Gordon Miller Sailing into History

These paintings arose from my research into the maritime history of British Columbia, and the men that first ventured into these waters. Their ships were the product of centuries of evolution and refinement, and their navigators were beneficiaries of years of accumulated experience and knowledge. Lured by the riches and mystique of the Orient, they had explored most of the world’s oceans and coastlines, and helped define the size and grandeur of the planet. The ventures that began with the Norse voyages in the first millennium ended in the eighteenth century with the arrival of the first sailors off these misty, magical shores.

Much of the time creating these paintings was spent researching the histories and specifications of the ships. We have only vague ideas of the earliest vessels, there are no known documents or detailed descriptions of them. Not until well into the seventeenth century were ships being built from plans. To accurately portray any vessel, I begin by studying their plans, have often created my own when none existed, and occasionally build small models to help visualize them. 

It has not been my intention to create maritime “Art”, but to illustrate as faithfully and accurately as possible the ships and events described in the paintings.

Early Voyages

The Lure of Cathay

Voyages of Discovery

An Ocean of Commerce

The Beaver

Early Vancouver

The Mavericks