Constantine's sons favoured opposite sides in the controversy. The first return was brief for Constantius again deposed Athanasius and after hiding out in the city for awhile he escaped to Rome. In the intervening years the Arians held counsels and wrote their own creeds while the Nicenes countered, many of whom had ended up in exile in the West under the protection of Constans and the Bishop Julius.
At the end of his second exile, Athanasius had been from his people for about seven years and now the Arian bishop who had replaced him was dead. In those years Eusebius also died. Constantius finally offered to reinstate him and Athanasius returned to his beloved flock In Alexandria. The Golden Decade had begun.
Aren't you glad we're to the part of the story where we get rid of Eusebius? Happy turning point there. Ding dong and all that.
It hasn't been seven years but this piece has languished some-though I have regularly been building highlights on it. Particularly given how the test piece worked out, I was afraid of embroidering it as I had originally planned. I still think that would have looked awesome, but I love the piece too much to take many risks with it at this point. I mean I'm sure we can all agree that the test piece looked pretty awful.
Anyway I think that Athanasius would not be impressed to know that fear of ruination would keep me from moving forward, so I decided to abandon the original idea for the embroidery and did running stitches by hand instead. these will be built up in the quilting which I have decided will also be done by hand. The contrast and texture I had intended is simply not there and while I think this does hurt the piece, I can live with this as opposed to an unmitigated disaster of threads.
Perhaps I will expand that coptic theme until I am better at it-companion pieces! Anyway here is how the piece stands. The dupioni has been added and stitches done for the moment.
Because I had chosen to make the halo and the world basically the same size, this meant an unusually small halo, and it is set oddly in the picture because of the shading. That was the thing I played with again and again in the original layout.
I was leary of my original idea of applying gold leaf in a deconstructed manner, but decided to go ahead with it. Now I am regretting that a little...Here is a close-up of the way the halo turned out. I think I can still do some salvaging once paint has dried. I still need to apply the 96th layer of paint to even the intensity out, and some other things.
As mentioned, varying intensities in the paint at the moment are leaving it looking a little wonky, and I have a good amount of work to do on that halo to fix it. But once I decide whether I want to do the edge treatment I had considered then forgotten about then found again, ( I like it but am again leaning against it) I can move on to quilting. Then it's only a few more exiles until finishing.