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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

A New Art Travesty ~ Frodo and the Enamoured Woman....

Posted on 2006.03.25 at 18:54
Tags: , , , ,
Crop of new manip:

This week while looking for tasteful photographs of lovers (to use as models for my erotic illustrations, should I ever make them), I found a head-and-shoulders painting-like photograph of two lovers, a man and a woman. It made me squee with manip-making excitement.

So, in honour of March 25, the day the Ring went into the fire, I present to you my latest Frodo Art Travesty manip....

The face of the woman in the painting is fabulous. As I told Estë, she reminds me of Meryl Streep as painted by a Pre-Raphaelite. The man has a very nice chest and shoulders -- smooth-skinned and not too muscle-bound -- and his head is turned in a lovely manner. His face is not to my tastes, but his face would not be staying.

This manip is made from an image called Huomo Fendi, by Sheila Metzner. It's date was given as 1988. If you would care to see the original photograph (or painting, I'm really not sure which, but Ms. Metzner is a photographer, otherwise), it is HERE.

I have found an online gallery that shows photographs from an exhibition taken from her book, Form and Fashion. It features this "painting". If you look through the images, you will see she uses a very classical, painterly style throughout. Here is a link to the John Stevenson Gallery exhibition, which features prints from Sheila Metzner's Form and Fashion.

* * *

The problem was (as is often the case with paintings I want to use for a Frodo manip), the man's face in the image is in profile. Film-Frodo has a gorgeous profile, to be sure, but very few images of him in internet galleries are in profile. Because of Frodo's wonderful eyes and expressive face, most shots saved of him are 3/4 and full-face views. I had used up all the profiles I liked in previous Art Travesties. What was I to do?

Well, I decided, I would have to search the films for some new screencaps.

It turned out that the filmmakers didn't shoot him in profile much, either. Since last night I have been fast-forwarding through FotR, TTT and RotK. Everytime Frodo turned from one side to another I would pause and pounce, snatching the frame or two that was in focus while he made the transition. Still, these were not caps I would call "gems." There were some longer profile scenes with Sam, especially in The Two Towers, but Frodo's face was usually filthy or contorted in argument. Not good material for popping into paintings of beautiful lovers.

I found that there were excellent extended profile sequences, however, complete with a clean (if wan) face and tender looks in the scene in the cart with Bilbo, and in the farewell to the companions at the Grey Havens. (Yes, I screencapped them both to make into future screencap entries, sobbing the whole time.)

* * *

I am terribly pleased with the new manip.

When I gaze at it, perhaps because Frodo is naked and the woman is dressed, I imagine him as a faun, with his long hair trailing down his neck. I have imagined the woman as a mortal who has seen him in a glade, perhaps, and fallen under his spell as Thingol did under Melian's, or Beren under Luthien's. In this instance, of course, the genders are reversed.

The woman in the painting appears utterly and tenderly besotted, besotted to the depths of her soul. He seems to return her regard.

Call me a sap, but while I find this manip sensual and erotic, primarily I find it deeply romantic. It appeals to my swoony old heart. After all, I am as enamoured of him as is this woman. She is just a lot better-looking.

Frodo and the Enamoured Woman....

Since posting this picture, an e-friend who is a Tolkien fan and fine poet has written a poem based on this image. I like it so well I would like to post it here, but will make a separate entry for it, to better set it off.

To read jan-u-wine's, The Fields of Forever, based on this manip, click HERE.

~ Jan-u-wine's Lord of the Rings-based poetry is featured at LotR Scrapbook.

~ Mechtild

View Frodo Art Travesties Table of LJ Entries page HERE.

View Frodo Art Travesties AlbumHERE.


aussiepeach at 2006-03-26 02:10 (UTC) (Link)
OH MY LORD! *dies*

The hair! The Look! That is sensational. I bow to your skills, Mechtild. And how I want to be that woman.

*dies again*
mechtild at 2006-03-26 02:30 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Peachy. I am extremely proud of it. My new program has a few features the old one didn't that are extremely helpful for making just this sort of manip. And I am beginning to get the hang of them much better. It makes me want to go back and re-do all my old ones. (I know, "Mechtild is a HOPELESS fiddler!")

shirebound at 2006-03-26 02:17 (UTC) (Link)
Absolutely, wonderfully erotic and romantic, I agree. Omigosh, what a lot of work you went through to find that shot! You are such an artist, working hard at your craft and making sure it pleases you. And it certainly pleases us.

