Sunday, August 19, 2018

To Eat an SS Pylsur Hot Dog

To Eat an SS Pylsur
Hot Dog
at Iceland's noted oldest hot dog stand,
Bæjarins beztu pylsur (Bæjarins Best Hot Dog),
located in downtown Reykjavik, at its temporary
location across the street while the city
builds around it, and which even has it's own
website English HERE, Icelandic (more photos) HERE
on August 10, painted on August 18, 2018
11" x 7" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano
Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, including tax and shipping $250



A Bus on Suðurgata
by Bruce McMillan
City night, spots of
dots of light, bus at stoplight,
people going, gone.

© 2018 Bruce McMillan

Shadows and Reflections
around Iceland with my Icelandic friends
the last three weeks this 2018 Summer
- in nontraditional solo selfies -

1
On top of a hill in the south at Syðsta Mörk
trying, unsuccessfully, to paint a
watercolor in the wind


2
Fishing in the north on the Skjálfandafljót,
where I caught an Arctic Char

3
By the family barn at Syðsta Mörk
where we had the best wedding,
Rannveig and Atli, in 2014

4
In the museum at Kjarvalsstaðir in Reykjavík,
the museum's website HERE

5
In the old harbor of Reykjavík reflecting
in the EVE Monument from CCP Games, an online
science fiction game, about the game Wiki HERE.
Standing over fifteen feet tall, the monument
consists of three differently shaped spires, two
made of stone flanking a shining metal center
pillar. The game was created Reykjavik.

6
An evening barbecue on the deck in Syðsta Mörk,
Bína's shadow, left, while Óli grills, and both
my reflection and shadow in the window.

7
Walking along Nýlendug in Reykjavik,
from the grassy Þúfa sculpture to Erna's home.

8
At the National Gallery of Iceland HERE,
captured on the display in the
video gallery downstairs.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Snow in Summer Mountains

 Snow in Summer Mountains
seen from the valley looking east on road to
Hvalvatnsfjörður in the far north of Iceland above
Akureyri on August 2, 2018, painted on August 14, 2018
12" x 9" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and #3 graphite on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold
press fine grain 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, including tax and shipping $280
 

Art of the Icelandic Landscape
National Art Treasures - To the Mountains

 

I had the good fortune to see the following paintings at two art museums in Iceland on August 13 and 14, 2018 at Kjarvalsstaðir HERE and the National Gallery HERE.
 


1
Sumarnótt / Summer Night
Jón Stefánsson (1881-1962)
Jón Stefánsson was Iceland's first modern landscape artist and one of the founders of modern art in Iceland. He spent three years studying engineering in Copenhagen, Denmark before turning to art. He studied art on Copenhagen and then Paris. He studied with Matisse, but it was Paul Cezanne work which led to his thoughtful composition and strong forms in his paintings of Icelandic nature. In Summer Night, perhaps Iceland's most iconic and well-known painting, Jon Stefánsson paints the quiet light of an Icelandic summer night, calm and serene. A single mountain, displayed in the center, is a recurring element of his art.


2
Án titils / Untitled, 1995
Eiríkur Smith Finnbogason (1925-2016)
Known as Eiríkur Smith, he's from Hafnarfjörður. He had to work so he didn't attend secondary school, his family could not afford to lose him as an employer. However, in the evening during the winter of 1939-1940 studied with painters Finn Jónsson and Jóhann Briem. After years of working, from 1946 to 1948 he studied at the Icelandic Art and Crafts School. Jóhann Briem was one of his teachers. In the summer of 1948, Eric held his first show Hafnarfjörður, works in oil, watercolor and chalk, of houses, ships at the pier and flowers, selling sixty paintings at low prices. It was enough to get him to Copenhagen where that fall he began his studies with his friend Benedikt Gunnarsson. In 1950, school completed, he and Benedict went to Paris, Spain, North Africa, and back to Iceland in the summer 1951. Eric painted abstract images based on shapes and surfaces in pure color. Then his style changed, the shapes more liberal. From the 1960s his paintings were painted with broad brush strokes depicting nature. In the 1970s he painted images of people and terrain with great precision. His hometown museum had held many exhibitions of his work, chronicling his career.


