Recipient: Duncan Arthur Ross the Black
Time to execute: About 100 hours
Artwork Based upon: Border work design based upon the Codex Vindobonensis 1856 a Burgundian manuscript that dates to about 1470. The color scheme was converted to a blue and silver base to be more Trimarian and the new colors are based more in the style of the "Black Hours," for Rome use. Belgium, Bruges, c. 1470 (MS M.493). The center vignette of ships departing comes from the Chronicle of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem
Calligraphy and Illumination: All me on this one. Which is crazy when you look at the picture below of the framed and finished piece sitting on a regular length sofa.
Twice has the valiant and noble Duncan Arthur Ross the Black won the Crown of his Lady Love, Larissa, bringer of love and beauty, who inspired his Chivalry. Twice has he won the Crown for this Lady who inspired his sword and shield to great speed and strength. Twice has he ruled with wisdom, strength, and courtesy. Now his reign is ended and his people clamor that such worthiness is rewarded. Our wish is to make it known now and forever that We, Ari Tyrbrandr and Sibilla Dane, King and Queen of Trimaris, hearby name Our good Duncan Arthur Ross the Black as a Duke of Our Realm, accompanied with every dignity, honor, joy and burden thereof. In Accordance, We place our hands to this document in joy and celebration to declare this to all assembled
Tiny writing on the flags and pennants on the ships can be seen in some photos. The latin text translated by Master Octavio reads:
Decedam a te numquam
Dero te numquam
Ero desultor aio numquam
Efficam te lacrimare numquam
Vale dicam aio numquam
Mendacium nocere tibi numquam dicam
This can be roughly translated into English as:
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you
Yep, I’m that kind of friend.
Breakdown: This page took much longer than expected and the execution time crept up over 100 hours. I did get to listen to two entire audio-book novels which really helped me to make it through rather than dousing the page in kerosene and cackling as I burned it on the driveway. The border came out better than I expected but it was insanely tedious and I kept losing interest in portions of the vignette and had to keep jumping around to stay enthusiastic and interested. The best part was the rick roll. That was the part that made all the effort worthwhile.
The only other good part of this experience was the look on Duncan’s face when he saw the scroll as it was presented in court. I have to admit, that pretty much made my day (ok, that and the Court Barony didn’t hurt).
The frame weighed a ton but I decided to hold it up myself so I could watch his reaction. I mostly couldn’t feel my arms anyway after all of the hours of painting.
The lesson gleaned from this piece seems to mostly be: Never again work on a scale this large.