Archive | 23:53

The (Late) Morning Star

6 Dec

morning star

It was a bit weird getting used to the very short days up near the Arctic Circle and waking up, breakfasted and out into our tour bus for a comfortable 9am start meant that we were stumbling around in pitch darkness. But it gave us a chance to see the sunrise every morning over the extraordinary volcanic Icelandic landscape. Although the nights were too cloudy with snow for us to see the Aurora Borealis, we seemed to have some fairly clear dawns and were lucky to see the moon (almost full) with Jupiter earlier in the morning and then a bit later, Venus and Saturn shining brightly over the mountain tops. Here’s the Morning Star above the heavy mountains with the slightest streak of an orangey dawn just starting to peep over the horizon. I prepared a Khadi sketchbook with a grey ink wash, applied randomly with a sponge and drew over this with compressed charcoal, chalky oil pastel and white conte crayon.

power station

We saw a lot of power stations, hydro-electric and geothermal, making good use of natural resources. They were generally quite pretty, lit up with coloured lights, contrasting with the black, barren landscape. The geothermal ones were on the volcanic bits of the island, which smelled faintly sulphurous.

Hot And Cold In Iceland

6 Dec


geysir 1

Iceland is full of geological wonders. In the freezing weather of late November, we welcomed a stop to explore geysirs and hot springs. The original Geysir, the origin of the name for all similar phenomenon, no longer blows, but a few yards away Strokkur blasts away every few minutes. The landscape is ethereally misty and lovely and warm. Earlier in the day we visited the massive waterfull, Gullfoss in appalling, freezing conditions. I tried to draw, but it was snowing heavily and I only managed about 30 seconds.


I scribbled a very brief impression, but the weather was too brutal to carry on. Here are some of Husb’s photos of the waterfall. It’s massive.

gullfoss 1

gullfoss 2


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