Summer heat has cast a pernicious spell on me, it's clear, but the winds are changing, the light is changing, and, finally unwilting, so am I. Weather aside, reentry to normal life has been very difficult after such an exalted and inspiring time in Norway.
My chief reason for going on this trip was in pursuit of my Places Project, to see and draw another vestige from the Caledonian Orogeny, circa 450-250 MYA. I had fewer days to do this than I had for my first two drawings, made in Wales, one in Pembrokeshire, one on Anglesey.
The accordion sketchbook I drew in here was custom made for me by book artist friend Josh Hockensmith. It is 10 1/2' long when stretched to its full length and each page is bigger than those in the Seawhite of Brighton concertina books I used in my first two drawings. The paper is ivory and slightly toothed, not white and smooth, and so the resulting drawing has a slightly different look from the first two.
The rocks I drew were very different, too. The rocks in Wales were faceted, sharp, angular, with mostly smooth surfaces. The rocks in Norway were flowing, textured, and multi-colored in shades of grays, ochres, some siennas and subtle blues. These outcrops will lend themselves to later studio pieces, some collages, some linocuts, perhaps, and I am looking forward to seeing what will emerge!
In between my days of Caledonian Orogeny drawing, I sketched, as you will have seen in my last post. Here are some miscellaneous moments, caught in my sketchbook. On a remote island in the Barents Sea, magenta saxifrage grew improbably and brashly between rocks in the tundra.
Later, in the Lofotens, I drew another view of the majestic Olstind mountain, seen from our cabin near Reine.
My husband and I love Bergen and it was in Bergen that I had this delicious vitello tonnato dish for lunch at a café near the Kode Museums. Note the candle, lit in the middle of the day in sunny, summery Bergen. This is one of the things I love about Scandinavia, the use of candles, a profound celebration of light, at all times of the year, at all times of the day, in the Polar Night or in the time of the Midnight Sun. I have taken this to my heart and I do the same thing in our home in North Carolina.
Circling back to Longyearbyen, here is a drawing of a bus passenger, who was a wonderfully monumental figure, compelling to draw:
On the painting front, two recently finished pieces.The first is another work belonging to my Places Project. This is a Copper Mountain sunset painting, inspired by my artist residency in Alaska, fall before last:
The second is an example of What I Did for Love, a snowy owl painting requested by my four-year-old grandson Miles. I have two more requested owlish pieces to finish, but I am returning to Norway in the studio in the next days, too.
I won't wait so long to post again. Soon I am taking a shortish trip with two dear friends to Yorkshire, not on the trail of the Caledonian Orogeny. The main focus will be to spend time with my friends in the birthplace and childhood region of one of them. Though I have lived and traveled widely in the UK, I have never been to Yorkshire. It turns out that my long-ago ancestors from Norway, settled in Yorkshire (coincidentally near where we will be), before much later emigrating to the US, so I will be, in some small way, returning home. Who knew??? See you soon!