Betsy Porter

Betsy Porter
Art and Iconography

Artist And Iconographer Friends

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 GUEST ICONOGRAPHERS' GALLERY.

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.

Carla with partially completed icon of the Holy Family.

Carla applies olifa to her icon of Saint George andthe Dragon.

Carla with Cathy Patterson.

Archangels Michael and Gabriel by Carla Tenret

An inquisitive Scrub Jay in Carla's calligraphy studio

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

Patricia holds 2 of my small icons.

Working on her icon of Prophet Moses and the Burning Bush.

Saint Francis of Assisi; "Plateau" abstract painting.

SUSAN MERRILL is often able to join us.

As Susan Merrill looks on, Patricia Kelly continues work on her icon of Prophet Moses and the Burning Bush.

Susan holds her recently started icon of St. Mary Magdalen and the Risen Lord. Roskrish is complete.

Two poignant icons by SUSAN MERRILL, both showing Mary holding Jesus.

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.

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

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

Saint Joseph with the Christ Child.

Tom's final icon was this magnificent angel.

Sadly, Tom died in April 2011 after a brief illness. We'll miss him!

JEN DELYTH is known for her amazing interlacing figures drawn from Welsh and Irish mythology.

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.

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.

MORE ICONS from a Spring 2005 exhibit at St. Gregory of Nyssa Church

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

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.

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.

Christ the Teacher

Egg tempera and gold leaf on sculpted board, 11 x 14 inches, 2007; photograph by Richard Anderson

Blessed Tammy Faye

Egg tempera and gold leaf on panel, 8 x 10 inches, 2009

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.

Although he claims no background in metal work, Paul designed and crafted a large 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.

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.

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 ceremony.

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

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 artists.
Contact Sidney Mullen


photograph by Eugene Hecht water-based oil on canvas, 2008

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.

PATRICIA BROWN with partially completed icon of Mary

CATHY CHRISTIE with partially completed icon of Saint Helena

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

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 experience. 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

CHRIS AND DEBI LORENC (RED EGG GALLERY) - - Join Chris and Debi's 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.

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