I'm settling into my residency at the Baer Art Center in Iceland. It's been nearly a week now and my eyes and mind are filled with many sights that are so different from the part of the world where I live (in the country outside of Toronto, Canada).
The residency is located on a farm near the town of Hofsos in Northern Iceland on the shores of a fiord called Skagafjordur. The owners breed Icelandic horses. One of the most exciting things our group of five residents has done, was to hike up into a nearby valley, after being dropped off part way up. We passed through a couple of cattle gates and across a small river to where the horses are allowed to run free for the summer. They were curious, and cautiously came toward us and surrounded us, allowing us to pat them.
Yesterday, we drove around the north part of the peninsula, through three tunnels, that connect formerly isolated towns. One of the tunnels was a one-way road, built in 1967, narrow and scary. The other two are newer, just completed in 2010. One of the tunnels is 4km long and the second is 7km. The traffic there was also one way, with travellers going south having the right of way. Travellers going north have to pull into one of the passing places inside the tunnels.
We continued south to Akureyri, at the bottom of that fiord, where there is a small but wonderful Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum.
Akureyri is a beautiful and hilly city, the second largest city in Iceland. It was a hot day for Iceland, and we strolled around the city center in shirtsleeves. After a dinner of Arctic Char we drove an hour and a half back to Baer, inland, along the #1 Highway through the Oxnadalur valley.
My work is slowly changing as I explore black and white acrylics, ink, pigment sticks and various other supplies I brought along with me.
I'm looking forward to what the next few weeks will bring.