Archive for Trees#

A Magical Doorway, Stow-on-the-Wold

Posted in Cemetery, Church, Cotswolds, Door, History with tags , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2014 by mysearchformagic

I’ve just spent a magical weekend in the beautiful Cotswolds. It’s the first time that I have had the chance to properly explore the area, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. With its rolling landscape dotted with ancient oaks, rambling hedgerows and pretty cottages, it is hard not to fall for this peaceful part of rural England, a place which seems to have changed little over the centuries.

My first encounter with magic was in the churchyard of Stow-on-the Wold’s historic St Edward’s church. This doorway, flanked by ancient trees which almost seem to have grown in to the fabric of the building, caught my eye.

A magical doorway into the church of St Edward's, Stow-on-the-Wold

A magical doorway into the church of St Edward’s, Stow-on-the-Wold

There will be much more to come from my adventures in the Cotswolds over the coming weeks. But with so many magical tales to tell, my only problem is which one to choose next…


Blue Ent, Ian Miller

Posted in Art, Illustration with tags , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by mysearchformagic

I was surprised to receive a parcel recently from a colleague who is also a follower of this blog. It was a copy of a 1984 book entitled The Guide To Fantasy Art Techniques which she had found gathering dust amongst some old books in her office. As I flicked through the book I realised that this gift was in fact distinctly tongue-in-cheek, filled as it is with images of busty bikini-clad barbarian babes and horn-helmeted he-men. But as I flipped past all these dodgy fantasy clichés, suddenly the work of one artist caught my eye. It was darker, more gothic, and much more magical. The artist was Ian Miller, and I needed to find out more.

It turns out Mr Miller has had a long and distinguished career as an illustrator, and has created book covers for the Gormenghast trilogy, which I absolutely adore, as well as the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, which are high up on my list of magical things to read. I was perhaps most excited to discover that he designed the covers for a number of the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks with which I was obsessed as a rather geeky youngster.

I am now the lucky owner of an original work by Ian Miller, a drawing entitled Blue Ent 2 which follows on rather nicely from last week’s post about a magical tree.

Blue Ent 2, Ian Miller Image copyright the artist

Blue Ent 2, Ian Miller
Image copyright the artist

Miller’s influences are many and varied. As a child his imagination was fired by the creativity of theatre and film, and more recently he has listed Albrecht Dürer, Leonardo da Vinci and the German Expressionists as his visual inspiration. His work is often surreal, sometimes downright creepy. Hearing of my interest in silvan magic, Mr Miller kindly sent over an image of another marvelously sinister recent work, The Terrible Path

The Terrible Path, Ian Miller Image copyright the artist

The Terrible Path, Ian Miller
Image copyright the artist

You can find out more about the weird and wonderful world of Ian Miller at