A member of the Tolkien community is gone. Jeffrey “Jef” Patrick Murray died Monday, Aug. 3 unexpectedly, at the age of 55.
Jef, living in Decauter, Georgia, was best known to many as a Tolkien artist, and was a selected artist at the upcoming Dragon Con in Atlanta. He leaves behind family and friends who know him as more than his work and will miss him dearly.
Jef was scheduled to help the Tolkien track of programming at Dragon Con this year, as he has many others, and will be missed and remembered. He was active year round in a Facebook group dedicated to the convention, where he posted his art weekly. He put his effort where his passion was and it will be hard not to notice that he hasn’t posted each Tolkien Tuesday.
Jef had a deep spiritual connection with the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and credited the professor and his writings with his conversion to Catholicism. Besides leaving his mark in Tolkien fandom, he was involved as a writer and artist in religious publications and websites. He also wrote his own stories and poems.
Murray received a note of tribute from fellow artist and friend Ted Naismith, noting his passing and explaining that the pair kept in contact via email despite different viewpoints of the world. He said in part:
“I’m proud to call Jef a friend, fellow artist, scholar and colleague, and deeply mourn his loss. My deepest condolences to Lorraine and Jef’s family and close friends. He was a very lively and dedicated voice and talent in our community, and he leaves an impressive legacy. I’m truly saddened that he has left us, it’s simply too soon! I’d like to think he is now free to roam the width and breadth of Middle-earth and Valinor with his canvases and songs.”
Tolkien scholar Constance Wagner, who got to know Jeff at Dragon Con also spoke of her sadness at his passing:
“He has gone Into the West to paint forever with starlight. I will miss his wit and kindness and sense of fun. I will miss his talent. But mostly, I will miss him. Namarie, Jef. Elen sila lumenn’ omentielvo.”
The Tolkien Society knew Jef and his works well. He often contributed to its publications Amon Hen and Mallorn. It published a notice of his death, expressing sadness at his passing.
It is interesting to note, that he graduated from Georgia Tech with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering according to this obituary.
TheOneRing.net wishes our deepest condolences to those hurt by the loss of Jef, yet we honor his works and his passion and his life.
“Although it’s thought good form to speak about oneself in a “Biography” section, I’m always embarrassed that I’ll either say too much and sound pompous or too little and sound elusive. I intend neither, so beg your pardon in advance if I strike the wrong balance.
I’ve sketched and painted natural and mythological wildlife and landscapes since my childhood years in the north Georgia hills. I suspect I’m best known for my illustrations from Inklings-themed publications, although I’m very grateful that my work has also been published in many other books and journals.
I love the writings of G. K. Chesterton (see my artist’s statement), and a good deal of my work explores the connection between myth/fairy tales and Christian thought. I am Artist-in-Residence for the St. Austin Review (StAR).
My illustrations of whimsical tales and poems and my stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications worldwide, including Amon Hen, Mallorn, Silver Leaves, the St. Austin Review (StAR), the Georgia Bulletin, and Integrated Catholic Life. My most recent book illustrations appear in Seer: A Wizard’s Journal.
Lorraine and I reside in Decatur, Georgia with hamster-in-residence Ignatius, and up to 60,000 honeybees.”
Today is the first of three wonderful weeks of new items we can order from the goodies Weta Workshop had on display at Comic-Con 2015.
Minas Tirith one of the most important places in all of Middle-earth has been expertly captured by principal sculptor Leonard Ellis. All told it took eight people a total of 1,000 hours to bring this collectible to life. Due to land in our collections starting in the fourth quarter of this year Minas Tirith can be yours for $599.
One of the pieces that stole Comic-Con 2014, and was a big hit again this year at Comic-Con 2015, is the amazing Smaug the Terrible by Weta Workshop. Sculpted by Lindsey Crummett and Gary Hunt this piece is a perfect representation of what we saw of Smaug during The Hobbit Trilogy. Smaug is easily one of Weta’s best pieces with some of the most fantastic details and paints we’ve seen. You can get Smaug for $749 with an edition size of 2000 pieces world-wide. He is worth every last penny. As you may have heard me say in my Comic-Con booth tour, if you only get one piece from The Hobbit then this is one you should. (more…)
Our friends at Weta Workshop had so many great items at Comic-Con this year. Starting from next week, and continuing for the following two weeks, fans will get a chance to place pre-orders for some of these items. The first item will be available on August 3rd, this item being my favorite piece at Comic-Con, Minas Tirith. Then on the following two weeks, August 10th and 17th, we will get the Uruk-hai Swordsman (August 10th) and Dain Ironfoot on War Boar (August 17th). All three items will become available for pre-order at the same time starting at 2pm PST. (more…)
Sculpted by Gary Hunt this fantastic statue made its debut at Comic-Con just last year. This pose and the likeness are fantastic! They capture Bard as he’s trying to do all he possibly can to take out the dragon Smaug. Bard comes in with an edition size of 1000 pieces world-wide and is in-stock in both the United States and New Zealand warehouses while the UK is in pre-order status. You can add Bard to your collection for just $299. (more…)
San Diego Comic Con 2015 is now in the books, let’s do a little recap for any all things related to Tolkien fandom and TORn. The TORn panel, titled “What’s next for Tolkien Fans?” was on Friday afternoon, and directly after the panel we had our annual Tolkien themed Cosplay photo Op, as seen in the first photo.
