Welcome To My Iceland Project Exhibition!
In 2015 I went to Iceland for the first time. My brother was going on a photography gig to photograph whisky on icebergs and to capture the landscape. My sister and I tagged along for the trip. I had no idea it would be such an influential experience that would influence my artwork for the next 7 years!
The endless beauty of Iceland has been a gift that keeps on giving, and in September 2021 we decided to go again and I am very excited to now share with you my Iceland Exhibition.
I love Iceland because of its natural beauty and unique landscape. It reminds me that the world is a mysterious and wonderful place, there’s still so much to be discovered.
Glaciers, geysers, the northern lights, volcanoes… it seems so many of the wonders of the world are found there!
The landscape offers a stunning set of colour pallets. Sometimes bursting with vibrancy and other times, wonderfully bleak and moody.
Climate change is an issue at the forefront of our attention at the moment and with Iceland being the home of glaciers and so much sea life, I felt compelled to respond to how Iceland is being affected.
Iceland’s glaciers lose 4 billion tones of ice per year due to climate change and have done for the last 130 years. Half of that loss occurred in the last 25 years. This causes a multitude of problems: rising sea levels, flooding, coastal erosion, extreme weather, loss of wildlife and their habitats… the list goes on.
We have to tackle our carbon emissions in order to survive on this planet. But the good news is this can be done and it’s not too late for change!
In his speech at COP26 in 2021 David Attenborough said, “We are the greatest problem solvers to have ever existed on earth. We now understand the problem and know how to stop the number rising and put it in reverse.”
For me, seeing the beauty of our world through art reminds me to appreciate this incredible universe we live in and to not take it for granted, and if we don’t look after it, we lose it. My hope for this exhibition of work is that it might do the same for you, it’s a celebration of the outstanding beauty that is our world!
See some selected pieces from the exhibition below.
Driving at night through mountain ranges in Iceland is such a stunning experience. Little to no street lights in the rural parts make the visibility a little precarious too! The mountains loom like giants over the tiny cars passing through. When I painted this I was remembering the light that the moon cast over a glacier and the silvery reflection that I could just make out in the icy water. Daylight would soon change the whole scene revealing the vast expanse of how far these mountain ranges stretch.
Twilight On Varmahlio
Varmahlio is on the far north coast of Iceland, it’s home to indigenous horses who stand stoically with their backs against the wind and the black sand beaches. The light in this part of the country is bright and ethereal, especially as the sun begins to go down and the pink hues start to spread across the sky.
In a landscape of predominantly grey and blue hues, green life pops out to give a fresh feeling of new life. Green pine trees scattered on snowy mountainsides give hope of spring, the land renewing itself.
I’m fascinated by how water reflects colour. Whether it’s the sea, the lakes, even ice and snow, when they get hit by the sun’s rays it creates moments of vivid colour. At golden hour, when the sun is setting and has it’s last hour to shine, it creates a golden hue over the landscape throwing up all those oranges, yellows, pinks and purples that we all love so much.
Skagafjorour is on the far North West coast of Iceland and has a raw and rugged landscape, especially in the bleak winter. There is a beauty in the simplicity of land and sky and the horizon line that meets in between them. In this painting, I have used sand in the early stages of prepping the canvas, to add the texture that’s found on the beaches, mingled in with a watery effect of the undercoat of acrylic.
The Northern Lights
The northern lights are a natural phenomenon, the dancing waves of light are in actual fact particles of the sun that have been captured in the earth’s magnetic field, creating a kaleidoscope of green, yellow, blue and violet streaks and swirls. When I went to Iceland for the first time in 2015 I saw them twice on a 3 day trip which was incredible! The lights moved slowly, then sped up as they flowed in the sky.
My second trip to Iceland had very dramatic weather. It was like the sun and the storm clouds were in constant war with each other, one trying to dominate over the other! But it created such stunning skyscapes with the sun bursting through intense dark clouds.
Jokulsarlon is where the stunning Diamond Beach is located in the South of Iceland. It’s a beach of black sand littered with chunks of sparkling ice burgs that get washed up onto the beach.
Through The Blizzard
Driving through a snow blizzard in Iceland is an experience. The wall of white between your windscreen and the road makes visibility pretty sketchy! In a particularly heavy and intense blizzard one morning, these yellow guideposts were our beacons of light marking out the road for us! I’ll be forever grateful for the colour yellow.
There are parts of south Iceland that have a 360-degree view of mountains, surrounding you on all sides. There’s something calming about this as they engulf you and remind you of how small you are in this huge universe.
This ink sketch was drawn on my iPad Pro as we drove towards this glacier. It’s a zoomed-in area of Langjokull, the second-largest glacier in Iceland, stretching 935 square kilometers. As glaciers in Iceland are melting at such a fast rate, they are all the more special and they are an incredible sight to behold!
Mountains are such awesome and majestic landforms. Each layer, texture, gradient, and colour tone tells a story of the millions of years they have been standing there. They have been shaped and reshaped by extreme natural elements. The mountains in Westfjords are about 10-16 million years old! This was my first ink sketch of the series, I wanted to find a way to express the textures and organic shapes that make each mountain unique to itself.
This piece reminds me to take time to go on an adventure, even if it’s a 20 minute walk in the forest. The ‘happiness effect’ of nature is like medicine and the physical and mental benefits are numerous. Our brains have information bombardment every day, getting into nature allows our brains to breathe and free it up to be creative. I love the feeling of taking a few days to go and explore, seeing with my own eyes just how incredible this world is!
To see more work from this exhibition visit the Iceland Gallery for all original oil paintings, digital art and prints. Thanks for dropping by!