptance is on a first-come first-served basis, so only the senders of the first twelve registrants’ forms to be received can be accepted. Places are usually filled within a few days, so don’t delay! Successful registrants will then be sent an invoice for the deposits (£30 for tuition only, or £50 for tuition plus accommodation). These are non-refundable.
In the event of Covid restrictions prohibiting the workshop occurring on the chosen date, registrants will be given the option of a refund of the balance or a place on the same course at the new date.
Although every effort will be made to be as Covid safe as possible, there will be thirteen of us seated together in two rooms for the course, and in one room for meals. Since vaccinations lower the transmission rate considerably, I think it is therefore considerate of others that only those who are vaccinated and have received the booster should attend. Thank you for your understanding.
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Aidan Hart was born in England in 1957 and grew up in New Zealand. There he worked as a full-time sculptor for a number of years after completing a degree in English literature and a Diploma in Secondary Education teaching. In 1983 he became a member of the Orthodox Church, returned to live in England, and began to work as a professional iconographer. While continuing to work as an iconographer, from 1988 to 2000 he tested his vocation as a monk, including spending a total of two years on Mount Athos and six as a hermit in Shropshire, UK. This intense life of prayer had a profound effect on his work. He is now married with two children, his best icons yet.
To meet the liturgical needs of the churches commissioning him, over the past thirty years Aidan has gained extensive experience in a wide range of media: egg tempera panel painting; fresco; mosaic; stone and wood carving; illuminated manuscript painting; church furniture design.
Training others in liturgical arts has also been part of his work. In 2009 he founded and still teaches the part-time Icon Certificate programme for The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts. In 2012 Aidan was joined in his studio by the highly gifted artist, Martin Earle (www.martinearle.com). Since then, Martin has worked with Aidan on subsequent major projects, as well as on his own commissions. In 2018 the equally gifted Dr James Blackstone (www.dunstanicons.com) joined Aidan’s studio as an apprentice.
To meet growing demand (he has over 1200 commissioned works in private and church collections in over 25 countries of the world) and to help execute his designs for church furnishings, Aidan also works with a team of highly skilled craftspeople, including cabinetmakers, blacksmiths, and foundries.
In demand as a writer, lecturer and teacher, he has had numerous articles published on the subjects of iconography, ecology and Orthodox spirituality. In 2015 he was elected a Fellow of the Temenos Academy.
Aidan has published two books, "Techniques of Icon and Wall Painting", the most extensive work on the subject, and “Beauty Spirit Matter”, a collection of essays, both published by Gracewing. He is currently working on a third book, ‘The History and Meaning of Festal Icons’, due to be published in 2021.
Walcot Hall in Lydbury North, Shropshire (SatNav SY7 8AU), UK (http://www.walcothall.com/).