The Judges
for the 2019 St. Kosmas Fine Art Contest

(Bios, Choices for Winners, and Comments to the Participants)

Theme: “Timeless Orthodoxy in the 21st Century”

To the Judges from St. Kosmas Homeschool Association:

We want to express our sincere appreciation for the time you gave to judging this contest, not only for your thoughtful consideration of your choices for winners, but also for offering feedback to the participants. We value your contribution to this program and we hope to have the privilege of continuing to work with you in future years! Thank you!

Justin Autumn Bowles (Tennessee)

Justin Autumn Bowles holds a Bachelors of Fine Art in Sculpture and a Masters of Fine Art in Studio Arts. She is an exhibiting artist whose work focuses primarily on collage and paper sculpture. Her online portfolio can be found at .

Thank you for the opportunity to see great work from these students! I hope they are proud of the great work they’ve done!
Christ is Risen!
— Justin Autumn Bowles

Justin’s Picks:

  1. In the City of a Saint

  2. A Shrine in the City

  3. In My Church I Love the Weddings

    ”I think these have the most interesting compositions and are technically the best.” - Justin


Fr. Luke Dingman (California)

Fr. Luke cannot remember a time when he was not sketching or painting. Even as a toddler his mother kept him busy scribbling with crayons on paper laid out on the kitchen floor. He has created art in many different mediums from acrylics and oils to water color and pen and ink. Over the years his work has included cartooning, illustrations, advertising, caricatures, and fine art, as in oil and acrylic paintings. In the last 40 years he has primarily painted Byzantine-style icons for Orthodox Christians and churches. When Parkinson’s disease allows him the ability to paint, he pretty much limits himself to working on icons for his home church, Saint Lawrence Orthodox Christian Church in Felton, California. A sampling of his works can be viewed on his website . A documentary film about some of his work can be found on .

Dear Students of Art,
Art is very subjective, and so it is quite difficult to “judge.” It was quite difficult for me to choose only 3 from these entries. They all show promise and I hope that you will continue to draw. Practice using my “Learning to Draw” guide (posted below). Once you become accustomed to it, it really will be a great help to you.
May you be blessed in all of your Godly pursuits.
Christ is risen!
— Fr. Luke Dingman

Learning to Draw: A Guide from Fr. Luke Dingman

Learn to draw well with this “tried and true” method:

  • See big shape first. Use your eyes well! Where do shapes meet and intersect, etc. If you cannot SEE it (in your head and/or with your eyes), you will not be able to draw it. Draw from real life most of the time to train yourself to see shapes/images/proportions instead of relying on imagination. (There is a place for both).

  • Begin by sketching loose and light to help get parts in their proper place and proportion.

  • Compare sizes and proportions — and then

  • Begin adding detail and definition, in good proportion, after all the parts are there.

Fr. Luke’s Picks:

  1. I Really Love Forgiveness Vespers
    Exuberant, detailed - did a good job of communicating the joy of Forgiveness Sunday with Icons/people/carpet

  2. In The City of a Saint
    Good perspective and detail with a difficult subject.

  3. Jesus Christ Unites the Eras
    Ambitious and imaginative. Good rendition of an icon. (Keep it up! We need more iconographers!)


Megan Gilbert (Kansas)

Megan studied Fine Art at Point Loma Nazarene University where she met her husband and they encountered the Orthodox Church while studying abroad in Greece. They currently live in Wichita, Kansas with their three children. Megan does free-lance illustration and has published a few Orthodox children’s books with Ancient Faith Publishing. Her online portfolio can be found at .

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this great contest. There are so many wonderful pieces here. Again, thank you for the honor of getting to participate in a small way in this project.
— Megan Gilbert

Megan’s Picks

  1. In the City of a Saint
    This 16 year old artist has great technical skill, consistency of stroke, and interesting perspective and framing of the subject matter. Their artist statement shows that they took the challenge of the theme “Timeless Orthodoxy in the 21st Century”, put some thought into it and articulately expressed what this means to them.

  2. Chapel of Archangel Michael at Panagia Vlahernon Monastery in Florida
    This 14 year old also creatively interpreted the theme and articulated it in their artist statement: the fact that we can visit a place that is built in an ancient Byzazntine style in our modern world displays “Timeless Orthodoxy”. The artist has a strong sense of design as seen in their framing, line work, and shape building with shadows and highlights. I love the yellow flowers at the bottom, they are simple and pleasing and contrasts very well with the blue domes.

  3. In My Church I love the Weddings
    This 9 year old exhibits a great talent for their age. They have a strong sense of line, figure depiction and color. The characters in their illustration are dressed timelessly and the joy of the sacrament is truly timeless. You can see their joy in their painting.


Egle-Ekaterine Potamitis (Greece)

Egle-Ekaterine Potamitis is the illustrator and author/co-author of the collection of Orthodox children's books published by Potamitis Publishing. She is from Lithuania, and now resides in Greece with her husband and six children. They are committed to sharing the lives of the saints with children of all languages. Their website is .

Kudos to all of the contestants! All of the works are beautifully done.
— Egle-Ekaterine Potamitis

Egle-Ekaterine’s Picks:

  1. Jesus Christ Unites the Eras
    The creativity and experienced hand of the young artist are fully displayed.

  2. A Shrine in the City
    The composition is excellent and the mood of the modern city is nicely captured.

  3. The Homily
    Lovely attention to detail, warm and joyful colors.