Welcome to my newsletter for May, 2009! 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 and items of interest are at the bottom of this email.
There are 4 new paintings posted on my website, and three are Tolkien-themed. These include: "Queer Lodgings", "Evenstar", and "The Hobbit Tree". A fourth painting, entitled "Sir Archimbauld," is an image from a 19th century German tale. You can see all of these by going to http://www.JefMurray.com and checking out the "Newest Works" gallery, or by clicking: http://userwww.service.emory.edu/~jmurra2/jefmurraystudios/new.html
I welcome your thoughts and comments on these new works!
Was it a noise I'd heard? I open my eyes and stare at the ceiling. No, it was a lack of noise. The night had become suddenly still. Try to remember the dream I was having, I think. Whispered voices
something creepy about the way they sounded. I glance at Lorraine. She's still asleep. The clock reads midnight.
Midnight. On St. Walpurga's Night. The night when the dead walk among the living.
Funny thoughts. I've clearly been doing too many Gothic illustrations, I think. But then there's the silence
When we'd gone to bed a couple hours before, I'd heard the owls calling, as they do each spring. But now, nothing.
I swing my feet around and drop them to the floor. That's when I see it in the corner. A wavering figure, pitch black. It's watching, stealthy like a hunter, like a panther stalking prey.
Quick now, I think. There's no crucifix in the room, but there's one on the bathroom sink. I'd taken it off when I showered and left it lying there.
Trying not to look towards the corner, I stand up and take two quick steps towards the bathroom door. I reach inside. Out of the corner of my eye I see the shadow stretch across the room, feel a jab of pain as a clawed hand pierces the back of my head
The next thing I know, I'm staring at the ceiling. Sea shells from the bedside table clatter around me, and the lamp nearly topples. Lorraine is shouting my name.
I stand up, clutching the crucifix in my hand. Steadying myself in the bathroom doorway, I flip on the light.
There is blood everywhere. My blood. I feel behind my head and my hand comes back crimson. But the vampire is gone. The escape has been too close for comfort. I put a cloth on my wound to stop the bleeding while Lorraine dials 911
o o o
"That is _not_ what happened!" Lorraine told the first responder. "He just got out of bed too fast and fainted."
"Yes, ma'am," the paramedic answered. "But he's still going to need stitches. We'll take him to the hospital."
o o o
Sometimes the life of an artist takes strange turns. And sometimes spouses of said folk end up cleaning up the pieces when life mimics art. But reimagining events in a bigger context makes them touch on truths that our logical minds can't always get at.
There's an expression that "artists use lies to tell the truth". And certainly storytelling, whether it's in words, pictures, or music, gives us a capacity for seeing the unseen, tasting the untastable. Our creative instincts don't gild reality
they literally co-create it.
So, as spring comes into its fullness and we move toward the slow days of summer, my mind will be fixed on the time of the 3rd crusade. The world that I inhabit in the coming months will be filled with magick, witches, knights, castles, and, perhaps, even vampires. And these may yet help me make sense of crashing stock markets, layoffs, swine flu, and wars on the other side of the globe.
I wish for all of you a safe and peace-filled season of warmth, a belated Happy Walpurga's Night, and access to all of those tales that will help you find the deeper Truths in all of life's adventures!
Nai Eru lye mánata (may God bless you)
- The 2012 "Return of the Ring" Tolkien event in England is currently in its early-planning stages, and I was privileged to have been asked to design the logo for the event. There is now a CafePress website set up for those folk who would like to obtain T-shirts, etc. for the event that include the new logo. Please see: http://www.cafepress.co.uk/returnofthering .
- The "Lands of Enchantment" exhibition was a great success, and Angie Gardner and I are still happy to sign copies of "Black & White Ogre Country" for all who were unable to attend. There were so many memorable moments and happy reunions that it's impossible to do justice to all of them. Happily, folks should soon find images from this year's exhibit at www.Photobucket.com . Search for user "threefarthingstone", and click on "Click here to see this user's album ". The latest images should be under the title "Lands of Enchantment".
- The second issue of Silver Leaves, the journal of the White Tree Fund (see http://www.whitetreefund.org ) is now out. It focuses on the Inklings, and somewhat more specifically on C.S. Lewis than the other members of that august society. The editors of the journal kindly used several of my Narnia-inspired paintings to complement the other illustrations in the issue. Please take a look!
- The St. Austin Review (StAR), now has a new, blog-based website at http://www.staustinreview.com/ . The new site includes more timely info on current issues, plus a blog (The Ink Desk) that will include writings by many of StAR's regular contributors. Please take a look! The essays and observations posted will be changing
- 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 www.adcbooks.co.uk.