Personal Icon - Painting 02 of 50

A Personal Icon

50 by 50 painting #02

In the Eastern Orthodox Church and in other parts of Europe, there is a tradition of creating icons. Icons are meant to point to truths about God — truths that may not be communicated in any other way. These paintings are full of symbols and are “written” to a strict tradition.

I have taken great liberties from that tradition and written my own personal icon. Hopefully they point to the greater truths about me. My version consisted of three panels hinged together forming an outside and inside view. Here it is:

Personal Icon - Front View
Personal Icon – Front View
Personal Icon
Personal Icon – Inside View

What does it all mean (to me)?

From the front

  • Sword -not afraid to fight or engage when needed. But it is pointing down because it is not meant to be destructive, but rather a sense of strength and security.
  • Shell – the shell is a symbol of the pilgrim or of being on a pilgrimage. This is a reminder that I am still on a journey.
  • Stairs – a way out. We all come from somewhere and we all need to leave that place to find our own way in the world.
  • Water – the background is full of water. I was raised near the Chesapeake Bay and have always felt connected to water. The brackish water that is a mix of fresh and salt. This landscape feels like home to me.

From the inside

  • King David – he is a hero of mine. I love how he was a strong man, but also had a tender heart. To me that represents true masculinity.
  • Clouds and Beyond – this represents the wonder of the world.
  • Birds — well, simply… I like birds. It just seemed right to include one.
  • Art Tools – These are the tools I have chosen to use to engage the world. Or perhaps they have chosen me.
  • Hand – this hand points up toward God. On the palm of the hand is one of my favorite passages from the Bible.

“Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands”
-1 Thessalonians (TNL translation)

  • Heart – I have a kind and generous heart.
  • Burning bush – I love the burning bush story. I often wonder how may times I have been too busy and missed seeing my own burning bushes.

Searching for Your Shadow
Donna Downey 2015 Artist Gang #5

Today we are going to ask our shadow to come out and play. We all have a shadow side. The parts of us that are insecure, afraid or hidden from ourselves and the world. But if we can acknowledge them, then they won’t control us. So I am going to ask you to be brave and invite your shadow side to play.


An additional video on how to make your own custom stencil can be found on my blog. Click here to see this video demo.

Click “Read More” to get more info and links to products in Donna Downey’s online shop.

Final Painting
Final Painting

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Download your own Julius

Yes, that’s right! Julius wants to be your friend and he says it’s ok to download him. Go ahead and use him in any of your personal projects. Have fun!