A HOLY site is to benefit from a religious icon painted by a Middleton artist.
Nick Muir has been asked to create a portrait of Saint Aidan for the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
He expects the finished work to be placed in close to the altar of St Mary’s Church on the island.
It will measure 12in by 18in and be painted with gold gilding, egg tempera and, probably, oil veiling to follow an historic tradition.
Nick is at the line drawing stage of the lengthy process of producing the distinctive work. He said: “It’s going to take until March to finish. This kind of painting involves technique, skill and a lot of research as well.
“What you have got in one of these paintings could be a hundred paintings in all because all that work goes into one painting.”
The commission arose when Nick, 50, of Ancton Lane, and his wife visited Lindisfarne last summer.
He was chatting to the vicar of St Mary’s, the Rev Paul Collins, about a Russian icon on display.
Mr Collins was impressed with Nick’s knowledge and signed him up for the portrait of St Aidan.
“It was all completed in five minutes,” said Nick.
St Aidan, who died in 651, is known as the Apostle of Northumbria. He was an Irish monk and missionary who is credited with restoring Christianity to northern England.
Nick has been painting for most of his life. A course at Northbrook College in 2D and 3D design saw him specialise in furniture design
He gave up art for a time but returned to it some five years ago. He combines painting with part-time maintenance work at the Rolls Royce factory at Goodwood.
He said: “Art is either in your blood or it isn’t. It’s a way of escaping and a way of looking at yourself.
“My grandmother was an Irish Catholic so I was brought up with religious iconography.
“As you grow older, you question your morality and your place on this planet.This comes out in your art.”
Nick has work on show at the Cloudhopper gallery in Bognor Regis town centre.