A winding road that once used to lead me through countryside as well as wide open pasture lands, now instead intersects vast urban housing sprawl. As the years passed, my daily journey through this South East Ontario Town has become progressively less picturesque. But I was not concerned about the journey so much, as my thoughts and concentrations were focused on completing my project. The project of painting the church walls with Byzantine iconography.
St. John the Baptist Romanian Orthodox church, located on a hill overlooking Kitchener Ontario, was built in 1994 by its many devout and like minded perishers. It’s a traditional style basilica with a long nave and a sizable quire loft. Though it’s considered simplistic in design, its long open walls presented quite a challenge when it came to the iconography design. A large icon of Virgin Mary and Christ child adorns the main apse in the alter surrounded by the Holy Communion, while the feasts of our Lord and the Virgin Mary, as well as Old Testament icons are placed accordingly in the nave and the choir.
As the May summer winds blow over the church plateau, with the help of the church goers and the Grace of God, I painted the final icon “The beheading of St John the Baptist” an appropriate piece in the chapel devoted to him. A church that was built over 20 years ago can only now be considered complete. As I reflect back on this 5 year on and off project, as an end of a chapter, I’m excited about tomorrow. A tomorrow that will present a windy road of its own that leads through countryside or a subdivision to my next church project.