3
Moldarbarð / Soil's Edge
Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval (1885-1962)
Jóhannes Kjarval is one of the most important artists of Iceland, the country's Picasso. He is depicted on the Icelandic 2000 króna bill. A prolific painter, his paintings vary in style, mixing different styles into a very personal style. Some of his works include absurd and symbolic elements, elves and myths in landscapes. Many of his works include Icelandic landscape and lava formations. Yet many of his landscape paintings are cubist and abstract, his focus on the close ground, not the impressive mountains. Born in poverty, he was adopted. He first worked as a fisherman. But the spent all of his spare time drawing and painting, learning from noted artist Ásgrímur Jónsson. At twenty-seven, with financial support from fishermen and the Icelandic Confederation of Labor, he passed an entrance exam admitting him to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where he completed his studies. He studied various styles, impressionism, expressionism and cubism, while becoming an accomplished drawer, which all served him well during his long, prolific, artistic life.


4
Snæfellsjökull / Snæfells Glacier
Júlíana Sveinsdóttir (1889-1966)
Júlíana Sveinsdóttir, one of Iceland's first female painters and textile artists, was also the first female artist to have a painting acquired by the National Gallery of Iceland. She studied with the prominent Icelandic artist Þórarinn B. Þorláksson, before moving to Denmark, returning to Iceland for summers. Her summers inspired her landscape paintings. In 1947, a her landscape won the Eckersberg Medal. She was an early member of the Danish Female Artists' Society, and sat on the board of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Though best known for her painting, Sveinsdóttir, was also a noted textile artist, one commission a decorative rug for the Supreme Court in Copenhagen.


5
Hálendi / Highlands, 1966
Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir Ream (1927-1977)
Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir Ream went to the US at the beginning of World War II with artist Louise Matthíasdóttir, who was going to New York to study art. It was ironical because Ragnheiður, not inclined toward art, worked at the Icelandic Embassy in Washington. She met Donald Forest Ream, a physicist, who she married. In her thirties, she developed an interest in painting, going to evening classes and then, for two years, a daily school for amateurs. Then she studied at the American Academy of Art in Washington for five years, 1954- 1959, her main influences being Mark Rothko and Richard Diebenkorn. Her painting career included major exhibitions but was only a mere ten years, from her first show in Iceland until her death in 1977.


6
Hrímþoka á fjöllum / Ice Mist in the Mountains, 1953
Guðmundur Einarrson,
known as Guðmundur frá Miðdal (1895-1063)
Guðmundur Einarrson was a draftsman, graphic artist, painter, sculptor, photographer, movie maker, author and mountaineer. He had exhibitions in Norway, Germany, and in London at the Tate Gallery. He'd studied art in Iceland 1911-13 and 1916, in Copenhagen, 1919-20 and Munich, Germany, 1920-25, studying graphics, oil painting, sculpture and ceramics. He was a pioneer of etchings and ceramics in Iceland. Of his five children, two of his sons are known Icelanders, the artist Erró and the geologist Ari Trausti Guðmundsson.

A Sampler of my Icelandic Mountain Watercolors
 

7
Memories of Herðubreið, 2016, HERE
 

8
Herðubreið Under Fair Weather Clouds, 2018, HERE
 

9
1,432 Meters of Loðmundur, 2015, HERE
 

10
Skessuhorn Study II, 2016, HERE
 

11
Below the Langjökull Glacier, 2018, HERE
 

12
Looking up the Valley
Sheep Looking Down the Valley at You
photographed on August 2, 2018, on F 839 to Hvalvatnsfjörður, a short, shallow fjord located on the peninsula between Eyjafjörður and Skjálfandaflói.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Glacial Stream, Hay Bales...

Glacial Stream, Hay Bales,
Stóri Dímon
on August 0, 2018, painted on August 10, 2018
7" x 5" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano
Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, $100 + $5.50 sales tax + $9.50 shipping = $115.00

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Across the Glacial River

Across the Glacial River
Skjálfandafljót in northern Iceland,
where we fished on August 1, 2018, painted on August 3, 2018
7" x 5" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano
Artistico cold press rough 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, $100 + $5.50 sales tax + $9.50 shipping = $115.00


Flowing to See
 
The weight of the past, hundreds of
years of massive ice, scrapes bottom,
rock pulverized to glacial till,
mixing with melting ice, flowing
into a river and over
many waterfalls, as pleasing
gray colors, on the way to the
ocean are met by clean, clear, pure,
mountain rainwater, creating
an edge of cobalt green color,
together on their journey to
embrace the waiting Atlantic.

