Thursday, 9 February 2006

Athanasius Contra Mundum

Anyone who knows me is aware that when the new heavens and earth have come, and I am in the City of God, I am going to make a journey to find two people. The first is Jeremiah; I feel so kindred with him. The second, Athanasius, is just one of my absolute heros.

I decided to make a piece of Athanasius on a bit of a whim, and I thought I might document a piece from the beginning to end here. So yeah I'm still in the sketch stage with this one, working out a conundrum already.
The original idea that came to me was of his face severely cropped in half, with three interlocked circles behind him. I know that is technically bad composition, so I drew the entire face. Everyone who has looked at it so far (that being mama and dad) has liked the full face version; I still want it cropped. Once I decide what I will do, then I can start working on the full version of it.
All two of you who may occasionally view the blog may weigh in if you like; which version is more pleasing to you?

Here is the full sketch (yes the left eye is wonky because I figured since it wasn't going to be in the finished piece, I could be lazy with it) :

Athanasius sketch

This is how it would look cropped like I want (with some things moved to fit):

I *really* want to work a coptic style textile into the background. I am thinking I'll work a fair amount of metallics into it as well, and I just know I will swear alot at it for insisting it must have them.


arlee said...

Is the celtic knot piece going to be in the background or the foreground? I find it rather confusing that it's floating on his face while the earth is behind. I however do like both full version and cropped version. Can't wait to see what you do with this--what kind of colour scheme?

Char said...

I had thought that I'd carry the trefoil type knot over with embroidery, more 'suggesting' it than actually laying it over the face. It's meant to come right into the corner of his eye, symbolic of his life's vision (defending the concept of trinity). The world is behind as it symbolises the adversaries over which he triumphed. (Athanasius Contra Mundum-the term coined of him in his own day-means Athanasius against the world.) Those things being a problem hadn't even entered my mind! :) Perhaps some more planning is in order.

I am kind of hoping to do earthy colours as a coptic tapestry, blacks, browns and golds; maybe some others for contrast. The piece may just tell me new things as I go.

Thanks for your help! :)

marc said...


I don't know if you have ever heard John Piper's biographical sketch of Athanasius but here is a link if you are interested:

look under biographies, its the last one.

Char said...

Thanks for the link, Marc. Glad to see there is appreciation for Athanasius in the rest of the protestant community. :)

Oh and this has turned into a series on me (that is if Irenaeus starts co-operating). I hate having more ideas than time. I only have ten series in the works.

marc said...

Hey Char,
Aren't you going to blog a review of the new Petra Concert DVD?

Char said...

Marc I am beginning to suspect you of being a closet Pethead...

I don't have the Farewell DVD yet-what can I say, I'm so bad. And I'm lazy, so I haven't been posting much. I must be purged.