About Kristina Maria Sadley
The Communion of Saints, the sacramental life of the church, prayer and belief in a loving God, have always been vital to Kristina Maria Sadley.
Kristina was born in 1948 and baptized on the eighth day, at St. Francis Roman Catholic Church in Trenton, New Jersey. Her parents both died while she was young, however, Kristina has always known the Lord’s protection – especially the covering of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.
Kristina moved to Maine in 1967, studying Art History at the Portland School of Art and the University of Maine. A creative and successful artist, her career was wide-ranging covering everything from sign painting to needlepoint patterns to greeting cards.
With faith in God, Kristina began Prophecy Designs, a traditional greeting card company producing and marketing an award-winning greeting card line available worldwide for twenty years.
During a prayer retreat at a Benedictine monastery, Kristina met Mary the blind wife of an Episcopal priest. This lovely meeting was her inspiration to offer the full-line of Prophecy Designs greeting cards available in Braille and large print.
In 1999, Kristina returned to New Jersey and a meeting with master Iconographer, Vladislav Andrejev, where he agreed to instruct her on the form of Byzantine Iconography. Kristina who held an interest in icons since her college Art History classes never considered writing them.
The season of life brought her return to New Jersey in 1999 and a first icon class with Master Iconographer Vladislav Andrejev; opening the divine symbols of color and light to the ‘inner icon’ of her heart.
As she worked at Iconography, she began to experience spiritual healing in her own life. She reconnected with Jim Sadley – her high school sweetheart, and a person as profoundly religious as she – and the two married.
Kristina was Chrismated in the Georgian Orthodox Church of Anchiskhati (name translated as ‘Community of the Icon’) in Tbilisi, Georgia on The Dormition of the Mother of God, August 2010; a heart’s unity of churches east and west.
Today, Kristina and Jim operate Prophecy Designs Icons, grateful for the many Church and private commissions in the United States, Russia, Armenia, and Georgia. Kristina’s work and iconography have been featured in TV, radio, and newspaper.
Kristina has taught Icon Retreat Workshops in the method of the Prosopon School and given presentations in several States as well as Cambridge, England, and Tbilisi, Georgia.
Thoughts on Writing an Icon
By Kristina Maria Sadley
Through icon writing, we are given the immense privilege to testify to God’s presence. The ultimate goal of the icon is to meet with the prototype – the art of iconography is not the ultimate. An icon is for prayer, the art of being a pure mirror of the divine world, meeting in the innermost silence. The icon we do on the board reflects the meeting of divine light to become a true icon. Each of us has a spark of divine light within our soul, it is the main goal of our icon writing to reveal this divine spark of light within.
God said “Let there be light” ~ Not light from a source, but rather, light in itself; before creation appeared God formed a symbol of His future creation. Light of the first day of creation penetrates everything ~ without that divine Light, there is no life. In our icon writing, we use symbols and the icon on the board is as a ‘Window to the Kingdom of God’, a symbol uniting art and divine. We must apply the method of icon writing to our life, in prayer asking that the divine symbols be opened to our ‘inner icon’; remembering always that we are made in the Image (Icon) of God.
The symbolic ‘shape’ of any icon must surely be the cross + with Light being the vertical element and Light broken into color, as the horizontal element. We know that light represented by white (symbolically) opens into the full spectrum of color, as a rainbow of God’s Promise! God’s Light within us must be as the purest colors of love inside. Color unites itself with light and becomes ‘light-bearing’, as we are to become, especially through the discipline and practice of prayerfully writing our icon. The icon we believe is a confession of the Image of God.
How good and merciful is the Lord, the Creator through the Most Holy Trinity, that we may witness to the Light ~ a beautiful gift of Love. How thankful is my heart!