The Shire . 24x36 inches . 2011








1. morning (natural light)
2. noon (natural light)
3. late afternoon (natural light)
4. evening (interior artificial light)
5. Midsummer's Eve party is beginning! (interior and UV black light combined)
6. Gandalf's firework show (UV light only)
7. Time to sleep and dream (no light / glow in the dark)

Ingredients: acrylic, sand, phosphorescent pigments, crushed glass, glass beads, water & light on canvas

I'm showing you 3 different natural lighting pictures so you can really see how it changes when the sun moves across the sky during the day. :)

When my friend Beth texted me to ask if I'd be willing to do a painting based on the Shire, I said yes immediately, despite "landscapes" not being something I normally paint. I knew exactly what it would look like the moment I saw her text. The final painting isn't much different from the sketch I jotted down minutes after telling her I would do it.

The sky changes colors! Of course it does. It's THE SHIRE.

^Viewed from the left.

^Viewed from the right.

The stained glass windows of the hobbit hole change colors too. :) Check out picture #4 up top.

Every hobbit hole needs a fancy door.

Fireflies. They stay twinkling even after the fireworks have gone out. :)

Beth wanted a painting of her favorite place, something that inspired her and gave her a calm, peaceful mindset in which she could write. (She's a writer!) The Shire is her favorite place, I think, and I like to pretend that it exists somewhere out there. She and I both share Hawaii as a profoundly inspiring (real life) place, so I felt I knew a bit where she was coming from. I read The Hobbit while making this painting, and it influenced every step I took. As I experienced Bilbo's journey, I kept asking myself what *I* would want to return home to after such an ordeal.

Man that book is awesome. Have you read it? Of course you have. I hadn't, technically, it felt like I had, I knew the story, it had been repeated to me endlessly by Colin and our friends over the last 10 years and I knew all about the Shire, of course, that was something that always really resonated with me. But obviously The Hobbit is a whole different (smaller, cuter) beast than Lord of the Rings and I was wrong to think I knew everything I needed to know about Bilbo and him going There and Back Again and omg how many ponies had to die in the making of that story?

Anyway. Fantastic book. The only bad part about it was that it ended. Well, I guess, except for the three other (giant) books that come after it. Anyway.

Just so we're clear, this is not Bilbo's house. This is Beth's house.

Beth, I've stocked it up with ale and pies, a few cakes, some tobacco, and plenty of wood to get you through the first leg of your stay, but you'll likely need to fill it back up before you move to Vancouver. There's plenty of rooms though, you won't ever be without pies and visitors. May this painting bring the Shire to you and serve as the perfect writer's retreat no matter where you live. :)