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Betsy Porter
Art and Iconography
TOM HODGSON, shown working on his icon of Prophet Moses and
the Burning Bush, is particularly drawn to images of desert prophets.

Above:  Prophet Isaiah, Prophet Ezekiel, Saint John the Baptist
PATRICIA BROWN with partially completed icon of Mary
CATHY CHRISTIE with partially completed icon of Saint Helena
JEN DELYTH is known for her
amazing interlacing figures drawn from Welsh and Irish mythology.
Above; calligraphy by Carla Tenret

Occasionally, a small group will gather at the home of CARLA TENRET, a well
known local calligrapher and teacher of calligraphy, to spend a Saturday afternoon
painting icons.  We enjoy working in her art-filled studio and taking breaks in her
luxuriant garden.
MORE ICONS from a Spring 2005 exhibit
St. Gregory of Nyssa Church
Left to right:
Archangel Gabriel by Susan Merrill
Saint Mary Magdalen by Mary Shihabuddin Laird
Archangel Raphael by Mary Shihabuddin Laird
Archangel Gabriel by Paul Fromberg
King David by Zara Altair
Saint Mary Magdalen by Mother Maria Roman
Archangel Michael by Mother Maria Roman
Saint Macrina the Younger by Zara Altair
Saint Francis of Assisi by Kerry Bostrom

See the whole exhibit at Display and Care
Left, Carla with partially completed icon of the Holy Family.  
Above, Carla applies olifa to her icon of Saint George and
the Dragon.  Right, Carla with Cathy Patterson.
Archangels Michael and
Gabriel by Carla Tenret
San Francisco artist PATRICIA K. KELLY
is often my fellow guest at Carla's.  Patricia
is best known for her abstract paintings in
egg tempera, see also

Above left, Patricia holds 2 of my small icons.  Above right, working
on her icon of Prophet Moses and the Burning Bush.

Right: Saint Francis of Assisi; "Plateau" abstract painting.
SUSAN MERRILL is often able to join us.

Below, Susan holds her recently started icon
of St. Mary Magdalen and the Risen Lord.  
Roskrish is complete.
Forward to work by my late mother Elizabeth L. Hart
Forward to Guest Iconographers' Gallery
Forward to Paintings by Patricia K. Kelly
Forward to Icons by Loretta Hoffmann
Icons and Wearable Puppets by Mary Plaster
The Rev. PAUL FROMBERG serves as Rector of St. Gregory of
Nyssa Episcopal Church, San Francisco, CA.

In addition to icons, Paul has produced noteworthy multimedia work,
using PhotoShop.   You can find a link to his Stations of the Cross at  His work was recently announced
as the winner of a national contest for a logo for the 2009 General
Convention of the Episcopal Church.
Above; Christ the Teacher
egg tempera and gold leaf on sculpted board, 11 x 14
inches, 2007; photograph by Richard Anderson
JANET LOHR is a potter with a special interest
in making ceramic objects for ritual and symbolic
purposes.  Janet made many of the ceramic
chalices for St. Gregory of Nyssa Church.  Her
studies in Japan have led to a lifelong interest in
the special pots used for the Japanese tea

Recently, Janet has been making beautiful
funerary urns, covered with deep relief carving;
containers for the ashes of the dead. Her new
funerary boats will contain smaller amounts of ash.
Funerary urns
Sculpted ceramic, salt glazed, 2007
Jen Delyth with icons.  
Left; Archangel Gabriel.
Right; Melangell of the
Hares, a Welsh saint who
lived in the woods, slept
on a rock, and protected
a hare from hunters.
MEL AHLBORN - - manuscript illumination

OLIVIA KUSER - - paintings

MARTINE JARDEL - - paintings

PAUL MAHDER - - art photography and textured portraits

BRIAN TSAI - - iconography - Brian is an accomplished iconographer.  He has painted some
complex subjects, and has completed an entire iconostasis (icon screen) for an Orthodox church.

DAVID SANGER - - award winning photography

LARNIE FOX - - surprises!

SHELLI JOYE - & - paintings, photographs, and icons

JEANNINE JOURDAN - - paintings, mostly small and many in egg tempera

NANCY HUTCHINS - - paintings

MARK DUKES - - Byzantine iconography meets the African-American
Mark is the artist/iconographer who painted the larger than life Dancing Saints and Wedding mural
icons at St. Gregory of Nyssa Church.

ALEXA SIMPSON - - sleek but playful silver & mixed metal jewelry

MARIA-TINA KARAMANLAKIS - - hammered silver and gold jewelry with beads

beautifully illustrated blog as they travel to sacred places throughout the world seeking spiritual art,
both traditional and contemporary.  You'll find other travels here as well.
  Debi is an iconographer (in
Coptic style) as well as a photographer.

