And welcome to my newsletter for June, 2010! Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be interested in keeping up with me! To receive these newsletters regularly, please drop me an email or subscribe online from my website (http://www.JefMurray.com ) or at: http://groups.google.com/group/Mystical_Realms . Notices of events and items of interest are at the bottom of this email.
Sogna's Song (to the Beloved)
"I sang of light, of golden light, that faded in the west;
Of stars I sang, and stars there came, cast up on heaven's breast.
I sang of waves, and over waves, a ship from haven fled;
By tempest driven forth she flew; by beacon was she led.
I came too late to board that ship; my steed was wounded sore,
And doom was laid upon me not to seek that furthest shore.
And now deserted on this strand I pray that heaven hears
My song of longing for release from this vast vale of tears.
I sing of leaves, of leaves that fade, as do all those I love,
Their numbers like the grains of sand that fill this wintry cove.
But all the while the tide has turned and soon it will be spring;
The whippoorwill and robin will anon be taking wing.
Oh most beloved, wilt thou not send me a holy sign?
A missive bound with crimson bow, declaring thou are mine?
Wilt thou my vigil ease with whispered pledge of my release,
And sing to me of light, of golden light as sorrows cease?"
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The above is a poem from the story I introduced in the last two newsletters. The tale has, alas, far outstretched the likely patience of my newsletter patrons (it is well over 60 pages at present, and growing at a pace that shows no sign of abating!), so I will only share bits and pieces as I'm able.
But I hope you enjoy these, and do let me know what you think of these!
The Magic Ring, by the Baron de la Motte Fouqué, is _finally_ being published in a new fully illustrated edition by Valancourt Books! The book is being sent to the printers this week and should soon be available directly from Valancourt, as well as from Amazon.com and other book retailers very shortly. I was privileged to have been able to develop the cover and interior illustrations for this new edition, and it is one that finally presents this tale in a format in keeping with its magical and epic themes. Described as a cross between "The Lord of the Rings" and "Ivanhoe", this is a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and one that will appeal to all ages of folk who love adventure, enchantment, and romance. You can keep up to date on the book's availability on the Facebook page entitled "The Magic Ring", or at Valancourt's website at http://www.valancourtbooks.com/
The Banbury Museum in North Oxfordshire (see http://www.cherwell.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=2782 ) is hosting an exhibit entitled "Inspiring Middle-earth" from 24 April through 19 June, 2010. It will feature original works by Ted Nasmith, Ruth Lacon, Peter Pracownik and myself, and is the first of two shows. The second will feature works inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit", and will coincide with the release of the first of the two films based on that book.
Volume 3 of "Silver Leaves", the journal of the White Tree Fund (http://www.whitetreefund.org/) is now available for pre-order. It will feature Tolkien/Fantasy Art and Artists as its theme. This issue should prove a worthy follow-on to Volumes 1 and 2. I've not seen the final layout, but I believe it may include a short article plus a few of my painting images in addition to the work of many other excellent artists.
MythCon 41, the 41st annual conference of the U.S. Mythopoeic Society, will be held this July 9-12 in Dallas, and I will be attending (see http://www.mythsoc.org/mythcon/41/ ). I will be presenting two papers at this year's gathering, the theme of which is War in Heaven. At my first talk, which is entitled "Fanning the Secret Fire: Sub-Creation as a Spiritual Voyage", I will discuss my work on "Black & White Ogre Country" as well as on the new illustrated edition of Fouque's "The Magic Ring". At the second, I'll be presenting a talk entitled "A Journey Through Middle-earth: Sketches and Paintings of Tolkien's World". It should be a great time! Why not join us?
The next full exhibition at Moreton in Marsh, "The Edge of the Wild", will be held August 13-16th. This is a free event, and it will feature not only the latest works from Ted Nasmith, Ruth Lacon and myself, but also will serve as a celebration of the new Hilary Tolkien book, "Wheelbarrows at Dawn: Memories of Hilary Tolkien". In addition, copies of my own new work, an illustrated edition of "The Magic Ring" by Fouque, will also be available at the exhibit. Details and updates will be announced on the ADC Art & Books website (http://www.adcbooks.co.uk/ ), on the "Edge of the Wild" Facebook page, and on my website (www.JefMurray.com) .
For those in or around Wales August 13-15th , please keep in mind that in addition to "Edge of the Wild", there will be a general Tolkien and fantasy-themed conference and exhibition just over the Welsh border. The "Festival in the Shire" (http://www.festivalintheshire.com ) looks to be a great venue for Tolkien fans and scholars. I am sorry to say that I will be unable to attend the event, but some of my artwork will be on display, and many other excellent Tolkien artists will have their work exhibited. The intent is to make this a yearly event, and with luck I hope to attend future gatherings.
For folks interested in original paintings and sketches or prints of my work, please take a look at the ADC Art and Books online catalog at www.adcbooks.co.uk. It features Tolkien-themed works by Ted Nasmith, Ruth Lacon, Peter Pracownik, and myself. In addition, you'll find collectible items (e.g. Black & White Ogre Country: The Lost Tales of Hilary Tolkien) and rare books featured in the catalog and on the website.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010