wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)
Hello and Welcome! to this journal, devoted to my ongoing artistic relationship with the inspirational characters from "The Lord of the Rings."

I first read Tolkien's masterpiece when I was very young and in need of it without knowing, and it transported me into a world of love and grief and hope and beauty that I have never left behind. Even now that I am well into middle age, with thousands of books under my belt, the only other works I have read with which I am willing to compare it are sections of the Mahabharata and certain stories from the Puranas-- stately and ancient Sanskrit works of extreme beauty and power.

Since I first read the book I have been working on LOtR fan art, made only for my personal satisfaction, because I simply cannot help myself. There's just too much beauty in the story; I had to start painting or burst! While I have appreciated all of the various movie and television versions, my art has always been based solidly on the original book and my personal extrapolations from it, and most of it features Frodo and Sam, the dear companions of my youth, as I have envisioned and re-envisioned them over the years. Now, at this stage of my life, it's finally time to share the results of that long and wonderful journey. I hope you like it. 

Why Frodo and Sam? Why not the dashing Aragorn, or the ever-popular Legolas? Because the hobbits are the heart of the matter! Frodo and his gallant gardener are not the biggest, or the strongest, or the smartest, or the most handsome characters in the "Lord of the Rings." But they are by far the most courageous, and in some unexpected ways. Indeed, as Elrond informs them, the difficult task they face together, that we all face every day we live in this Middle-Earth, may be attempted by the weak as well as by the strong. The ultimate human conflict cannot be won by force of arms, but by the heart alone.

Empathy, compassion, unconditional love and selfless service-- the ability to recognize others as part of one's self, the ability to support our friends to the last breath and have mercy on those who betray us-- these defeat the evil of the human ego when it has grown too big. In Tolkien's world the planet Venus, our Star of Love, is Eärendil's Star, the Star of High Hope!

I hope you enjoy your visit to my little corner of Middle-Earth, however brief it may be. 'The Rules' are simple and commonsense. Everyone is welcome here, no exceptions. Diverse opinions are encouraged. Everyone has their own version of what Tolkien means to them and these versions can be very different. This is the mark of a great, enduring book which can withstand the test of time and apply itself to whatever human circumstance.  So be courteous.  Flaming and hate posts will be removed. And please don't hotlink to my fanart, but rather to the home page.

DISCLAIMER:  This website is my personal, non-commercial, artistic journal and NOT an official "Lord of the Rings" site, and it is NOT affiliated in any way with any official LOtR rights-holders.  I do not own any of these characters; they were created by J.R.R. Tolkien. The artworks and commentary posted here are a labor of love, not for profit, and intended to express my admiration for Tolkien's books and to encourage others to read and study the Professor's original works. 

Below:  "Imaginary Friends." 

     When I was a kid I would camp out under the stars with my invisible hobbit friends.

[sticky entry] Sticky: The Eagles Have Come!

Dec. 4th, 2015 08:42 pm
wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)

wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)
As Frodo sleeps in Ithilien, Sam contemplates his beloved friend.

Frodo sleeping in Ithilien

[sticky entry] Sticky: "And Then I Said..."

Dec. 14th, 2037 07:08 am
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Frodo captivated by Sam's heartfelt description of him in Ithilien. 

[sticky entry] Sticky: And... "Arrival"

Jul. 23rd, 2017 11:27 am
wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)
Frodo and Sam reunited at last in the Blessed Realm.  :)  

The little empty rowboat symbolizes Sam's life in Middle-Earth, which he has now left.  The glowing orbs represent various Valar, Maiar, and maybe even some Ainur, appearing out of the void to witness this extraordinary event.  


I'd like to acknowledge here the incredible artistry of Meshbox, who crafted the geometry of the elven sailing ship.  

Frodo and Sam reunited in the Blessed Realm
wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)
This is not an attempt at 'illustrating the story' but rather a depiction of Frodo's departure as my heart sees it.  Frodo departs the world as Sam looks on.  Sam's skimpy clothing reflects the nakedness of the emotions he is feeling, as well as his absolute loss.  


