Episode 23 - Aidan Hart on Teaching Icon Painting - 'Simplicity is Complexity Resolved'

Aidan Hart is not only one of the best icon painters in the West today, he is also one of the best, perhaps the best, painting teacher that I know. I don’t just mean icon painting, I mean painting in any form. His book that explains the method of icon painting called Techniques of Icon and Wall Painting is the best art instruction book I have ever read, bar none.

He designed and heads the iconography program at the Prince of Wales’s School of Traditional Arts in London and has a studio in Shropshire, England that employs apprentices on a steady basis.

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His method is one of analysis and synthesis: careful and rational analysis of past paintings to understand the methods and then a synthesis - putting it altogether - in a way that reflects a deep understanding not only of what to paint, and how to paint it, but also why. This approach allowed him to teach himself with minimal guidance, and it is a method that passes on to his students and which enables them to make as much progress out of the classroom as in it.

Aidan Hart’s work can be found at aidanharticons.com, aidanhartmosaics.com and for his church furnishings design and consultancy company, aidanhart.co

The picture below if of one of his more unusual commissions: a sculpture of Our Lady of Lincoln, which is in the ancient gothic cathedral of Lincoln in England, which is now Anglican.