Archive | 22:59

East Meets West In The North

4 Dec


Iceland is a lump of lava up by the North Pole. The reason it’s there is because volcanoes keep erupting in the area because the North American tectonic plate and the Eurasian tectonic plate are pulling apart from each other. And this keeps setting off volcanoes. As the plates rip apart from each other, a large bit of land in the middle is gradually falling down between them, forming a rift valley. It was one of the places we visited and it is the site of the ancient Viking parliament, Thingvellir. It’s an extraordinary place; one minute you’re standing on the Westernmost point of Europe and a short drive later, you clamber out on the Easternmost point of North America. Awesome. I made this drawing of an unusual rock formation in the high cliffs on the American side. I used a small piece of mounting board, pre-prepared with a grey wash and drew in compressed charcoal, white conte crayon and soft oil pastel.

drowning pool                                       church

Not far away was this frozen pond, in the top photo, which is called ‘The Drowning Pool’. It was used in times past to execute women by drowning. The trees were too small for hanging and men were executed by beheading. Grim. Underneath it is a photo facing south along the rift valley, taking in a typical country church.

the rift

On the left, North America. On the right, Eurasia, a rift valley in between.

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