I have a slightly embarrassing confession to make. I’m a bit of an Icelandophile. Now, I should say, that’s said as someone who’s never actually been to Iceland, so if I ever do finally get to go there it could very well go the way of my Francophilia after my first trip to Paris took care of that… But I hope not. So you can imagine my sheer dorky delight when the new November Virtual Paintout location was announced and it was Iceland! I had been hoping to get a jolt of inspiration to get me painting again, and here was the answer to my prayers. My husband likes to joke, whenever I wistfully suggest our next holiday be to Iceland, that we should go and have tea with Björk. Because apparently that’s what one does in Iceland… of course. Anyway, since going anywhere (even JUST across a tiny stretch of water) from Aberdeen costs an arm, a leg, your firstborn child, and the blood of a virgin who also must have been born on the cusp between Aquarius and Pisces and have blue hair and a lisp, I have not been able to afford a trip there yet. One day though… I’m thinking reward trip after my PhD? In the meantime, thanks to the genius of Google Streetview, I was able to get the next best thing to tea with Björk in actual Iceland, and went exploring virtually. In addition to gorgeous landscapes and Lilliputian villages, I stumbled across a small town (Heiðvangur, Hella) that appeared to be having some kind of Smurf festival when the Google Streetview van rolled through town. Life is strange and wonderful and random.  Hella rad 😉

I have already done my first painting for this month’s VP. You can submit up to 3 a month, so there may very well be some more in the near future, I am feeling inspired! My first impression, virtually wandering around the countryside, was that it isn’t actually all that different than the wilder, more remote parts of Scotland. I’m not sure why that should surprise me – we’re not that far away from each other geographically – but it kind of did. But all the things I love about the Scottish Highlands were also here, including the dramatic, sweeping valleys coming out from behind veils of mist that I found so jaw-droppingly gorgeous in Glencoe, Skye, and the far north of Scotland on our trips there. So that was the first view I chose to paint.

Iceland 1

Iceland 1

I thought I’d pair this painting with (appropriately) one of my favourite Björk songs, as it is apparently a sort of love song to Iceland, and the video for it features some lovely Icelandic landscape footage.  Enjoy!

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