Gullkistan – the Residency
For the past few years, I’d been dreaming of visiting Iceland. Gullkistan was the perfect opportunity for me to experience the beauty of Iceland and also, have a studio to make art. I spent the month of October 2016 at the Gullkistan Center for Creativity an artist residency, located in Laugarvatn, a small village on a lake surrounded by horse farms and mountains. When the weather cooperates it’s possible to see Hekla, the stratovolcano in the distance.
We each had our own space within the 2 big rooms that served as our studios. While I’m not a fan of group working situations, I was able to overcome my objection by setting up my studio first thing when I arrived. The more comfortable I am in my space the easier it is to focus on painting.
I brought lots of prepared paper and a few small canvases. I was limited by what would fit in my two suitcases. Laugarvatn is such a beautiful and peaceful place, I was inspired to paint many views of the lake at different times of day.
Iceland – The Highlights
I want to share a brief glimpse of what I saw in Iceland.
Laugarvatn is situated in a perfect spot for traveling to the “must see” places. It’s one of the stops on the Golden Circle a popular tourist route in southern Iceland, covering about 300 kilometres looping from Reykjavík into the southern uplands of Iceland and back. Luckily, the residency has a car available for the artists to use and take on day trips. Once a week we would pick a few places to visit and all load in the car for a tour. Some of the highlights include Gullfoss, Geysir, Þingvellir
Gullfoss translated means “Golden Falls” and is one of Iceland’s most beautiful and without a doubt most popular waterfall.
The Þingvellir is a national park. It is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
The land of rainbows and waterfalls!
In the last week of my residency, I decided to leave a few days early to spend some time in Reykjavik, hike up a glacier and see the icebergs of the glacier lagoon and spend a day sightseeing around the Reykjanes Peninsula.
Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lake in southeast Iceland, on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park. I took an amphibian boat tour around the lagoon. During the excursion you sail among the huge icebergs in the picturesque scenery of Jökulsárlón.
I did it! I strapped on the crampons, faced my fear of heights and falling off of mountains and climbed up Falljokull (glacier). I had 2 very nice/patient guides. One super pro New Zealander and a newbie Icelandar. Luckily, they didn’t cancel the tour even though I was the only guest. We hiked down at sunset. Absolutely breathtaking view.
The Reykjanes Peninsula
The Bridge between two continents at Sandvík is a small footbridge over a major fissure which provides clear evidence of the presence of a diverging plate margin. The bridge was built as a symbol for the connection between Europe and North America.
Paintings – A Preview
I’m scheduled to have a show of paintings inspired by Iceland in March 2017 at Arthouse Gallery in Sacramento.