Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Grandfather and Granddaughter . . .

Grandfather and Granddaughter,  
Óli and Þórdís
in the far north of Iceland, Vopnafjörður, Iceland
on July 22, 2014, sketched on July 23, 2014
9" x 7", pen, on 140 lb. cold press Tiger watercolor paper


Why a Drawing Today?
While traveling in Iceland my watercolor brushes and palette were lost in transit in Borganes so no watercolors for a while, sigh; now we'll see how creative Brucie can be. I was bummed for just a bit, then quickly took on the creative challenge. Until I return to the US, I still have paper and pen for drawing, and who knows what else in another bag when I get back to Reykjavik; oh a fun challenge. Also on the same day on the same trip my Nikon D610 fell out of its case onto the pavement; it's not working, so it's off to Nikon Repair upon my return to the US. Just stuff. I can still create. And so it goes.


One of the thoughts I play often in my mind, a mantra of sorts: The secret to a successful life is to take what seems to be a disadvantage and turn it into an advantage.

A Guest Poem by one of my email Postcard of the Day Readers:
Ode to an Icelandic Poet
by PCoD reader Dee

There once was an artist named Bruce
Whose camera, when put to good use,
Was his source of creative juice.
When it dropped from its case
Bruce made, oh, a long face
The Nikon had parts now quite loose!
To compound this bad thing, occurred,
His palette and brushes, I heard
We're lost along the way,
Borganes, to his stay,
So the state of his blog, absurd!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ystabúð in the Sun

Ystabúð in the Sun
on Búðey Island in Bjarneyjar, Iceland
on July 20, 2014, sketched plein air in the sun on July 20, 2014
My "Island Office" is in the top window.
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton watercolors, #3 graphite, wax resist, on 140 lb.
Fabriano Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper
unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping



On Departing
Island life, sunshine
between the clouds, tidal highs,
bird flights, just ducky.

haiku poem © 2014 Bruce McMillan
not for reuse without permission

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Torfey Island at Mid-tide

Torfey Island at Mid-tide
seen from Búðey Island in Bjarneyjar, Iceland
on July 20, 2014, sketched plein air in the sun on July 20, 2014
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton watercolors, on 140 lb.
Strathmore Series 500 cold press watercolor paper
unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping

Tern Pause Turn

Tern Pause Turn
over Búðey Island in Bjarneyjar, Iceland
on June 16, 2014, sketched on July 19, 2014
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton watercolors, #3 graphite, on 140 lb.
Fabriano Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper
unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping

Friday, July 18, 2014

Torfey Beach from a Window

Torfey Beach from a Window
seen from the house on Búðey Island in Bjarneyjar, Iceland
on July 17, 2014, sketched plein air on July 17, 2014
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton watercolors, #3 graphite, on 140 lb.
Fabriano Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper
unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping

The view
 The window view, my sketching location


Island House in the Far North

Island Tides

When the tide is high,

the walk around is short.


When the tide is low
the walk around is naught

for the way to go
to other isles is sought.

poem © 2014 Bruce McMillan
not for reuse without permission


Island House in the Far North
where I've been fortunate to live solo again this summer,
Magnúsarbúð on Búðey Island in Breiðafjörður in Bjarneyjar, Iceland
on July 15, 2014, sketched on July 17, 2014
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton watercolors, #3 graphite, on 140 lb.
Fabriano Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper
NFS

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Likin' Lichens in the Sun

"You can do anything; it's a painting."
-Teague McMillan, age 9, in Venice, Italy, May 2014 


I always hear the voice of Grandson Teague when I paint. -Bruce

 Likin' Lichens in the Sun
on the rocks on Buðey Island in Bjarneyjar, Iceland
on July 16, 2014, sketched plein air on July 16, 2014
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton watercolors, on 140 lb.
Fabriano Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper
unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping

Island Sun
  It was a gray rainy day when I painted while sitting on a rock,
some open sky in the distance but solid gray elsewhere,
this photo taken from where I was painting.
I  painted imagining the sun . . .
and then . . .
 Voilà, four minutes of sun through a hole in the clouds. 
Look at that! A sunny day out here is rich time.
In the four-minute sun, 
common eider ducks swam by with the tide high
between Buðey and Höfði, again taken from the rock
I was sitting on with my point and shoot camera.

Tidal Pool Play

Tidal Pool Play
Garðar, Arnar,and Friðrik in the low tide channel
between Buðey and Torfey Islands in Bjarneyjar, Iceland
I had company this day on the island, a fun visit
on July 15, 2014, sketched plein air on July 15, 2014
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton watercolors, #3 graphite, on 140 lb.
Fabriano Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper

unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping
To the water.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tern Turn

Tern Turn
over Buðey Island in Bjarneyjar, Iceland on July 14, 2014, 
sketched on location July 14, 2014 (below)
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton watercolors, #3 graphite, on 140 lb.
Fabriano Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper
unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping
 
While I sketched and painted using the photo I'd just taken,
getting the form from the camera's viewing screen,
the Arctic terns were constantly chatting
(Baaack, Baaack)
as they buzzed me,
inches from my head;
two can be seen in the photo above,
My shadow taking this photo on the left;
I love the long low sun of this far northern latitudes.
 
