Timeless Beauty for a Modern World
The icon of the Holy Trinity, written by Yvonne, has graced our home from the moment we had it hung! A beautiful and well crafted rendering of the “Hospitality of Abraham.” We are delighted with it and looking forward to our next one…
— Ash & Usi Botros
I believe that every Christian should have at least one skillfully hand-painted icon.
For Orthodox Christians, painted images of our Savior Jesus Christ, the “image (icon) of the Invisible God” who is “wonderful in His Saints” are not just accessories, but an integral part of our faith. Icons not only preach from the mountaintops the good news of the Incarnation, of “God with us,” but also penetrate our secular existence with the Sacred.
Icons bring us into communion with our Lord and his Saints. They help us to pray with less distraction and provide a focus for meditation. More and more Christians of various backgrounds are discovering and embracing the icon as an aid to prayer and worship, and to adorn their homes and churches.
Thank you for writing this beautiful icon. You are very fine at your craft, and I am confident that the piece will remain a central image for my prayer. I am grateful to for how well the icon arrived north of the border and for your consideration in arranging for its shipment.
— Fr. Michael Bechard – RC Diocese of London, Ontario, Canada
I use historical materials that have withstood the test of time, not just because they are traditional, but because they are beautiful.
I use the ancient egg tempera paint with natural earth or mineral pigments. Light bounces around the irregular shapes of these pigment particles, down to the white ground, and back again, creating a luminous effect that is not possible with modern materials. Genuine gold leaf appears warm and cool, light and dark, depending on the angle. Faces acquire a soft glow from highlights in complimentary tones.
For those for whom a handmade icon is not in the budget at this time, I have partnered with Orthodox Visual Arts to offer vibrant, museum-quality inkjet prints made from high quality photographs of the original icons, painstakingly color corrected and printed with the finest quality inks and papers.
Yvonne: I just learned that you did the wonderful white lettering on our icons at St. Matthew. Your writing of the Saints’ names on the walls are true to the iconographic tradition of classic Byzantine/Slavonic printing and provide the viewer/worshipper an opportunity to relate directly to the Saint depicted. The excellent writing emulates the brief writing of the initials of Christ’s name above the iconostasis perfectly as well. Thanks so much for completing this wonderful iconographic scheme.
— Philip Tamoush, former manager of the St. John of Damascus Association of Orthodox Iconologists, Iconographers and Architects
About the artist:
Always a lover of beauty as she found it in nature, Yvonne Anne Hajdu-Cronin lived a dual life for many years: Caltech genetics researcher by day, and drawing, painting and art history student by night. In 1997-98 she discovered and converted to the Eastern Orthodox faith, having fallen in love with Orthodox theology as expressed in patristic writings, choral music, icons and liturgical poetry.
Several years later, Yvonne took a class in Byzantine (Greek) style icon painting in egg tempera, during which she realized she’d found the fulfillment of all her prior art studies — even that lettering class in the graphic design department. Since then, Yvonne has zealously pursued excellence in iconography and gilding with the best instructors she could find, including Ksenia Pokrovsky of Salem, MA, one of a small group of Russians secretly keeping iconography alive during the Soviet era.
Yvonne now dedicates herself full time to the sacred arts. Her current style incorporates a blend of what she loves best about both the Byzantine and Russian approaches. She takes commissions, and her work has found happy homes in Europe, Canada and the United States.
In 2016, Yvonne was officially approved as a church iconographer for his jurisdiction by Metropolitan JOSEPH of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. She attends St Steven’s Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Alhambra, CA with her husband and two sons.