The Journey – One Photo At A Time – Oksana Prokopenko

31 10 2008
Annunciation, detail

Annunciation, detail

After a long period of contemplation I am returning to the iconography. Every time I finish a piece (an icon), I think it is my last- I talk of quitting, I go into months-long withdrawal and recharging period. Then I emerge, incredulous, disbelieving, to face a new piece.

So it is right now:

The new icon – Annunciation- has been chosen. It is completed, whole, radiant, on a level just beyond the human eyesight. Now comes the ‘fun’ part- I have to put it into physical reality, piece by piece, shard by shard, prayer by prayer. Yet after taking such a long break I forgot about all the ‘non-fun’ little things that accompany any project. Suddenly, I feel like I fell out of the contemplation cloud to face the harsh reality of little decisions that just seem too hard.

This is where my recent ‘artwork as a baby’ approach seems to come handy. The last icon I worked on, Archangels, I took photos throughout the various stages of the work. It was like taking pictures of an ever changing baby, you know, the first year they seem to change daily. (Granted, Archangels took me almost a year to complete.) And even though we seem to take fewer photos as kids grow older, the pictures become a real treasure some 10-15 years later!

All those photos now serve as a reminder of what the piece (and I) went through, all the ups and downs, decision making. It’s helpful, when in the midst of a new piece, to be reminded that it is a process, and it is about the process. Won’t you say the same is true about life?




2 responses

6 11 2008
Lori Anderson

I always thought I’d be an artist first, yet was never encouraged to pursue it. I love the tranquility of your pencil drawing! Wonderful!

19 11 2008

Thank you so much!

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