J.R.R.Tolkien: Artist & Illustrator

Studies of the Art and Artists Inspired by the Writings of J.R.R.Tolkien
Iolanthe
Uinen
Posts: 2339
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:21 pm
Location: Washing my hair in the Sundering Sea

Postby Iolanthe » Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:59 pm

marbretherese wrote:Incidentally, according to Hammond & Scull, the painting would have been done after 1944. They point out that Tolkien has incorporated a red line into the mortar between the bricks, as though blood is running through it (you can see it if you hold the book up to your face and squint really hard with one eye shut). And there is a sinister red glowing from the windows at the top . . .

I'm off now to write a treatise on bricks. The things you learn once you start looking . . . . :D

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I'm off to squint at the painting!

Merry - what an interesting idea! It's certainly something I never thought of and this is a good place to talk about it because it's possible he also took it into his art.

The flag of Rohan is a white horse on a green ground.

Green and yellow are both good colours. The hobbits are given a room with green mats and yellow curtains at Tom Bombadil's house. The floor has fresh green rushes and 'soft green slippers' are set beside the bed. A true haven!

Goldberry's 'long yellow hair' rippled over her gown of 'green, green as young reeds'.

Of course the Ring of Barahir has a green stone. Also there is the green Elfstone - the brooch Galadriel gives to Aragorn. Are there other green stones? Certainly there is a lot of green associated with Aragorn which is only right for a returning King, heralding a resurgence of his line.

I bet there are other examples....
0 x
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Lindariel
Posts: 1062
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:30 pm
Location: The Hall of Fire, Imladris (otherwise known as Northern Virginia)

Postby Lindariel » Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:12 pm

In FotR, Glorfindel leaves a brooch with a beryl -- a pale green elfstone -- on the Last Bridge leading to the fords of the Bruinen as a sign to Aragorn that the bridge could be safely crossed.

In Lothlorien, the members of the Fellowship are given hoods and cloaks fastened by "a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver."

The Rangers of Ithilien were "clad in green and brown of varied hues . . . . Green gauntlets covered their hands, and their faces were hooded and masked with green." They also had "quivers of long green-feathered arrows."

There is at least one notable instance in which green is NOT associated with good things, however, and that is the description of Smeagol/Gollum's eyes during the famous internal monologue/dialogue witnessed by Sam:

"Smeagol was holding a debate with some other thought that used the same voice but made it squeak and hiss. A pale light and a green light alternated in his eyes as he spoke."

Green light in eyes = evil Gollum; pale eyes = poor, pathetic Smeagol.

Later at the Black Gate, when Gollum desperately works to convince Frodo to take the "secret way," Sam catches the evil green glint again:

"I don't like the sound of it at all," said Sam. "Sounds too easy at any rate in the teeling. If that path is still there, it'll be guarded too. Wasn't it guarded, Gollum?" As he said this, he caught or fancied he caught a green gleam in Gollum's eye.

The green light reappears on several instances during Gollum's capture by the Rangers of Ithilien.

Another famous instance of the green, evil Gollum eyes occurs during that extraordinary scene before the ordeal in Shelob's lair. Gollum returns from reconnoitering with Shelob to find Frodo and Sam peacefully sleeping. The evil gleam leaves his eyes, and Gollum is revealed to the reader as the extremely old, worn out, pathetic creature he really is. There is that magic moment in which Smeagol caresses Frodo with a gesture that could almost be interpreted as tender. However, when Sam wakes to discover Gollum "pawing at master" and confronts him with angry words, the "green glint" returns and does "not leave his eyes." Smeagol is at last utterly lost. Gollum has won the "debate."

Also, the wound Sam inflicts upon Shelob emits a "green ooze," and she quits the field of battle "leaving a trail of green-yellow slime."

When Sam believes that Frodo has died from Shelob's sting, Frodo's face seems to turn "a livid green."

That's all the "evil" green I can think of.
0 x
Lindariel Image

“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Postby Merry » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:13 pm

I never thought of the evil greens, Lindariel. I wonder if a distinction could be made among the greens by shade or tone alone? Are the evil greens paler and yellower? (Edited to add: Hey! This might explain why I always thought that Arwen's coronation dress in the movies was all wrong!)

I have always wanted a pair of soft green slippers!
0 x
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
Uinen
Posts: 2339
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:21 pm
Location: Washing my hair in the Sundering Sea

Postby Iolanthe » Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:29 pm

Lindariel wrote:In FotR, Glorfindel leaves a brooch with a beryl -- a pale green elfstone -- on the Last Bridge leading to the fords of the Bruinen as a sign to Aragorn that the bridge could be safely crossed.

