Cor Blok

Studies of the Art and Artists Inspired by the Writings of J.R.R.Tolkien
marbretherese
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Postby marbretherese » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:33 pm

Beren, that's a wonderful interview, thanks so much for sharing it with us. Isn't it ian nteresting paralletl that Cor Blok created his own "art mythology" with the Barbarusia project in the same way that Tolkien created his own mythology based on language? I hadn't realised that Tolkien actually bought some Cor Bloks although I knew he liked them.

Thanks, too, for the Amazon link - I've ordered mine and am wishing it was July already!!
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"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


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Iolanthe
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Postby Iolanthe » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:38 pm

Thank you Beren! I think all this renewed interest is fantastic!

From your intro:
Now I hope that more of the sold illustrations will resurface and it will become possible to get an overview of the complete collection.

I hope so too - it's so tantalising to think how many are out there and what they might be like. I'm amazed there were originally 140!

The Peter Jackson movies were released and one 'type' of Tolkien art dominated the scene for years.

I so agree! Though I love Lee and Howe of course - who wouldn't? This is exactly why I started the arts threads here - to balance things out a bit and show all the different visions.

I'm fascinated by Blok's 'Art Mythology' too. His aging technique makes me think of Tolkien aging the pages from the Book of Mazarbul (illustrations that were never used).

Blok wrote:For one thing, ‘Barbarusia’ made me aware of the fact that a ‘style’ is in fact a set of rules like those of a game, which restricts your movements but challenges you to make the utmost of what is allowed, and in the most ingenious manner possible. Also, that a style need not be something that grows naturally from an artist’s personality or from a collective unconscious: one can consciously adopt a set of rules to serve as a ‘style’, even for specific occasions.


Very interesting stuff! Very interesting man! Something for any artist to think on.
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Lindariel
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Postby Lindariel » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:41 pm

Blok wrote:For one thing, ‘Barbarusia’ made me aware of the fact that a ‘style’ is in fact a set of rules like those of a game, which restricts your movements but challenges you to make the utmost of what is allowed, and in the most ingenious manner possible. Also, that a style need not be something that grows naturally from an artist’s personality or from a collective unconscious: one can consciously adopt a set of rules to serve as a ‘style’, even for specific occasions.


Iolanthe, this Cor Blok quote could very well have come from composer Igor Stravinsky as well. He always maintained that one must impose rules and limitations upon oneself in order to be creative. Limitless boundaries were so overwhelming to the point that it completely stifled his capacity to create. But once he established a set of boundaries, his creativity was set free. In fact, he maintained that the tighter and more stringent the boundaries, the more creative freedom he had.

Interesting!
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Postby Merry » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:53 pm

Yes, this is interesting! The same thing is true of philosophers, too. The limitations come from needing to rely on reason and evidence, of course (a limitation my students don't seem to want to accept this semester :x ), but also the limitations of sticking with one's initial assumptions and methodology to see where they go.

I enjoyed learning more about Cor Blok--thanks, Beren! All I could say is that I thought his works were charming, but now I know more about why.
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Iolanthe
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Postby Iolanthe » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:07 pm

My Cor Blok calendar has arrived and it's absolutely WONDERFUL. I can't believe how excited I was when it arrived :lol: . And, to my absolute delight, the Ent painting that Fangorn owns is included - the one he was kind enough to bring to Oxonmoot a couple of years ago. Ever since then I've wanted to see it again because I loved it so much, and now I have my own copy. Thank you Fangorn!!!!

There are lots of other wonderful new Blok's and some known ones that I've only seen before as very poor reproductions. Now they look so much better and we can really see what's going on.

I've got a lot more to say about the Bloks but it will have to wait for another post. But what a treat!
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Beren
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Glad you like it

Postby Beren » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:12 pm

Hey so glad you like it... sort of helped out with this calendar and tried to scan the pieces as best as possible! Did not see the result myself yet, but I'm certain this calendar should be VERY nice indeed!
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Iolanthe
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Postby Iolanthe » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:22 pm

Hello Beren :wave: .

