August Is Artist Appreciation Month
Recently, I was informed by the folks at Patience Brewster about a project called 'Artist Appreciation Month,' in which artists are invited to talk about an artist(s) who has inspired them to create. Patience is an artist as well and designs ornaments and unique gifts for Christmas and year round décor. I knew straight away this would be the perfect opportunity to share with you a FANTASTIC artist and hopefully shed light on my early days of struggling to find my ‘way of painting’ - notice I didn’t say ‘style’.
My first major inspiration, and the man who made me aware of illustration as a career, was John Howe. Everybody, whether they know it or not, has at some point seen his artwork, either on book covers, board games or in every single Peter Jackson Tolkien film.
|Make-up artists working on the Fellowship Of The Ring, stuck this image on the mirror opposite Sir Ian McKellen as they turned him into Gandalf|
I have been a big fan of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth since I was 9, when I read the Hobbit for the first time. Not surprisingly at such a young age I didn’t know anything about the huge wealth of Tolkien inspired artwork in the world, so there was a big gap between reading the stories and finding visuals. That happened at the age of 14, when I Christmas shopping in a local independent book shop (remember those!) and I stumbled across John Howe’s calendar. My world suddenly expanded as I bought it, got home and started to flick through the 13 wonderful pages (13!? - there was a pull out poster).
In my eyes, John Howe, had depicted the aged and menacing atmosphere of the Lord Of The Rings perfectly. Even the painting of the Black Riders in the Shire had a wonderful subtle creepiness and the gorgeous trees and environments just topped the whole thing off.
|Black Riders In The Shire|
|This poster of Sauron's forces attacking Minas Tirith remained on my wall until I left home for University.|
|Gollum Flees The Elves Of Mirkwood|
|Legolas And Gimli At Helms Deep|
Below are more illustrations from the calendar.
|Horsemen In The Night|
|Gwaihir Rescues Gandalf From Orthanc|
|Shelob About To Leap On Frodo|
|The End Of All Things|
|The Grey Havens|