[quote=chrisb]Does anyone have any books or websites they could offer to help me in understanding icons better?
Here’s a few for starters:
An article by Bishop Nicholas Samra, the Auxiliary of the Eparch of Newton of the Melkites: Iconography In the Eastern Church
This is a simplified/condensed piece from a commercial site, but what it says is valid: Rules for Iconographers
A site from Saints Peter & Paul OCA parish in Meriden, CT, that gives a brief intro to Iconography and then goes on to display a number of icons and describe features of them. It also has a suggested reading list.
Al Green, an Orthodox layman, who has a variety of very interesting and worthwhile webpages, has a page, Icons & Iconography that offers a significant number of great links to sources (commercial and religious) for icons, as well as to articles, etc, on-line.
A series of excellent articles on Greek iconography is at the site of St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church.
[quote=Lisa N]Where would you suggest finding an authentic icon? The Mt Angel seminary in Oregon has one priest who’s been writing icons for some time. You can see them on the Mt Angel website. He did the icon for our Parish.
See above. I highly recommend that you use either a monastery, or commercial sites that offer the holy work of devout individual iconographers, such as Ray Mastroberte as your source.
The piece that John/Prodomos posted made mention of Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Brookline,MA; although Holy Transfiguration is itself a bit controversial, as it has aligned itself with a very conservative “non-canonical” Church within Orthodoxy, its monks write some very devout and beautiful icons.
As Deacon Ed has indicated, there are some very significant differences in iconographic representations as written in the Slav, Greek, Arabic, Coptic, Armenian, Syriac, etc. styles. It may be helpful to become familiar with each of these through reading and study to best know which you prefer - or, to just look and see which reach out to you.
A great site with some beautiful examples of icons in the Slav tradition is that of Dave Mastroberte, a young second-generation Orthodox iconographer, and friend of myself, Deacon Ed, and many of the other Byzantine Catholics here.
Brother Claude from Mt. Angel Abbey, whom you mentioned, writes beautiful icons, albeit some are a bit more Western in style.
St. Michael’s Melkite Greek Catholic Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Melkite Eparchy in Australia, has some brief articles and beautiful examples of the Arabic style of iconography at their website.
John/Prodomos presented a great piece above on the Gnostic Orthodox “monastery”. Father Lentz, an icographer and Catholic priest whose work you will find highlighted in a number of places, is also a very controversial figure in the Eastern community, having written (or, in his case, perhaps better described as painted) a number of icons that strain all the rules and precepts as to subject matter, style, etc.