I love art. As a child I had some small talent at it, but I didn't pursue it. I really admire those who have the talent to create great art. My favorite artist is Alan Lee, though Ted Nasmith and John Howe are not bad also. Obviously, my love for Tolkien bleeds over into my art interest, but I have to say that Alan Lee is just amazing. His colors and subtle attention to detail blow me away.
I have long dreamed, in an ideal world, of being wealthy enough to commission Alan Lee to do loads of art for my novels. Of course, that would never happen. I am trying, though, in some small ways to hunt around for some art that I can afford. I am doing a little search here in Azerbaijan, and a friend of mine has a daughter that wants to take a stab at a painting. I have also hired an artist, named Shane Tyree, to do a scene from my novel. He is very good and seems to be a nice and reasonable fellow. He has similar tastes in fiction as myself, which is what made me try writing to him in the first place.
Today he sent me a position sketch, and I think it is very promising. I can't wait to see what he does with it finally. Naturally, it is too brightly lit for a single torch, but that is just because it is a position sketch. This is a scene where the ancient elf lady Alvanaria enters the lair of the terrible black dragon Kathkalan only to find it has died a natural death. Lord Midas, though frightened half to death, is more than fond of Alvanaria, and so has followed her into the beast's lair (a vast hall inside a deserted city under a mountain). He just about has a heart attack when Alvanaria lights a torch...
Avery Cates: The Bey
51 minutes ago