Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tolkien Artists Part 2: Ted Nasmith

Ted Nasmith is another great Tolkien illustrator from Canada. Born in the Mid 1950's in Goderich, Ontario, into a military family.Because his father was in the Royal Canadian Air Force his early childhood was a series of moves. He would settle in Toronto by his late teen years.

His sister would introduce him to Tolkien. That would awaken something in him (as Tolkien does to all) and he would go on to say "It opened up in me a dormant love of lost and misty times, myth and legend. Not since childhood had I felt such a sense of 'home', unaware of the effects the intervening years had had in displacing it. I began immediately to draw scenes inspired by this magical, nostalgic realm, becoming absorbed for many hours at a time."

His work was made famous by the Calendars in which they would appear. Tolkien publishers had placed four of his paintings in their calendar in 1987.And he would go on, adding new paintings through the years  1988, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010.. Nasmith is also a Tolkien scholar and member of the Tolkien Society.

He was asked to work on the conceptual team for Peter Jackson's adaptation of LotR's but he declined due to personal reasons.

Ted's art is simply amazing. I find the best work are the ones where nature owns the frame. He has an amazing ability to make Rocks and trees look absolutely real. One of my all time favorites of Nasmiths is the Grey Havens painting. (shown bellow) It has all the beauty of Middle Earth and the sadness of the Elves leaving for the Undying lands. The moon's reflection on the water and the dead grass makes one almost smell the cold sea air.

 "I instinctively relate to the whole phenomenon that is Tolkien’s Middle-earth, for surely his work bears comparison with the most intricately plotted, most imaginative literature ever written. I have a deep inner conviction that I am capable of interpreting his words through my artwork with a high degree of integrity. There’s a strong desire in me to expand on his imaginary world through the medium of illustration."

Nasmith doesn't keep the artist within a secret. His also a very talented musician. Guitar, bass, vocals. This boy's a triple threat. I sincerely invite you to check out his website for more info and art :

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