Frodo departs this world as Sam looks on
wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)
Happy Halloween...  Even if this is a bit early!   :D

This one has been bugging me for a couple of months now, so I finally dropped my crowdwork long enough to finish it!  I wanted a really chaotic feeling to this, so I used several paint styles I haven't tried before.  I was aiming for an idea that kind of transcends the actual episode...  The thought that the Watcher and Sam are like clashing forces of nature, while Frodo is a helpless soul just caught up in it all...

Sam attacks the Watcher in the Water, who is attacking Frodo.

wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)
I recently got an inexpensive computer microphone to do audio crowdwork jobs with, and I've used it to cobble together a short documentary about how I typically make my images!  I marked it unlisted so it won't show up on YouTube searches, but I've embedded it below.  I hope it's not too boring!  :D 

While searching for free background music for my video, I encountered an awesome site called Bensound.com.  This person has posted loads of first-rate original music under a Creative Commons - Attribution type of license.  Check this out if you need some excellent free music!  :)  

wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)
 I've always loved the Watchers, they are the creepiest things!  I was so disappointed when the movies didn't cover them!  I had assumed Peter Jackson would have a field day with them, but as it stands the best movie treatment of them remains the Rankin-Bass animation.  Anyway, this illustration is brand new-- it seemed the right subject matter for the mood that's taken me of late. 

I made the Watchers in Carrara out of a slightly modified gargoyle mesh.  The eyes were programmed with a glow shader.  I used my older 7th-gen hobbit models in this image, so there was quite a bit of hand painting involved to correct all the errors.  I also used some fog and light Photoshop brushes.  My favorite aspect of this scene is the look of sheer defiance Sam's giving those Watchers!   :)  

The Two Watchers

wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)
Making these is so relaxing, and not difficult at all!   Thanks again, Febobe!  :D

Here are two versions of Tol Eressea for your pleasure:  

#1 has a solemn yet ethereal melody which is derived from a stock music clip on the Ambient Mixer site.

#2 features a loop of my own music set against the same environmental sounds.  I'm not sure which of these I like the best, but both atmospheres were of course assembled with Sam and Frodo in mind, walking slowly along some peaceful beach in the Uttermost West.  :)  

wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)
Thinking about all those poor folks displaced by Harvey, and their furry friends too  :(  Our problems here are so trivial compared to that ongoing disaster.  

Crowd work tends to be slower over the summer months, so, trying to engage in something new as a distraction from my worries, I decided to explore a freeware called LMMS the other day. This is a free and very comprehensive software package for a home music studio.  I am really impressed by it and highly recommend it for anyone who wants to make music.  

The sound sample library it ships with is enormous and the samples are of high quality.  Using a combination of "Plucked Strings 3" and "Moonlight Piano" I was able to more or less duplicate the voice of my currently broken harp, Edelweiss.  Then I got into the sequencer and found out how easy it is to enter music using its "Piano Roll" method.  This is something anyone can use to compose with, even if they don't know much about notation.  Anyway, I finally decided to try recording my "Frodo in Valinor" piece which I posted here in sheet music form some weeks ago.  

It worked pretty well.  I did change some notes, as I didn't like what the synth did to the bass 5ths as well as several of the chords.  Ironically the software's automation track, which is easier to use than I would have believed, helped me add some humanity to the playback, though not nearly enough yet IMHO.  Still, even though this is very amateurish and only my first attempt using LMMS, it will at least give an idea of what the song is supposed to sound like  ^_^

I chose not to embed this file, just posted it here on my cousin's server.  My web browser (Opera) automatically starts playing the file when I click on the link, so I'm hoping this will work for you, too.  If too many people can't play the file, however, I'll post it on SoundCloud, so let me know  :)  

Oh yes, (for Febobe especially) I did post a loop from this on AmbientMixer.com, which is one of the neatest audio websites I have ever seen!  It's under "Music--Synth" as "Valinorean Fields Harp."  That website has close to a hundred beautiful Tolkien-inspired atmospheres, including one remix by me!  :D  



wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)


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