Recently read a collection of essays I picked up a while back called "Meditations on Middle Earth." It was interesting and sometimes fun, as well as serious. Several writers wrote about their first encounters with LOTR and the Hobbit; there was even a mention of the then upcoming Peter Jackson movies. This in turn sent me off on a project that has been niggling at the back of my mind for a long time: to read all of the posthumous Tolkien works, that great collection assembled and edited by his son, Christopher. So I started with a rereading of the Silmarillion, which I had read only once before. I'm nearly done and will go on to Unfinished Tales and then tackle the other massive volumes, which I've had for a while and have been sitting unread in one of my (many) bookcases. (I am an avowed biblioholic.)
I've also found myself browsing the Tolkien-related art here on DA. There is some magnificent work, both in technique/style and interpretation. Among my faves is Breathing2004 (I have several prints of his work and plan to buy more, thank you DA). His style is unique and amazing, and as different as it is, I think it brilliantly fits the feel of Tolkien's creation.
And now for a mild rant: I know a lot of Deviants love the Peter Jackson movies. I like them, but have many nits to pick, even more so with the Hobbit movies. (IMHO, the best part of the first Hobbit movie was when Jackson stuck very close to the book, such as the "Good day!" sequence between Bilbo and Gandalf, and the Riddle Game.) I think Jackson has done some very good things with these movies (Smaug was wonderful, even if he was made into a wyvern rather than a proper dragon). In general, I think Jackson got the FEEL of Middle Earth correct. But, even with all that, I have a complaint about Tolkien art here on DA: there are too many copies of images from the movies. Not just reinterpretations, but copies. Certain portrait shots are repeated by too many artists. Too many are directly from the movie, showing the characters as the actors who played them (I have never liked who Jackson chose to play Elrond, he's just too plain and almost ugly). I really really encourage everyone who wants to do LOTR and Hobbit art to use more of their own imaginations and the books themselves. Please! Thousands of us love those books, admire Tolkien and his creation. Why subject yourselves to merely copying one man's interpretation? We all have images in our heads from the books—at least I hope so—and to me it's much more interesting and a better tribute to Tolkien to try to show what's in our heads, not just what we saw on screen.
To all of you who have given us your own images inspired by Tolkien's works, thank you! I truly appreciate them.