Talks with Tolkien artists: icy-maiden

13 min read

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MirachRavaia's avatar
By MirachRavaia

:iconicy-maiden: - icy-maiden is an artist from Italy, with very beautiful and sensual visions of Tolkien's characters. She doesn't speak English that well, so her answers in this interview have been gramatically corrected by me, with her permission.

undomiel by icy-maiden Grampasso by icy-maiden
Galadriel's mirror by icy-maiden the dance of Tinuviel by icy-maiden
Feanor.. estasi e tormento by icy-maiden merry e pipino by icy-maiden

1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

First I would like to apologize for my English. I know it to be bad: I'm 50 years old, living at a beautiful lake in the North of Italy, with two cats and a varied number of books, mostly of the fantasy genre, which lead me into their world and often give inspiration for my creations. I love theatre, and practice it as a second occupation. I do not know what else to say about me.

2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?

Maybe I was 12 or 13 years old when I walked into the city library and I've seen a large book with an interesting title "The Lord of the Rings". I've always liked my books bulky, so I've taken it. And then I read it in one breath. From that moment all my imaginary world has changed. That book has influenced all of my artistic career.

3. How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth? Do you consider yourself Tolkien expert?

I have read more or less everything that you can find by and about Tolkien in my language. I faced the Elvish language and graphical features of calligraphy created by the professor. However I do not consider myself an expert. A good connoisseur rather.

4. When the movies came out, many of the inner pictures of characters and scenes in the mind of the readers have been replaced by actors and settings from the movie. Did it happen to you as well? Did you try to prevent it?

I was certainly influenced more by the landscapes of the films, perhaps because those places were very similar to those that I myself had imagined. However in representing the characters I tried not to get too much influence. So if I have done that... this is a question that I myself address to those who keep my paintings: what do you think, was I successful?

5. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? Are you a professional artist, or is art just your hobby? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

Painting is my work and my passion. When I was little, I started drawing horses more than anything, and I did so badly, then I decided to take lectures by an artist WHILE I attended the high school. He gave me the basic techniques. Then I attended the Academy of Fine Arts "Carrara" of Bergamo. My style, if I have a style, and inspiration comes from Tolkien as I already said, and from the works of Shakespeare. Beyond that my favourite artist is Edward Burne Jones.

6. How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?

It all depends on the inspiration, sometimes I see a face, a photograph, a landscape, and the inspiration is triggered. It's amazing how often this happens: for example by opening your profile I saw one of your photos, and I'd use it to create a painting. Can I?

I would be honored :)

7. Do you use references or models to draw Tolkien characters? How do you decide on the face that belongs to a character?

I always use models, I need to have faces that are real, and credible, despite the changes that I 'm going to do to bring out the character that I have in mind. As for how I decide that a particular face actually belongs to a particular character, well it's hard to explain, it's like I recognize the character, I say - "wow it is him/her!! "

8. Your pictures are very sensual. Do you paint them with the emotions of the depicted characters in mind?

Absolutely yes.

9. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

I like a bit of all the traditional techniques. Still I strictly use only paintbrushes. I do not use digital techniques. In my gallery you will find watercolors, tempera to acrylic, oil paint, with all this I like to experiment.

10. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

I always like to discuss painting techniques and old works with other artists, but they are always long talks. To do it here is complicated, but I am available for chats, in every way, just write me a note or email.

11. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?
cosi felici e tristi by icy-maiden

- a picture from other fandom or original picture you are most proud of?
Ophelia by icy-maiden
- a picture that fits your current mood?
salamandra di fuoco by icy-maiden
- a picture that was hardest to paint?
Hogwards by icy-maiden
- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?
just because I'm glad to show it.
notte sulla citta dei Goblin by icy-maiden

12. What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

There are many people who have and have had influence on my art: my parents who have never found it strange to have a daughter artist, and were a support that many other artists can not enjoy. There were other persons importan  to me, but I think I have already spoken about them in previous answers.

13. Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some thumbnails from their gallery?

I do not know who among the artists of DA did or did not care, but I certainly know who I really like, and really a lot, and the list is long. You can find them among my favorites, take a look:… There are some really valid people.

14. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

I thank you for every single moment spent watching my work, or comment on it, or share it. To learn that I communicate something with my work is very nice to me.

Thank you for your time and answers!

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Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head © 2009 - Grinmir-stock
Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix
© 2014 - 2021 MirachRavaia
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Zeonista's avatar
Another good choice, and you always pick colorful (and full of color) subjects.
TolmanCotton's avatar
Ohilà! Eccoti qua anche te fra gli intervistati!
icy-maiden's avatar
ahh ma ciaoXD eh si ho fatto anche la figuraccia di non sapere l'ingleseXD
Lyriel-MoonShadow's avatar
delicate and beautiful art! love it!
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