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    This Woman Revitalizes Second-Hand Books By Painting Famous Scenes On Their Pages – Here Are 11 Of Our Favorites

    "I love to go into painfully small detail with some very tiny paintbrushes."

    This is Maisie, a 22-year-old student of art history who became inspired by Medieval Christian art and the practice of fore-edge, which involves painting a scene on the edge of a book's pages.

    TikTok: @maisie_matilda / Via tiktok.com

    Recently, Maisie's TikTok account took off when she shared a video of her painting the side of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, quickly drawing in over 4.8 million viewers who were stunned by her work. "I have always loved Tolkien’s books and his illustrations, so it was a perfect combination of Art History, painting, and Tolkien," she told BuzzFeed.

    @maisie_matilda

    “I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.” #lordoftherings #foreedgepainting #aragorn #arwen #rivendell

    ♬ One of the Dúnedain / "Evenstar" (feat. Isabel Bayrakdarian) - Howard Shore

    To realize her masterpieces, Maisie created a press that firmly holds the pages together while she skillfully brings scenes from the book to life on its pages. "My most recent painting of the Lord of the Rings took me just a morning," Maisie shared. "When I really focus, I am a quick painter, even though I love to go into painfully small detail with some very tiny paintbrushes. It usually takes me half a day or so, as I have been painting for a long time and the more I do it, the more confident I become with my mark-making."

    TikTok: @maisie_matilda / Via tiktok.com

    "I begin with finding the perfect book," she said of her process. "I try to buy second-hand, often from charity shops and second-hand book shops. Sometimes Ebay! Hardbacks work best.

    "[Then], I sometimes do a little bit of repair work on the book to fix any aging before clamping the book firmly using plywood. Sometimes I lightly sand the edges to get rid of any discoloration and even out the surface slightly. Although I like the surface to have a little texture.

    "Then I begin painting! I start with laying down some shapes, then I layer on the base colors with a light wash, [and] begin refining and adding detail. Landscapes and nature are my favorite, especially skies and trees."

    She's added her personal touch to several popular series, including multiple editions of The Lord of the Rings...

    TikTok: @maisie_matilda / Via tiktok.com
    A closeup of Maisie's artwork
    TikTok: @maisie_matilda / Via tiktok.com
    A closeup of Maisie's painting of Gollum
    TikTok: @maisie_matilda / Via tiktok.com
    TikTok: @maisie_matilda / Via tiktok.com
    TikTok: @maisie_matilda / Via tiktok.com
    TikTok: @maisie_matilda / Via tiktok.com

    ...The Hobbit...

    TikTok: @maisie_matilda / Via tiktok.com
    A stack of books that together create a complete map from the lord of the rings
    TikTok: @maisie_matilda / Via tiktok.com

    ... Harry Potter...

    TikTok: @maisie_matilda / Via tiktok.com
    The Weasley twins painted on one book
    TikTok: @maisie_matilda / Via tiktok.com

    ... and Dune.

    The dunes on one book
    TikTok: @maisie_matilda / Via tiktok.com

    After the flood of attention, Maisie began selling her hand-painted editions on Etsy. But don't overwhelm the student! Due to her studies, Maisie doesn't fill custom orders, requests, or commissions, but she does keep an eye on her email to see what books people are interested in seeing her depict.

    "I would like to do commissions in the future, perhaps when I’ve finished my degree. Being in my final year, I wouldn’t be able to commit to any pieces and I wouldn’t want to disappoint anyone, especially when they have a specific time limit in mind!"

    TikTok: @maisie_matilda / Via tiktok.com

    Books that make it to her Etsy page are the product of sudden inspiration, and the listings often sell within minutes for prices ranging between £80-£1200, which converts to about $90-$1,354. 

    If you'd like to keep up with Maisie and her work, you can follow her on TikTok. You can also peep in on her Etsy page.