If you’ve noticed a bit of a trend with our Merchandise Monday posts, you might have come to the conclusion that we have a thing for Tolkien and Middle-earth. Was it Alice’s Mallorn Leaf Brooch? Maria’s Red Book of the Westmarch? Or my Bag End Miniature? Well, you wouldn’t be wrong, and today, I’m continuing the trend!
I guess I have to introduce it by starting with an anecdote. It all started in January of 2012. As a new reporter for Middle-earth News, I was assigned an interview with Tolkien artist Joe Gilronan. We emailed back and forth and really got along, and of course, how could you not fall in love with his artwork? I remember asking him (just as a personal aside) if he was going to start doing more paintings based in the Shire since The Hobbit movies would be coming out soon. He said yes, and over the following years, he has done some great work!
As time went on and the website got more readers, I thought it was time to do a new interview. Joe also offered up a prize for Hobbit Day, so we did them all in conjunction. Around this time, Joe said he would like to send me a painting. Obviously, I told him that would be AMAZING, but I was trying desperately not to sound greedy. A few months later, this painting of Samwise (Joe knew he was my favorite character) gardening at Bag End showed up in my mailbox.
As you can imagine, I freaked out and didn’t stop talking about it…pretty much ever. I went and got it professionally framed, and now it hangs in a place of honor, always reminding me of my friend and our shared love of Middle-earth!
Fans can keep up-to-date with Joe Gilronan on the following websites: