While I really do try to not be yet another "so sorry everyone, but I haven't had time to post anything here" - well... sometimes I end up among that milling throng anyway. I have managed to skim and read many of the other folks posts, at least.
Just back from Seattle last night having had an utterly delightful evening at the NW Tolkien Society's private reception for Alan Lee - though we were all rather in awe of him being there at first and it took a while to get up the nerve to speak to him. He was so gracious you just wanted to take him home and let him sort of bump around the corners in your house, drawing whatever he liked to his hearts content. I asked him about the "other" panels that were painted for the Rivendell set, as I knew there were others besides Isildur that we see so much of. He seemed very pleased with the query and carried on at some length about them each being one of the turning points in Elvish history, and the one I had seen a glimspe of ("a landscape of some sort" was all I could offer) was Eregion.
"Do you recall how they walk past those marvelous ruins, after they've left Rivendell..." he said softly, "I thought to myself, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could see those ruins before they fell into such decay. Yes, that panel was that tower, if you will, a part of the city that was later called Hollin. It showed the Noldorian Elves fleeing, after the Ring had been forged, in that war that occurred..." He said he had done another single panel of Sauron forging the Ring, and one of the Elven ships in a storm also. Wow! How I wish I could see them!
My daughter was with me but she was in such awe of him she never said a peep - even when he took her hand and said he was very pleased to meet her and tried to get her to respond, she was so overwhelmed. She said later she felt like that young man in Ever After when he goes looking for Da Vinci and faints. I had to nudge her when we went to his booksigning afterwards and during his slide-show he commented that Leonardo Da Vinci was a personal hero of his and he was "very attached" to his sketchbooks. He showed us photos of some of the other pages in Saruman's book that were never seen in the movie - gorgeous work, his homage to Da Vinci.
After the booksigning our little group gave him a basket of goodies including a terra-cotta chia hobbit foot that made him giggle like a little boy and give us all hugs - my only contribution to the basket was carrying it in from the car in the rain, but hey, I'll take a hug from Alan Lee if he offers it!
Now - on a slightly different topic: We've found an *amazing* music video for Boromir that Lin and the other Boromir fans *must* see...but bring your kleenex. Very well done, over here, choose "Boromir's Last Stand." http://www.angelfire.com/psy/che0/video.html
I'm off to continue packing...the never-ending story. Only four more days til we shift to sleepin' an' cookin' over there, which will make it feel much more like we've really moved.