It was expected that the icon painter have significant spiritual maturity. Icons were not to be painted lightly. This involved long periods of preparation and contemplation. It was not a frivolous exercise.88 In sharp contrast to Western ideas of self-expression in art, the iconographer was to work in service to the church. Personal expression was not only inappropriate but actually forbidden.

86 Anthony Ugolnik. The Illuminating Icon. (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1989), p. 55.
87 Coniaris, 1982, p. 177.
88 Michel Quenot. The Icon: Window on the Kingdom. (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1991), p. 84.