An Ode to Milford

I loved Milford long before I ever went there. It's always looked so beautiful in photos, but they never really did justice to experiencing the place in person.

I visited Milford Sound originally in late 2020, and again in November last year when I hiked the Milford Track. I knew I wanted to paint this corner of the world, and finally made it a priority this year.

I started in my sketchbook, exploring the form and lines of the landscape, and trying to capture my experience in colour. I sketched endless pages of compositions finding what worked and what didn't. As I did this, I began to really enjoy seeing these towering structures encased in an imperfect frame on the page.

I also started adding small man-made structures to the drawings - the huts and shelters along the track, and the tiny boats in the fiord. This gave a point of reference for scale, and really helped define just how big the landscape is.

 I initially intended to work quite big for these paintings, but when bringing them out of the sketchbook, I naturally gravitated towards smaller pieces of canvas and paper. It seemed like a natural step - the illustrations in my sketchbook were loose and free, I didn't want to loose those qualities when translating them over to paper & canvas. 

I did eventually turn to a bigger canvas for my final piece in this collection. The artwork area is A3 sized, so in the scale of things, its still a relatively small painting. 

I really leaned into the blue and green hues and was interested in capturing the light playing on the water. I'm so happy with how this piece turned out - and the tiny boat is currently my favourite addition to my work. This piece really captures the scale and moodiness of Milford Sound. 

Huge fan of the tiny boat in paintings, but still counting boats in general amongst my fears. Its a work in progress...

I'll definitely be painting more of Milford soon. I know this as I have an unfinished larger piece still sitting on my easel waiting to be completed. But I'll definitely be back to paint other compositions regardless. I'm not finished with this piece of Fiordland.

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