I have been studying Byzantine Iconography for many years so and I have been influenced by this painting technique in terms of its symbolic language and its idealistic character.  Originally, Icon painting has its roots in the Greek tradition frescoes as well as in the Fayoum portaits of Egypt.  During the Byzantine and post-Byzantine era icon painting had a prominent position with two schools: The Cretean and the Macedonian shcool.  The Byzantine Empire, which was primarily a state with fixed religious sructure, transmitted the art of Icon to other nations of the eastern Mediteranean Sea.

Images of Saints survived in people's subconsious and resulted gradually in a steretyped image of a person with certain characteristics recognisable by everyone.  That was the starting point of a religious typology.  Icons used to be the book of those who could not read, as well as the Christian rituals which took place as spititual, theatrical performances.  Thus, Icon painting was not a painting for personal meditation of individual artistis but Christianity written in images.  The saint is represented in his spiritual dimension with spiritual world being represented with gold leaf backgrounds and faces and forms being stereotyped.  In this way, the invisible becomes visible and the whole world of the Icon becomes spiritual. 

As a technique, the painting procedure started with dark earthy colours which gradually become lighter.  This procedure also represents the way we may follow, from our material world to a spiritual one.  Apart from the theological meaning of an Icon there is an important constructive aspect that is based on geometrical shapes such as the cross, the grid and the circle.  The Icon painter, absolutely disciplined, knows exactly what he has to do, following cetrain steps in drawing and painting.  Icon painting with its constructive, logical character can have a dialogue with modern art since people nowadays have become sated by the commodites of a materialistic world are searching for new kinds of expression from the solid ground of tradition.