Journal project


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Journal project for Color and Design class.

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Journal project

  1. 1. Journal Assignment
  2. 2. Belonging to:Niki Tantillo
  3. 3. A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities. -J.R.R. Tolkien
  4. 4. Introduction Art has the ability to influence others in an infinite number of ways. This impact that it has on the human mind is heavily due to its ability to be something either so familiar or something so peculiar in relation to ourselves and the reality in which we live; Tolkien‟s work holds both of these qualities. His words illustrate plus create a world so fanciful & unheard of yet writes in such a way that gives the appearance of a natural & realistic world— like walking into another reality. For this journal, I will be analyzing the world of Tolkien‟s literature using the elements of color and design. It will be divided & organized into two different sections. I. Creation of Arda II. The land of Arda Part I: Creation of Arda
  5. 5. Summary The telling of the creation of Arda can be found in Tolkien‟s “The Silmarillion” as well as „The History of Middle Earth: The Book of Lost Tales.” Tolkien did a summary of the creation in the second chapter of the Silmarillion that serves as the best way to understand this scene without going into further detail : “In the beginning, Eru, the One, who in the Elvish tongue is named Ilúvatar, made the Ainur of his thought; and they made a great Music before him. In this Music the World was begun; for Ilúvatar made visible the song of the Ainur, and they beheld it as a light in the darkness. And many among them became enamored of its beauty, and of its history which they saw beginning and unfolding as in a vision. Therefore, Ilúvatar gave to their vision Being, and set it amid the Void, and the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the World; and it was called Eä. Then those of the Ainur who desire it arose and entered into the World at the beginning of Time; and it was their task to achieve it, and by their labors to fulfil the vision which they had seen. Long they laboured in the regions of Eä, which are vast beyond the thought of Elves and Men, until the time appointed was made Arda, the Kingdom of Earth. Then they put on the raiment of Earth and descended into it, and dwelt therein.” The only thing in which this summary fails to mention is the presence of Melkor. Melkor was one of the Ainur who was given the most knowledge and power among his brethren by Ilúvatar. He set himself apart and gained thoughts of his own. When trying to confront the music of the Ainur with his own set of music, he would be stopped by Ilúvatar only to be left with shame and anger—creating the first presence of darkness. Space, Shape,Form, & Color Ilúvatar and the Ainur are the artists of everything that makes up the Tolkien universe using the Void as their canvas. Third dimensional as well as fourth dimensional elements are created to take up negative space of the Void until no negative space is left and all that is left is Arda. The work is meant to take objective shape being both kinetic and three dimensional. When some of the Ainur decide to step into Arda (now would be known as the Valar and Maiar) they themselves take shape of many forms. They could either appear in actual space being plastic (plastic in referring to color and design) beings, appearing male or female, walking the land of Arda; or they could take amorphous shape and only be made up of implied shape and line.
