Immanuel Icons

an orthodox christian iconography studio
in pittsburgh, pennsylvania

The Annunciation, 3'X5', Community of Celebration, a benedictine community in Aliquippa, PA
St. John the Baptist,
The Divinity School of the
University of Chicago Ministry Suite
This Immanuel Icons icon, written in egg tempera and gold leaf, is based on one of the earliest surviving icons (c. 6th-7th century), housed at the Monastery of St. Catherine at Mt. Sinai. This one is privately owned, but see Gallery, Byzantine icons for more like it.
Icon by Saint Maria of Paris
Immanuel Icons takes commissions and offers classes for individuals, churches, and institutions.  The heart of Immanuel Icons are  traditional Byzantine icons written prayerfully using egg tempera and gold leaf on wood panels. 

Recently, Immanuel Icons has also begun to offer reverse glass iconography, a folk tradition developed in Eastern Europe in the 19th century.

Icons on this website are written in the traditional medium of egg tempera on wood unless specified as "glass icons."

I painted & taught the above icon this past Spring.  It is based on an icon in the Cleveland Museum of Art. 
Line-up of icons I'm beginning in 2014, with God's grace!
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Spring 2014
Sinai Christ Icon Class
(image above)


  • St. George Orthodox Cathedral, 3400 Dawson St., Pittsburgh, PA, 15213


  • Open to all levels.

Intermediates (who have taken at least one class) will do the full icon;  Beginners will do a close-up of just the faces on a smaller board.


7 Saturday morning classes, 9:30-12:30, approximately every other week.  Spring 2014:  February 22, March 8, 22, April 5, 26, May 10, 24.  The class is designed so if you have to miss one, you can still keep up.


  • Tuition is $200

Plus, for first-time students only, a $75 materials fee which includes board, brushes, dry pigments, palette, egg dropper, and tester board.


  • To be added to the interest list for this class, e-mail instructor Randi Sider-Rose at  (You can also call me if you don’t use e-mail:  412-396-9617.)  A $75 deposit is required to hold your spot.  Write check out to me and send to 931 N. Negley Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 15206.  Class will take place in the church office, so size is limited to 10 students (last door on the right on the side of the church).
ORDER FORM for ordering Christmas cards and prints right here:
The Nativity of Christ icon. To order Christmas cards with this image, click on the above link to the order form.

By choosing the name Immanuel Icons I am not trying to hide behind a "royal we" but rather retain the anonymity that is so central to the ethos of iconography.  Iconographers do not sign our names to the icons because we are mere vessels, not artistic geniuses or masters.  Some iconographers write on the back, "through the hands of..." or even "through the sinful hands of..."  I use the name "Immanuel Icons" so you can find me and because Christ is truly the "Icon" (literally image) of "God-with-Us."  Alleluia!

I find the tradition of anonymity freeing and I find that following prescribed rubrics is not only more creative than you might imagine, but also uplifting in a way akin to praying the liturgy amidst your community.  I join other iconographers in not improvising on the style or creating my own subject matter.  Praying my icons into being along with the "cloud of witnesses" of the Church is more uplifting than marketing my own creative genius ever could be!

My name is Randi Sider-Rose and my patron saint is Saint Maria of Paris, a canonized monastic, mother, and iconographer-saint of the Orthodox Church who ran a hospitality house in Paris, taking in Jews during the occupation of Nazis.  She was martyred in the camps herself.  If you do not know her fascinating story, see this website for more details. 

I have been writing icons for about 15 years  since studying at the Mt. Angel Abbey Iconography Institute in Oregon, the Prosopon school, and with a couple teachers here in Pennsylvania, all on a Lily grant (thank you, Fund for Theological Education!).  I have returned to Mt. Angel for the advanced program more than once and as a private student of one of the three wonderful teachers there.

I lived in Russia and Latvia for two and a half years (as a student and later as a Fulbright Scholar focusing on religion) and I completed the M.Div. at the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, where I focused on iconography.  I've led hands-on as well as art historical iconography workshops in Chicago, Washington D.C., Pittsburgh and elsewhere for students aged 8 through 80, as well as taking private students.  Now I live in Pittsburgh, where I have been blessed by His Grace Bishop Thomas to pursue the work of iconography.   I attend St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral with my family. 
Saint Maria of Paris (Skobstova) was an iconographer, mother, and monastic of our time (1891-1945).  A leader in civic affairs and mother of three in her younger years, when her little daughter Anastasia died of an illness she resolved to become a mother to the larger world.  Under spiritual guidance, this resolve eventually took a monastic turn.  As a nun active in the world, Mother Maria ran a hospitality house for the poor and marginalized in Paris.  During the Nazi occupation, this became a hospitality house for Jews.  One day, Nazi officials arrived at the doors of her hospitality house and demanded that Mother Maria reveal to them any Jewish person within.  She opened the door still wider to reveal an icon of the Theotokos in the entrance hall and said, "Here she is!"  Mother Maria was taken to the Ravensbruck concentration camp because of her efforts to hide Jews, where she was known to minster to those around her and sustain herself spiritually by trading food for embroidery thread to sew textile icons.  She was eventually martyred in the camps and was canonized by the Orthodox Church.