The panel itself began at 4pm, but without the snazzy little visual presentation we normally have. The laptop that the presentation was on, and had been operating just 2 hours earlier, decided it was taking the afternoon off. Apparently it helped the panel move along at a quicker pace, leaving plenty of room for questions at the end. So, what was discussed in the panel, what IS next for Tolkien fans? (more…)
If you were lucky enough to be at Comic-Con 2015 you were not only able to see this in person but snag it as well. The amazing talent that is Jerry Vanderstelt has a new Sauron print available for all Middle-earth fans to add to their collection. Titled “Dark Majesty” this print captures Sauron reaching through the print with The One Ring all lit up as he comes for his prey. This print can be had in 16 x 20 Lithographs and 17 x 22 Paper Giclees. Keep an eye on Vanderstelt Studio store to make sure you add a fantastic rendition of the Dark Lord himself.
We’ve completed another Comic-Con and once again our friends at Weta Workshop did not disappoint. There are new pieces from both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, thus letting fans add to the amazing work from Weta many of us already have. From The Lord of the Rings comes one of the coolest looking orcs in the Uruk-hai Swordsman piece, another great environment in Minas Tirith, and the mini line adds Frodo Baggins. The Uruk-hai and Minas Tirith are due to ship during quarter four of this year while Frodo is due in quarter three.
He made his debut at Comic-Con last year and after a decade wait to get him into our collections Faramir has arrived. This amazing statue is a spitting image of what we saw on screen during The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Faramir is one of my favorite The Lord of the Rings pieces and you can get him right now for $249 as he is in-stock with an edition size of just 1000 pieces world-wide.
What’s Next for Tolkien Fans
From cast and crew interviews to having a staffer assigned as an embedded reporter on set, TheOneRing.net has had a front row seat these past 16 years as Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth films were created. Now that all the films have been released, the only thing remaining for fans is the extended edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies and rumors of possible Tolkien biopics on the horizon. Join staffers Cathy Udovch (special events coordinator), Clifford Broadway (TORn tuesday), Josh Rubinstein (TORn bookclub), Kellie Rice (Happy Hobbit), and Larry Curtis (senior staff writer) for an in-depth discussion full of expert analysis, behind-the-scenes stories and audience participation with the website forged by and for fans of J. R. R. Tolkien. Friday July 10, 2015 4:00pm – 5:00pm Room 25ABC
The 2015 edition of San Diego Comic Con is coming up in just 3 short weeks, and TheOneRing.net will be there. We will not have a booth this year, but we will be hosting a panel on Friday afternoon, July 10, called “What’s next for Tolkien Fans”. We just can’t give any further details until the official schedule is posted next week.Please do plan to wear your Tolkien finery on Friday if you are able. That means costumes, TORn shirts, whatever you have that shows your affinity for all things Middle-earth. Since this may well be TORn’s final big appearance at SDCC (we won’t know until next year if they will invite us back), so let’s go out in style. There will be a mass photo of fans in TORn shirts or other Tolkien themed tees, Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and other denizens of Middle-earth, directly after the panel out on the front steps between Ballroom 20 and the Sails Pavillion. You will have to take the escalators to the ground floor in order to exit to get to the front steps, but this will allow any non-ticket holders to participate. So do plan to represent Middle-earth and we’ll see you on Friday, July 10, Costumes or geeky shirts are equally welcome, this photo event will take place between 5:15pm and 5:30pm.
There will also be a TORn Moot that Friday evening, but instead of the Laketown Luau we had last year, which forced us to charge money to attend, we decided to go a little more casual. So, without further ado, all Tolkien fans attending SDCC and those locals that are not attending are invited to an ‘Ice Cream Social’ at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop in the Gaslamp District, located at 643 5th ave. We’ll begin at 7:30pm, giving everyone time to make it into the Gaslamp District after the hall closes, and run till 10pm.You can RSVP at our Facebook Event page for “We’re Taking the Hobbits to IceCreamGard”
Now here’s the rub, Ghirardelli does not take reservations, so everyone will just have to show up, grab whatever chair or table is available, and eat their yummy goodness. We may end up scattered about the place, but that’s OK, we are all Tolkien fans and we can socialize with the best of them. The shop is always rather popular and busy, the turn over is pretty quick, so just show up and have some fun with your fellow Tolkien fans, and there may even be a few prizes to win.
As we draw near this year’s San Diego Comic-Con let’s cover a piece that made an appearance at last year’s show. The really cool Smaug: King Under the Mountain, a.k.a. “Smauglet,” was one of the pieces that stole the hearts of everyone I know that was at the Weta Booth. It takes everything we loved about Smaug and shrunk him down to a size that fits in anyone’s collection. Weta did such a fantastic job of capturing so much detail and allowing collectors to snag this for a solid price of $125. If you order now or before June 15th you can get him for $99 and he is in-stock.
This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law.