Leaf by Justice

This is a blog I read this morning, which I really like. Not only does it give a little insight into a lesser known short story of Tolkien, but I think it’s a fascinating read.

Guild Of Dreams

Leafpainting Lizzie Harper. Botanical Illustration – Tips on painting sketchbook-style studies of leaves – May 4th 2013

J.R.R. Tolkien, the father of the fantasy genre, wrote a short story called “Leaf by Niggle” (look for it in The Tolkien Reader). When I was a teen, just beginning to write my own stories, this story struck me as “true,” and it resonates even more strongly now. The first half of the story is about an artist named Niggle whose only work is a massive painting of a tree. The painting is never finished, and he continues to scrape away parts of it and paint them anew, because they never quite reflect his vision. Niggle’s neighbor sneers at Niggle’s lack of industry (as he spends his time painting a plant and neglects the real ones in his garden) and plagues him with requests for help running errands and doing home-maintenance projects. Niggle…

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