  6. 6. “Moreover their shape comes of their knowledge of the visible World, rather than the world itself; and they need it not, save only as we use raiment, and yet may be naked and suffer no loss of our being. Therefore the Valar may walk; if they will, unclad, and then even the Eldar cannot clearly perceive them, though they be present.” --Excerpt from Chapter One, “The Silmarillion” The most important feature of the creation of Arda is form. Before Arda would be created, form only took place in the shape of music. About to be presented is another excerpt from chapter one of “The Silmarillion.” In this excerpt, the music of the Ainur along with Melkor‟s own music are described: “But now Ilúvatar sat and hearkened, and for a great while it seemed good to him, for in the music there were no flaws. But as the theme progressed, it came into the heart of Melkor to interweave matters of his own imagining that were not in accord with the theme of Ilúvatar, for he sought therein to increase the power and glory of the part assigned to himself….Some of these thoughts he now wove into his music, and straightway discord arose about him, and many that sang nigh him grew despondent, and their thought was disturbed and their music faltered; but some began to attune their music to his rather than to the thought which they had at first. Then the discord of Melkor spread ever wider, and the melodies which had been heard before foundered in a sea of turbulent sound. But Ilúvatar sat and hearkened until it seemed that about his throne there was a raging storm, as of dark waters that made war one upon another in an endless wrath that would not be assuaged. Then Ilúvatar arose, and the Ainur perceived that he smiled; and he lifted up his left hand, and a new theme began amid the storm, like and yet unlike to the former theme, and it gathered power and had new beauty. But the discord of Melkor rose in uproar and contended with it, and again there was a war of sound more violent than before, until many of the Ainur were dismayed and sang no longer, and Melkor had the mastery. Then again Ilúvatar arose, and the Ainur perceived that his countenance was stern; and he lifted up his right hand, and behold! a third theme grew amid the confusion, and it was unlike the others. For it seemed at first soft and sweet, a mere rippling of gentle sounds in delicate melodies; but it could not be quenched, and it took to itself power and profundity. And it seemed at last that there were two musics progressing at one time before the seat of Ilúvatar, and they were utterly at variance. The one was deep and wide and beautiful, but slow and blended with an immeasurable sorrow, from which its beauty chiefly came. The other had now achieved a unity of its own; but it was loud, and vain, and endlessly repeated; and it had little harmony, but rather a clamorous unison as of many trumpets braying upon a few notes. And it essayed to drown the other music by the violence of its voice, but it seemed that its most triumphant notes were taken by the other and woven into its own solemn pattern. In the midst of this strife, whereat the halls of Ilúvatar shook and a tremor ran out into the silences yet unmoved, Ilúvatar arose a third time, and his face was terrible to behold. Then he raised up both his hands, and in
  7. 7. one chord, deeper than the Abyss, higher than the Firmament, piercing as the light of the eye of Ilúvatar, the Music ceased.” The essence of Ilúvatar‟s melody symbolizes the embodiment of what is good, aka, light. His music follows all principles of organization and creates visual unity through the three themes described in the page before. Overall, the music created on Iluvatar‟s and the Ainur‟s part is both peaceful and powerful. As someone who views music visually through color, the Music of the Ainur come off in cool, high-key colors as well as neutral colors that blend smoothly. In the first theme, the music is made up of mostly cool neutral colors with accents of high-key colors, However as the music progresses, the high key tones become stronger and have a much more dominant appearance in order to compete with the Music of Melkor; which had taken an opposite approach. Melkor‟s work comes off in very warm, vibrant, low-key colors in impressionistic strokes. Some high-key yellow s are present in order to establish a form of chaos within his piece. It is unorganized with no apparent rhythm. Variety is scarce and only relies on repetition and the power of its intensity. Foreshadowing and Symbolism With light there is always darkness to accompany it in order for there to be true balance. The clashing of music that occurs is the perfect symbolism of this occurring theme in all forms of art. It even serves to be foreshadowing to the whole history of Arda that is yet to come. In each Age of the Sun (there being four ages), it always starts with the utmost sense of peace just as the beginning of the music of the Ainur. Things will stay this way until the interruption of negative forces take place among that of what was peace. Only chaos will ensue while the powers of good and evil grow trying to consume one another until a final war would mark the victory for what is good.
