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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


Ered Luin (The Blue Mountains) - Live gallery drawing 11.10.17

Drawn live at the ART IN THE MILL Gallery in Knaresborough during the final week of the collective exhibition 'Far from the Shire', this mountainous view of The Blue Mountains began with a line and pencil-shaded under-drawing before further development with drawing pen and watercolour pen.

The exhibition has now come to a close officially and a proper report with photographs will follow very soon.


Helm's Deep - let us defend it with hope!

'Is it not said that no foe has ever taken the Hornburg, if men defended it?'
'So the minstrels say', said Eomer
'Then let us defend it with hope!', said Aragorn.

(The Two Towers, JRR Tolkien)

In this drawing, based on Newcastle castle, I've placed atmosphere above accuracy and practicality of an actual functional keep.  A blue shade is really intended here to convey a coldness, a forlorn hope and desperate atmosphere.  This was completed over a two-day live gallery drawing event whilst hosting the opening of the 'Far from the Shire' art exhibition on 30th September and 1st October.  I was joined also by artist Guy Brady whose piece has since been finished and posted on his social media pages.



On 30th September at ART IN THE MILL gallery on Green Dragon Yard in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, a new group exhibition organised by myself will open for a two-week run until 15th October.

FAR FROM THE SHIRE is a project I've been planning since March, was initially a solo show until I had the idea of bringing a complimenting collective together that would create something bigger; a love-letter to JRR Tolkien's Middle-earth that would inspire awe and wonder in the visitors to the exhibition.

The timing is nice given the very recent 80th anniversary of the first publication of 'The Hobbit' on 21st September 1937.  Joining myself and a full cross-section of my photography-based work and recent painting are, Jay Stelling (doll maker), Guy Brady (expert draughtsman), Jemima Catlin (HarperCollins Tolkien illustrator from 2013), Tomas Hijo (prolific printmaker based in Salamanca) and Soni Alcorn-Hender (illustrator and frequent collaborator based in Portugal).  This will be an exhibition of special magnificence and a full photo report will follow.

The images below are from the extensive social media campaign that launched in September.



Riding to Rohan (Early morning in Edoras)
(Acrylic and ink. John Cockshaw, 2017)

‘Edoras those courts are called,’ said Gandalf...We are come with the rising of the day. Now the road lies plain to see before us. But we must ride more warily...’
(Chapter 6 ‘The Two Towers’, JRR Tolkien)
Inspired by Chapter 6 'The King of the Golden Hall' in 'The Two Towers' by JRR Tolkien, Gandalf the White, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli ride with haste to the Golden Hall of Edoras in the wold of Rohan. This colourful and expressive interpretation of the aforementioned section of Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings' was painted in ink and acrylic. The original painting is 40 x 30 inches.

Bywater and the scouring of The Shire
(Pen, ink and acrylic on paper. John Cockshaw, 2017)

This latest artwork of mine takes inspiration from the penultimate chapter of 'The Return of the King' by JRR Tolkien, and the initial shock the hobbits feel at the spoiling of their homeland.
'...they came to Bywater by its wide pool; and there they had their most painful shock...And looking with dismay up the road towards Bag End they saw a tall chimney of brick in the distance. It was pouring out black smoke into the evening air.'
(Chapter 8, ROTK. J.R.R. Tolkien)