I began to 'open up'* the icon for the garden shrine yesterday afternoon. So far, so good.
*To 'open up' an icon is the application of colors (and any gold leafing) to the icon panel. I don't know the origin of the expression (probably from the Greek or Russian) but I love the implication that it is at this point in the work that the beauty of the icon begins to reveal itself as the colors and the gold leaf are applied by the iconpainter. In the same fashion that a flower as it begins to emerge from the bud 'opens up' and blooms in all of its beauty.