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 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. 

NOTE:  Over the passage of the last six years it has become apparent to me that I am slowly but surely developing a bit of actual artistic ability, however tenuous and uncertain, and with it comes the responsibility to use it well. One of my main goals when doing any art involving Frodo and Sam is to be very careful to respect these wonderful storybook characters and to not make anything that would cheapen or mar their precious magic. I do not feel I have harmed them here, but rather have given them a moment to be close.  

Below:  "Summer Nap." 

Two friends taking a summer nap.

[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)

Baby Brother has taken over from the Easter Bunny today  :)  


This entry was originally posted at https://free-to-dream.dreamwidth.org/51973.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

"Spring"

Apr. 6th, 2019 06:26 am
wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)
Here's a glorious new short by the Blender Animation Studio.  A single person did all modeling and shading.  I recommend watching this fullscreen on YouTube.  :)    

Blender is completely free open-source CG software available at https://www.blender.org.  It's fun to play with and its capabilities are rapidly catching up to the biggest commercial animation software packages. 



This entry was originally posted at https://free-to-dream.dreamwidth.org/50845.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)
 In modern Hobbiton, there are very few surviving depictions of its most legendary citizens, Frodo Baggins, Esq. and his esteemed gardener Sam Gamgee.  This perfectly preserved watercolor miniature is therefore a rarity.  It was discovered in a volume buried deep in the musty library at Michel Delving and depicts them receiving the Grand Prize for Horticulture, the Silver Shovel, at the 1417 county fair for their perfect primroses.  This hardy flower, known by the locals as Baggins Beauty, can still be seen blooming in the shady lanes of Hobbiton today.
  
Happy Valentine's Day! ^_^

Frodo and Sam illustrated in a old book

Excellent frame by Geverto on DeviantArt.  





wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)
This goes with one of my fanfics, but works very well as a generic fantasy painting.  I broke my mouse working on the waves yesterday and spent an hour this morning finding and installing an old wireless mouse to replace it!  ^^; 

A land horse meets a sea horse!


This entry was originally posted at https://free-to-dream.dreamwidth.org/46309.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)
Sam and his Gaffer are the salt of the earth, and they're harvesting spring taters!  These golden nuggets were left in the ground the previous fall, and due to a warm winter they've grown huge!   Now Frodo has come to join in the fun as Sam and his dad recite more esoteric tater lore than he could ever remember!  

Sam and the Gaffer tell tater tales to Frodo Baggins!


NOTE:  I'm currently having an issue with my cousin's server.  Almost all of my images are down on both blogs.  The ones that are running have been saved to Dreamwidth's low-capacity image hosting service and won't be high-resolution, I'm afraid.  

Hope Anton can get this sorted quickly :P 


wallace_trust: Me and my plum tree (Default)
From my ongoing fic.  Bilbo, Frodo and Sam view the shores of Valinor preparatory to embarking on a journey there.  

Viewing the mountains of Valinor
 
Lately I've been encouraged to 'talk' more about why I make what I make.  I certainly do like to talk, but frequently find myself in hot water when I do.   I am extremely opinionated and those opinions are often outside the mainstream.  Therefore I'll preface this by saying that this entry is not intended to cast any shade on anyone else's favorite Tolkien characters, scenes or viewpoints.  Likewise, I'm not looking here for any arguments, rebuttals or agreement.  This is just my personal opinion, based on my personal experience, and is intended to explain why I may seem to be such a 'one-trick pony,'  doing essentially the same concepts over and over again.  
 
In "Sauron Defeated," there is a section called "The Story Forseen from Kormallen."  LOTR was in process of development, and this collection of notes contain some of the Professor's first impressions.   
 
In his notes he writes "Sam and Frodo go into a green land by the sea?" with a question mark.  In the same set of notes he writes:  "When old, Sam and Frodo set sail to island of west."  He also wrote "In old age Frodo with Sam had seen Galadriel and Bilbo."
 
The Professor's first instincts were to keep Frodo with Sam forever.   
 
I've said previously that one of my jobs is as a scientific subject, and over the years I've had many interesting conversations with researchers.  One of the fields scientists like to use me for is 'perception studies.'  Invariably one of their instructions is for me to respond to the stimuli using my first impressions, because one's first impression is the most accurate.  
 
