Status of Original Painting – For Sale
All prices are in Canadian dollars
Size: 15.25 x 20 inches
Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches
Why “Into Middle-Earth”?
Last August I spent about nine days in Queenstown, New Zealand. This was partly for a conference but also vacation, and there was a lot of time for tours. It’s such a gorgeous spot, framed by snowcapped mountains everywhere you look. New Zealand is famously where the Lord of the Rings (yes!) and Hobbit (meh!) movies where filmed, and many areas around Queenstown were featured. In fact one of the tours took us to locations where particular scenes were shot – the places where Sean Bean as Boromir fought, was stabbed, and died were several hours distant from each other, reminding us of what a tough job it can be to maintain continuity. I took about 1,000 photos, many of which are suitable for paintings. If I do more – which seems certain – I may end up needing to create a “New Zealand” category on this website.
The reference photo for this painting was taken on the first excursion, a four or five hour bus ride to the spectacular fiord at Milford Sound. The GPS info embedded in the photo helpfully tells me that it is the Eglinton River West Branch off of state highway 94, a rest stop far from our destination. We took a helicopter ride back and landed atop one of the snow-capped mountains.
And so “Into Middle-Earth” is because this is the first photo and painting, from the first tour, of what will probably be a series of paintings featuring New Zealand. Many of the photos will have been taken in locations that were featured in the movies. I’ll also be in Wellington, New Zealand next year, so there will be more photos to come…
My daughter Caileigh insisted it was past time for me to paint a New Zealand scene (I honestly thought I had!), while my friend Lisa Dawe suggested that I do this one in particular.
This painting doesn’t feature the snow-capped mountains but instead a perfectly mirrored sky that demanded to be painted. I knew that when I stopped to take several photos. The framing of it is no accident. Whenever I take a landscape photo, I am always thinking about what I would want in it for the ideal painting. And so where the next tourist might have moved forward or to the side to exclude a few things, and focused just on the reflection, I deliberately captured the tree branch in the upper left and the tall leaves in the bottom right. It’s elements like these that make it more interesting to paint, and create a more intriguing scene.
After all that description, chances are someone who regularly visits this site will write me to say, “that’s not a Newfoundland scene…” Yes, I realize that. I was there! Half a globe away, in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth.