It is told that Christ wiped his face leaving his image on a piece of linen for King Abgar V of Edessa, as to heal his leprosy - thus the first icon was created.
Later Saint Luke painted an icon of Theotokos, The Mother of God, holding Christ as a Man-Child. Since then icons have been an integral part of traditional Christian devotional life. They affirm that God is manifest so that we can share fellowship with Him.
The art of iconography had always been the province of the monks. Nowadays there are few of them; so until we are blessed with more monasteries we, the laymen, are keeping the tradition alive.
Annie Shaw, a member of The British Orthodox Church, has been painting within the Byzantine tradition for many years; having trained in the UK, Russia and Greece. As well as painting classical icons she specialises in the British Saints. She runs courses and workshops in the UK and is available for commissions.