I knew there was another green stone somewhere!

White also seems to be used for both good and bad where it depends not just on hue but brightness. Where it is good it is pure and bright like Gandalf the White 'His hood and his grey rags were flung away. His white garments shone', and Galadriel (dressed in 'simple white'). Aragorn wears a mantle of 'pure white' for his coronation. But it can also be sickly like the pale corpse light of Minas Morgul 'paler indeed than the moon ailing in some slow eclipse' and the flowers in the Morgul Vale which were faintly glowing 'pale white'. This is goodness (pure, bright and shining) turned to rottenness (pale and weakly glowing). Minas Tirith is bright in the sun, Minas Morgul is a 'corpse light'. White flowers like stars shine on the stone head of the fallen king, the flowers in the Morgul Vale give an 'odour of rottenness'.

In the barrow on the Barrow Downs the Hobbits are clad in white, but here, again, it's the colour of death.

Interestingly Saruman gives up white (and therefore purity) altogether, avoiding the give-away appearance of rottenness, but his many coloured cloak is white light split into many colours - no longer a unity (pure) but a multiplicity, shifting and hard to focus on. His emblem is still white - the White Hand - but when we last see it it has the colour of blood on it.

I bet there are other examples of good white (bright) and bad white (sickly) if we put our thinking caps on, and our soft green slippers.
0 x
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Postby Merry » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:26 pm

This is great!

I think the banners of the Stewards of Gondor were pure white, weren't they? And then, of course, the White Tree and simbelmyne and the white ship at Grey Havens.
0 x
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

marbretherese
Posts: 765
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:42 pm
Location: Middle England
Contact:

Postby marbretherese » Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:35 pm

I knew this discussion would be an interesting one! While we're talking green and white, I seem to recall reading somewhere that Tolkien based the banner of Rohan (white horse on a green background) on the White Horse of Uffington http://www.tourist-information-uk.com/white-horse.htm.

What about red? I've been reading The Ring goes South (for a possible painting), which describes Caradhras havig dull red sides, as though stained with blood. Meaning danger! A couple of pages later Gandalf lights a fire with his staff, which emits a great spout of green and blue flame. Another 'good' green!
0 x
"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/

Iolanthe
Uinen
Posts: 2339
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:21 pm
Location: Washing my hair in the Sundering Sea

Postby Iolanthe » Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:46 am

Interesing that Gandalf's flame should be blue and green, not the obvious red :-k. When he faces the Balrog he meets it with 'a stab of white fire'. Though the fire around the Balrog isn't described as red you just know it has to be. If it wasn't the usual fire colours Tolkien would have mentioned it!

But then again he carries Narya, the red ring of Fire :lol: . Maybe Tolkien should have made it blue...
0 x
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Lindariel
Posts: 1062
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:30 pm
Location: The Hall of Fire, Imladris (otherwise known as Northern Virginia)

Postby Lindariel » Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:20 pm

The colors of the Three Elven Rings are interesting:

Vilya -- blue stone (probably a sapphire) -- associated element Air
Nenya -- white stone (described as adamant, probably a diamond) -- associated element Water
Narya -- red stone (probably a ruby or garnet) -- associated element Fire

See, now I would have associated a blue stone with Water and a white stone with Air, but Tolkien switched them. I wonder why?

It is also interesting to me that Celebrimbor only made rings for three of the four alchemical elements. There is no ring representing Earth. I wonder why?

Your thoughts?
0 x
Lindariel Image



“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Postby Merry » Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:45 pm

What wonderful questions, Lindariel! I think we can only guess at answers.

Although we do think of bodies of water as blue (although here in the midwest US of A, they're brown!) and the air as transparent, we can also think of the sky as blue and water as clear.

Tolkien must have decided early on that the magic number for Elven rings was three, so which of the four ancient elements is least 'magical'? Hobbits are 'feet on the ground' kind of people, and we see that magic, in the form of the Rings and other things, doesn't seem to work as well on them; and I think there is a line at the Council of Elrond (when they're considering giving the Ring to Bombadil) about the very earth itself being the very last thing that Sauron had control over. So while it is not totally immune to magic, it's the most resistant. And Radagast the Brown, while unwittingly used, was probably the most 'earthy' and the least 'magical' of all the wizards.
0 x
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Philipa
Ulmo
Posts: 1866
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 8:03 pm
Location: Surfing on the OO or hanging with the Teleri
Contact:

Postby Philipa » Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:36 pm

Good points Merry. :D I really have nothing to add to that as I think you've made some telling connection. 8)
0 x
Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!