  8. 8. Part II: The Land of Arda Geography To the left is a map Arda in it‟s entirety. Arda consists of two large land masses(Middle Earth to the East and The Undying Lands to the West)and two large seas (Ekkaia—the Encircling Sea to the North and Belegear— the Great Sea to the South) that all sit in approximate symmetry. Middle Earth and the Undying Lands are only connected at the top of the map by the Grinding Ice. Directly south to the Grinding Ice is the island Numenor which stands as the only large island of Arda (there is also Tol Eressa closer to the Undying Lands however it is bare and not even half of Numenor‟s size). There is both a set of repetition and variety throughout the map of Arda by the enviroment. Great plains, mountain ranges, forests, exist in both land masses. However there are elements distinct to each land that can serve as visual guiders through the map. For Middle Earth, these would be the Lamps of the Valar. The Lamps of the Valar served as sorces of light to all of Arda and existed in the North (Illuin) and the South (Ormal). These lamps would actually be destroyed by an assault from Melkor and not
  9. 9. repaired, however would serve as reference in the making of the sun and moon. To the West, in the Undying Lands, arethe Trees of the Valar. These two trees exist together in the North created by Yavanna after the two lamps were destroyed. These trees would cast light throughout the Undying Lands and would also serve as the Count of Time (first time that time would be measured and ages would come to exist). For those who lived in the light „were ennobled and filled with immense wisdome‟ (A Tolkien Bestiary). The composition of Arda allows for movement throughout the map as I have shown above. The mountain ranges appear very compressed and connected through both lands and serve as the visual directors for the viewer, **Circled in yellow are the locations in which The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings took place** Another pathway around the piece are the accents of the Trees of Valor and the Lamps of Valor circled above in blue. Landscape by Tolkien Illustrations The novel “The Hobbit” and the trilogy of “The Lord of the Rings” all took place in Middle Earth. Tolkien had put most of his focuses on Middle Earth in devoloping the lands and the cultures of the people there and made many illustrations to bring visual context to his writings. Although, there are still some illustration that were created for the Undying Lands such as the one to the right. This image represents one of the few drawings done from the Undying Lands and is know as the highest mountain of Arda— Taniquetil .Done in watercolor, the painiting itselfis
  10. 10. has an analogous color scheme using weak-intensity colors. The purpose of the painting was to give a sense of scale to how Taniquetil would appear if it were real (swan-ships of
  11. 11. the Telerin Elves used for scale).Although it is one of the few drawings done of the Undying Lands, it is one of the many drawings done of mountains and mountain ranges. They were a large part of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” as both challenges throughout journeys as well as being the goal destination (The Lonely Mountiain in “The Hobbit” and Mount Doom in “Lord of the Rings”). Mountains and mountain ranges are known to be homes to good (Elves, the eagles, etc.) as well as to dark creatures (orcs, dragons, etc.). Above is another watercolor painting now of Rivendell. Existing in the Misty Mountains, Rivendell is the home to elves and is known as a place of safety and comfort. To the right is another image of the Misty Mountains except in ink. Both art pieces use atmospheric perspective in order to give understanding to just how large these mountain ranges were. In order to recede in the painting of Rivendell, values were dulled and detail diminished the further back in space it went, For “The Mountainpath,” both straight lines and cross-contours are used and are either reduced in size or in space the further back in space the mountains go.
  12. 12. One other landscape found widelythroughout Ardathe forests. Forests were ventured throughout “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.” From Mirkwood to Lothlórien, forests were dark, grim places usually enchanted with magic and could be hoststo the kingdoms of Silvan Elves. “Old Man Willow” (right, top) was created using crayon and depicts a willow seen in The Old Forest in book one,“The Fellowship of the Ring” from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This is an objectively descriptive piece that uses mostly neutral tones along with some low-tonality greens and blues. Somewhat thick contour lines are used on the closest willow while very thin lines are uses in the receding background. As for the image below, it is a painting of Fangorn Forest seen in book two of the Lord of the Rings trilogy “The Two Towers.”This image is much more decorative, however, till neutral toned—even more than “Old Man Willow.” A lot of contrast is present between the trees of the foreground against that of the black backgroundmaking the image appear flat. The use of neutral colors and tones is heavy is made heavy in both pieces in order to evoke a sense of gloominess; even maleficence.Another element common in these works are the use of heavily dark backgrounds behind the trees. This darkness creates high contrast making the trees and the ground stand out more than they would if a lighter background were used.
