Reading and drawing The Lord of the Rings Part 1: Bilbo’s Long Expected Party

imageGandalf arrives in Hobbiton – Drawing with ink and wide nib

WHENEVER autumn arrives, when the leaves turn red and orange, and there’s a new chill in the air, I feel it’s a time for new challenges. I’m sure there’s a strong connection with the fact that in the UK, the new academic year begins in autumn – our childhood routines live on in our subconscious. Continue reading

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Mysterious Cities of Gold Episode Recap: Ep 3 Heroes Again

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 23.36.35

The next recap of ‘Mysterious Cities of Gold’ is finally here! I figured it was high time I returned to the the 16th century and our voyage to the New World…so here we go, and it’s an especially dramatic episode this time! Continue reading

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The Art of Ted Nasmith

I’m a big admirer of Ted Nasmith’s Tolkien artwork, I’ve blogged about it a few times here. So it was a joy to come across J Glover’s blog reviewing some of Nasmith’s most evocative paintings. Well worth a read, the descriptions and images will transport you to Middle-earth.

J Glover Art

Welcome to the latest addition to my companion posts, running bi-weekly on alternate weeks to my Lord of the Rings Project, for this week’s post I’ll be talking about the art of a very well know Canadian illustrator; Ted Nasmith.

Nasmith started sketching and drawing at a young age his skill eventually being nurtured by the time he got to high school; it was whilst in his third year that upon his sister’s recommendation he began to read The Lord of the Rings; Tolkien’s literature became a focus for Nasmith and the inspiration that he found in Tolkien’s writing led him to drawing scenes and characters from the books.

“Tolkien had long since had a very profound effect on me, and helped lead to much that I now count most significant in life. It opened up in me a dormant love of lost and misty times, myth and legend.” –…

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South-West Coastal Path: Lulworth Cove to Weymouth

Last week I returned to one of my favourite hiking routes on the South West Coastal path, Lulworth Cove to Weymouth.  A World Heritage Site, it’s one of the best Jurassic coastlines in the world, with striking geological landforms.


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Middle-earth on the back of an envelope: Sketch of Thorin and Others

Every now and again it’s fun to opt for something less wordy here at the blog.  Middle-earth usually provides the inspiration. I have a habit of doodling on random bits of paper I find – very often it will be the proverbial back of an envelope.  A series of lines or a bit of shading might sometimes morph into a sketch, which somehow or other takes a Middle-earth turn.  I usually have no idea what scene or even character the sketch represents, but that’s  OK – I like to leave it ambiguous. Continue reading

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‘I Won’t Be Reading It Though’. Go Set a Watchman and Literary Dilemmas

I admit I’ve found the whole reaction to ‘Go Set a Watchman’ fascinating. People, and the things that move, inspire and upset them, are fascinating. This literary phenomenon has provided profound insights into the writing process and tells us about readers’ relationships to fictional characters. Indeed, what about those characters: Who do they belong to in the end? Once an author has successfully created a credible secondary universe, how robust is it to external, and more critically, internal shocks? What should count as ‘canon’? What and who defines the boundaries – what represents the internal truths of the secondary, fictional world, carefully and lovingly created by the author and adopted by the reader? Continue reading

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At the Summit of Ben Nevis

The morning of the hike dawned – we looked apprehensively out at the sky, would the weather be kind to us? A thick white cloud clung to upper end of Ben Nevis, but it looked clearer than it did the day before.


Source: Wikimedia commons

We stocked up on a nourishing but not too heavy breakfast, and plotted our route on the OS map. We left our contact details with Pat at the reception desk – a precaution just in case any of us went missing…Did we have a map? Emergency food supplies? Compass? We gave a confident affirmative to his questions.

So, did he have any tips? Instead of venturing all the way out to the official starting point over a mile away, Pat suggested we go straight up the path from the Hostel; people get put off by it because it looks steep, but it’s much quicker that way, he assured us. Sounded reasonable enough. What else? Be careful when you get to the ‘Red Burn’; that’s where a lot of people get lost…  Continue reading

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