The work of J.R.R. Tolkien has been a constant companion throughout my whole life. I discovered The Hobbit when I was 9 years old, and went on to read The Lord of the Rings soon after. My family was living in Taipei at the time, and there was this cool little bookstore just a short bus ride into the city where I was able to find the books in hardcover, which included these huge intricate fold-out maps, and had Tolkien’s beautiful artwork reproduced on the dust-covers. I also found copies of The Unfinished Tales and The Silmarillion in that bookstore too, which I tried to read at the time, but they were probably beyond me…
Ever since then I go through these phases where I become obsessed with Tolkien and his work all over again. I travel to Middle-earth and stay there for a while. As an adult, I tend to focus on The Silmarillion and related titles. There is something about that book and all of the related stories that is just fascinating to me. And so beautiful…
April ’16 was one of those Tolkien themed months for me. Maybe not as intensive as usual, but the theme was still there. Although now that I think about all I read and listened to, I guess there was a whole lot of Tolkien jammed in there.
I listen to a lot of audiobooks while I work and paint, and I started April off by listening to “Tolkien and the West: Recovering the Lost Tradition of Europe” and “Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth“. I also listen to a lot of podcasts while I work, and spent a bit of time listening to the Tolkien Professor’s “Shaping of Middle-earth” series. And then finally, as the month was wrapping up, one of my favorite podcasts, Rune Soup, had a new talkin’ Tolkien episode that I enjoyed hearing.
In that Rune Soup episode, there was some discussion about the drawings and paintings that Tolkien created during his lifetime. I’d seen some of Tolkien’s artwork before, but not a whole lot. I became curious, started to explore, and now I’ve posted many of his trees and landscapes here on ArtDuh so I can see and enjoy them any old time… and you can too!
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