  13. 13. Creaturesof Arda—Of Power, Beauty, and Satire “As the Ainulindale tells, all things that came forth in the World were formed in the grand themes of the Music of the Ainur.” In the book “A Tolkien Bestiary” by David Day, onehundred-and-twenty-nine creatues/races are uncovered and described. All of these creatures were created to attribute to the world, adding variety and balance to Arda. The creatures created by that of the Ainur (ofIlúvatar‟s thought)came in many themes. Creatures such as the Eagles (below) and Ents (half-human, half-tree beings) were created as protectors of the land of Arda. These beings were the first created and represented power. They were creatures of much larger scale, bold, and were much more dominant „details‟ to Arda (not nearly as dominant, however, as that of the men and elves wohom were the primary focal point of the Ainur after the landscapes were created). They are also very structured and constantly fighting for dominance of Arda against the dark creatures of Melkor‟s creation. Eagles, for example, primarily existed within the mountain ranges and The Old Thrush By Mark Poole fought- and brought fear - to the orcs and wolves of their region. In “The Hobbit” they provided aid to Gandalf against the wolves on the quest to the
  14. 14. Al as! A tetr ad colo r sch eme is pres ent! Lonely Mountain and again during the Battle of Five Armies. Another set of creatures created by the Ainur were that that represented beauty. These creatures were very ornate in their features as well as their movement. They are known to be light, quick, and often very intelligent. They are much morefrequent in appearance, creating an allover pattern within Arda. Although they are much more frequently found, they are much more subtle and do not have the same boldness and power as that of creatures such as the Eagles and Ents. Examples of these creatures could be thrushes (seen above) and Nightingales. These birds were known to be very small, but very common throughout Arda. Thrushes were very quick and served as messengers to men and dwarves. The other is the Nightingale. Nightingales are known for the beauty and lightness of song. Overall, these creatures were simlpy the physical form of the Music of the Ainur. There were intelligent beings of power and beauty that brought balance and harmony to Arda. However, if itwere only these creatures alone, there would be excessive use of harmony. Again, the Music of the Ainur from Ilúvatar was not the only composition created in the creation of Arda. Melkor, had created his own composition of power and of terrible darkness. Even though it would not be allowed by Ilúvatar for his composition to be apart of Arda, Melkor would enter Arda and bring his composition to life within Arda by trying to destroy what was created and to replace it with his own ideas. After destroying the Lamps of the Valar, he would plung Middle Earth into darkness. In the Pits of Utumno, Melkor mocked the makings of the Valar and mocked them by making creatures simlilar, but terrible compared to that of the Valar‟s creation—creatures of Satire. Through torturing elvs and ents, they would become orcs and trolls (left). Instead of birds, bats were bred and instead of dogs wolves were bred and so on.
  15. 15. Melkor‟s main goal in the end was to create creatures of his own and that he did. Werewolves, winged beasts, vampires, the Kraken, Great Spiders, and most powerful and darkest of all dragons (right) were bred and all were released into the world. Similar to his music, these beings were all powerful and large in scale and proportion. They are also all dark in theme and no light values can be found in their thought of being. Compared to the creatures of the Ainur, they lacked severe skill, intelligence, and organization of being.
  16. 16. Conclusion Arda is a great work of trompe l‟oeil. By simply reading the words from Tolkien‟s literature, the world is recreated into a realistic enviroment right inside the human mind. Overall, Arda is a composition of battling, high contrasting themes. It is a battle of dark and light, of cool and warm colors, of good and evil; creating the dualism of harmony and variety.The lighter theme (from Ilúvatar) has a mix of calligraphic and ornate lines, and cool colors brought on with smooth technique while that of the darker theme (from Melkor) uses chaotic, thick strokes of high-intensity, warm colors placing them without rythym and organization. With this ignorance towards understanding the elements of design, Melkor‟s theme, despite all of it‟s power, fail‟s to take any actual shape. Instead, the lighter theme will hold the winning hand and claim dominance of Arda. Tolkien is the father of modern fantasy. Without his work, other fantasy works and games such as Dungeon and Dragons, Dragon Quest, World of Warcraft, and even Harry Potter would cease to exist. Homage has been given to Tolkien‟s work through literature, music, art, and much more. The largest homage to Tolkien would be that of the movies done by Peter Jackson. I know that without Tolkien, that without his art, I would not be who I am today. Fin.