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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


Artist feature on The Tolkienist

Many thanks to Marcel Aubron-Bulles for the coverage on the excellent website The Tolkienist to discuss the aspects of influence and approach that keep me charting an artistic course through J.R.R Tolkien's Middle-earth.  I had a nice opportunity to again refer to the majesty of Howard Shore's film music and Doug Adams' analysis of it as a point of influence in addition to why I choose photographic methods for this work.

Article: Introducing the art of John Cockshaw: a different path to Middle-earth

Also particularly great was the first official mention of the introduction that will be included within the upcoming book Wrath, Ruin and a Red Nightfall by Oloris Publishing.  Archaeologist Shaun Richardson, a great friend of mine and fellow Tolkien enthusiast, will be providing a fascinating and thought-provoking piece to open the art volume that touches upon archaeological aspects of Tolkien side-by-side with references to art history and our shared interest of the visual aspects of experiencing landscape.

Crummackdale in the Yorkshire Dales where I accompanied Shaun on an archaeological survey in Summer 2009.


Variations on an Elf trail (from the account of Glorfindel)

Three variations of the same piece take inspiration from the account of Glorfindel's trail to assist Strider and the hobbits in conjunction with the pursuit of the Nazgul, servants of Sauron.  The central figure depicted centrally in the piece could equally be a hooded Glorfindel riding in haste or a lone member of the Nine poised on the hunt in the open country.

"They said that the Nine were abroad, and that you were astray bearing a great burden without guidance, for Gandalf had not returned.  There are few even in Rivendell that can ride openly against the Nine; but such as there were, Elrond sent out north, west and south...It was my lot to take the Road, and I came to the Bridge of Mitheithel...the servants of Sauron were upon the Bridge, but they withdrew and I pursued them westward...Since then I have searched for your trail.  Two days ago I found it..."

The Fellowship of the Ring 
Book II Chapter XII: Flight to the Ford  p.210

New collection of pencil work: The silence, the wisdom and the watchfulness...

The Oppressive gate (pencil study) 
accompanied by monochrome variation of Menace of the Gate (2012)

The wisdom of Treebeard (pencil study)

Ruined arch and tower (Osgiliath-inspired pencil study)

Windswept Edoras (pencil study)