Hope this finds you well and you had a great weekend. I’m writing this on a plane home from Iceland! I’m in that in-between stage wearing too many layers coming from below-freezing temperatures, but so glad to be warm again.
The last four days have been stunningly beautiful, exciting, a little dangerous, and very fun. As our plane landed in Reykjavik on Monday, the sunrise was golden on the ocean and it looked so peaceful from the sky. 20 minutes into our drive across the country from the airport towards the North, the snowstorms started. Our hire car thankfully had snow tires so we made it through the blizzard and a few hours later we were in Varmahlio where it was sunny and the snow had settled. Varmahlio is where indigenous Icelandic horses are bred and they are dotted around the landscape like magical Viking unicorns.
The next day was forecast to be an amber weather warning, but in the morning when we opened the curtains to assess the day the snow was coming down in full force with 54mph winds! A local assured us that it would be fine to go out in as we had snow tires, and if we drove 30 minutes East it would clear up. So, naively we bundled into the car and attempted to hit the road. Half an hour later, we had made 10 minutes of progress down the road from our Air Bnb, creeping, or more accurately, fighting our way through the mountains. Another 15 minutes later and we had zero visibility, everything was completely white and there was absolutely nothing we could do but carry on driving 5 miles an hour looking out for one post at a time marking the side of the road. Those things were lifesavers!
Thankfully I have a fearless brother who keeps his cool in a crisis and drives like a pro, several hours later we had found refuge in Akyeri where we were hoping to see whales. Sadly the whales were not making any appearances that day, I can’t really blame them.
The next day the snow had stopped and the North of Iceland was a stunning winter wonderland of white. Snowy mountains and frozen rivers made the landscape completely different from the last time I went to Iceland when the land was bright green.
These are a few very simple colour sketches I made on the road in the car, I wanted to take in the colours and the atmosphere and it was too cold to be outside! I found that the colour palette was really simple in the snow, which I love. Blues, greens, and browns covered in a layer of white. I’m looking forward to turning some of these ideas into oil paintings.
There is so much to say and topics to cover; geothermal springs, geysers, glaciers, black sand beaches. I don't want to overload you so I’ll leave it at that until next week.
Thank you for reading and following this project, I cant wait to share some of the ideas and the work with you over the next few months.
Have a great week,