Happy first day of Spring, everyone!
I’m so excited to introduce you to my blog's first featured sponsor: my talented dear friend Britta Prinzivalli!
Her primary job is being a stay-at-home mom to her little boys, but she is also a budding iconographer who somehow manages to find time to paint awesome works of religious art.
This former Catholic school art teacher, and now mom of two, is the apple of her husband Steve’s eye. Their marriage is one that Michael and I try our best to emulate.
Britta’s iconography work is gripping. I have seen her galleries of art, and her work is just as riveting as it is inspirational.
The gaze from Christ’s eyes feels nothing less than Our Savior looking down upon us. The love on Holy Mother Mary’s face is palpable. An archangel’s stare can cut through to your very soul. Her beautiful artwork is nothing less than the kinds that grace the walls of magnificent cathedrals.
And yet, we have one of these treasures in our home! Michael and I are the proud owners of one of her icons, this being an image of the nativity. It is a smaller size, and I hold it when I pray. Holding an icon while being in prayer can help to keep us centered and focused.
So how did this beautiful story begin for Britta?
She’s been writing icons since 2004, after having a profound encounter with a hand-written icon of the Crucifixion. Through it, she felt inspired to learn more about this traditional form of art.
After finding a teacher and attending workshops for the last nine years, I’m pretty sure that Britta can say with confidence that she has found her artistic vocation. While she still enjoys crafts or other creative mediums, nothing comes close, she says, to the satisfaction of writing icons! In her experience, it's a perfect marriage of art and prayer/intercession.
Writing an icon is not meant to be just a pretty religious picture to hang on your wall; rather it is a window into eternity, an invitation to encounter Christ and all the Saints in Heaven. In much the same way that a worship leader can use music to praise God, an iconographer can use her brush strokes to paint prayers to the holy figure depicted. How awesome!
Although Britta is Roman Catholic, she is joyfully embracing the challenge from our late Great Pope John Paul II to "breathe from both lungs" of Eastern and Western Christianity. For Britta, icons are not limited to the Eastern Church but rather paint a fuller and more complete picture of Beauty, Goodness, and Truth in the Universal Church.
Over the last several years, Britta has worked hard to learn more about the techniques of iconography and continues to study with a number of different teachers.
Traditionally, icons are written using egg tempera, but Britta uses thin layers of glazed acrylic, rendering very similar results.
She has painted well over a hundred icons, most of them as prayerful commissions for individuals. Britta teaches icon workshops and hopes to expand into a formal business soon.
Please take a moment to prayerfully consider whether or not you’d like to have one of her beautiful icons in your home or parish. Or, perhaps you’d like to give one as a gift!
Britta is generously offering up 20% of her sales. She’s offering a special 10% discount to you if you mention my blog, and she will also donate an additional 10% of her overall sales to the Guadalupe Radio Network, which brings to us wonderful Catholic teaching and programs. Her husband Steve is the general manager of this awesome Catholic ministry, and it is truly radio for your soul. Check ‘em out and listen live at www.grnonline.com.
Icon commission prices vary depending on size, complexity, and amount of gold leaf. A smaller icon does not necessarily mean "cheaper,” but an estimate can be given as she works with you in the initial design stage.
Despite all this beauty, Britta insists that her most beautiful, sacred, and precious icons are her two sons, Xavier (3 years) and Luke (6 months), who inspire her every day to experience the presence of Christ through their little lives. Every day she stands in awe that, with her husband Steve and in union with God the Divine Creator, she was able to make such beautiful little masterpieces. Of her two boys, she is most proud!
Please consider commissioning Britta to make an icon for your family or parish. She will gladly pray for your intentions as she writes an icon specifically for you. What a blessing, indeed!
You can contact Britta directly at BrittW80@aol.com. And don’t forget to tell her that I sent ya! It should earn you that nice discount. :)
If you'd like to see more of Britta's work, click on any of the small icons below to enlarge.