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About me

Matka Boża

Welcome to my website!

My name is Marek Malisz and I’ve been living in Tyniec (near Cracow, Poland) for almost 30 years now. In Tyniec there is a wonderful Benedictine Abbey, the oldest in Poland, established as early as the 11th century. As it ever was, it still echoes with Gregorian chant and silent meditation, practised by the hard working monks. This very setting and its mystical atmosphere inspired me to explore sacral art. My first ‘sacral arts project’ involved helping in the assemblance of a four volume collection of organ pieces written and developed by prof. Marian Machura. A bit later on I decided to learn more about the art of icon writing.

Since childhood, I’ve been always interested in art - I play violin, viola and piano. Besides the music, my other hobby has always been arts - as a little boy and then a young adult I passionately painted, drew and sculptured. This very experience and skills then learnt, as well as Tyniec’s beautiful art collection, motivated me to learn this difficult art that is icon writing. The basics I learnt from various books, the Internet and from other experienced painters. Then I took part in few professional courses, including one in Cracow and in Jezuits’ church in Nowica. However, as with every skill, practice is always the most important - so I wrote, wrote and wrote. First for myself and my family, later also for friends, and then friends’ friends. Eventually my collection has become quite vast - and that is when I decided to create this website.

I wish for this website to be a portfolio - a personal souvenir of the icons I wrote. Creating icons to a particular order is always a great adventure for me - I seek new patterns, new solutions. Therefore please take a look at my collection within the Gallery section and if you’re considering inviting an icon to your home, please do contact me via this site. I will be happy to talk and answer all your possible icons’ questions.

The technique

All of my icons are hand-written (painted) in the Byzantine style. Often created on a pine board with two horizontal battens in the reverse of the panel.

Across few days the ground is covered by me with canvas and 'glue gesso' (twelve layers), and then polished.

Icons are written (painted) from the ground by hand in tempera technique - natural pigments are mixed with egg and wine. They are gilded with either gold leaf also known as Schlagmetal, or real gold. The surface is secured with shellac.

Writing an icon can take from four up to six weeks.