Thoughts from Eryn Lasgalen An online guide to all things Tolkien

lyanness
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Postby lyanness » Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:09 pm

As a baby-Tolkienite, I would just like to express my absolute excitement, heading dangerously towards elation, in learning that Tolkien produced works of art. :clapping: :caffeine: \:D/ :clapping: While reading all the threads on this forum, my heart - almost literally - skipped quite a few beats reading about the works that he has done. Its going to be difficult for me in South Africa, but whatever the cost, I am determined to get my grubby little paws on his art work.

My day was starting to look quite grim until I read this forum.
:clapping: Thanks to all.

:flower:
0 x

lyanness
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Postby lyanness » Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:13 pm

Edited to add: Hey! This might explain why I always thought that Arwen's coronation dress in the movies was all wrong!)


One shouldn't compare movies to literature when it comes to colour schemes.
When working out pallets for movies, the designers not only look at the mood that the colour provokes, but also how the actors/actresses look in those colours. I agree, green shouldn't have been used in the coronation scene in LoTR III, but it did appear to make Liv Tyler appear "out of this world" and it grasped the movie goers attention.
In literature, we place the colours on the characters in our imagination, hence we dont need to consider tweaking the colours described in the literature to suit the actor/actress, it all fits like a glove in our imagination and comes together perfectly.

This is my opinion, however, I'm open to suggestions.

:juggle:
0 x
I gave hope to men, I have kept no hope for myself.

Iolanthe
Uinen
Posts: 2339
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:21 pm
Location: Washing my hair in the Sundering Sea

Postby Iolanthe » Sat Oct 20, 2007 9:34 am

I'm glad you've discovered Tolkien was also an artist, Lyanness :D . He had an absolutely wonderful eye for design and the illustrations he did for his works (too few) really shed a lot of light on how he saw things, especially landscapes and buildings. He drew very few figures - quite honestly he was very bad a them :lol: so he concentrated on what he did best.

Lindariel wrote:See, now I would have associated a blue stone with Water and a white stone with Air, but Tolkien switched them. I wonder why?


I find the switch of colours for water and air fascinating too. I think you could be right, Merry, the sky 'looks' blue even though air has no colour and water in Tolkien is often crystalline - clear and bright.

So what about blue? I think it's another 'good' colour although I'm struggling for examples. Maybe it's good by default because none of the dark forces are associated with it - only black, red and sickly white. We've already seen that Gandalf (despite his red ring) can use blue fire. Tom Bombadil wears it, of course, but is it anywhere else :-k?
0 x
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Postby Merry » Sat Oct 20, 2007 3:33 pm

I think blue is a good color for Tolkien, too, Iolanthe. I think of the blue mantle that Faramir brought out for Eowyn to wear as they stood on the walls of Minas Tirith and the blue of the evening sky as King Elessar led the Evenstar into the City on Midsummer's Day and the flax blue of the brooch that Bombadil took home to his lady.

Lyanness, I think I understand that books do not translate to film seamlessly--more's the pity. But PJ used Tolkien's palette in many major ways, so he must have seen some value in it. And I find it difficult to believe that Liv would have looked bad in deep green (or any other color, for that matter)! But Arwen's color was grey/silver--since she was the Evenstar of her people.
0 x
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

lyanness
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Postby lyanness » Sun Oct 21, 2007 5:27 pm

Merry wrote: I find it difficult to believe that Liv would have looked bad in deep green (or any other color, for that matter)! But Arwen's color was grey/silver--since she was the Evenstar of her people.


True, Liv Tyler is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous. I'm completely green with envy. :mrgreen:

I have not finished reading the Lord of the Rings as I am currently studying post grad.- to be more accurate, finishing off in 3 weeks time (thank goodness!!more Tolkien time!!! I cant wait!!! \:D/ ). I read bits of it every day, but haven't come to the juicy bits yet, ie: the topics that cause hearty discussions on this site. Arwen should have been clad in grey/silver and would have been unbelievably breath-taking in it, I agree. It would have made her look "out of this world", stand out among the croud, and make her look even more stunning (if one could do such a thing) - everything that PJ and the costume designers tried to do with the lime green gown. I think that Tolkien's colour scheme would actually have done the trick. As always, the Professor is always right.
:flower:
0 x
I gave hope to men, I have kept no hope for myself.


Return to “Tolkien Art”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests