Some of us are involved in writing an icon this week. Fr. Peter Pearson is teaching us, using an icon of Mary Magdalene, The Apostle to the Apostles. See Fr. Peter's website for more information.
It is amazing to watch the face of a holy person arise from a flat white board. And even more amazing to know that with your brush and paint, your hand is touching the cheek or hair or hand of a saint.
Traditionally, icons are "written" not painted, because they are considered to be a visual form of Scripture. And an icon comes "through the hand of" its writer.
Even at the stage of the line drawing or "cartoon", the icon figure's eyes gaze out at us, while we are looking at them, reminding us of the immediate and compelling presence of the Holy. As an Eastern Church hymn sings, "Come let us worship and fall down..."