The sketching spot seen from
an Arctic tern's point of view (minus Brúsi).

Monday, July 14, 2014

Luggage Island

Luggage Island
The low tide landing spot for unloading
far, far away from the house in Bjarneyjar, Iceland
where you walk across the rocky bar and around the
hill on Buðey to the house; tricky walking with lots of luggage
on July 13, 2014, sketched on July 14, 2014
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton watercolors, on 140 lb.
Strathmore Series 500 cold press watercolor paper
unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Birta Plays the Uke and Sings

Birta Plays the Uke and Sings
for Bruce, so fine, in Stykkishólmur, Iceland
on July 12, 2014, sketched on July 13, 2014
Fabriano Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper

unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping
My dear buds, Friðrik, who starred in my book, Going Fishing,
when he was a little boy (see him then on the book page link);
and his sister, Birta, who was in the yet to be released
Pink and Blue
, and who I look forward to
introducing to my Grandson Finn, the
Bahamas blue boy in Pink and Blue.

Friday, July 11, 2014

At Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach

At Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach
in the pool in Reykjavik, Iceland on July 7, 2014, sketched on July 12, 2014
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton watercolors, #3 graphite, on 140 lb.
Fabriano Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper
unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping
More about the beach HERE and HERE and HERE

Óli Atop Reykjaborg

Óli Atop Reykjaborg
on the three hour hike in Mosfellsbær, Iceland
on July 3, 2014, sketched on July 12, 2014
6" x 4", Winsor & Newton watercolors, #3 graphite, on 140 lb.
Strathmore cold press acid free watercolor paper
unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping

Reykjaborg Hike
Óli and Bruce, Mosfellsbær, Iceland
July 3, 12014
1
You are here. How did they know?
Technical difficulty of the climb: Moderate

 
2
Up over moss carpeted stone.
 
3 To a mountain lake.
 
4
Where the rock reminds one of
tidal wave patterns on a sand beach.

 
5
To the top, elevation 286 meters, 938 feet,
wind at 11 m/s, 25 mph, temperature 7 C, 45 F,
and the guest book, now signed by Óli and Bruce
 
6
Another path down past the lake

 
7
to the lake far below

 
8
After the 8:00 - 11:00 pm hike,
at the foot of Reykjaborg,
still in the clouds.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Puffin off a Cliff

Puffin off a Cliff
on Torfey Island in Bjarneyjar, Iceland
on June 23, 2014, sketched on July 10, 2014
12" x 9", Winsor & Newton watercolors, #3 graphite, on 300 lb.
Arches fine grain cold press 100% cotton watercolor paper
unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sea Kayaking See

Sea Kayaking See
Bruce, left, and Guðni Páll Viktorsson
kayaking in the harbor of Reykjavík, Iceland
on July 8, 2014, sketched on July 9, 2014
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton watercolors, #3 graphite, on 140 lb.
Fabriano Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper
unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping

Sea Kayaking with Bruce
Photos by Þóra Atladóttir
First time ever in a kayak, let alone a sea kayak with full suit.
We're in the harbor of Reykjavík, nearby to where Óli and I
had taken our midnight triangle bridge
walk the previous night.

Guðni, left and Bruce, right, approaching Þóra

The pro and the amateur, Guðni and Bruce,
the expert watching out for the amateur.

Last summer, 2013, Guðni Páll Viktorsson kayaked all the way
around Iceland, 1,550 miles of coastline, and you can see
some video HERE.
Guðni's kayak has a compass mounted on it,
like Þóra's yellow kayak,
mine doesn't, hmm.


Around the harbor heading for a view of the island Viðey.
 
The experts and the amateurs, left to right,
Ómar Hjaltason, amateur, Óli's relative and the guitar player at the wedding,
who rolled over under a bridge and was much better kayaking afterwards;
Guðni Páll Viktorsson, expert, who circumnavigated Iceland in 2013,
and who had been given his Yankees hat as a gift, or so he says;
Þóra Atladóttir, expert, and niece of Óli, who was at the wedding;
Bruce McMillan, amateur, and thrilled to be with this great group;
Ólafur "Óli" Ólafsson, amateur, but with a beginner class in kayaking,
and the driver of the wedding tractor as the father of the bride,
and always getting me into something new, including trouble;
and Klara Bjartmarz, expert, the strong silent one.

Two by two, two kayaks are lugged back to their places by two fellows,
an expert and an amateur, Guðni  and Bruce.

And one photo by Bruce
with the Arctic Terns (Kría) feeding, diving in the water in the distance.

