15 years ago I was diagnozed with breastcancer. That changed my life - forever.
My immediate thought then was - NOW is the time to do something that is good for ME. All of a sudden it became clear to me, that most of my life I had attended everybody elses needs and wishes and had forgotten about myself totally... I had to find out what I wanted to do, what I enjoyed. But my mind was totally empty, I did not have a clue..... Really scary...
Somebody told me to contact a spiritual center nearby and there I attended yoga and qi-gong classes 3 times a week. I joined a group that studied "the Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. Interesting stuff! After half a year, we started studying A Course in Miracles...
I went to a workshop called "Pathfinder days". After meditation the first day, we were asked to draw what we experienced. Oh dear, draw, I thought
I was so bad at drawing, not me at all. But I did it, drew this small drawing, showing me sitting in lotus position with a wonderful ellipse in all the colours of the rainbow over my head and light pouring down on me. And then arms embracing me totally...
I showed this drawing to the therapist at the center and she exclaimed: It is a modern icon!! Icon, I thought, hm. Did not know a thing about icons. Just for the fun of it, I made a new drawing, similar to this one and tried to make it look really nice. I gave it to my sister and thought: if it touches her heart in a way, this is maybe something for me to consider...
I gave it to her and tears filled to her eyes.. She knew excactly what it was!
One night shortly after I had a dream with a figure called Abraham, a helper. I did not know what it was he would help me with, just presented himself as the helper by the name Abraham.
The next morning there was a letter for me in the postbox. It contained a programme from another spiritual center. What immediately caught my eyes was a course in iconpainting!! Not only was it a course in iconpainting, the teacher was a danish nun by the name, would you imagine - sister ABRAHAM.
The guidance could not be much clearer. I attended the 5 days workshop in Jutland, and I was like in a different world totally. Painting Mary, Jesus mother and Mary Magdalene in these five days. I made me so extremely happy, words can not describe it.
I KNEW, this was for me, I knew this was something I would do for the rest of my life,
So I went home, showed the icons to everybody, and everybody were very polite and happy with me and thought the icons were wonderful, and so did I. I thought it was miraculous! I never knew how to draw, I never knew how to paint (I thought).
So at home I immediately started making wooden boards with gesso (chalk and rabbitglue and water) to paint on (the traditional iconographer's way)
One of my first icons
And I repeated the icon with Mary and the child, again and again and again. They became better and better I thought, and I was at that time afraid I would loose it again, that the next icon would not be good, that it was a coincident that I managed the first times....
I have been spending time painting icons almost every day since then! I have been abroad for classes, in a finnish monastery, at an castle in Wales, in Larissa in Greece and in Sofia.. I have found the best teachers (of course)...
I have also attended drawing classes, and found out I am actually really good at drawing as well. Never knew that.. It only has to do with opening your eyes and learn how to distinguish darkness from light!
After a couple of years a friend suggested I gave a class in iconpainting at her center. Me I though - teach?
(in fact, I had been told by a clairvoyant that I was to teach, but thought I knew nothing to teach...)
But I did and I loved it from the very beginning. That is 7 years ago now. I have had about 40 classes in Denmark as well as in Norway and the Faroe Islands.
I know it is something everybody can do. Everybody can learn to open their eyes, everybody can learn to see darkness and light. To concentrate on each stroke of the pen, trust in the good result, not worry if there is time enough..
The interesting thing about iconpainting is that we always go from darkness to light. One always starts with the darkest colour for instance of the cloth. and put lighter and lighter layers, thus creating the form.
From darkness to light - just like in our lives...
It took me quite a long time to figure out why I had this urge to repeat Mother and child again and again and again...
It has been such a tremendous help and inspiration to me. Every day when I look at my icons I am reminded of the love of God for me. That there is nothing to fear, that I am taken care of !!
What I have learnt is this: Our thoughts limits us.. only our thoughts.
Anyone can do it!!