Gandalf the White © Sue Wookey
It was great to take part in the Art Exhibition and nice to find myself in such a lovely catalogue - a wonderful book of Tolkien inspired art in itself. I've been waving it in front of everybody since I got back. 'Look... I've been ISBN'd!' Strange the little things that make you happy. I also really enjoyed spending time again with other artists that like venturing into Middle-earth - some old friends that I've exhibited with before and some new ones like Jenny Dolfen and Jay Johnstone, who both had a really successful time at their first Tolkien Art Show. Everyone has such a different approach to Tolkien's world and it made for a wonderful exhibition. But best of all, for me, was the chance to meet Cor Blok and his wife, and hear to hear him talk about his work. I admire his paintings so much because of how much emotion he can convey in just a few sweeps of his brush and with simple blocks of colour. He had some of his originals on display and it was a huge thrill to see them.
Along with some excellent speakers - especially Verlyn Flieger's challenge to see the influence of French 'aventure' in The Hobbit - we were treated to Charlie Ross's One Man Lord of the Rings, direct from the Edinburgh Festival. Honestly, I laughed so much it was hard to breathe and, given the difficult stage conditions he was performing in, a real tour de force. I have a horrible feeling that I will never be able to take the films seriously again. Actually I'm sure I'll never be able to watch Elrond without corpsing 'You shall be..... The Name of a Book'. 'You have my Hair.... and my Beard'.
Congratulations to the whole Return of the Ring team for working so hard and making sure everything ran smoothly. You bow to no one. Well, maybe except The Professor himself.