I have two profile shots in my userpic icons (one of which I'm using here), but regretfully I have no idea where they originated. I'm using them with permission from not_alone, in whose journal I found them over a year ago.

mechtild at 2006-03-26 02:28 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Shirebound, very much. It is truly "romantic," I think, but not like a supermarket romance.

I do believe your lovely profile shot is from a "Behind the Scenes" piece. I am pretty sure that I've seen shots almost just like that one in a gallery with things from the DVD extras and promos. It seems to me that there might have been the other hobbits in the shot, too, but they've been cropped away. The finishing on your icon is excellent.
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mechtild at 2006-03-26 03:51 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Mews. It was not that difficult once I had found a good match for the face. After that, every "blend brush" and "clone brush," and "color" and "sharpen" and "contrast" variation was a pleasure to work on.

Tell me, Mews, do such images actively repell fans of slash-Frodo? I have found, so far, that it is nearly impossible (but for two or three, one of them terribly, terribly sappy) to find male-male paintings that don't portray the men as heavily muscled and herky, a look I don't picture for Frodo or for anyone he would possibly have been wrapped up with in an erotic relationship.

I think, if I remember properly, you have a series of erotic/romantic fics starring Frodo with Eomer, fics that are not meant to be bawdy spoofs, but serious. Have I mixed you up with someone else? If so, forgive me. But, if you do feature Frodo with Eomer, you will know there is little or no classical art that can be used to manip this pairing, herky-muscle guys or not. Even paintings that depict a Ganymede with Zeus, or a Hylas with Hercules show a youth the size of a human teenager with a grown man. Illustrations for humans with hobbit lovers would require real manipping! If you find a good source painting, or combination of paintings, let me know. I might try to work on it, if it looks doable.
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mariole at 2006-03-26 04:20 (UTC) (Link)
Lovely picture! She does look like Meryl Streep. :)
mechtild at 2006-03-26 05:34 (UTC) (Link)
Yep, Meryl Streep about twenty years ago. Although, judging from the recent Academy Awards, she still looks great. I looked her up, and she actually played a Pre-Raphaelite beauty, in a film called "The French Lieutenant's Woman." I am guessing it must be based on the novel by the same name.
ellinestel at 2006-03-26 09:20 (UTC) (Link)
((((Mechtild)))) It is beautiful! :)
mechtild at 2006-03-26 12:47 (UTC) (Link)
Ellin, thank you! I was hoping you would like it, especially the mood. *smooch*
(Anonymous) at 2006-03-26 09:52 (UTC) (Link)


Mechtild, this new manip is beautiful and wonderfully done! The Frodo face you found is absolutely perfect. There is much (romantic) erotic tension between the two - I think it is the eyes. She is looking at him directly, while his eyes are resting on her lips... oh, it is ravishing. What a wonderful way to start a day. Thanks so much for that! :k
(Anonymous) at 2006-03-26 09:58 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Wonderful!

Erm, that comment was from me,
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-03-26 10:55 (UTC) (Link)

If a picture paints a thousand words...

*stunned* *dies* *is dead* *revives long enough to melt into a squeeing puddle* (Rosa you lucky hobbit-lass)

All that I can say is – Thank you Mechtild.

If a picture paints a thousand words,
then why I can't paint you?
The words will never show the you I've come to know.
if a face could launch a thousand ships,
then where am I to go?
There's no one home but you, You're all that's left me too.
And when my love for life is running dry,
you come and pour yourself on me.

If a Lass could be two places at one time,
I'd be with you.
Tomorrow and today, beside you all the way.
If the world should stop revolving spinning slowly down to
I'd spend the end with you. And when the world was through,
Then one by one the stars would all go out,
and you and I would simply fly away

--David Gates

mechtild at 2006-03-26 12:50 (UTC) (Link)

Re: If a picture paints a thousand words...

