Helludalur

Helludalur, oil on linen, 35 x 70cm

Helludalur, oil on linen, 35 x 70cm

 

Helludalur is in the south of Iceland right next to Geysir. This winding river path runs through the valley and joins a larger river. I love painting subjects like this one. The path easily takes you into the painting and leads you into the distance. This painting is done from a much smaller plein air sketch. I was thinking about how I could make the larger painting more interesting, and the way I approached it was to create a lot of variation. Variation in brushstrokes, color temperature and in values. I think the outcome is satisfying.

Starhagi

Starhagi, Þorgrímur Andri Einarsson

Starhagi, oil on linen, 35 x 60cm

 

Because of the simplicity of the composition, my aim was to create interest and texture in the different parts of the painting. I tried to achieve this by varying the colors, values and edges, much more so than what was actually there. I find these more simple compositions often very pleasing and fun challenge.

Heiðmörk

Heiðmörk, oil on linen, 35 x 60cm

Heiðmörk, oil on linen, 35 x 60cm

 

I was very excited when I discovered this cabin which is located in Heiðmörk about 10 kilometers outside of Reykjavík. “Now thats a painting” I thought to myself. I was most interested in trying to capture the way parts of the building is obscured by the trees and bushes. This is a larger painting done from sketches on location. About an hour into the painting I almost gave up and scraped the whole thing down, but I decided to power through and I am glad I did.

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Lake Helluvatn

Við Helluvatn, 30 x 60cm, oil on linen

Við Helluvatn, 30 x 60cm, oil on linen

 

I did this painting of the red cabin about a month ago. I have been hiking at lake Helluvatn many times before, both for my own enjoyment and also for painting. I love to paint there. It is a large lake right out side of Reykjavík surrounded by small forrest´s and lots of summer cottages.

This particular one grabbed my attention early on, but I always put off painting it for some reason. I think I was saving it for the right moment, and anyway there are so many different subjects there so I was in no rush. I did take a little artistic license with this house, especially the placement and shapes of the windows on the building, but I don´t think anyone will mind that. All in all I am pleased with the piece, it was actually larger than this, but I ended up cropping about 3 inches from the bottom of the canvas. I felt it was stronger like this with less foreground showing.

The colors for the red of the cabin are mainly: Terra Rosa, Cadmium Red, Transparent Oxide Red and White. The colors for the background, sky and snow are mostly: Terra Rosa, Cobalt blue, Yellow Ochre pale with white and some Viridian.

I wanted to do a painting that showed off this beautiful building and I am happy I finally gave it a shot. I am looking forward to the next time our paths cross, perhaps when that red of the building will be complimented by all the greens that summer will bring.

Litli Botn

Litli Botn, oil on linen, 45 x 55 cm

Litli Botn, oil on linen, 45 x 55 cm

Botn is an abandoned farm deep in Hval-fjord in a valley called Botnsdalur. It is very close to the tallest waterfall in Iceland called Glymur which I have often visited and painted a few times. This painting of the farm is a larger work done from smaller sketches. I was lucky because just as I was beginning to sketch, the sun was coming round the building which made for a dramatic play of light and shadow. I was fascinated by all that texture both in the concrete of the old building as well as in the grassy patches of the foreground. 
As I was painting on location I was visited by some very curious sheep. We have more sheep than people here in Iceland so your quite likely to run into them in the wild. At one point they were so close that I was starting to be a little concerned.  But when I stood up to take a picture of them they decided they had had enough of art for one day and ran off.

Robot Study

Robot, 6 x 6in, oil on linen

Robot, 6 x 6in, oil on linen

My girlfriend has a fascination with robots (mild obsession), so we have quite a few of these toy robots in the house. I found this one super interesting and decided to make a study of it. It is only about two inches tall so I had to zoom in quite a bit and draw the setup close so see all those funny little drawing elements.

Painting loosely

Red, Orange & Yellow

Red, Orange & Yellow, 8 x 8in, oil on linen

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I just got my hands on this great little item, the red pot from Indonesia. I love the deep red reflective surface, the golden rims and the architectural shape it has.  When I was starting out as an artist, I was not interested in still life paintings at all. I found them quite boring to be honest, until I came across paintings by great still life artists such as Qiang Huang, Richard Schmid and others alike. I was amazed by their ability to make seemingly boring subjects  very fascinating. I realized that for me it wasnt so much about what they painted, but how they painted it, and that was an eye opener for me.

Now I find great joy in doing still life paintings. They are a great exercise in drawing, color and value, and also in designing a composition. This little piece is all about painting loosely. I am trying to think of ways to make ordinary things look interesting and beautiful, even more so then they really are. I think a way of doing that is by painting loosely, creating lots of variety in edges and color temperature.

My Red Apple

My Red Apple, 6 x 6in, oil on linen

My Red Apple, 6 x 6in, oil on linen

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An apple is a worthy subject to study. In terms of drawing it is not very complicated, but in terms of color and value it is incredibly versatile and interesting, as are most things created by nature. Even those seemingly simple and mundane things all have their fascinating aspects, and when I give them enough of my attention, I start to notice their complexities and charm.

The goal and my hope for this blog is to inform and inspire art lovers and artists such as my self. It features information about my latest works, exhibitions and daily musings. Please enjoy, visit often and feel free to sign up to my newsletter. You can subscribe and unsubscribe at any time.

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