San Miguel’s Finest Iconographer, the Only One

Mary Jane Miller, one of San Miguel’s bright thinkers with an untamed spirit.

One hour Lecture and Slide Presentation

St Paul’s Anglican Church

Tuesday Sept 4th


The talk will be accompanied by a power point presentation of classic iconography and her own collection of new images from her latest book, In Light of Women. Miller is a woman committed to the art and theology involved in iconography, an ancient technique used in the production of sacred image, dating back 1,600 years to a time when the minds of men believed they were inspired by God. The Holy Spirit did not descend to a few and ascend back to the heavens only once; we are inspired humans walking in a divine likeness even today. Changing the slant and interpretation of words and image does not threaten the history of Christian thought and the profound effect it has had on humanity; instead it has the potential to open our hearts and minds. Contemporary Christians are on a learning journey watching their consciousness unfold. Miller knows and has experienced that unfolding journey can be a tortuous one, while persevering to understand this entity many have called God.

  The donation of 100 pesos is acceptable at the door and proceeds will got Green Team SMA.


Miller has been steeped in this painting tradition for 25 years and found new places to share insights and the strict tradition has not dulled her senses. On the contrary she is quickly becoming a catalyst for change. She thinks the bible can be thought of as hugely misogynistic, not because the men who wrote the words were particularly bad guys, but because in the first century women were not simply discriminated against, but often silenced. Yet, there are many subtle small slogans for women to regain their rightful place; as an example the Apostle Paul said ‘women should learn’. These few words actually become quite revolutionary. Given that the instruction was issued within a society which didn’t educate women, it seems Christ was trying to balance the behavior with a new mind even so long ago but we just simply have not fully grasped it even today. Women  have been waiting for nearly 2,000 years to be given an equal but different place in the kingdom, before they die. ‘Men of God ‘ it is time for us all to teach and give guidance to bring Christs’ directives of love and equality into fruition.

The donation of 100 pesos is acceptable at the door and proceeds will go to Green Team SMA.

Today new insights into women like Mary Magdalene are challenging our contemporary landscape. Art and image are powerful tools to bring about that change.

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Palette to Palate Long Table Dinner

Friday, August 31th , 2018  7:00pm

Palette to Palate is a Long table Dinner experience with a unique culinary adventure by chef Linnea Rufo, featuring the work of special guest artist Mary Jane Miller. Friday evening around the long table always brings together a unique group of people, and this palette promises to highlight conversations sparked when sacred art meets the sacred stomach.

Enliven both your taste buds and visual senses as you enjoy their Russian inspired feast, surrounded by Byzantine style Icons. Mexico and Russia both share traditions and heritage full of rich color and visual delights reminding us of ancient times and spiritual belief.



Chef Linnea Rufo is more than just a lover of food, she is inspired by the entire dining experience, capturing the spirit of the table, creating a mood, and evoking feelings or places through her delicate and perfectly paired meals. With years of culinary experience and a life long passion for bringing people together, Chef Linnea creates a warm environment where friends and family can come together and enjoy the rewards of sharing culinary delights. Casa Linnea is a place where friendships and unforgettable experiences can be made. To learn more about Palette to Palate and her upcoming events visit her website:

Mary Jane Miller is an internationally known artist whose work is set to accentuate the atmosphere of this Russian feast. Not to be missed, Russian food and a resident iconographer of Russian tradition all in San Miguel Allende for one night. Miller’s work is alive with gold, silver, precious stones in deep tones of color. Her beautiful byzantine images are as organic as the food you will be served, filled with gracefully executed strokes of egg emulsion and ground stone called egg tempera. Mary Jane is not represented anywhere in San Miguel Allende so this collection of work is not to be missed! To see more of Miller’s work and available pieces for purchase, visit see her website.

In order to finalize your reservation The Long table dinner participants are asked to make their payment in advance, email for more information and prices.

#russian #atmosphere #eggs #food #dinning #iconography #iconpainter #sanmiguelallende

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Gilding the Easy Way

Tip for Gilding

Mix Tile Bond (True Value Hardware carries it). with natural Bole.  If the red bole you buy is a creamy consistency add one part glue to 3 parts creamy bole. check it when it drys a finger nail indention is good, tells you it is not too hard, the shinny finish means it is too much glue. a dull powdery finish tells you to add more Glue. Heat the whole amount just too warm it, mix well and let stand a day or two.

If the bole is dry, mix distilled water to it till it is a creamy consistency like Very Thick cream. Notice this RED BOLE says REQUIRES NATURAL GLUE I use the Tile bond

You may have to add a bit of  distilled water when you go to actually apply it. I pool it, adding a brush full in a lake joining the puddle as I go along. Like we applied it in our class.



I use Rolco Oil size for Gilding, apply it evenly over the Bole /Tile bond mixture.

There are too many ways to do this process and lots of ingredients which vary from one process to other. Get ingredients that are compatible and stay away from anything with acrylic base.

