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Who can paint icons?

We will try, by means of modern technologies and communications, to make it possible for all of you to get closer to the works of a contemporary icon-painter from Plovdiv, Yanko Kavrakov ? an artist who is ?blessed? to paint icons.
He is certain that only a person in harmony with himself and the world around is able to really paint an icon. In an interview to the Maritsa Newspaper he admits: ?While laying the gilt on the icon I stop breathing ? not to spoil the magic I create?. The artist says that he himself takes care of every detail in the process of creating an icon ? starting from the choice of wood, the processing of the wood until the final cover of the ready icon, so that it could be better preserved for longer times. Of course, he is not happy at all with the quality of the modern paints ? nothing to do with the old-times ones that the icon-painters created themselves?
According to him, negative emotions do matter since the icon painting is not only an art but a mystery as well? As all artists, Yanko Kavrakov also dislikes selling ? he prefers giving away his works. What is important for him is to be seen by more people. Therefore he has exhibited 20 of his icons at the Ethnographic Museum in the Old Town (photos of which exhibition you can see) ? a full harmony between image and place. The next work of the artist will be painting the church at the Drangovo village, together with his fellow-artist Roumen Tsvetkov.
This topic reminds us of an eminent Plovdiv icon-painter, Tsanko Lavrenov, who had always carried the words of the wise Solomon in his pocket notebook: ?Then I turned back and saw that under the sun none of the fast ones are initially attributed with swift running, none of the brave ? with any victory, none of the wise ? with any bread, none of the bright ? with any wealth, none of the skillful ? with any benevolence, but it is time and opportunity that help each and everyone of them??