Traditional Egg Tempera

Mary Jane Miller is a Passionate artist, iconographer, designer, teacher and author. Her understanding of egg tempera and the tradition is insightful and important while teaching. We are one body like sand on the shoreline. We imagine we are separate because each grain of sand is unique from another, but their history is shared from generation to generation. Quieting the mind enhances feelings of togetherness, the process of egg tempera can lead you there.

Why Icons in Egg Tempera

“In all of my experience, of all the mediums and genres I have worked with, there is nothing as intimate or soul reaching or meditative as paining icons in ground earth pigment to make divine image”.

Process I have taught many icon classes and watched people have amazing experiences with this egg tempera. The spontaneously created beauty of one layer is temporarily lost by the application of another layer of transparent color. Yet, with enough layers, new forms arise and each one is richer and deeper in quality because of the earth pigments. The icon image is born in the first inscribed lines, then as transparent thin layers of color are molded, modified, changed and aged, the history of the under painting is revealed.

Each icon painted is a metaphor of one individual life lived. Layer upon layer, the present becomes the past. Each layer is symbolic of a day in our life or an extreme event integrated into the whole of our individual life. We are each one icon, layered in time. The result is inevitably harmonious just because the pigments have naturally existed side by side, layer upon layer, and are gradually organized to become the painting. Ancient earth history in layers mixed with our human desire to awaken to the divine - what a combination! Even if you do not particularly appreciate the icons religious imagery, you cannot deny the fascinating quality of the pigments and their majestic existence. Working with such simple beauty is intriguing as I push around small particles of dirt which dry and form unimaginable patterns.

Preserving the practice

Icon painting classes today celebrate this ancient art form. In the 21st century most of the icons we view in books and museums have only become available to the public eye in the past 100 years. Today women iconographers are preserving the tradition. A women's voice and insights shared in this iconography tradition is a testament to the fact that there continues to be a revelation happening in the mind of humanity.

Peace Mary Jane Miller, Icons for a more spiritual tomorrow.

Pricing and Registration

The workshop is limited to 18 participants. Sign up now to reserve your spot.

For studio registration,:
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: $320 USD
All materials included
All materials included
Lodging and meals other than Lunch not included in price

The icon Retreat and icon Workshops begin after everyone is settled in after arrival the night before. We will meet then for introductions and sharing, why are you interested inconography? The icon classes actually begins 9 AM of the first day. Six hours a day of work and meditation. There will be one evening power point presentation of the artists work open to the public. The retreat ends 3 PM on the last day normally a Friday after the blessing of the icons. Each participant will have a finished icon on completion of this retreat.

San Miguel Icons has well written and informative articles on the blog as well as a book store on We have You Tube videos, a store on facebook, linkedin, Gloria TV, Instagram, the CIVA, Episcopal Visual Arts Council and twitter which are all social media platforms to help you get acquainted with the medium, the teacher and the value of modern catholic and byzantine style icons. I have been published in professional Episcopalians, Temple Divine, The Orthodox Review, Faith and Forum, Up Stream People, and our local paper. Books are on and Amazon. The four 5 day icon retreat is an intense workshop, given 4 times a year, Any books are made available to my students, accompanied by a small assortment of icons for purchase. If you would like me to come and lecture at your retreat center, your church, a museum or school, I am available. OR If you want to host me as an instructor for icon painting this would be a pleasure, please use the contact page.

Contact Us

To register, or for more information, contact:

Mary Jane Miller
011 52 (415-152 5762)


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