Athanasius proved to be a rock of intolerance to the Arian position. If he would not move, his enemies would dislodge him from his seat of power by other methods. An absurd smear campaign ensued. Athanasius was even accused of murdering a certain Asenius to obtain his hand for magic. The problem was Asenius was still very much alive and with both hands intact. No matter. the Arian Eusebius had the emperor's ear, and continued to put a bug in it until Athanasius was forced into exile in the west, where he remained until Constantine's death. Out of exile for a short time, but Eusebius and his new best friend Constantius weren't finished yet.
Updated: (click on the picture for a nice large version with reasonable detail) I have finished the painting for the most part, so I cut the fabric down and took this pic. Now I just have to wait a few days for it to dry so I can work on stitching. Not entirely sure what I will do, I am afraid I'll wreck it! I am also abit wary of the gold leaf I intend to apply-I've never worked with it before, and I imagine fabric to be a less than easy ground for it.
I think I will be conservative in embellishment-much more so than I had originally planned. I do hope to give it more definition, as I can't do much more with the paint. This is also about how dark the piece actually is-the fabric continually darkened for weeks after that iron bath!
I have been awake for 25 hours. I woke up far too early and finally transferred the design for Athanasius onto the silk. After coming home from work, I went right back to it. I smell like oil paint, a good feeling. At the moment the piece is too low contrast (the strength of my method is it's subtlety) I don't want it quite that subtle however. I have lightened all of these photos for better readability.
This is the first rendering of the face-I particularly liked the way it looked-less smirky than the drawing. However it was so dark it was almost unreadable in the photo. More layers of light had to be added. It doesn't look as well now though.
This one is the top laying on the floor as I was working it, paintstiks, brushes and my coat surround it. Yes I got home, took my coat off and worked at it! This is also the first time I have used sticks rather than tube oil paint (They were the thing that took months to arrive!). I like the dryness of them as they go onto my brush much more lightly, reducing the need to brush as much off.
I continually took photos to get an appreciation for how it was reading.
This is how it looks right now. He looks a bit more cranky in this picture (less so in life), perhaps he is thinking of the Eusebii (I don't know if that is actually a word...). the coptic textile design has been rendered in gold to the left. the first attempt gave me a much more readable design, but oh well.
There is still much work to do, but I feel better to have finally started work on the actual piece after all these months of stalling. I designed this just before my practicum-almost a year ago! I kind of wish I could leave it dark and low contrast; it looks very cool that way, dark and moody.