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Ingredients in Our Daily Bread

March 6, 2014


I left the Icon Our daily bread – The Bread of Life for the art exhibition today.

I talked with the lady who was working with this exhibition, and we discussed about semiotics in paintings,

about different type of symbols that tell the inner story

– in case, that you share culturally same symbols with the artist, or you are aware about them.


During a few years I have been working with a method,
that helps to understand the various elements  of our everyday life.

This method can be used for multiple purposes and in many different scientific fields,
it can also be used as a self-assessment tool.
Sometimes when I explain by art, I use this method.


When I put together my thoughts about this icon,
I kind of made a recipe of the ingredients I had used this time.


This Icon is placed in a breadbasket.
It is painted with oil colours and it is knitted onto the basket with velvet ribbons.

This structure may seem to be fragile,
but in the other hand, this kind of frame gives the painting a light and airy protection.
I have also varnished the wooden plate to give it a sustainable outer cover.

This icon is ready to hang on the wall, the steel wire on the back carries its weight easily.


Appearance, Design

My idea was that the daily bread would be served concretely from a breadbasket.
Velvet ribbons represent the beauty of the message, its richness – what it can give for us.
I didn’t use any other symbols of richness, no jewellery, no golden objects as symbols of Christianity.

The wooden plate is also simple. I have just honed the edges and corners,
to get it to look like a piece of wood, refined by water.
It should also look rounded as a piece of bread, easy to pick up.


The story:

Icon tells about the faith in our everyday life,
the simple basis of it,
the presence of the Christ in our world.
This Jesus child is naked in front of our faces, exposed to our eyes.
And still, there he is, calm, peaceful, with all his love for us.

For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish
but have eternal life.

John 3:16


Practises, methods:

I have used “light methods” to create this icon.
Wooden plate gave me an opportunity to paint lightly with oil colours.
With this technique, oil colours merged easily together with the characteristic pattern of the wooden background.

Only the faces are painted with several layers of oil colour.
That is because I wanted to give them a bit more historical look,
faces are a thought of similar to style of 1700 century paintings.

On the other hand, by using the ribbon as a connective part between painting and frame,
I created a different type of contact.
This kind of joint tells about softness.
There is a feminine approach in a symbolical connection between the frame,
that represents the outer structure (as a society),
and painting, that represents in this case individual and individual faith.

When this joint is gentle,it means that you can easily make your choice, you are free to choose.



The choice of colours was an important part of creating wholeness in the picture.

The Virgin Mary is usually connected to blue colour.
Blue background represents  her peacefulness and tranquillity,
it tells about harmony and divine order.
It has also an aspect of  unity (between mother and child, between us and Holy Mother and Jesus),
and in religion blue colour represents trust and truth.

I chose to use light green on their clothing.
In this icon, light green tells about fertility and motherhood,healthiness and new opportunities,
It is also connected to the spring time, with the renewal generosity of the nature
– giving us youthfulness and playfulness,
embracing our souls with new energy and growth.
I chose violet ribbon because it is the colour of purpose, intention and determination.
– What are our aims and goals?

Violet is associated with the Crown chakra, which is usually seen as a connection between individual and universal.
In this icon, I use violet ribbon as a symbol of a spiritual connection, between us and God.
This is a communicational relationship, and the form of communicating is based on praying.
That is why it tells about spiritual messages and inspiration as well.

Halos show the simplified essence of this icon.
Virgin Mary and Jesus have golden halos,
only those elements represent their divine origin and mission.


The aspect of something unexpected:

Icon is a tool for communication.
It can serve as a unifying factor and as a mediator.

Jesus said:
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.
Matt. 18:20



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Heather Kopp

Words fail, but sometimes I try

Steve McCurry's Blog

Steve's body of work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike - yet always retains the human element.

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an environmental and humanitarian photo-documentary project from pole to pole along 70º west longitude

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