St. Andrei Rublev Icons
William Hart McNichols has been "drawing and coloring in his room" since he was five years old. His parents Marjory Hart McNichols and Stephen McNichols welcomed him on July 10, 1949 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Denver Colorado. He was a member of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) from 1968 to 2002. He studied philosophy, theology, and art at St. Louis University, Boston College, Boston University and Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Father Bill furthered his art studies at California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California in 1977. In 1983 he received a Master of Fine Arts in landscape painting from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.
He was ordained in 1979 as a Roman Catholic priest by Archbishop James Casey in Denver, CO. From 1983 - 1990 he worked with the wonderful AIDS Hospice team of St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan, New York. During this time he also illustrated 25 books, mostly children's books for Paulist Press.
In 1990, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to study the technique, history and spirituality of icon painting (technically "icon writing") with Russian-American master, Robert Lentz. In 1996 he was honored to be invited to Boston College by friend and mentor, Fr. Jim O'Brien, SJ to create 5 icons for the Jesuit Community there. In 1998 he returned to New York to create icons as a part of the West Side Jesuit Community. Since 1999 he has assisted with sacramental ministry in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in Taos and Northern New Mexico. He continues to assist in Albuquerque after returning there in the fall of 2013.
Artist Statement on Iconography
"There is only Christ: He is everything and He is in everything." St. Paul, Colossians 3:11
I honor and revere the Byzantine icons and the profound spirituality of the Othodox churches. I try to bring true devotion and prayer into the process of writing an icon, dependent upon the inspiration of the Blessed Trinity, the saints, holy ones, and the Mother of God. As a Roman Catholic iconographer, I have no intention of assuming to be Orthodox, but continue to pray with many others, for unity brought about by the Spirit, amongst the churches.
2014 is my 24th year as an Iconographer and I am very grateful for the tremendous support from around the World. The great bulk of Icons are commissions from individuals, families and Churches. I look at Icons from all ages and times in books ranging from the most ancient with the aged and muted colors to two fascinating books of Siberian icons with brilliant hues, almost singular in the world of icons as these icons have retained their vivid colors; so I learn something new from every one.
Fr. Bill McNichols