Victoria Clare’s Art

Fingon – and Sunflower Auction news

 

Here’s a little watercolour of Elf prince Fingon from the Silmarillion riding, as an excuse to post a link to a charity auction to raise money for organisations working on the war in Ukraine.   I’m donating a custom artwork to be made just for the winning bidder!

Details here: https://sunflower-auction.dreamwidth.org/13065.html – the auction ends May 30th!  Please bid.

Legolas and Gimli meeting Aulë and Yavanna

At the very end of The Lord of the Rings, there’s a tantalising mention that when Legolas sailed into the West, he took his friend Gimli with him.

I imagined them in the West beyond the Sea, meeting Aulë, the creator of the Dwarves in Tolkien’s legendarium, and Yavanna, creator of the Ents and effectively Tolkien’s nature goddess archetype.

This is a little A5 watercolour picture, I’m quite pleased with how much detail there is in it!

Rexque Futurus

Sometimes I write!  This is a novel-length story I wrote for fun.  It’s free to read and download.  When I finished writing,  I was pleased with it, so I made it a book cover to celebrate.  Details and links to the story below!

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The Once and Future King sleeps in the hills, waiting to return in Britain’s hour of greatest need. This much we know. Arthur’s name echoes down to us out of the Dark Ages. But why? When that terrible hour finally comes, what will happen?

My theory involves an ancient Volvo, a lot of bees, Arthur in pyjamas from Marks and Spencer, a random dog, some very old Anglo-Saxon magic, doom, death and the serpent-spawn of a dark god.

Read online -|- Download epub -|- Download PDF

Merry Christmas from the Orcs!

It turns out that moving house is pretty time-consuming and although the move itself has gone through OK, I’ve been so busy with all kinds of things that I just haven’t had much time for art.  Still, here are three Christmas cards – the first for the Shop on the Borderlands, and the second two inspired by things we can see from our new Pembrokeshire windows!

Multifandom Doodles

These are all quick watercolour and ink doodles.  The first, The Plants Need Me is a doodle of a ghost who still has things she must be getting on with.

This is Transformation, a pencil and watercolour doodle of Léonie de Saint-Vire from Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades, shown, first, as a ragged and fearful boy, and later as a lady in a beautiful eighteenth-century gown.

Shadow and Flame
Far into the blue shadows where strange things lurk, she wanders, fearless and alone…

In the gloom of the deep forest, flame comes to her bidding, holds its fierce golden heart contained for her comfort. She builds a house for herself in an hour.  Who is it here that is strange and terrifying, filled with powers beyond imagining?

Up She Rises
Sailor looks down, merperson comes up.

Afterwards
A Silmarillion doodle with Maglor, one of my favorite characters, and Ulmo, lord of the Sea.

Oh no, another complaint?
Ea-Nasir, the famously dodgy copper merchant of Ancient Ur, adds to his collection. 

Whimsical Walrus Works

Most unusually, since we moved to Wales, so has someone else, a wandering Walrus, who has been dubbed Wally.  I saw him a few weeks ago, quite randomly on a visit to Tenby.  A passing walker said to us as we admired the view: “Have you seen the Walrus?”  And there he was!

By coincidence, the Silmarillion Writer’s Guild challenge of the month was ‘Words of Wit and Wisdom’ – focussing on the words that Tolkien worked on for the Oxford English Dictionary, one of which was Walrus.  I did some drawing for some of the works:

First, this for Words for Wally, the Wandering Walrus of Wales:  a poem by Wander.

The Walrus that Went South, by Himring

A move to Pembrokeshire!

After twenty years in the Tamar Valley in Cornwall, we decided that the middle of a global pandemic was just the time to move house.

Well, it wasn’t quite like that.  I have two day jobs.  One is running a small website development business, Clare Associates. This had a lot of travel / tourism customers, and so did not thrive in an environment where nobody could travel anywhere. The other is helping out with the Shop on the Borderlands, an online shop that sells new and second-hand tabletop role-playing games and accessories worldwide.

The Shop has been really taking off recently, and we’d got to the point where we just couldn’t fit any more stuff in our house, meaning no more room for the shop to grow.  That, combined with a touch of lockdown fever, was enough to make us decide it was time to relocate, and in Pembrokeshire, just outside Pembroke Dock, we found somewhere with more room for the vital stock shelves, and as a bonus, this fabulous view of the Milford Haven waterway which I am sure will inspire many paintings in future.

 

The Clockwork Frog!

This is an acrylic painting of Lirael and Sameth from the Old Kingdom novels by Garth Nix, with Mogget, and the Disreputable Dog.  They are camping on their way down the Ratterlin at the start of their journey to try to rescue Nick. Sameth’s clockwork frog is catching bugs: an asset to any riverside campsite!

This painting was created for the Fandom for Oz charity auction, thanks to my lovely recipient for being patient about the development in this very odd period of life.

Here are a couple of sketches that I made when I was developing ideas for the painting:

 

The Resurrection of Merit the Pale

I made this A3 size painting as a prize for a competition held by the Shop on the Borderlands.  It illustrates a key event for the group, where one of the party has been killed and they are waiting to see if he can be revived. To make sure I had the right idea for each character, I sketched them out in pencil before assembling the finished painting: you can see the various head-sketches below.

Commission: Adventuring Party at Leisure

Completed version of this commissioned painting of a D&D party: first the quick A4 sketch:

And then the final painted version: I’m told the adventurers are  pleased with it. The Innkeeper on the right is based on the GM (Game Master), who commissioned the painting and was lovely to work with. As you may have guessed, the lighting and composition was inspired by Caravaggio’s wonderful painting, The Calling of St Matthew: I thought I might as well aim high.   But this little painting is just A3 in size, whereas Caravaggio’s original is about three meters square!

With commissioned paintings, I would usually discuss ideas with you, then email you a photo of a rough sketch, then later, email a small first-draft incomplete painted version for discussion, and then finally a completed high resolution image.

I am open to making paintings that are only supplied digitally, if you want art to print out yourself and don’t want a physical copy.  However, in this case, the person who commissioned the painting did want the original as well as the photo, so it was sent out to them by post.

Demilich, Beholder : Fun with D&D Monsters!

Upcycled Demilich! This round board came to The Shop on the Borderlands as the base for a rather tired bunch of very old miniature figures.

The figures were removed & stripped of their old paint, and I have made this painting on the base. I kept the bumpy texture, which has interacted interestingly with my palette knife, and I’ve used a semitransparent gold paint to pick out details and add the ghosts of adventurers trapped by dark enchantments. The ghosts change in visibility as the light moves. Quite pleased with the flame-ruby eyes.

And here’s another famous D&D monster: a Beholder, with dagger-teeth and many eyes. I painted this because I wanted to practice painting flamelit flesh tones, and was tired of painting human figures. I’m particularly pleased with the ring on the adventurer’s finger.

Three mini originals…

These tiny canvases are just 15cm square, and were inspired by the thought of spring approaching, and by the Tolkien quotation: “Light from the shadows shall spring” which always seems particularly appropriate at this time of year when I walk along in the shadow of the woods, turn a corner and see daffodils, a blackthorn in flower, or a little stream bubbling along in a sudden sun-beam.