Figure out one process and then perfect it. I can hit the ball pretty good with these 3 ingredients. Gilding with Mary Jane Miller


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God is not “A” being but BE-ing itself

God is not “A” being but BE-ing itself

Thomas Aquinas said Deus est ens, ‘God is being itself’.  The Dominicans say everything participates in being because God IS being.

There is a sacredness in everything.That desire to know, to connect to, to be part of, is why we are attracted to beauty, love, goodness and each other. Awaken to your connection to everything–inherently, objectively, metaphysically, ontologically, and theologically. We don’t create the connection through going to church or any other spiritual practice. The interconnection is revealed with awareness, it is the perceptible divine pulse in all which life exists.

You are what you are looking for.

While in Greece I met a woman named Victoria from Slovakia. She was confident and very Orthodox and only painted icons when she was inspired. She said she had the finished ones all over her house and never sold them.

I asked her why? and she said “i don’t know why.” She asked me about my icon painting, I said I had more than 500 icon paintings and most were under the bed and in closets. She asked why? and I said “who knows, I’m waiting.”She said ‘Good ‘and it was no accident I had so many and one day they will be seen… IF they are icons painted by the rule and then asked if I know the rule. I said, “you mean, to love God with your whole heart, mind and soul” she said, “ No, the icon rule!” and did I know the power icon paintings posses.

We talked about the way our souls felt split apart between what we are attracted to and what we can’t understand. We talked about having our hands blessed for icon painting and the beauty in this wonderful spiritual practice. We spoke of being transformed into walking icons through the power of ; ‘You are what you seek’.

Everything was great till we got to the sacrament part!!

The conversation went on for a good long time where I became more and more confused why the rules and tradition had turned her pious favoritism towards into rigidity. I kept wanting to expand the conversation. Then we got talking about church and Holy Eucharist. I suggested we go to the Orthodox service the next day and saying the sacrament will be a delight,(dinner with Jesus so to speak). She said “Oh No!. You cannot do that, you are not Orthodox”. ‘WOW, I thought to myself, 20 years painting icons and there I sat shocked wondering if I had ever had dinner with the real Jesus?’. The next day, I went anyway but alone.

My experience with the organized Church is a challenge and a testing ground, not always validating and not always encouraging but it has a valued place in my heart. I try to focus mostly on the way it exposes the great divinity in all of us.

Franciscan Mysticism: I Am That Which I Am Seeking.

Icon painting has taught me, God is not “A” being but BEi-ng itself. Icon Painting has influenced how I seek myself in all things and that self is the same self within all of creation. I have spoken before about lemons, they teach us just by being lemons, through their image, existence and essence, their ‘BE-ing’. Icon painting is the same. The actual icon paint, painted image and spiritual practice wrapped together teach, all I have to do is stay awake and learn. I am not exactly talking about lemons or icon painting, I am talking about essence. There is no value in separating what we think is Good and what is not Good. It causes division and comparison both of which change. I am looking for what does not change, the “I Am” within the existence of all things, in every situation throughout the day.

All I can say is, if you are an icon painter, Good Luck. I watch millions of tiny grains in the egg tempera paint come to rest on a landscape of dirt and color and I think what a bumpy path this has been,…. Wisdom.

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Humanity has lost their heart to unscrupulous consumption

BUY what is useful and necessary, GO SIMPLE and Consume LESS.

Forests are felled to make grain for cattle to make hamburgers which make us fat.

Rivers are poisoned to manufacture fake leather for our comfort in the car. Million and millions of shipping containers transport what the market demands, 365 days a year, so we can have more kinds of coffee, six kinds of scented soap, silly hand gadgets to cut your butter and a specialized pizza fork! This pathological consumption has become a world-consuming epidemic of madness, based on a pretty big lie making you think you need it.

EXAMPLE: In 2007, the journalist Adam Welz records that13 rhinos were shot and killed by poachers in South Africa. In 2016, 585 rhinos where shot and killed. Why? It is documented that very rich people in Vietnam are now sprinkling pulverized rhino horn on their food or snorting it like cocaine to display “their” wealth. In comparison, in China they are serving up live baby mice as a delicacy you eat with chopsticks. It’s grotesque.

The non-thinking consumers are keeping “their” seduction live!

This boom of madness has not happened by accident. The designers and promoters of crappy ideas seldom stop and ask; “Does humanity Need IT?” Or Does the Planet Need IT?. They want money, and they convince us we will feel” better. We have to ask ourselves at every moment in the checkout line, “what am I buying and why?”. The designers of stupid consumption depend on selling the utterly useless to the ignorant thoughtless consumer. AND worse, when every conceivable want and need has been met among those who have disposable money, the designers of stupid consumption start all over again in another country with another idea.

Grown men and women devote their lives to designing, manufacturing and marketing useless rubbish, toys for the adult child and stuff with no lasting value or relevance. Remember, we are trying to “feel” better or make someone else “feel” better. Actually to do that requires no money or investment, no shopping mall or special coffee machine, it requires BE-ing in the moment.

These designers of stupid consumption have taken the slogan, “the best things in life are free”, and found a way to sell it to us!

