Middle-earth has been calling yet again and never one to ignore the call of adventure, I decided to explore. My journey took me deep into the passages of The Hobbit and far under the Misty Mountains to the dark depths of the caves and subterranean lakes of forgotten times.
Let’s see what JRR Tolkien himself had to say about the place:
I decided to kick this new year off by diving straight back into the Geisha theme that I’ve been working around over the past year. The first UK lockdown gave me the chance to really delve into Japanese culture and pore over various books, articles, blogs, etc. Studying the art, culture and history of Japan and much of Asia has well and truly captured my attention, and my imagination.
It felt like high time to get back onto the blog and post a new artwork.
This Cormorant Fisherman is one of the first of many to come; I’m currently working on a series throughout which I intend to work with different styles media, exploring the life and traditions of the dying trade of Cormorant fishing.
Cormorant fishing is a traditional fishing method in which fishermen use trained cormorants to fish in rivers. Historically, cormorant fishing has taken place in Japan and China.
It is first attested as a method used by the ancient Japanese in the Book of Sui, the official history of the Sui Dynasty of China, completed in 636 CE.
This original artwork is currently available to purchase with free worldwide shipping –
In light of getting myself stuck into Japanese culture and history as of late, working on my Geisha art project and working part time as a Sushi chef; I decided to venture into another area of Japanese tradition.
Sumi-e is the name given to a style of East Asian brush painting that uses black ink; this method was commonly employed by the master artists of the past in East Asian traditions to create calligraphy and landscapes drawings/paintings.
I absolutely love the look and feel of sumi-e landscape paintings and the atmosphere they evoke; I also love working with charcoal. That was enough reason for me to fuse the two things and work at creating a Japanese landscape piece that has a sumi-e look to it but the smoky, soft magic of a charcoal drawing.
So in my cultural explorations and world travels via my drawing materials I found myself on a brief visit to the Indonesian island of Bali. The Balinese are fascinating people to study and learn about and although there have been many cultural changes to the island in the past century, there is also a strong presence of the ancestral forefathers of the island.
One industry that is a great platform for cultural exploration anywhere in the world is farming. Farming is an industry that despite the invent of machinery and industrial growth, still holds many roots in the distant past, whether you are in the rice paddies of Vietnam or the corn fields of Indiana.
I decided that I needed to put out a short blog post with a roundup of my illustrations from the recent Legend of Zelda miniseries that I put out. I have a couple of charcoal drawings in am ore fine art style and the rest are ink and watercolour pieces.
The Legend of Zelda is a subject of inspiration that I will continually revisit over time as I love the story, the franchise and the massive nostalgia points I get each and every time. That’s without mention of the absolutely incredible Zelda community which alone is reason enough to create Zelda artworks!
I wouldn’t have worked on a series of as many piece as I did this time around though if it wasn’t for the nudge and inspiration from Joel Siegel over at Linktober – The fact that he put on the Zelda Creator Con and gave me a place within it gave me a massive boost as well as in incentive to get truly stuck in, even putting my Geisha series on hold for a short time.
Whilst it’s true that there are no ochaya (tea houses) underwater that are operating and hiring Geisha, there is always room in the imagination to invent some. I’ve been working on a series of Geisha artworks and then suddenly, Mermay 2020 was upon me.
Mermay is described by its founders as a month-long celebration of creativity, community and above all… MERMAIDS. People use this month to create a variety of Mermaid illustrations, many people creating one for each day of the event. I’ve never partook in this particular ‘drawing challenge’ so this time around, I made a point to throw out at least one piece.
Continuing on with my Legend of Zelda miniseries, I decided to add a piece into the mix with more of a fine art vibe to it. So far I’ve worked up a few ink and watercolour illustrations with a few more planned, this piece however is a charcoal drawing; with the intention of later being an oil painting.
For this portrait I looked at a different point of view –
My Geisha series is still growing into a beautiful collection of portraits and gestural sketches and drawings now; with a lot more piece still in the bag and ready to be brought to life.
This portrait has served as a preliminary drawing to use as a reference to inform an oil painting that I just wrapped up today and will be posting here next week; however if you want to see the painting now you can, on my Instagram – @JGloverArt
As I write this post, it’s now quite late into Star Wars day for me here in the UK, however, it’s been a great one, probably my best yet and it will continue much into the weekend for me; lockdown is a great excuse for binging!
Let’s begin this post with a new artwork I’ve completed –
Jawas on Tatooine – Charcoal
I recently undertook and completed this charcoal drawing to serve as a preliminary for a new oil painting, a May the Fourth special which also served as the subject for a live stream (more on that in a bit).
I’ve always had an odd obsession with Jawas and I’ll be doing some more Jawa based artworks in the future so this is just the beginning. In later piece I intend to put more emphasis on the landscape narrative whereas this piece is more of a character portrait.