This past summer I was very blessed to be able to participate not only in another iconography
class with the Byzantine School of Iconography in June, but also in a fabulous class in Miniature Moghul Painting at the Prince's School of Traditional Arts in London.
This was my first class at this school, though I had been looking at it online for some time. It was more wonderful than I had imagined, and I absolutely loved it. I dream of someday coming to pursue a PhD here, but for now, I am hoping to complete their diploma program, as I can come and take classes in the summers for that.
I must thank my generous husband first of all, who took care of our children up in Newcastle while I was in London. I never could pursue any studies without his support, which I certainly have and greatly appreciate.
The class was taught by a lovely couple from Jaipur who have been teaching for years. We began by learning about how to make a foundational substance called "Khariya" using a ground rock of the same name that is found in India, mixed with gum arabic. The result is a chalky white liquidy sort of paint and all other colors are mixed into this. Black, however, is a separate process of mixing soot with gum arabic. Mixing our paint in sea shells, which is typical in this type of art, transported me to an earlier time and added romance to the experience. I learned many new techniques, made some new friends, and enjoyed myself immensely, all punctuated by frequent cups of tea.
While in London I stayed with my generous and hospitable friend Rachel and her family. After long days of painting, I spent very pleasant evenings engaged in stimulating conversation with Rachel and her husband Morris, both of whom are child psychiatrists. I could not have asked for more welcoming, cheerful accommodations.
I also had the chance to meet up with some other friends and swing by our old flat on Venn Street to see the improvements. This time in London was such a gift, and I came away inspired and grateful.