|'Dancing with a Volcano' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
painting available for purchase $150
|Through a moss covered lava field|
The earth is active here. There are 30 active volcanic systems. The eruption of Eyjafjallajokull (can you say that?) in 2010 created a plume of ash that disrupted air travel over Europe for weeks. Evidence of volcanic action is everywhere. In places there are fields of twisted lava forming fantastical shapes. Many are covered in moss and lichen lending them an even more bizarre look.
I almost climbed to the top of a volcano. We stopped to check out the area for a possible painting spot. The volcano was imposing. It needed to be climbed. I wanted to get a look inside the crater. Four of us took on the challenge. I made it about 3/4 of the way up when my mild fear of heights kicked in. I was more concerned with how I was going to get down the steep trail than seeing inside the crater so I made my way down.
|Look at the trail going straight up the side of the volcano|
To call it a trail isn't really accurate. The volcano was a perfect cinder cone and it was covered in a deep layer of small lava rocks (the kind you might put in your garden.) The path went straight up the side of the cone at about a 90 degree angle....well maybe 60 or 70 but it felt like 90. With every step I took, my feet sank down into the stone so it was like walking uphill through quicksand. About 3/4 of the way to the top I stopped to look around....and down....and it was exhilarating but the path looked oh so steep. I took a few pictures and started down....sliding with each step. Three members of the expedition made it to the top and would have covered for me but I am happy with my attempt. I think it makes for a better story. And there is still the mystery of what lies within the crater to spur me on the next time.
|The view from 3/4 of the way to the top. See the sea in the distance?|
|Clare and Maria made it to the top|
|Look closely at the path going straight down...see the tiny car in the distance?|
|A mystery man made it all the way to the top|
We returned another day to paint in this same area. It was a gray day but the sky was filled with drama. The landscape here was fascinating. It was like no place else on earth....raw and edgy. Deep, dark and mysterious filled with twisted rock, spongy moss and colorful patches of ground-hugging flowers.
|My Gogh Box in action|
|Christine hard at work|
|Mary Ellen painting in the lava field|
|The Iguana Rock standing guard over the area|
We braved the elements and set up to paint. I was fascinated with the brightly colored mosses and how they gave color and texture to the smooth slopes of the volcanoes. It was like nothing else I'd ever painted. Being there in that huge space and feeling the wind and the occasional raindrop made me feel alive. This was what it is all about! Whether from the top of a volcano or painting in it's shadow.....this was an experience of a lifetime.
|My plein air interpretation of the moss on the lava|
5x7 pastel $50
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