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Unlocking the Secrets of
Painters and Illuminators

By Sybil Archibald & Karen Gorst






Sybil Archibald has spent the last 20 years exploring art as a spiritual path.  Drawing on the rich legacy of ancient and medieval art techniques, she explores the roots of creativity within us all.

Mother an Illumination by Sybil ArchibaldIn 1997 when Sybil was first diagnosed with scleroderma she could barely walk or open a door. She used the spiritual nature and process of art to heal herself. Now although she still has scleroderma, she leads a full and active life made possible by the deep mystery of making art. She writes about this journey and about the creative process on her blog Art of the Spirit.

Sybil's deeply spiritual artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is in private collections throughout the United States and Europe. She brings her unique vision and technical expertise to workshops, lectures and demonstration at museums, libraries and schools, including the Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the NY Public Library, the Museum of African Art, Soho & the Groiler Club.

Share Sybil's journey on her blog Art of the Spirit about art and spirituality

See Sybil's portfolio

More about Sybil


image copyright Karen GorstKaren Gorst is a leader in the field of manuscript illumination and was recently one of 100 artists chosen for the retrospective exhibition ďArtist and Alphabet: 20th Century Calligraphy & Lettering Arts in America."  Her work is in private collections in the US and Europe.


Karen was a faculty member teaching manuscript illumination at the renown School of Sacred Arts, NYC, from 1983 to 1992, where she deepened her connection to the transformational qualities of this sacred art. For the last 15 years, she has taught at important cultural institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Walters Art Gallery, the Huntington Library, and the Pierpont Morgan Library among others. She is currently on the Board of Governors of the Society of Scribes, NYC where she was president from 2000-2003. Karen's 20 years of experience researching and using medieval techniques has made her an invaluable asset to historians, conservators (whom she regularly consults with) & especially to artists interested in learning to use medieval techniques.  She currently is a regular teacher at the Center for Book Arts and at Kremer Pigments in NYC. She has a BFA from Cooper Union and is a graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts.\


Karenís work reveals a deep spirituality. Her original illuminations and illuminated books, are grounded in the rich medieval tradition of mysticism made visible. Her spiritual journey has led her to reconnect to her Judeo-Christian mystical roots with a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be an artist. Each complete illumination, image and materials, is imbued with symbolic meaning to create an integrated message- the mystical union of God and humanity.



View Chapters From Lapis & Gold:






Pigments and Pigment Making

The Pigment Almanac (A reference guide to pigments)



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(c) 2006-9 Sybil Archibald & Karen Gorst
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