It's terrific. I knew you were involved and I think you will be really pleased when you see it. It all looks wonderful. Thank you so much for the efforts you've put in to promoting Blok's work - I really hope that there will now be a lot of new Blok fans out there and other unseen Bloks will star to emerge.

Another favourite - the poignant scene between Gollum and the sleeping hobbits. It's a very moving piece that really captures the essence of that moment.
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Beren
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teers in my eyes

Postby Beren » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:24 pm

well it is one of the paintings that - when holding the original - really touched me deeply. Cor Blok told me it is his favorite and that is why so far he wanted to keep it for himself. So, yes... super glad he decided to get it published. Indeed one of a kind piece!
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Philipa
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Postby Philipa » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:40 pm

Iolanthe wrote:My Cor Blok calendar has arrived and it's absolutely WONDERFUL.


:shock: What have I been missing??!!
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marbretherese
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Postby marbretherese » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:34 am

Mine's arrived too, but I haven't had time to look at it properly yet. Even the small images on the back - which tell you what's inside - are fabulous. Thank you Beren!! Philipa, it's available for pre-order in the US on Amazon here if you haven't already ordered your copy - published in the US on 17th August. Although it's come out earlier than expected in the UK . . . !
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"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


http://www.marbretherese.com
http://marbretherese.blogspot.com/

Beren
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Great news

Postby Beren » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:48 am

Hey don't thank me! Thank Cor Blok, thank the publishers,... just happy it all came together!
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Iolanthe
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Postby Iolanthe » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:09 pm

I'm very happy too! I'm not surprised that 'The Stairs of Cirith Ungol' is his favourite piece. It's wonderful and the touching way he's shown Sam's hand across Frodo's brow and Gollum's tentative reaching out... it's beautiful. I'm so glad he felt he could share it.

I'm also thrilled to see a proper copy of 'Frodo's Vision on Amon Hen'. I've always loved this painting despite the abysmal blurred and tiny online version which (up until now) has been the only version I've seen. I spent a lot of time trying to work out the elements of it and now I can really enjoy it. What are those creatures with the spider's web, on the far left? They look like giant white Clangers with roots for feet and I love them.

I also love the very minimalist Black Riders at the Ford of Bruinen. They are both familiar and sinister at one and the same time.
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Beren
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Cor Blok is watching

Postby Beren » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:38 pm

By the way... Cor is also reading this board so if you want to ask him something; go ahead!
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Philipa
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Postby Philipa » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:24 pm

marbretherese wrote:Philipa, it's available for pre-order in the US on Amazon here if you haven't already ordered your copy - published in the US on 17th August. Although it's come out earlier than expected in the UK . . . !


Thank you M!!!!

I could go on and on like a winner of an Academy Award. :lol: I have pre-ordered it. :D

By the way... Cor is also reading this board so if you want to ask him something; go ahead!


:wave: I'm sure once I receive my calendar I'll have something to ask. Very much looking forward till then.
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Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!



Thoughts from Eryn Lasgalen An online guide to all things Tolkien

Iolanthe
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Re: Cor Blok is watching

Postby Iolanthe » Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:24 pm

Beren wrote:By the way... Cor is also reading this board so if you want to ask him something; go ahead!

:shock: :D .

All my orginal questions for him would have been about techniques, but we have had some very full answers about that in recent interviews and in the calendar, for which I'm very grateful. When I first came across the paintings there was so little about them and it was very frustrating. Now we have a feast.

Another thing I love is Sam in the painting showing the orcs carrying Frodo away. To have the 'large warrier elf' like a white shadow over Sam's smaller figure is wonderful. If you are reading this, Cor, then I have to say that I love the way your paintings dig under the surface of the story and go beyond showing us what's happening to the emotional level below. They represent everything by not trying to represent everything, if you know what I mean. I can't quite put it into words, but it works!
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Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
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