Old School / Gamli skóli
Artist Residency Hrísey Island, Iceland
Journey to the North | October 2021
Hrísey is a tear shaped island in Iceland's largest fjord Eyjafjörður. Some have described the island as a fairyland - surrounded by water and snowcapped mountains including the Tröllaskagi or Troll Peninsula. With Viking lore, and old fishing traditions, you'll find beautiful pathways through Angelica fields that criss cross the island. There is a population between 120-200 (depending on the season) of hardy, friendly villagers. I enjoyed walking through the cobble stone streets, and swimming in the community pool. Around the village harbor you'll see various businesses including a small co-op grocery store, a fishery, Verbudin 66 restaurant, and the Shark Museum. I was told there are tractor tours in the summertime, which I observed were used to deliver packages and transport residents from the ferry to their homes.
WANDERING THE ISLAND
I loved being surrounded by mountain and sea. The stark tundra landscape is beautiful, with low rolling hills and soft, porous earth. I wanted to explore painting the beauty and simplicity of Nature and create studies of color, shape and texture.
land & sea
An inspirational and cozy residency
Gamli skóli is the island's old school turned artist residency.
It's far removed from the hustle and bustle of daily life; the perfect setting to focus on creating art.
The island is a bird sanctuary, and I had some fun learning about local bird species. Even made this video of the Ptarmigan bird, which flocked outside my window every morning.
In 2018 we took our children to a class at the Elf School to learn more about Icelandic culture. We learned there are 13 types of spirits in Iceland, which inspired this Winter scene of a Ptarmigan and the idea of a bog spirit.
I'm working on creating new paintings inspired by my experience here.
Old School provided a meaningful, creative experience. I cherished every moment, including meeting the fun, creative locals. I miss the breathtaking views, dynamic skies, and rich colors. I felt restored with renewed energy to create.
I highly recommend and hope to return someday.
Also, if you visit, please stop by Verbudin 66 for Linda's Fish & Chips. No doubt, the best Cod I've ever tasted.
Thanks to my very supportive family, I was able to spend a productive month creating art in this beautiful community. I'm also happy my work is now included in private art collections in Iceland and Germany.