'Artists are gnostics, and practise what the priests think is long forgotten.' - Hugo Ball

Friday, 9 July 2010

It's all about Tolkien...

Tom looks through the Ring
© Sue Wookey

It's all go on the Tokien front at the moment. Not only have I FINALLY made prints of Tom looks through the Ring (it's only taken me a couple of years....), but I'm exhibiting in August at the Festival in the Shire, a huge Tolkien event talking place at Pafiliwn Bont, Wales, from the 13th to the 15th August, 2010.

From the Festival Site: This will be the most comprehensive event ever held for the fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, with a conference, a fan exposition of original art, rare books and memorabilia as well as a large festival with stalls and entertainment.

Sounds like something for everyone!

As well as the originals, which you can see at the exhibition and which won't be for sale because I can't bear to part with them, there will be prints available in the Festival Shop, (including my overdue Tom looks through the Ring). There will be many more Tolkien inspired artists at the event and, for those with tickets for the Conference, a chance to hear Tom Shippey (can you see me genuflecting?) Verlyn Flieger and John Garth speaking.

For more info about Festival in the Shire, visit the website at http://www.festivalintheshire.com/ or contact info@FestivalintheShire.com or freephone 0800 6125469.

And while we're on the subject of Tolkien, my Glaurung's Death Throes is currently thrashing about on the cover of the latest issue of Mallorn, thanks to Henry Gee:

© Sue Wookey/Mallorn

Very fiery and splendid he looks too..... Glauring that is. So, with the Festival coming up fast I really must get down to making more prints, making cards....worshiping Tom Shippey...doing another new Tolkien painting. Maybe I'll even get down to painting Aragorn with the Palantir, which I sketched out over a year ago and which has been in artistic limbo ever since. It would be good to have an Aragorn at the Festival. I can't wait! Did I mention Tom Shippey.......?

Friday, 2 July 2010

I believe in Angels....

© Sue Wookey

I've been meaning to tackle Michael for some time (not literally. I think in a one-to-one bout with the Prince of Light, I'd definitely come of worse). But how do you paint an Archangel? Aren't they a bit, well, Archy? So it took me quite a while to find a way around the whole man-with-wings thing. I wanted to represent him because of his association with Skellig Michael, Kerry, St Michael's Mount and Mont San Michel, and that whole remarkable alignment that stretches to Monte Gargano in Italy (also founded and dedicated to Michael) and beyond. An Angel of fire and light who appears in visions on rocky hilltops...

I've used his symbol of the sun twice - the real thing blazing away in the background and a symbolic one in the foreground - and you can also see his sword and a balance (another of his symbols as the Weigher of Souls). His wing is like a great feathery rainbow - fitting for his role as Protector of Mankind. You don't mess with Michael. There is a belief that if you are touched by angels they leave a white feather behind as a sign and so I have plenty of them floating around!

The words around the painting are Michael's names and titles, and read:

Michael, Prince of Light, Quis ut Deus? Protector of Mankind, Guide and Herald.

Prints of 'Michael' are available from www.galleyhillart.com