Toronto Painting Workshop 2020


Regretfully, the Sisters have decided that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is best to cancel their Food for the Soul retreats taking place until the end of June. Because of this, the Icon Painting Workshop scheduled for June 21-26, 2020, has been cancelled.

Sunday, June 21st to Friday, June 26th, 2020.

Arrival: 4pm on Sunday.
Completion: 8pm on Friday.
Registration deadline: June 14th, 2020.


St. John’s Convent Guest House
233 Cummer Avenue Toronto, ON M2M 2E8

Contact Information

Phone: 416-226-2201, ext. 305

Fees: $800 CAD

$400 CAD for the teaching and supplies + $400 CAD for overnight accommodation and all meals.


Icon of Christ the Pantocrator used during workshops.

In this workshop, twelve participants will work together over a week
to make an Orthodox icon using traditional methods and materials. The workshop provides the experience of making an icon by using the prototype of Christ the Pantocrator created by Symeon for this purpose. Together each participant will experience the beauty, challenge, and wonder that happens in making an icon. In the class, we will: create a drawing without tracing; make paint from earth pigments; paint with egg tempera paint; oil gild with gold leaf; and name the icon. The class includes all the materials and tools needed for completing the icon.

Taught by Symeon van Donkelaar, an iconographer, who after completing a traditional apprenticeship in a Greek Orthodox monastery, has been working for the last twenty years to create a contemporary iconographic vision for prayer in Canada. His work is enriched by a love of nature. To make the icon’s wooden panel, he first harvests a tree. All of the icon’s colours come from the earth around his studio and share in the heritage of the land—its culture, history and spirit. In this way, even the pigments used in an icon can witness the love of God that exists in the soil and rocks of the earth. Symeon paints, exhibits, and teaches regularly in diverse settings across North America, and works as a full-time iconographer in the Conestoga Iconographic Studio outside St. Jacobs, Ontario.

More information

Icon Writing Workshop brochure

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