30 Words for Wind

20120713-103347.jpg There are about 30 words for wind in Icelandic! this tells you a bit about the weather - medium hard wind, cold wind from the north, harder than medium breeze, etc. Why generalize? This wind causes a huge erosion problem, a sense that Iceland is literally blowing away. One anti-erosion strategy has been to import a North American blue lupin and plant it all over the sand and mountain sides where it has taken off like crazy.


It is beautiful but as with any imported ecological solution has also caused problems. The sheep don't like its bitter taste and it grows so tall that it wipes out the shorter native grasses as well as moss and lichen. But it has stabilized the soil.


A long day trip to the North led through a long expanse of nothing with barren heidis (heaths) on one side and shimmering fljõts (streams) on the other. And there would be a long camper parked in the middle of it all so the owner could fish. The fjördurs (fjords) are a gorgeous blue against the sky amd there are even fewer trees.

Back in my studio looking out at pairs of white plastic wrapped hay bales that look like sheep-mates as I think about this raw new land, Iceland. Was this what it all looked like in the beginning?


Best Icelandic Ice Cream, Reykjavik Art Day + Horses

20120706-233915.jpg Isbudin Island Ice Cream - best in Iceland - dipped in chocolate and salted peanuts YUM!!

July 5th was a gorgeous sunny day to tour the art galleries and museums of Reykjavik led by my dear friend Linda. The Reykjavik Art Museum Hafnarhús had three exhibits I loved.

20120706-225555.jpg The Icelandic Love Corporation's Sokkkabuxnavefur/ Tights-Web - a great surprise when you look up in the entry. Best use of pantyhose ever!

20120707-100533.jpg Dagskrá. Palestinian Embassy a political video that was actually fun to watch! A hot air balloon with Palestinian Embassy written in English and Arabic in the colors of the Palestinian flag is launched over Oslo. As it floats its way across the city a woman sings a song in Arabic, soothing, melancholy, beautiful, and I assume political until the balloon disappears into the fog. Beautiful and Poignant!

And Knitting House by Elin Strand Ruin and The New Beauty Council, which recreates the most common type of apartment in Husby, a suburb of Stockholm, a pre-fab, post war European housing block. Women living in the same type of apts. collaborated on the project, knitting exact replicas of the homes at 75% scale. The textures and details are mind blowing and visitors can walk inside, stepping over the steel support structures to enter all the rooms the walls of which include stains, spots, wallpaper patterns, knobs...all in muted pastels hues.

20120706-234313.jpg Exterior View Knitting House

20120706-234452.jpg Kitchen

20120706-234547.jpg Bathroom

The Icelandic Horse Pure bred, strong, sturdy and super cute and friendly the Icelandic Horse has 5 gaits - walk, trot, gallop, pace and the famous running walk "so smooth and steady the rider scarcely notices any motion". They used to be used more for field work but today mostly for riding and showing. Owners take them abroad where they consistently win prizes and thereby are sold for more $$$. But once a horse leaves Iceland, he/she can never come back - gotta keep the breed pure. And of course no other horses can come into the country. The most important thing is Don't Call Them Ponies!!!!


Clouds and More

The sky is huge and full of constantly changing fabulous cloud formations as the weather switches from sunny to overcast and back. Walk 15 minutes to farmhouse studio. Settling in and starting to work but constantly distracted by the beauty of the landscape. Wonderful walking in this small resort/hot spring/ sport village. Big treat to see my friends Aegir and Linda after 20 years and meet their 3 almost grown kids. LearningIcelandic pronunciation...stay. tuned.