Thank you all.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Published Watercolor - Nice Surprise

A Nice Surprise
Daily Life, Morgunblaðið, July 8, 2014
 
Bruce's Art in the Newspaper Today
I was pleasantly surprised to find this in today's
Daily Life section of Morgunblaðið,
by Kristín Heiða Kristinsdóttir, khk@mbl.is

My web sites are the featured web site of the day.

Translation to English:

Photo / Bruce McMillan © 2014

Appreciating the people of Iceland

One of Bruce's watercolors with haying featuring Icelandic local life.

Friend of Iceland and photographer Bruce McMillan has both a website, www.brucemcmillan.com and a blog theartofbruce.blogspot.com. Bruce, who lives in the U.S., has not only photography in his web sites, but he has also been to dabbling with painting. He paints both watercolors and oils and has attended workshops in painting. On his websites you can not only see both his photographs and paintings, but also his work as a children's book author. He has been very prolific in illustrating children's books and has received numerous awards over the years. Bruce is particularly fond of Iceland and has stayed here for long periods. For example, he spent all of June in 2005 on Búðey to take photos for a new book. This and many other things are in words and pictures on the pages of www.brucemcmillan.com. He also says why he comes back to Iceland again and again, "Iceland is a dream for a photographer." Among the many things he is fascinated with, nature, the rugged land and the animal life, it's the human life, Icelandic friends, which he truly enjoys in Iceland.

Original Icelandic:

DAGLEGT LÍF, Morgunblaðið, July 8, 2014

Ljósmynd/Bruce McMillan ©2014

Kann að meta fólkið á Íslandi

Heyskapur Ein af vatnslitamyndum Bruce úr íslenskum raunveruleika.

Íslandsvinurinn og ljósmyndarinn Bruce McMillan heldur úti bæði vefsíðunni brucemcmillan.com og bloggsíðunni theartofbruce.blogspot. com. Bruce, sem býr í Bandaríkjunum, sinnir ekki aðeins ljósmynduninni heldur hefur hann líka verið að prófa sig áfram með myndlistina, hann málar bæði með vatnslitum og olíulitum og hefur sótt sér menntun á því sviði. Á vefsíðunum hans er hægt að skoða bæði ljósmyndirnar hans og myndlistarverkin, en hann er einnig barnabókahöfundur og hefur verið mjög iðinn við að myndskreyta barnabækur og hlotið fjölmargar viðurkenningar í gegnum tíðina. Bruce er sérlega hrifinn af Íslandi og hefur dvalið hér löngum stundum, til dæmis dvaldi hann allan júnímánuð árið 2005 í Búðey, til að taka myndir í nýja bók. Frá þessu og mörgu öðru segir hann í máli og myndum á síðunni brucemcmillan. com. Þar segir hann einnig að ástæða þess að hann komi aftur og aftur til Íslands sé sú að landið sé draumur fyrir ljósmyndara, hann sé meðal annars heillaður af villtri náttúrunni, hrjóstrugu landinu og dýralífinu. En mannlífið og íslensku vinirnir eru þó það sem hann kann að meta á Íslandi.


Pre-Wedding Day Hay
with Egill, the son, Atli, the father and groom, and Óli, his father-in-law-to-be,
in Syðsta-Mörk, Iceland (the south coast) by Stóri Dímon
on June 27, 2014, sketched on June 27, 2014
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton watercolors, on 140 lb.
Strathmore Series 500 cold press watercolor paper

Iceland Beach Boys Digging the Day





Iceland Beach Boys Digging the Day
at a small city beach by the Ferry for Viðey in Reykjavik, Iceland
on July 7, 2014, sketched on July 8, 2014
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton watercolors, #3 graphite, on 140 lb.
Fabriano Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton watercolor paper 
unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Mother Goose and Goslings

Mother Goose and Goslings
A pink-footed goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)
and goslings in the evening by the pond at the Nordic House in
Reykjavik, Iceland on July 1, 2014 sketched on July 7, 2014
6" x 4", Winsor & Newton watercolors, #3 graphite, 
on 140 lb. Strathmore cold press watercolor paper
unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping
 
 

Three Figures in an Art Gallery

Three Figures in an Art Gallery
Óli, Halla and Gunnella in the Art 67 Gallery in Reykjavik, Iceland,
the art gallery web site HERE, for the opening of the Þorgrímur Einarsson
exhibition, his web gallery HERE, his web postings HERE
on July 5, 2014, sketched on July 6, 2014
7" x 5", Winsor & Newton watercolors, on 140 lb.
Strathmore Series 500 cold press watercolor paper
unframed, sold framed, $100 plus $5.50 sales tax plus $10 shipping

The Gallery Exhibition Opening
Þorgrímur Einarsson, right, the artist with his art on display
 
Þorgrímur Einarsson, left
 
The four paintings on the left are sold.
 
Halla, Óli, Þorgrímur Einarsson, and Bína 
Lydia, the artist's girlfriend, commenting 
Mother and daughter, Bína and Halla
 
Halla, capturing the painting
that will hang in her parent's home

 
Art 67, Laugavegur 67, Reykjavik