Nativity Icon Explained
"The iconographer has a grave responsibility to ensure his or her icons are not simply works of imagination. The iconographer exercises an ecclesiastical ministry in making icons. The icon must emerge from the mind and spirit of the Church, and must ensure that new icons truly represent the reality the Church knows, not some individual fantasy. Prayer, scriptural study, study of the Church's iconographical tradition and of the doctrine and canons on icons are as important in preparing oneself to make icons as a technical study of the artistic processes involved." from George Grube's, The Complete Book of Orthodoxy: a comprehensive encyclopedia and glossary of Orthodox terms, theology, history and fact from A to Z.