I feel the Professor abandoned his own first impression regarding the fates of Frodo and Sam.
 
I also feel he wanted to write some kind of poignant ending scene-- so there is that.  But I don't want to get too deeply into his philosophy, because that kind of abstract hair-splitting, removed from the immediate and urgent world of the heart, is where people-- even the Professor-- can most easily go wrong.  
 
At any rate, it cannot be refuted that his first impression of the fate of Sam and Frodo was to keep them together, even when they finally sailed.  I much prefer this version.  Both my heart AND my head tell me it is indeed the most 'accurate.'  
 
Here is where the going may get difficult or even incomprehensible for some.  From the POV of a very queer female who has experienced being backstabbed by friends, family members, society at large and even her own country, the ending of LOTR as it stands today is a profound betrayal, an untruth in a fantasy phenomenal for its truths-- a failing to follow the heart.  One would think I would have been able to deal with it-- it is fiction after all, and I'm pretty resilient emotionally-- but I was broadsided by it at a very vulnerable time in life.  I felt so betrayed by the Professor-- and by the sheer evil ugliness of the human society which I sensed even then had somehow mandated that particular ending-- that even though I 'moved on,' I have never gotten over  it.  Now that same ending probably seems perfectly right to you, but to some people it can feel unbearably wrong.  
 
Perhaps that was actually the Professor's intent, because he could be a sly one when he wanted to be, and in most of his writing (with a couple of grotesque exceptions which really stand out) his anticipation of our emotional reactions to his work seems dead-on.   
 
Let me backtrack a little here to explain something about my view of Frodo and Sam.  I am a queer girl with exceedingly high levels of testosterone, but it's the emotional intimacy of these characters which captivates me so.  It is very unusual, outside of the great legends of the past.  Label this pair however you like-- I don't think they themselves would understand the different categories modern humans place themselves into, as in all their actions they are so deeply innocent-- but they, more than any other storybook characters that I knew of at the time, possessed the heart-to-heart qualities I needed to reassure myself as a young girl in a cruel world.  
 
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say something amazing.  The Tower rescue scene was responsible for my first-- completely spontaneous-- orgasm.  No touching involved, it was simply all that love raining down around me.  It came out of left field and almost knocked me out.  Now that's some powerful writing! 
 
*  *  *
 
I've been working on my own original science fiction story since 2010.  In this story, a band of future colonists populate the western hemisphere of another world.  Their sacred book is LOTR, which has changed with time like all legends do.  On this alien planet there are many variants of the classic story-- I'm sure I would despise many of them!-- but one of the rarest and most beautiful is called the 'White Sails' edition.  In this annotated version, the last half of the final chapter was replaced by the Professor's original notes, leaving a lot in question but keeping Sam with Frodo and relegating the 'official' ending to footnotes as an 'alternative take.'
 
I certainly won't see it in my lifetime, but I hope that someday there really will be something like a customized edition, sparing so many other young queer people the crushing heartbreak I experienced on reading that last chapter for the first time.  But I know that on some level Tolkien also recognized the wrongness of it, because snuck into the little timeline at the back of the book, we see that Sam did eventually sail.  Better yet, in the 'unpublished'  epilogue Sam explains to Elanor that he can wait because he knows he'll see Frodo again someday, and he unabashedly compares his relationship with Frodo to that of Celeborn and Galadriel.  
 
Exactly why was this material left unpublished?  I fear I already know the reason.  Even though (in the book) they're about as sexy as Pooh and Piglet, Sam and Frodo could still have been seen as being 'too close' at a time when authors could still get into trouble for portraying male-male affection.  
 
I wouldn't be at all surprised if I learned that the ending, as it stands, might have been the 'last straw' for a few very unfortunate queer teens already betrayed by a world that wants to erase them.  Stories can nourish.  Stories can kill.  I think the epilogue should be incorporated into all future editions as a failsafe.  
 
As for me, I'm much older now, a little bit wiser, and have learned the hard way to anticipate betrayal where it is least expected.   I'm not likely to be so caught off-guard again.  Certainly I'll never again allow another person's story to worm its way into my heart so deeply.  Meanwhile, my LOTR art and fics are my attempt to heal the wound that LOTR has left in me.   In my fantasies Sam and Frodo experience no more pain or heartache, get every reward they so richly deserve, and encounter endless new adventures-- together.  
 

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