Mission Statement

This blog journals my quest of art, whether it is a piece of work that is inherent in nature or one created by artists known or unknown or that I created myself. During this search, I have come to appreciate the magnificence and generosity of God who in his infinite wisdom surrounded us with exquisiteness everyday...everywhere and inspired our human spirit to create beauty that feeds our bodies and souls. Come join me on my journey to find art through my travels and my own creative endeavors. Maraming salamat.

All rights to all posts and contents on this blog, including photos and artwork are reserved by jojo sabalvaro tan.






Saturday, March 30, 2013

My Easter Offering - Jesus Christ Pantocrator

Jesus Christ Pantocrator Icon  (9" x 12")
by jojo sabalvaro tan, 2013
Mixed Media Collage (Watercolor, Paper Mosaic)


This Easter, since I am so inspired to make icons nowadays, I decided to make an icon of Jesus Christ. I started a tradition for Easter of painting scenes from Jesus' life surrounding His death and resurrection a few years back.  As I worked on this project, I used the opportunity for  praying, contemplating  and meditating about the significance of Jesus Christ's  passion during Holy Week.

This project is sparked by the mosaic of Jesus Christ the Pantocrator (Almighty) found at the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, Turkey, The Hagia Sofia was dedicated in 360 AD as an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral, converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral in 1204 and then a mosque in 1453. During its lifetime many of the original art were defaced and covered up. They were later restored but not necessarily to their original state. The Dome of the church is considered the finest surviving example of Byzantine art and architecture. Today, Hagia Sofia is a museum holding precious mosaics and works of art. I have been to Turkey but not to Istanbul. I would like to visit Istanbul someday just to see Hagia Sofia.
Hagia Sofia, Istanbul, Turkey
There are a number of mosaics of Jesus Christ at Hagia Sofia, The one I am working on is from the grouping called Deesis (Entreaty) Mosaic depicting the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ and John the Baptist found in the imperial enclosure of the upper galleries. Although the bottom part of the mosaic is badly deteriorated, it is considered the finest in Hagia Sofia.
The Deësis mosaic (Δέησις, "Entreaty") probably dates from 1261.at Hagia Sofia

How I Made This Icon

Materials  used:
Scissors
Magazine pages
Watercolor
Metallic Gold paint
Luminescent Watercolor or Gouache
Paint brushes for painting
Paint brushes for applying glue
Glue (all purpose craft such as Aleene's , stick such as UHU and E6000)
Pins for placement of paper mosaic tiles
Poster board, black
140# Watercolor Paper
Red Sparkles for accent
Tracing paper
Transfer paper
Books for weight
Varnish

Again, freed from the boundaries of the traditional icon painting process with my first icon painting, I ventured to produce an icon in a non-traditional way. I started with sketching a cartoon of the icon painting I wanted to do, based on the particular mosaic of Jesus Christ at Hagia Sofia..

Cartoon of Icon

After some adjustments to the sketch on tracing paper, I transferred the sketch onto a black poster board using white transfer paper.

Traced outline of Icon on black poster board


My intention was to make this Icon entirely of paper mosaic but as I proceeded I changed my mind. I decided that I would paint Jesus' face, neck and shoulders.  I transferred the face, neck and shoulders onto a 140# watercolor paper using red transfer paper. I then painted them using artist's grade transparent watercolors.
Jesus' face, neck and shoulder painted on watercolor paper

After I was sufficiently satisfied with the painting and the paint dried, I cut the outline of the face, neck and shoulders and glued the cutout to the poster board using E6000 glue. I let this dry overnight with some heavy books placed on top to weigh the cutout down and ensure complete adhesion.
Cut-out of face, neck and shoulders adhered to the poster board
The next day, after checking that the cutout is securely adhered to the board, I started doing the hair using tiny shades of brown paper tiles I cut out of magazines. For the paper, my paper of choice are from the glossy and colorful pages of fashion magazines such as Vogue.  I applied the paper mosaic tiles with all purpose craft glue making sure to apply the correct shades of brown for a more natural contour of the hair. Next, for the cross part of the halo, using a pattern based on the sketch, I cut out some decorative white paper, attached them on the board and added some red jewel sparkles for accent. I outlined the cross and the halo with tiny red paper mosaic tiles. The halo itself was painted with metallic gold paint. Here again, my intention was to paper mosaic the halo but I could not find gold paper that would work to my liking so I decided to paint the halo instead.  I used Lumiere Sunset Gold by Jacquard. An even coating is applied several times after each coat is dry until I was satisfied with the coverage. I used three coats on the halo.
The halo and hair completed
I worked on the robe and coat  next with tiny black, blue and yellow paper mosaic tiles. The black paper mosaic tiles were used to shape and delineate the folds on the robe and coat.
The blue coat done
After all the paper mosaic was completed, I made some final adjustments to the face of Jesus Christ.I had to darken the eyebrows, mustache and beard to harmonize with the brown of the hair.  It is now ready for varnish but I will wait a day or so in case I may want to make more adjustments or changes. The finished product is a collage since I mixed and combined  media in executing this icon. Nonetheless, I am satisfied and quite happy with my finished art work. Even with using some short cuts such as  painting Jesus' face and the halo. it was a slow and tedious process since I was working with tiny pieces of paper and applying each one individually,  When I think about and imagine the ancient Christians who had done the wonderful mosaics at Hagia Sofia suspended way up the dome and walls of the cathedral, I have no cause to complain.
The completed mixed-media Icon of Jesus Christ Pantocrator

 I hope you all enjoy my offering for this Easter. 
May you all  bask in the blessings of Easter.



 The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name. Luke 24:46-47 


 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32

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