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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Iceland: Through an Artist's Eyes part 4 Rainy Day Adventures

'In Search of Adventure'               8x10            pastel         Iceland Summer 2014  ©Karen Margulis  
Even the rain didn't stop us from searching for adventure.  The third day of our Iceland painting workshop/expedition came and we woke to a steady rain.  We had been spoiled by the sunny warm days. I was prepared for the rain...both mentally and with rain boots and a waterproof jacket. Bring on the rain. I like moody weather!

I'm not one to sit still for long so I eagerly joined the group on a drive. We threw in our painting gear just in case. Our destination was to be a town called Holmavik in Western Iceland. It has a population of 375 and is known for the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft. An interesting stop for a gray dreary day.

We never made it to Holmavik.  It was one of those trips that didn't go as planned but will always result in a good story such as "Remember the day we went for a drive in the rain and ended up on a bumpy, muddy dirt road that was close to being a dreaded F road (as in very bad) that we called the Never Ending Chiropractic Express?!!"  The going was so wet and rough that after about 3 hours with drivers Stan and Cory and passengers road weary and sore, we called it off.

Hang on kids we're going for a ride!!

Just a little dirty

We needed food and bathrooms and luckily found the only place for many many miles. That will also be a story to remember..."Remember that restaurant that only served hamburgers and fries or lamb soup and garlic bread? "  It was the oddest little place. The poor guy running the place had to call in reinforcements and soon his wife and child joined him in the kitchen. Ahh, but the soup was warm and delicious and another memory was made. And despite the rain we managed to discover a special kind of raw beauty in the grayness of the Icelandic landscape.

Somewhere in Iceland...in the middle of nowhere

all the necessities

A few examples of the rugged and raw beauty that is Iceland on a rainy day

The last day in Stykkisholmur we woke up to more rain. Determined to have a painting day we all loaded our gear and ever hopeful, our picnic supplies, into the vans for a drive to the other side of the Snaefellsness Peninsula. I continued to take by drive by photos through a rain spattered window. Our first stop was Budir Church. It is a simple church painted black and sits on a lava field overlooking the sea. We couldn't see anything but the church through the mist. But it wasn't raining! So Stan set up for a demo and we got to paint for about an hour until the fog got too dense.  I was happy to have good clothes for the weather!

A simple church by the sea

Our determination to paint paid off in the afternoon. After a drive over a densely foggy mountain pass we arrived at the most perfect plein air painting spot in the world. Yes it does keep getting better! The sun made an appearance and after a stop for our picnic lunch we set up to paint.  This spot had it all and I was torn between painting it or photographing it. I did both.

Now that's what I call dense fog!

Picnic by the sea
Imagine a sheltered spot with an inlet and a rocky shore on one side and soft green grass covered dunes on the other....with paths leading to a black sand beach. To one side is a view of the massive white glacier called Snaefellsjokull. To the right is another area of snow covered mountains with rolling green meadows. A couple of horseback riders made an appearance to make it perfect. Behind is another imposing cliff leading to the sea. And the sky...ever-changing and awe-inspiring.

A few photographs from the afternoon's painting location

 It turned out to be the perfect day. And once again I went to sleep pinching myself. It was hard to believe this was really happening.

Goodnight Iceland!
Did you miss part one? You can read it here.  You can read part 2 here.  Read Part 3 here.


Sheila said...

I just love your clouds! I can't stop looking. trying to see how many colors I can find in there. Looking forward to seeing what you did with the little church :) rainy dyas can be the best, and it sounds like your adventure qualifies!

Tim Moore said...

really enjoying your trip...vicariously!..i think it makes us all realize to enjoy the beauty of where we all live.These people might pass by all these spots daily, but to them its just a field or a mountain...painters see things differently...also i like looking athe little house way up on the hills or down in some meadow and wonder who lives there..what do the do?...makes me enjoy the little streams i drive by each day..

Karen said...

Thank you Sheila and Tim! I appreciate you following along!

robertsloan2art said...

I love this painting! The sharp line of the cliff against the sky, the beautiful clouds crossing the mountain, that gorgeous sky, everything. It's got such vastness and so many beautiful textures.

Wonderful photos and stories too. I think the feel of it got into that painting, that sense of being so far away from everything known and right on the edge of nature's extremes. It's fabulous! Thanks for the links to the previous posts too.