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Karen Blampied

Artist in Residence





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The Progress of the Twelve Parish Saints Icons

Karen Blampied B.Ed M.A. - Iconographer


Karen Blampied has created an icon for each of the twelve Parish Churches of Jersey.  This page showcases the progress of the project.


To find out more about the Parish Saints and the history behind them please Click here  


Click these links to find out about

St. Helier  

St John  

St Lawrence 

St Mary 

St. Ouen de Rouen 

St Peter


The final exhibition of all the icons at All Saints Church highlighted the value of the journey where people had an opportunity to visit all the Twelve Parish Saints together. 


Please scroll down the page to see how the project developed from a start in Lent 2010 to completion in December 2010   


Exhibition at All Saints Church December 2010

A big thank you must go to the Anglican community for welcoming me into their churches and to the parishioners of All Saints Church for hosting the exhibition.

Praise the Lord.    I have now completed the Pilgrimage visiting the Twelve ancient Parish Churches writing an icon of each of the Parish Saints. 

Exhibition at All Saints Church Jersey

Preparations for the Exhiibition

Icon of Saint Clement de Pierreville


This is the last of the Parish saint icons Twelve churches 12 icons one amazing pilgrimage


Saint Clement de Pierreville

This is the final icon in the Twelve Parish Saints icon project. Praise the Lord, I now look forward to painting it in Saint Clement's Church.

Saint Clement

Board with St Clement

Saint Saviour de Jersey

Karen was Artist is Residence at Parish Church of St Saviour between 15th and 20th November 10-4.30 each day

Now that the final drawing of Saint Saviour is complete I have traced it onto the gesso board and engraved the image into the board.

Saint Saviour de Jersey

Karen working on icon of Saint Saviour

Creating the icon of Saint Martin de Tours

Grouville Church


Karen was in the church each day. Monday, November 1 to  November 6  writing the icon, the young Martin de Tours on his horse. 

Martin de Tours

Saint Martin de Grouville Preparing the first stages of the icon

Saint-Martin de Grouvil work in progress

St Martin de Grouvil

Six Parish Saints Icons in Preparation

Parish Saint Icons displayed in studio

Karen in Studio

Saint Mary of the Burnt Monastery

I have now finished the base colours to Saint Mary of the Burnt Monastery.

Karen was Artist in Residence at St Mary's Church from 30th August - 4th September

St Mary of the Burnt Monastry

Drawing of St Mary of the Burnt MonastryAt Mary base colours

Saint John of the Oaks

16th June 2010 - Karen was Artist in Residence in the Church of St John of the Oaks

Icon of St John of the Oaks

Initial drawing of St John of the Oaks

Saint Lawrence - preparing the icon  - Karen was Artist in Residence at St Lawrence Church between 9th -14th August

Initial drawing of St Lawrence


Icon St Lawrence

Saint Brelade

Saint Brelade is nearly finished

Saint Brelade icon

Saint Brelade

Holy Trinity

The final stages.  I had my test piece icon of the Holy Trinity on exhibition at the Artists Directory Exhibition. Date: Friday, June 4, 2010 Location: Windward House

Icon Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity

Karen working on the icon for Holy Trinity

Trinity Church


Saint Helier week will be the 12th-18th July.


The base colours of Saint Helier are now complete.   I was looking forward to finishing this icon of Saint Helier during that week.


Saint Helier

Saint Mary of the Burnt Monastery

The final design and gilding of Saint Mary of the Burnt Monastery.

Icon of St Mary in preparation

Icon of St Mary gilded

Saint Ouen de Rouen

The final design and gilding of Saint Ouen  Karen was Artist in Residence at St Ouen's Church from 16th -21st August 

Engraving St Ouen

Placing gold leaf on Icon of St Ouen

The Icon of St Lawrence

St Lawrence

St Lawrence with gold leaf

St Lawrence, St Mary and St Ouen   

For Ascension day here are the designs of my next three Parish saint icons.

Design of St Lawrence


Design of St Mary of the Burning Bush


Design of Saint Ouen de Rouen


Engraving St Ouen


Saint Martin Le Vieux

The icon of Saint Martin Le Vieux. I completed the base colours and finished the icon in St Martin's Church the 28th June 2010

 Saint Martin Le Vieux Icon

Saint Martin Le Vieux Icon

Saint Martin Le Vieux Icon

Saint Martin Le Vieux Icon

Saint Peter in the Dessert

Saint Peter in the Desert the base colours are now complete.

