Today’s post features the second preliminary drawing for three new oil paintings I’ll be starting work on in the near future, the first piece was The Passage of the Marshes and here we have The Grey Pilgrim; the third piece can for now remain a mystery but it’s unrelated to Middle-earth.
Anyway, here’s the drawing –
Finding the right piece of writing for this piece proved a difficult task; Gandalf is quite possibly my favourite fictional character of all time and it would indeed be hard to sum up the connection I feel with him in a single sentence or paragraph selected from the multitudes that were masterfully written by Tolkien.
However it seemed that the most fitting textual accompaniment to this piece is Frodo’s lament for Gandalf; a lament that I’m sure was felt by all that first time they thought the wizard was lost forever in the depths of the abyss of Khazad-dûm –
When evening in the Shire was grey
his footsteps on the Hill were heard;
before the dawn he went away
on journey long without a word.
From Wilderland to Western shore,
from northern waste to southern hill,
through dragon-lair and hidden door
and darkling woods he walked at will.
With Dwarf and Hobbit, Elves and Men,
with mortal and immortal folk,
with bird on bough and beast in den,
in their own secret tongues he spoke.
A deadly sword, a healing hand,
a back that bent beneath its load;
a trumpet-voice, a burning brand,
a weary pilgrim on the road.
A lord of wisdom throned he sat,
swift in anger, quick to laugh;
an old man in a battered hat
who leaned upon a thorny staff.
He stood upon the bridge alone
and Fire and Shadow both defied;
his staff was broken on the stone,
in Khazad-dûm his wisdom died.
– The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter VII: “The Mirror of Galadriel”
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Until next time, farewell!