Daniel Ogan is an iconographer and therapist living in Rogue River, Oregon. He is currently creating monumental icons for the sanctuary of St. Innocent of Irkutsk Orthodox Church which is still under construction. He has worked in “the cave” - a basement studio within the construction site and it is hoped that the icons will go up by.....date...
Daniel traveled to Russia in the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia was going through a difficult rebirth and the Orthodox Church was emerging from a time of extreme persecution. The gulag was being emptied and churches and monasteries began to be repaired and reopened. The ancient art of iconography was experiencing a resurgence.
When he first arrived in Moscow, Daniel volunteered to work with an emerging Orthodox humanitarian organization in the heart of the city. Soon, Daniel was drawn to the beauty of iconography after viewing the world famous works of Andrei Rublev, the 14th century master. Unlike any icon he had ever seen, Rublev'sTrinity (The Hospitality of Abraham) opened a window on eternity for Daniel.
This was the beginning of a three decade journey. Daniel studied iconography under two of Russia's greatest living masters, with Maxim Chrnyshov in Moscow and with Sergei Vershinin in Siberia.
Maxim taught Daniel how to "see" and explained how his "eyes" had been compromised by Western Art and concepts of time. After a year of viewing icons across Russia, Maxim allowed Daniel to begin working. It wasn't pleasant when Maxim told Daniel that he had the "grace of a house painter with the brush" and that he had a tendency to "copy" rather than "compose." Maxim taught Daniel the basics and eventually brought him to be blessed by Fr. Daniel before the congregation at St. Katherine Church in Moscow. He was told to follow the path of the "silent liturgy" and the "music of color."
Sergei from Siberia took over the second phase of Daniel's instruction. Sergei had studied iconography at the Pskov Monastery under Archimandrite Zenon. He was working on the great cathedrals in Siberia and had previously met Daniel while visiting Kodiak, Alaska. Daniel studied under Sergei for nine years in Siberia and in Kodiak.