It’s an amazing volume, filled with rich, luminous artwork. It was reviewed in the latest edition of theJournal of Inkling Studies (Volume 10, issue 2); here’s a little of what writer Lance A. Green had to say:
Tolkienography invites a deep immersion in Tolkien’s myth through the artwork of Jay Johnstone, who has been painting Tolkien-themed illustrations for about thirty years. Together with Thomas Honegger’s commentary, Tolkienography offers a novel artistic rendering of Tolkien’s sub-creation, provoking new interpretations of its characters and essential themes. Printed with colourful clarity, the styles and techniques of Johnstone’s pieces are different enough to avoid any redundancy for the viewer. Colours, spacing, and characters are varied with each turn of the page, as are the painting techniques, which range from more contemporary styles to those mirroring medieval forms, including frescos and Byzantine iconography. Johnstone’s oils and charcoal works certainly capture the imagination: the charcoal and chalk of the Council of Elrond (25), the oil on canvas of Isildur’s death in the river Anduin (35, 39), and the binding of Melkor (41) all wonderfully convey character and scene. An immense oil and gold-leaf rendering of Gandalf atop Shadowfax riding into Helm’s Deep (49–50) is one of the most striking paintings in the book, afforded two full pages in order to capture its immensity. Yet the artwork that crowns and guides Tolkienography is the Byzantine-styled iconographic paintings of Tolkien’s characters.
Lance A. Green, Journal of Inkling Studies Vol 10 Issue 2
The Journal is published by Edinburgh University Press; you can find more of the article here. If you’d like your own copy of Johnstone’s beautiful book, don’t delay – it’s a limited print of 500 copies! At only £45 – and signed by the artist! – it really is a steal for such a spectacular book. You can order it – and see more art from Johnstone – at his website, here.
Artistic Tolkien fans united on twitter this year for #Tolkientober to share new illustrations and representations of Middle-earth. Both fun and personal, the charge was led by Molly Ostertag who here pulls a small sample of the 1000’s of outstanding drawings.
EDITORS NOTE: Guest author Molly Knox Ostertag was invited to showcase the great artistic work done by fans worldwide for #Tolkientober. She is one of 2020’s Forbes 30 Under 30 media professionals, a NYTimes best-selling author and a leading illustrator for Disney animation.
A common theme of 2020 (besides mounting existential dread and the strange feeling that it’s lasted several centuries) has been people finding comfort in a return to their teenage passions. This is my sole excuse for why I have become as obsessed with Lord of the Rings this year as I was when I was 12 and would literally lie on the floor with giant speakers on either side of my head, playing the Return of the King soundtrack and crying about the Grey Havens.
I’ve been having fun drawing and writing and indulging this obsession, but there’s a limit to how much hobbit fanart a bored lesbian in lockdown can produce. Craving more content in much the same way Thorin & Co crave their ancestral treasure, I started a drawing challenge for October called #Tolkientober (I couldn’t think of a better name; please let me know if you come up with one). Each day had a theme, sometimes obvious things like ‘a dwarf’ and sometimes more interpretative, like ‘a guardian’. With weekends off, of course – no one better than Tolkien understood the importance of having periods of rest and healing in between efforts.
Big thanks to everyone who entered the contest run by our good friends at Oscha Slings, to come up with a new Middle-earth design! We hear there were many lovely entries, and it was very hard to make a choice; but we can now announce the winner. Here’s what the folks at Oscha tell us:
‘We’d like to thank everyone who entered the competition, it was wonderful to see the range of ideas and talents! The winner is *drumroll*….
‘Cari Johnston with her (yet unnamed) mirrored depiction of the journey to Lake-town and the Lonely Mountain, from The Hobbit. It’s such a clever design, with so many story-telling elements, that has been well executed to work as a baby sling.
‘We could see a lot of enthusiasm for designs that were already on our list, so hopefully you will eventually get something that you’ve been dreaming of, for instance horses, eagles, and Gandalf!