Ah, Este, thanks for posting those song lyrics here. They go so nicely. What was the name of the group he was in -- or did he bill himself as a soloist?
Starlit Woods
starlit_woods at 2006-03-26 12:52 (UTC) (Link)
That's fantastic! That's one of the best manips I've seen! :)
mechtild at 2006-03-26 13:04 (UTC) (Link)
Why, thank you, Starlit Woods, you are most kind! I worked hard preparing it, but it was all a pleasure. And I learned more about making them as I worked, which is neat, too.
lame_pegasus at 2006-03-26 18:22 (UTC) (Link)
Wonderfully done, Mechtild. Just... gah.
mechtild at 2006-03-26 19:29 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much, Mona. I couldn't help looking at this manip and thinking of Frodo with one of the Haremites, too. (Or Lily or Rosamunda or any of the other women we've imagined for him to love. *dreamy smile*)
pearlette at 2006-03-26 22:06 (UTC) (Link)
Oh wow.

You have excelled yourself, Mechtild!!!!!!

That is one of your best manips EVER. It knocks me out!!!!! *swoons*

In the original, the guy is a hunk but he's not looking at the woman - he's gazing off-centre. I thought: "typical self-obsessed beautiful man. Meh."

But Frodo ... ah, Frodo. What a different story. Such tenderness. Such gentleness. Such trust.

This time it's not the erotic elements that knock me out, but the deeply felt romantic feelings this manip portrays. This is love, not lust. Just beautiful.

This manip makes me feel happy. And I don't care who she is. If she loves Frodo so tenderly, and he loves her so tenderly, that's all I need to convince myself of his ultimate healing.

And with that sentiment I just hit Sappiness Overload. *grins broadly*

Not that I care. :) This is beautiful, Mechtild. BEAUTIFUL.

*happy happy happy*

mechtild at 2006-03-26 22:14 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Pearl, you warm my little old heart. You will find in the comments of many people above that they, too, found in it a picture of lovers not "lusters."

I just adore the way it came out, technically and in terms of mood. I do give full credit to the woman in the picture and the way the phtographer captured her. So many of the women's faces in the paintings I've used for the manips I've made have been less than convincing as the faces of lovers. The men's haven't been much better, but those were replaced with Frodo's, happily. Think of the worst one for poor facial expressions, the "Bacchus and Ariadne" by Guido Reni. I mean, it was a beautiful manip and was great for making up funny captions to, but which viewer could believe in the amorous feelings of either of them? That such an Ariadne swooned for Bacchus, or that such a Bacchus would have married her, a mortal, and made her a crown in heaven? None, I dare say.

But the woman's face in this picture is a picture of someone who loves and yearns and adores with all her soul. How could I not search and search for a Frodo face to deserve such love?

silvermoonlady at 2006-03-27 18:16 (UTC) (Link)
Wow! Wonderful, and I must agree with you, very romantic:) Thank you ever so much for sharing!
mechtild at 2006-03-27 18:34 (UTC) (Link)
You are most welcome! It is a pleasure to see your icon here, too.
frodosweetstuff at 2006-03-28 14:00 (UTC) (Link)
I will never stop to be amazed by how beautiful Frolijah is!! Wonderful manip! If I was that woman, I would stare forever - and drool quite a bit. So maybe it's better I'm not her... *giggles*
mechtild at 2006-03-28 15:16 (UTC) (Link)
Ha! Oh, I think you'd manage to advance past the drool stage. She is obviously as in love as any of us, but, like us, she may be unable to restrain her hands. They are not in the picture, after all. I think I see them inching his way. She ... can't ... quite ... keep ... them ... back.

It's all his fault, you know, for being so utterly beautiful -- inside and out.
bagendbabe at 2006-04-07 01:44 (UTC) (Link)
That is an utterly beautiful manip, Mech.

*sighs and bosom heaving*

You are a true genius.
mechtild at 2006-04-07 03:04 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Bagendbabe. I believe this is my best one yet, and the most romantically satisfying.

Did you read the poem jan-u-wine wrote inspired by it? It's too lovely. I made a separate LJ post for it (although I included it here, too, retoactively).
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mechtild at 2006-04-07 15:14 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for commenting, White Gull.

Everyone who yearns to imagine Frodo in love seems able to appreciate this manip. Even slash fans seem to warm to it. Love is love, I guess.

theartoffic at 2006-05-16 15:26 (UTC) (Link)
omg- i don't know how you do it but i love that you do. This is just... perfect- his expression and I wish i was her! :) once again a beautiful manip!
mechtild at 2006-05-16 22:33 (UTC) (Link)
I think we all wish we were her. It turned out so well, really exuding a sense of shared love. I think it is my favourite of all my manips.
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