“Saint with Smoke and Scotch ” by Garapova
High in the Urals, the Eastern Orthodox monk and icon painter known simply as “Garapova”, presented this small painting to his abbot for approval. Although very impressed by his monk’s deft brushwork and compositional flair, the head of the monastery was appalled at the “un-saintly” portrayal. Even though the abbot and his monks take brandy (for medicinal and sacramental purposes) frequently, an icon portraying this activity did not bring praise. In his defense, the artist claims to have received “divine inspiration” to create the piece. Church elders are swiftly being dispatched to debrief the talented but humble artist.