KERRY BOSTROM - sales site - jewelry in silver and precious metal clay, some
incorporating beads of precious stone.
 Kerry and I are members of the same beading group.  Her jewelry work
long ago surpassed mine, and she has taught me several new skills.  Above in the 2005 group exhibit, you can see
her icon of Saint Francis.  Kerry is also a singer and musician.

LYNN PARK- - a photo-and-commentary blog with many fans.  Lynn finds
beauty, humor, and art on the unglamorous streets and sidewalks of the East Bay.

KATHY STORMBERG - - expertly crafted medieval style embroidery and
fiber arts.
 Kathy is a devoted scholar and craftsman, working to reproduce the extraordinary embroidery patterns
she has gleaned from books and museums.  She is also an iconographer and a student of the Prosopon School,
and has occasionally joined in my icon classes.  This blog includes step-by-step photos of her icons.

JENNY LEMPER - - sometimes-surreal photography of Eastern Europe,
New Orleans, San Francisco, and more - plus ceramics and paintings.

NANCY JACKSON - - tapestries (some with religious themes) and icons.

EDWARD BECKETT - - icons (click on button at bottom left of main page) plus
abstract/surrealist paintings and ceramics.

VICTORIA SAXE - - detailed biological and scientific illustration, with particular
attention to insects.

HELIOS ART GLASS (CONNIE LEVATHES) - - leaded glass restoration and
architectural commissions, some of impressive size and complexity.

JUDITH TUCKER - - icons, Ukrainian-style Easter eggs, and quilting.  Judith
has a many creative talents!  She is my teacher for Ukrainian Easter egg decoration.
As Susan Merrill looks on, Patricia Kelly continues work on her
icon of Prophet Moses and the Burning Bush.
An inquisitive Scrub Jay in
Carla's calligraphy studio
Below left:  Paul's most recent icon project is this very challenging Angel
of Saint Gregory's
- a personification of the spirit of our congregation.

The Angel is holding a model of our church building.  In the background
the skyline of San Francisco appears, much as we see it from the front
steps of Saint Gregory's church.
Janet Lohr making a large ceramic boat and separate base depicting
ocean waves.  The high ribs will eventually support a smaller container
for ashes of the dead.
Above, with details at right; two poignant icons by SUSAN MERRILL,
both showing Mary holding Jesus.

At left, the Theotokos of Vladimir, a beloved icon showing the close
and tender relationship between mother and baby.

At right, a symbolic icon of the Passion of Christ.  Although Jesus'
eyes are open, Mary lovingly mourns her son as he stands in the
sarcophagus where his body will soon lie.
Above center; Saint Joseph with the Christ Child.
Above right; Tom's final icon was this magnificent angel.
Sadly, Tom died in April 2011 after a brief illness.  We'll miss him!
SIDNEY MULLEN studied painting in the
late 60’s at Washington University in St.
Louis, and at the San Francisco Art Institute
with Norman Stieglemeyer, Tom Akawie and
Richard Diebenkorn among others.

She has sometimes regarded her paintings
as if they were dreams, interpreting them in
ways that have meaning for her life and
psychological development.  Since 1976
she has made paintings and practiced
psychotherapy, working especially with
Contact Sidney Mullen
ARTIST'S STATEMENT:   Making art is as fundamental a need for artists as the need for food, clothing and shelter,
except that it’s not as easy to say why you have to do it.  Exhibiting is a bit like telling a dream among friends, and getting
their responses.

Oil painting gives the painter a very tactile sense of material in flux, malleable and sensuous.  These paintings are made
with water-based oils.  They are a marvel of technology which allows the painter to work without risking health damage
from turpentine and oil fumes. The material feels and handles like oil and dries faster due to the water content.  It
remains workable for perhaps a day or so, depending on the thickness, and doesn’t peel off in plasticky sheets the way
acrylics do.
photograph by Eugene Hecht
water-based oil on canvas, 2008
Most of the artists and iconographers featured on this page  
live in the San Francisco Bay Area.  For icons by other artists,
go to the
Jen Delyth's book has now been published!  
CELTIC FOLK SOUL - Art, Myth, and Symbol is a
definitive and thoroughly informative book of
Celtic mythology and its intensely symbolic
art.  The book is beautifully illustrated with
Jen's paintings.
Although he claims no background in metal work, Paul designed and crafted a
7-branched candlestick wreath out of copper refrigerator tubing and
copper wire.  It is held together with tightly spiraled wire - no soldering! The
wreath is anchored by nylon monofilament passing under a round glass top
set on a wood pedestal.

This piece serves St. Gregory's Church as an Advent and pre-Advent wreath,
counting down the 7 Sundays before Christmas.
Right; Blessed Tammy Faye
Egg tempera and gold leaf on panel,
8 x 10 inches, 2009
Right; Epitaphios Icon
Egg tempera and gold leaf on sculpted board,
17 x 9-1/2 inches, 2010

On Good Friday, this icon is placed on
the altar table.   Each worshipper lays a
flower beside it.