Thursday, May 1, 2014

J. R. R. Tolkien meets a Redwood

If you've read any amount of J. R. R. Tolkien's works, or seen even a port of the recent Lord of the Rings or Hobbit movies, you know that Tolkien was a dude who loved trees. A lot. And who can blame him? They're goddamn magical.

And that's why it's a shame that he never got to meet a redwood in real life. I don't think he even visited California. Redwoods make their own fog, form cathedrals, create insane light, emit delicious fragrances, and are the giantest trees in the world. You can't get more magical or badass in terms of upright botany is what I'm saying. So I drew Tolkien meeting a redwood.

This piece was drawn and assembled completely digitally, though the larger areas of color are from watercolor washes I painted and then scanned. Details below. 


Jeremiah said...

Lovely painting!

There's a *chance* Tolkien did indeed meet a redwood. But I can't guarantee it.

Benmore Botanic Gardens in Scotland is the home of 49 giant sequoias, approximately 150 years old. (There were 50, but one died).

Granted, these are not nearly so old as some in California, and would've been even younger during Tolkien's life. Still, he spent plenty of time in Scotland, and loved trees. There's a good chance he got to meet these redwoods.

I've been to see them and even in their youth of 150 years, they are immense. My wife's arms would not even come to the half-way point of their trunks when trying to embrace one.

Naomi Bardoff said...

Jeremiah, that is so wonderful to hear! I am definitely going to imagine that Tolkien visited the redwoods in Scotland. Thank you for sharing!

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