Steinar í Hellisheiði, 24 x 16 inches, oil on linen

Steinar í Hellisheiði, 24 x 16 inches, oil on linen

There is a little valley just a few kilometers out side of Reykjavík that is quite hidden from view. This area has a couple of abandoned buildings, a river, cascading waterfalls and the nature is quite stunning. I go there about twice a year to paint and always come back with material that I am pleased with. This spring, to my amazement, the waterfall and river that run through the area have dried up. I was just standing there at the bottom of what used to be a pretty fast flowing river asking my self, where did it go ? I have not found the answer… yet.

The absence of the water left however a new and pretty exciting landscape. It is full of cliffs and rocks of interesting shapes and sizes, moss in all colors of the rainbow and to my surprise, lots and lots of bees. They were friendly though, for the most part.

I spent a day there painting and sketching, trying to get the drawing and all the subtle colors of those rocs and moss, and trying to come up with an interesting composition. All the while this thought kept creeping into my mind that someone would turn on the river and the water would come splashing towards me, which would not have ended well for me. Luckily, as you might guess, that did not happen. Before it dried up, water came rushing down from the top of those cliffs and sprayed the walls which evidently made for a good home for the moss. It then crashed into those rocks in the middle ground before it rushed towards the canvas. I found it absolutely fascinating standing there looking at the landscape that just a few months ago had been so different.