Mystical Realms Newsletter for August, 2009
Welcome to my newsletter for August, 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.
As the world careened into turmoil and horror, and after having spent himself, to no avail, in the fight against the coming darkness, he bolted his doors and descended the ancient stairs to his studio. There, he stretched a new canvas and placed it on his easel.
Pigments he mixed, blending with the finest linseed oil the dust of precious stones: lapis and emerald, ruby and topaz. Then he paused. Going to his bookshelves, he found the locked casket among his oldest and most precious volumes, hidden in a hollowed-out tome. Within was a tiny flask that flashed golden in the flickering lamplight.
He took the flask, opened it, and, after anointing his forehead with a single drop of its contents, he mixed the remainder into the paints on his palette.
And he began to paint.
The mountains at first were faint, as if seen from a great distance and through deep mists. The colour of the sea was muted, but grew stronger with each brushstroke. Clouds sprang into the morning sky above the granite peaks, and as he worked, the waves rose and fell with the stiff breezes of morning. Through the smell of the oil, he began to scent frothing waves, and between brush strokes heard the faintest cry of gulls.
At midnight, he was done.
There were sounds of gunfire, faintly, from above. Now there was pounding at the doors, and he knew his time was short. He took the canvas down, placed it against the closed door to the studio, and took a deep breath.
"A Nienna, ani ettulta!" he cried. And, after one last glance at his home and his beloved books, he leaped into the canvas.
The winds and waves engulfed him as his momentum carried him past the borders of the painting and across the sundering seas .
And just as dawn was breaking, he landed. The waves lapped at his feet, and he saw that he had reached the golden shores of Aman.
--- Offered in memory of my brother-in-law, Richard Mende, ---
--- October 1943 August 2009, Requiescat in pacem . ---
- I'll be presenting a talk once again at Dragon*Con this year (see http://www.dragoncon.com ). On the current schedule, I should be appearing on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 6, at 5:30pm, just before TheOneRing.net's hobbit panel. As always, Dragon*Con will be held over Labor Day weekend, and I'm hoping to see many friends there. I may even make it into the parade on Saturday morning if I'm not painting (and if I'm not detained on MARTA for having my Claymore strapped on)!
- Many of you know that my wife, Lorraine, is a columnist and author of four non-fiction books. But, she is now a published novelist, and her first mystery, entitled "Death in the Choir", is available from Tumblar House on Amazon.com and BN.com. Please see a description and links at http://www.LorraineVMurray.com . You will need to click on the "My Books" button at the top. And, yes, for those who asked before, I _did_ create the cover illustration and cover design for the book ;-)
- The latest issue of Mallorn, the journal of the British Tolkien Society (see http://www.tolkiensociety.org ), will feature a couple of my recent paintings, including (possibly) the cover image(!). Many thanks to Henry Gee for his ongoing support of my work!
- The next issue of Silver Leaves, the journal of the White Tree Fund (http://www.whitetreefund.org/) , will also be featuring a couple of my painting images. The issue focuses on fantasy art, so I am particularly delighted that they will be including my work. I also have a short article in this, the third issue, of Silver Leaves.
- 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.