Saint Peter in the Dessert

St Peter


Saint Peter

St Peter

Saint John of the Oaks more photographs

more of all these photographs can be seen on my Facebook page

Saint John

Saint John

Saint Brelade - photos

Saint Brelae


Saint Brelae

Saint Brelade

Saint Brelade

Monday 19th April  Final Stage painting the Icon of Holy Trinity

Here  is the final stage - painting the icon of the Holy Trinity. The base colours first - I finished the painting at Trinity Church

Egg tempera is the binding medium used for the pigments. The yolk of an egg, which has the potential for life, is mixed with water and vinegar a reminder of the crucifixion. This egg and pigment mixture petrifies and becomes everlasting. The pigments have a death to life quality and are wherever possible, naturally occurring, either washed or baked clays, powdered stone and decayed metals.

Remove the white from the yolk.. The egg is mixed with the pigment


Pierce the egg yolk so that you only use the contents

placing a base coat of yellow ochre

placing the base coat


placing the base coat


coat base coat with egg


ready now for base colours


the dark clours first


the dark base coulours


Holy Trinity base coulours 1

Thursday 25th March

 finished gilding these icons yesterday, wow! so intense but so rewarding

Holy Trinity being gilded

St Helier with gold leaf

Gilding the Icons

Tuesday 24th March

I am now placing the gold leaf onto each of the icons. The gold represents the presence of God.  Like God it does not tarnish, does not decay, and cannot be destroyed.

Karen working with gold leaf

Sheet of gold leaf being put in place

Claybase for Guilding the Icons


Icons with clay base put on

St John with clay base in place

Saturday 20th March

Gilding the icon - I had just begun to place the two main layers of clay onto the white stone surface. First the yellow ochre clay and then the red ochre clay both earthy colours. They form the earthly base for the gold leaf which symbolises the Glory of God.

Wednesday 17th March Yesterday I engraved two icons Saint Helier and Saint Brelade

St Helier

Engraving St Helier

Tuesday 16th March 2010  "Writing these icons is so inspiring, I feel I am doing a pilgrimage through each parish of the Island"

Karen working on the Icon of St. Peter in the Dessert

Karen working in studio

I engraved the icon of Saint Peter in the Desert yesterday afternoon.

St Peter in the Dessert

St Peter

I finished engraving the icon of Saint John of the Oaks yesterday morning.

St John of Oaks

St John

Carving the word of God in Stone

Carving the word of God in stone. I an now on the next stage of the icon. Having drawn the 12 Parish saints I now trace the image onto the stone layer on the icon board. Now is the difficult part I have to carve it into the stone.  I carved in stone the icon of Saint John of the Oaks on Saturday. Then on Sunday the icon of Saint Martin Le Vieux.


Traced Image

Carving the word of Go

Baptising the icon

This is the next stage of the icon making process, and my lenten journey. The cleansing waters of Baptism smooth the surface of the board. to make it ready to carve the word of God

Karen with board

Board being baptised

The Stone

The third Sunday of Lent and I am halfway through the gesso on the icon boards for the 12 parish saints project. The rabbit skin glue is mixed with chalk to make the gesso this is then placed onto of the shroud (material) the gesso will dry and form a stone surface on the icon board. This symbolically represents the stone that was rolled in  front of Christ's tomb.

Karen covering boards

Boards covered


The Shroud  - The 12 parish saints icon boards are covered with material

The wood is then covered with strips of cloth - This symbolises the shroud in which the body of the Lord was wrapped. The cloth is steeped in size and laid down in strips. The size is made from rabbit skin glue and water, the death of the animal is a necessary sacrifice for the icon to be given life. Water is seen in terms of the cleansing qualities of baptism.

Karen putting on cloth

Boards being covered with cloth which symbolises the shroud


"Tomorrow I will begin working on my icon boards for the 12 Parish Saints of Jersey,  I will spend Lent with the wood of the cross, the shroud and the rolling of the stone in front of the tomb and the inscribing (graving) of the word of God in stone.  I am photographing the making of the icons as I work and complete each stage. "  Karen.


The Making of the Boards - The boards are made from old Church Pews

The board on which the icon will be written is first chosen - The wood is a symbol of the wood of the cross. A hollow area is carved out from the centre of the board; this is the sacred place where the word of ‘scripture’ is written in paint.


"What an incredible group of gentlemen who worked so hard to produce the icon boards for the 12 parish saints project". - Karen Blampied


This is how the boards turned out.

Boat Yard team

Board made ready

Initial Story Board of Twelve Parish Saints


Initial Story Board

Story Board