Every year, the official Tolkien calendar features the breath taking artwork by Tolkien inspired artists. In 2014, newcomer Jemima Catlin had the honour. For 2015, the artwork of Mary Fairburn, whose art was admired by JRR Tolkien himself, will be featured. Twelve illustrations of The Lord of the Rings will get Tolkien fans around the world through the upcoming year.
Despite Tolkien’s admiration for her art, Mary Fairburn is a comparatively unknown Middle-earth inspired artist. After studying art and teaching and extensive travelling in Italy, Kenya, Uganda, and Iran, Mary Fairburn sent some of the sketches and drawings she produced to Tolkien in 1968. From his earliest responses, Tolkien showed interest in her artwork:
They are better pictures in themselves and also show far more attention to the text than any that have yet been submitted to me … After seeing your specimens I am beginning to . . . think that an illustrated edition might be a good thing.
Unfortunately, an illustrated version of LOTR featuring Mary Fairburn’s artwork was never produced. Well, maybe (someday in a not so distant future) this might change. In the meantime, we all can enjoy her beautiful art in 2015.
The calendar will be available for purchase from August 28th, 2014 onwards on amazonco.uk.
Interested in the previous Tolkien calendars? You can find a complete guide to Tolkien calendars from 1969 onwards!