About Our Studio
Sophia Icon Studio is dedicated to continuing the tradition of iconography in a spirit of openness and humility. We use both traditional and modern materials, techniques and practices to create sacred icons, using prototypes that span the centuries and come from various cultures. This studio recognizes that spirituality is a vital part of our human existence. We therefore strive to create space in this busy world to connect with God, self and others. By focusing on prayer, contemplation and community, each icon created in our studio represents and witnesses to the inner and outer journey toward God.
Iconography - the painting or "writing" of icons - is a living tradition and perhaps the oldest form of Christian sacred art. It has been an integral part of the worship and mystical life of Christians since apostolic times. The artistic and spiritual language of icons developed over centuries and are carefully preserved through the tradition of recreating the sacred images. Icons assist our prayers, enhance our worship and speak to us of the unending love of God for all creation.
Kara Gillette is a contemporary iconographer originally from Portland, Oregon. Kara's creative journey took a transformative turn in 2015 when she encountered the ancient practice of iconography. As she meticulously painted layer upon layer, the sacred faces of Christ and the Theotokos emerged, unveiling a profound spiritual connection that awakened Kara to a new depth of artistic expression.
Over the course of the following years, Kara dedicated herself to extensive studies in both acrylic and egg tempera mediums, honing her technical skills and refining her artistic voice.
Today, as an accomplished iconographer, teacher, and retreat leader, Kara finds great joy in sharing the power of icon writing with others. Through her work, she seeks to draw people into a profound communion with the divine, and to awaken their own creative nature.
Beyond her artistic pursuits, Kara brings a wealth of knowledge to her work. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Art History and Psychology, which enrich her understanding of the connection between creativity and spirituality. Kara currently resides in Boise, Idaho with her husband Christian and their two Siamese cats.
A Prayer for the Iconographer
Lord, Your Spirit breathes
where beauty is created,
Come to my aid.
In my prayer let me become an icon
which reflects Your being.
Guide my spirit;
inspire my movements;
Enlighten my looking;
put Your words onto my lips.
For You my life will then become
a work of art, a sacred work.
May those who look at me
be able to recognize You.
Blessed are You, Lord,
for having made me as Your brush;
You who are the artist of my life.
"When I participated in Kara's workshop, I started out with a blank board and ended up with a window into heaven. It was a meditative journey, a journey of prayer that I walked with fellow classmates. And like meditative prayer I was invited to journey deeper into myself and to find the Kingdom of God hidden deep within the recesses of my soul."