I spent the month of November living and working in a small village near the base of the highlands in the Icelandic countryside. I had high expectations for the work to be accomplished in my little studio there, but never could have anticipated the way the etherial terrain, long shadows and short days, ever-changing light, and the goodhearted Scandinavian culture would envelop my mind, body, and spirit. Life in Iceland felt right.
Snowfall had arrived by the second week, transforming the richly colorful landscape into a winter wonderland. Earth tones shifted to pastels: blue, pink, lavender, tangerine, and mint green. No matter the weather, the light was always showing off, continually transforming the horizon.
And then, the Aurora appeared! Seeing the Northern Lights in person was a profoundly joyous thing, prompting me to describe their mystique with more enthusiasm than anything I’ve ever brought into the studio before. There’s something especially satisfying about painting from personal experience, even more so when it’s one you’ve dreamed of for so long.
I created over 70 paintings and drawings during the residency, but still felt the time to pack them up came too soon. Fortunately, I had the chance to do some supplementary exploring and documenting when my mom stopped over for a few days, and when Mason joined me in early December. We spent 9 days driving around the Southeast coast, hiking up waterfalls, strolling through lava fields, and flying the drone over glacial and geothermal terrain. I found myself greedily straining to retain all the jaw-dropping visual data, anticipating the next spree of paintings and drawings that I’d get to knock myself out with when I unpacked it all back home.
And on that note, the adventure continues!