‘We hope you can agree that Cari is a worthy winner, and that you will look forward to seeing the design woven!’
Congratulations to Cari, and thanks to all who entered. Don’t forget to check out the many wonderful Middle-earth goodies (including face masks!) at Oscha Slings.
Calling all creative fans of Middle-earth! Our good friends at Oscha Slings, purveyors of items of great beauty, are holding a contest!
This is your chance to create a unique Lord of the Rings or Hobbit themed design to be woven into a scarf, shawl, baby sling or throw. Whatever realm of Middle-earth inspires you, now is your chance! The only limitation is that it must be book inspired rather than movie inspired. You have a month to create your design; then submit it via the google form below, by midnight BST on 26th July 2020.
To view the existing range and get inspiration visit Oscha Slings. Oscha are looking for a new pattern that they haven’t done before, and something that is clearly iconic of Middle-earth. They welcome entries that have a strong illustrative style, beautiful line work, and creativity! You’ll find more guidance about what makes a good design in the Terms and Conditions at the google form.
Be sure to read the guidelines and Terms and Conditions carefully on the form before submitting your entry! Click here to enter.
The folks at Oscha say they can’t wait to see what you come up with; and we look forward to seeing it, too! Get those pencils out and get doodling!
To help keep everyone’s spirits up during these difficult days, our good friends at Scottish textile company Oscha Slings, who craft gorgeous baby slings and woven accessories, are offering a GIVEAWAY! Their amazing, exclusively licensed products feature unique designs which are inspired by Middle-earth; we’ve shown you their products before, both online and at conventions, but if you haven’t checked out their website yet, you have a treat in store! Click here to take a look…
The giveaway is open worldwide, and is running from our Facebook page. So hurry on over to TORn’s facebook where you can find out how to take part. The competition closes on Tuesday 14th April at 4pm BST, 11am ET. Good Luck!
When our friends from within the Tolkien Community heard we’re having a special birthday they sent us these lovely messages as part of our celebrations. So Happy 20th Anniversary TORn! Here’s to many many more!
Kia Ora TORn,
Happy 20th Anniversary, well done on making this wonderful achievement! We have been involved with TORn through one of your founding members Erica Challis, from New Zealand since 2002. We have enjoyed the fantastic Premier movie parties that Red Carpet Tours has provided and TORn attended, along with the stars from the films. Looking forward to future calibrations and hopefully a great Lotr TV series for all the fans. Congratulations again on 20 years! Best regards, Julie James and the team at Red Carpet Tours.
Happy 20th Birthday to TheOneRing.net from The Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship. We hope you continue to have another successful 20 years at least sharing the news of all things Middle-earth.
Dear Friends at TheOneRing,
Congratulations on reaching the ripe old age of 20 ; ) Thank you for all the support and love you’ve given us all.
When I took the job of playing Ori in The Hobbit, I didn’t think I’d collect so many chums. Like the cast, you too are part of my extended dysfunctional Tolkien family!
Have a great celebration – drink, be merry… and avoid the green food! See you all soon. Adam x
A big happy 20th anniversary to TheOneRing.net ! All this time you have been delivering to us critical and wonderful news regarding the world of JRR Tolkien, from the books to the films to the Collectibles and everything in between. May 20 more years be forthcoming!
Cheers, Jerry Vanderstelt
Our good friend Donato Giancola also has given us a mathom to offer to you all! For the next ten days, you can get 50% (!!) off on all of Donato’s incredible art prints. Just use the coupon code TORN at checkout. Take a look at the wonderful prints on sale, here. Thanks so much, Donato!
I can’t believe it’s been 20 years already – it’s been an amazing community to have been a part of, and all good wishes to everyone involved, from everyone at Welly-moot!
Jack Machiela Welly-moot.com
We will be adding more messages to this post as and when we receive them, so do check back! Thanks to everyone who has sent greetings and anniversary messages!