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Home » Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Discussion Forums » Alan Lee discusses The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook and J.R.R. Tolkien

Topic: Varda and Goldberry
Replies: 1   Pages: 1   Last Post: Nov 11, 2005 11:02 AM by: moderator

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Replies: 1

Posts: 1
Registered: 11/8/05
Varda and Goldberry
Posted: Nov 8, 2005 6:53 PM
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It was a great pleasure meeting you at the NYC book signing.

Am enjoying lingering on the inside book cover and I was wondering if the female figure flanked by stars was, by chance, Varda.

Were you, perhaps, influenced by Leonardo? I am reminded of him in some of your work--perhaps the Goldberry with her hands in her hair?

Thanks again for the wonderful book, and hoping for a "Hobbit" in the not-too-distant future!


Posts: 12
Registered: 2/18/05
Re: Varda and Goldberry
Posted: Nov 11, 2005 10:55 AM
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Hello. I think that I had Varda, or Elbereth, in mind when drawing that image on the map. As the maker of stars, it would have been appropriate, but if I wanted the figure to be positively identifiable I might have researched a little more deeply. I am influenced by Leonardo; I’ve always loved his drawings in particular, and think that those in his notebooks serve as a model for everything an artist should strive for – most notably, an attempt to understand how things work. His idea that everything has an anatomy – clouds, mountains -even water – is just inspiring. At different points in the long-distant past I’ve been asked to attempt pastiches of Leonardo’s work; there was a box of chocolates that had my version of a Leonardo self-portrait biting into a hazelnut crème, an advert in a medical publication demonstrating the diuretic property of a particular medicine with an analytical chalk drawing of water flowing through sluices in a lock gate, and an annual report for an advertising agency – complete with quotes from the directors written in mirror writing. Sacrilege, I know, but everyone has to make a living!
Let’s all keep our fingers crossed, and hope that Varda smiles on the attempts to get “The Hobbit’ into production!

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