Sitting outside in the elements. Painting, looking, sketching, taking time.
I cannot imagine a better way to experience at least a smattering of Icelandic wonderment.
Microscopic and macroscopic lenses reveal the vibrant living energy of this juvenile land mass. It creaks and splits to render vast eruptions of white hot rocks and flaming rivers of lava which then petrify as trolls must when they have outstayed the night. The remains are miles and miles of strange crisp scrapings covered in mossy pillows or windswept peaks of tufted grasses. A wolf here, a gnarled face, a colony of misshapen creatures, dragons, reptiles…… it is no wonder that there are such strong tales of the invisible ones. It would seem that fine black scree predominates, but on close inspection the minerals are so rich that green, red, amber as moss, lichen or fine grasses speckle the loose shale slopes. On the flat bogs between the shore and the foothills the deep grasses are blown like the straw blond manes of the horses that graze there. Tufts and peaks, waves and whorls.
Everywhere, from small rocks of wafer-light pumice to massive boulders. From tiny black grit to 100kg lifting stones. Horse tails and hay. Snow melt and watery reflections, there are repeating patterns and connections that only become evident in the attempt to reproduce them with stick/ink/brush/paints….
Awe at the first settlers who survived such extremes. Respect for the current islanders who live in such isolated areas and yet who communicate and cooperate so that shopping needs, for example, are everybody’s concern. (The nearest supermarket to our farm is some 40km away, so whoever is going rings around to see who needs what)
A message about a mobile phone, lost on the road ricocheted along the grapevine and it was returned within 24 hours.
Dry humour in the airport. “Please hold up your trousers for a little longer while you remove your belt”… Or, “if you think the weather is bad, just take off your coat”
I like Iceland and Icelanders.
Here are a few more paintings and an irresistible photo of Lo-ey
Can you spot the one that is upside down?
Johanna Berger was our excellent tutor, offering both warm support and lively challenge.
Annemarie was my lovely adventurous companion.
What a homecoming! Spring with an early flavour of summer heat to contrast with the cold and wet of the north.
One more thing. You should taste the whacky chocolate.