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Welcome to the blog and this collection of original artwork inspired by The Lord of the Rings and J.R.R Tolkien's wider mythology of Middle-earth. Aside from the influence of the source writing of Tolkien influence is also drawn from Director Peter Jackson's film trilogy (2001-2003) and the highly regarded Tolkien illustrators Alan Lee and John Howe. The magnificent musical score written for the film trilogy by Howard Shore also holds a significant influence upon the atmospheric and evocative quality of the works in this collection. From Mordor to the Misty Mountains combines landscape, miniature-scale and composite photography to depict locations, dramatic scenes and characters from the enduringly popular stories.

Contact: johncockshaw@gmail.com

PLEASE NOTE: This blog showcases Artwork (completed and in progress) and related exhibition news. There is NO option to purchase Art through this site at this time. Please visit from time to time as this may well change soon.

Copyright of all images belongs to John A Cockshaw


The Western Mountains of Mordor

The Morgul Pass reveals The Tower of Cirith Ungol
A companion piece to the image that appears later in the main collection (see below) offering a more isolated and distant view of the perilous orc tower where Frodo and Sam are headed, and where the faithful Sam will later advance by himself to save his captured friend.

Source photographic elements: Fraisthorpe Beach, East Yorkshire and Baildon and Ilkley Moors, West Yorkshire.


Many Meetings: a new addition to mark the arrival of Autumn

Encounter in a Woodland Glade
Encounter in a Woodland Glade 2nd variation
Encounter in a Woodland Glade 3rd variation
I couldn't resist this new addition to the collection after being inspired by the breath-taking colours of Autumn. The story depiction of the meeting couple here is really open to interpretation and the post title of Many meetings could refer to either Beren and Luthien or Aragorn and Arwen. But that depends on whether you go with the mortal and elf-kind view or a strictly mortal view, in which case it could even be Arathorn and Gilraen or perhaps Faramir and Eowyn. When composing the image I also thought of the touching story of John Ronald (J.R.R.Tolkien) and his wife Edith's first meeting. Its significance is also closer to home in that it was composed to mark my third wedding anniversary to Elizabeth on the 24th October (who appears here on the right well-disguised, and indeed in a small number of other compositions).

Source photographic elements: Hell Wath, Quarry Moor and Newby Hall Gardens (statue photography) near Ripon, North Yorkshire and Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire


Hearing its master's call...

The History of The Ring
This newly completed image has been in draft form for a while, lying silently unfinished until now...when the right atmospheric elements were finally added! The major driving force behind this composition goes back to Howard Shore's score and his musical representation for The One Ring, which carries a number of motifs that seek to anthropomorphosize the object and mirror its circular shape. My intention for this depiction of the Ring was suggesting its sentient quality, the awakening quality of the Ring and depict an early moment in its journey.

Source photographic elements: Llandudno, North Wales and Baildon Moor, West Yorkshire. The Ring in this composition (and in all that follow) comes from photography of my wedding ring, which is a little nod to the fact that Producer Rick Porras of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy felt suitably attached to his wedding ring to want to put it forward as the standard model for the One Ring on screen. Thanks to Elizabeth Cockshaw for allowing the ring to be photographed in a variety of locations...although I only sought her blessing after the fact!


Latest addition to the collection takes us deep into Moria...

The Mines of Moria (Peril approaches the Fellowship in Dwarrowdelf)

Taking inspiration from two different versions of Alan Lee's concept for this scene, I wanted to suggest the fire-fuelled menace of the approaching Balrog and the cavernous quality of the Dwarf halls of Dwarrowdelf. Additionally, I thought creating a stony surface texture would nicely suit the deep rocky location of Moria. Another element that informed this illustration was Howard Shore's initial mock-up music for Moria that was written in the early planning stages for scoring the LOTR trilogy. This music and other tracks were released on a rarities CD accompanying Doug Adam's 2010 book The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films which in turn accompanies an informative blog (www.musicoflotr.com) I've been following along with other like-minded fans of the music for many years.

Source photographic elements: Ripon Spa Baths (architectural details), Ampitheatre at El Jem in Tunisia, Kilham in East Yorkshire