Mystical Realms Newsletter for September, 2008
Welcome to my newsletter for August, 2008! Please feel free to forward
this to anyone you think would be interested in keeping up with me. To
receive these newsletters regularly, please drop me an email or
subscribe online from my website (http://www.JefMurray.com ) or at:
http://groups.google.com/group/Mystical_Realms . Notices of events are
at the bottom of this email.
There are six new paintings posted on my website, including "The Last
Homely House", "The Tower of Ecthelion", "Vinyamar", "A Pensive
Dragon", "The Watchers of Cirith Ungol", and "The Green Dragon". You
can see all of these by clicking:
I welcome your thoughts and comments on these new pieces.
I am spending September swaddled. Books of illustrations flood the
mails each day, and each harbors a priceless jewel: a glance, an
expression, a sweep of horizon that will stir my restless mind's eye.
I'm on the scent of a new country, one that I seek to capture in
pencil and paint, but one that eludes because of distance, date,
dialect. In the basement, the muscadines gurgle, while the stew of
images in my mind does likewise eye of newt, cauldron bubble.
We picked the last of the grapes this week; the thieving squirrels
held our fig crop ransom, but it was sufficient for this year's
wine just barely.
It is still hot. No breezes. And though friends returning from the
British Isles complain of cold and drizzle in August, these would be
welcome here. Even hurricanes would be welcome! Churning tree leaves,
bicycles, branches and neighborhood urchins like so much cotton
candy whisked round and round, piled up on paper cones to surprise
some gargantuan purchaser at the County Fair.
I'm riding steam engines in my lounge chair. Whipping through barley
fields and searching for late season mushrooms. October country looms
ahead, and what follows then? Too many scary thoughts too many finely
combed picture perfect postcards of revelers carving jack o' lanterns.
At some point I'll have to come up for air. I'll press faerie dust
from eyes, blink, shake my head and wonder what in the world ever got
I'll look `round and see piles of souvenirs scattered on the floor:
bits of stormy skies, a magpie, a windmill rising on the horizon.
Places I know now because I've traveled there. Places I'll hope to see
I don't know if everyone paints the way I do, but I wouldn't recommend
it as a living. Too dangerous. Too much risk of not coming back at
all. The travel connections are hell, and no one has timetables that
Yep. Better to stick to a 9-to-5 job, methinks. I'll do just that from
now on, methinks.
But then, I still need to see about this last little sketch the one of
the little girl on the train platform. Had she found her mum in the
crowd before I left? Hmmm. Don't remember .
Best not to take chances. I settle back down in my chair, reach for
pencil, draw out the path to the train station once again, and I'm
back in October country .
- Lorraine and I will be attending the upcoming Tolkien
celebration, "A Long-Expected Party" (ALEP) in Kentucky, on September
25th 28th, 2008. I was also delighted to have been asked to develop
some of the images that will be used for the event. You can see one of
these on my website at:
. The official website for ALEP (and registration info) can be found
at: http://www.alongexpectedparty.org/ .
Some other ALEP-themed images include:
The Party Tree -
Outlandish Folk -
- Although I will not be able to attend this year's Oxonmoot in
England (September 25th-28th see
http://www.tolkiensociety.org/oxon/2008/Info.html ), I will have
prints and some original works included in this year's art show
(provided courtesy of ADC Books www.adcbooks.co.uk ), and may have
some images included on badges and/or publications. With luck, a
collaborative piece that Becky Hitchin and I worked on will be used as
the main logo for the art show.
- Divining Divinity, the first book of verse by Joseph Pearce,
which includes my illustrations and cover artwork, was just recently
reviewed in Dappled Things. You can read the review by going to:
- ADC Books now has an online catalog featuring Tolkien-themed
original paintings and prints from Ted Nasmith, Ruth Lacon, Peter
Pracownik, and myself. In addition, you'll find collectible items and
rare books featured in the ADC Books catalog. Please take a look at