Why have we failed to notice that the excessive behavior of a few is already controlling more money than they know how to spend, and causing the deprivation of millions along with the environment. The growth of inequality accompanying stupid consumerism makes a lot of money for a few. Why have we failed to notice it is not good to trash the planet by selling crappy ideas to the poor and middle class. In the US in 2010 a remarkable 93% of the growth in incomes accrued for the top 1% of the population. This year, make it your goal to BOYCOT these clowns who design and promote crappy ideas. If we don’t it “their ” wealth will continue to hurt us all. Our “dis-ease” with our not “feeling” good is being satiated by a lie and ruining the the environment and the human soul.

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Amazing, Ambitious Museum Show in Leon, Gto.

Icon Exhibit Opening Museum of Leon, July 13th 8 PM All Welcome

Sacred Art without God?

The word Art comes from the Latin stem ar which means to fit together. The word sacred implies being devoted or dedicated to a deity. And the word God could be taken to mean the summit of human happiness. These etymologies reflect the profound necessity humankind has for defining our history and religion through art. At least up until the last 500 years, art and God have been unmistakably linked. The purpose and inspiration for devotional art has traditionally been to join or bind together our physical and spiritual worlds.

Mary Jane Miller welcomes anyone interested, curious or confused about iconography and the journey there of, to come for a studio visit, call for an appointment. peace

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Are you an Exhausted Consumer?

Our Pathological consumption has become normal.

Our wealthy and comfortable population has what it needs, but do we call it a sin if we own more than we can care for, and still finding ourselves wanting more? We buy silly fun stuff like a solar-powered waving clown, a belly button brush, a silver-plated ice cream scoop for the one who has everything, and anything else to get through the week, feel good, and have a laugh.

Initially we are amused or emotionally satisfied with new stuff but never feel embarrassed or over indulged. Most of this frivolous consumption produces a thirty second high of hedonistic pleasure, that lasts as long as a nicotine hit. There is a hidden cost in our consumption of stupid stuff. It unfortunately often ends up in the land fill. The factory that makes it, the transport and packaging to get it to you. It may be time to slow down, be honest about our contribution to the death of the planet, and stop buying unneeded stuff.

The question is when will landfills be larger than shopping malls and golf courses?

Many products on the market have no real lasting value or life altering attributes. Remember we are usually consuming to “feel” better or make someone else “feel” better. An electronic singing door bell; a Darth Vader talking piggy bank; an ear-shaped i-phone case; an electronic wine breather; a sonic screwdriver remote control; bacon toothpaste; a plastic electronic Terry the Swearing Turtle; or – the not to missed – Scratch Off World wall map (who invented that irony); This stuff does not do anything for anyone in the long run, cannot feed the soul but it does ruin the planet. The idea is this; those who market stimulate our uncontrolled impulses. They have us by the balls with temptation and mindlessness. Consumable frivolous crap is designed to fix you, strengthen you, encourage you, make you better, make you first or best, but in reality it does none of this. The sexy girl with the tooth paste or shiny Ford Truck will never make you a better you or better sex life.

It’s a selling scam designed to make you fall out of consciousness

and spend money.

Researching her film, The Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard discovered that of the materials flowing through the consumer economy, only 1% remain in use six months after purchase. I used to paint wall murals in peoples houses. Many of these people had homes that Did Not Need a mural. The homes where already beautiful. What I noticed time and again was the vast amount of unused and unappreciated stuff! If I needed a rag, bucket or broom I went to the closet, the basement or under the sink. AMAZING what was there, the “a personal pre-dump home landfill”.  Stacks of unread magazines, nick knacks, shampoo galore, every kind of cleaning agent newly scented, multiples of tape, spices, screwdrivers, clips, rolls of paper, etc. never used, but purchased “just in case”.

Our consumerism impacts future generations.


What is paramount to my tirade is taking the time to look critically at the stuff we “have to buy” and it’s expense to the planet and future generations. To own a plastic wiggling baby toy given as a joke to an adult embodies a huge determent to the environment. All included- raw materials, manufacturing, the package and transport, adverting, gift wrapping, and then final transportation to the land fill all for 6 dollars! It goes to the land fill after we have played with it for 10 minutes, 3 times and shown it to 2 people. The Cost of “feeling good” is outrageous. The frivolous fun of purchasing this instant joy stuff is a slow death for our planet. Much of the stuff is made from combinations of plastic, tin, glass, wood, paint, etc. and electronics filled with compounds of nonrenewable natural materials, including extracted zinc, lead, copper or mercury.

Think, maybe our impulse consumerism offers no real value.

Fossil fuels and resources are gleaned from neighboring countries with no regard for human life or the planet. Powerful corporate strategies manipulate other nations to utilized their land and resources to build and sustain free enterprise and free trade. The wealth of our industrial complex manufactures and consumes everything and is creating more than half of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere just so we can have imported scented toilet paper with little ducks hand printed on them. We are screwing the planet to make solar-powered bath thermometers to tell us if the water is hot.

BUY what is useful and necessary,

GO SIMPLE and Consume LESS.



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