Artist bio

Sacred Illuminations is inspired by my Bulgarian roots, celebrating the Light of the Spirit and the sacred symbolism of medieval manuscripts, using gold paints and Swarovski crystals. Participation in 110 solo exhibits, art festivals and bazaars in the U.S. and worldwide, published in magazines and the music production of Arvo Part's Adam's Lament (the Hague). The catalog includes 400 titles.


The Breastplate of Righteousness


Mixed Media

Artist Statement

I use gold inks and gold acrylic paint and Swarovski crystals. Usually, I start from the middle (the heart) on a dark surface and create by inspiration. Here, I placed the OT breastplate with the 12 stones, and wrote around the verse from Ephesians. This is a very typical example of my sacred illuminations, executed with gold paints to reflect the Divine Light within and without and inspire illumination in peoples' hearts, and Theosis.

How it fits into contest

Traditionally, in the Old Testament, the high priests wore a breastplate (hoshen) - Exodus 28:13-30), made of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen. On the front face of this square, in four rows were set twelve precious stones, on each of which was engraved the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. These jewels in gold settings were (Ex. 28:17-19): in the first row, "a sardius [ruby], a topaz, and a carbuncle [emerald]"; in the second row, "an emerald [carbuncle], a sapphire, and a diamond [sardonyx]"; in the third row, "a jacinth [amber], an agate, and an amethyst"; and in the fourth row, "a beryl [chalcedony], and an onyx [beryl], and a jasper.

In this spirit, St. Paul applies the Jewish tradition to admonish Christian believers to put on the whole armor of God against the forces of evil. This armor includes the breastplate of righteousness," the belt of Truth, the shoes of the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit (Eph.11-17). This piece represents that breastplate with crystals with the same colors as mentioned above, wrapped in the inscription of St. Paul's quote as the centerpiece. From it, in all directions spring branches of wheat and flowing rivers, symbols of eternal life of the Eucharist.


Tatiana Nikolova-Houston

How to Purchase this Artwork

Original work. $1500
It can be purchased by a check sent to my address.

Other Goods & Services Available from this Artist

Direct commissions - Yes.

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