07 November 2012

Fairy-Tale Illustrator:
Johanna Öst

"Monsters, left" by Johanna Öst

It's been almost two years since the last "Fairy-Tale Illustrator" post, which also turns out to have been the first of the planned "Fairy-Tale Illustrator" posts. Well, good ideas are rather like a good lunch. They should savored and not hurried, so I hope you forgive the delay it took me to find a worthy illustrator to follow after Ivan Bilibin.

Johanna Öst is a Swedish artist whose watercolors and sketches are light, stylish, and reflect (to my eye, anyway) the best of Tolkien's own watercolors, as well as the mood and whimsy of the 1970's animated Hobbit. And they're marvelous on their own, of course!

What would The Hobbit look like if illustrated by Öst? Let's take a peek at Chapter VIII, "Flies and Spiders" - the Öst version...

Chapter Frontispiece

An Elf of Mirkwood

A Legend of Mirkwood

You can check out Johanna Ost's website here. Enjoy!

06 November 2012

Autumn's Welcome Mat

"On a withered branch 
a crow has settled-- 
autumn nightfall."
  --Matsuo Basho

Ah, delightful autumn has arrived, cold nights, chill morning fog that lingers almost to noon -- then an unexpected (yet welcome!) sunny afternoon. It shall be winter soon enough - I shall enjoy the fruits and pleasures that autumn has to offer, and consider them the fairest of the year.

Reflection seems appropriate for autumn, so please enjoy the new welcome mat for Autumn 2012.