Ted Nasmiths 2002 Tolkien Calendar
Ted Nasmith is a Canadian artist, renowned for his Tolkien paintings, which have appeared in calendars, in books, and as book covers. The new Tolkien Calendar2002 (HarperCollins, ISBN 0-06-621154-9, $14.99) is another remarkable achievement.
Here is the central portion of the front cover (my scanner isnt large enough to get the whole, so bear that in mind when looking at the accompanying scans):
Like last years, this calendar has thirteen illustrations, one for each month, and an additional centerspread (which is the same as the cover illustration). Nearly all of the illustrations are based on scenes in The Fellowship of the Ring, and thereby we get another interpretation of scenes and characters which well see in the first film in December. Interestingly, the blurb about the artist states that Nasmith is already at work on a new set of paintings for the 2003 Calendar, which will center on The Two Towers.
The ordering of the illustrations mostly follows the ordering of scenes from the book. January begins with a panoramic landscape at night, of the "Last Sight of Hobbiton," as the hobbits leave the Shire, while December shows the body of Boromir in his funeral boat coming to the Falls of Rauros, from the first chapter of The Two Towers.
The back cover (below) shows some smaller versions of some of the paintings. The top row shows January, "Last Sight of Hobbiton," and May (a flashback from the Council of Elrond), "Gandalf Escapes upon Gwaihir." The center row shows September, "Lady Galadriel," and April, "At the Ford." The bottom shows Gandalf battling the Black Riders on Weathertop.
One of my favorites this year is October, "The Pillars of the Kings"
And its interesting to see, for a change, an artist depicting a Balrog without wings.
As I said about last years calendar, Nasmith is at his best with landscapes and wide panoramic views. And there are a number of such truly excellent paintings here. I look forward to following Nasmith in the 2003 calendar, The Two Towers, and, I hope, the 2004 Calendar, The Return of the King. And I hope the enterprising publisher will combine everything into a Nasmith-illustrated Lord of the Rings for 2005.