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International Iconographer Comes to Ossining

Mary Jane Miller, iconographer, will be presenting a retreat at the Mariandale Retreat Conference Center.
Mary Jane Miller, iconographer, will be presenting a retreat at the Mariandale Retreat Conference Center. Photo Credit: Contributed

OSSINING, N.Y. – Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center will host iconographer Mary Jane Miller for her “Sacred Icons: Windows into Stillness” retreat.

Running from April 12-17, the retreat will include meals, prayer time, solitude and plenty of painting. Although the sessions will be based on iconography, the true focus of the retreat is fostering a connection with the divine.

“I want to bring people closer to God,” Miller said. “Not church-God or my God or iconography’s God — I just mean God. Iconography is like a window in a dark room: if you go right up next to the window and push your face up against the glass, you’ll see a lot of light.”

While Miller thinks the retreat might be a good fit for art students, religious people or local iconographers, she emphasizes that having little knowledge of iconography and art still will make for an enriching experience.

“I’m hoping participants will get a little bit of an introduction to this great history called Iconography,” Miller said. “I’m hoping they’ll have a peaceful encounter with themselves. I’m hoping they’ll walk away with a beautiful image; if I can do that, it will be a major miracle.”

Miller is an iconographer with 18 years experience in egg tempera painting and 23-karat gold leaf. In addition to authoring books on iconography, she is included in various collections and she teaches icon painting courses in her studio in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She also leads prayer groups and silent retreats at the Monastery of the Soledad, Atoltonilco, Mexico. A sponsored ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Hope, Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center is a full-service center with 40 beds, located on 63 natural, beautiful acres on the Hudson.

For more information about Mariandale, visit www.mariandale.org . More on Miller’s upcoming Mariandale retreat is available at http://ophope.org/2015/03/11/painting-icons-welcoming-stillness .

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