© 2018 Bruce McMillan

 

Ring Road East to Akureyri


Ring Road East
to Akureyri
with a view of the fjord, Eyjafjörður, painted on August 2, 2018
7" x 5" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano
Artistico cold press rough 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, $100 + $5.50 sales tax + $9.50 shipping = $115.00



Why do you paint from photos too?
Sometimes it's the only way as you fly by.
(The watercolor reference photo
taken a moment before.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Coffee with My Friends

Coffee with My Friends
Steinþóra Vilhelmsdóttir (Bína's sister)
and Atli Benediktsson (Steinþóra's husband)
on July 31, 2018, painted on August 2, 2018
7" x 5" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano
Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
GIFT to my friends


We stopped by again as we passed through Akureyri on August 3rd to deliver the gift.


One week in their new Akureyri apartment,
and already a new painting to hang.
 

The retiring couple.
 

I liked this tea cozy so much 
it jumped onto the painting.
 

Also on their wall, one of the few painting 
up so far, a watercolor commission
by Sigurjón Jóhannsson (1939-), 
which includes the fellow in blue 
mending nets in Siglufjörður, 
Steinþóra's father, Vilhelm

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Valley from...

The Valley from
Hólsgerði to Húsavík
in the north of Iceland at midnight
painted plein air on July 30, 2018
7" x 5" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano
Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, $100 + $5.50 sales tax + $9.50 shipping = $115.00


The Summerhouse Silo

The Summerhouse Silo
Watercolor on 140 lbs archival watercolor paper, 7" x 5" (w x h)
My Icelandic Commission
Egill spurði: "Brús, viltu mála mynd af sùrhysturnínum handa mér?"
Egill asked, "Brús, would you paint a picture of the silo for me?"
Of course...

The original farm concrete silo had been cut off and an entrance cut, so that the memory of the silo stay at the family farm, now remodeled as a summerhouse, with the silo not blocking the view north up the valley.

Egill Óli Atlason and his Brús painting,
standing in front of the silo.
 

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Windy Fill Up


The Windy Fill Up
Rannveig at Borganes, Iceland,
on July 29, painted on July 30, 2018
7" x 5" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano
Artistico cold press rough 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, $100 + $5.50 sales tax + $9.50 shipping = $115.00


Sunday, July 29, 2018

Tourists Strolling by...

Tourists Strolling by
City Hall Rain
in the rain of Reykjavik painted on July 29, 2018
7" x 5" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano
Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, $100 + $5.50 sales tax + $9.50 shipping = $115.00

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Two Chimneys Well Red

Two Chimneys Well Red
from Court Street in Castine, Maine,
painted plein air on July 19, 2018
7" x 5" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano
Artistico cold press rough 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, $100 + $5.50 sales tax + $9.50 shipping = $115.00

Those Two Chimneys

Those Two Chimneys
from Court Street in Castine, Maine,
painted plein air on July 19, 2018
7" x 5" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano
Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, $100 + $5.50 sales tax + $9.50 shipping = $115.00

Down Main Street

Down Main Street
in Castine Maine, painted plein air on July 19, 2018
13" x 10" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano
Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, including tax and shipping = $275.00

Blue Hill Too

Blue Hill Too
in Castine Maine, painted plein air on July 20, 2018
10" x 8" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb.
Arches cold press rough 100% cotton watercolor paper
framed, $175.00

SOLD

Windy Castine Harbor

Windy Castine Harbor
painted plein air on July 20, 2018
10" x 8" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano
Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, including tax and shipping = $175.00

Morning's Glory at the Door

Morning's Glory at the Door
of a hollyhock at the home of my hosts, Johann and Pedrick Sweet,
in Castine Maine, painted plein air on July 20, 2018
10" x 8" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb.
Arches cold press rough 100% cotton watercolor paper
GIFTED to my Castine, Maine hosts

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Scene from Whitehead

Scene
from Whitehead
looking north from atop Whitehead
on Monhegan Island, Monhegan, Maine
painted plein air on July 23, 2018
5" x 7" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano
Artistico cold press rough 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, $100 + $5.50 sales tax + $9.50 shipping = $115.00


Seaweed on the Sea

Seaweed on the Sea
looking down from high atop Whitehead on Monhegan Island
painted plein air on July 23, 2018
12" x 9" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Prismacolor waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano
Artistico cold press fine grain 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, $275

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Monhegan Ferry Waiting

Monhegan Ferry Waiting
in the rain at the Port Clyde Dock
on July 22, painted on July 24, 2018
7" x 5" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and
Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and
permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano
Artistico cold press rough 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, $100 + $5.50 sales tax + $9.50 shipping = $115.00

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Morning's Glory...Castine Show...

Morning's Glory at the Door
painted plein air on July 20, 2018
10" x 8" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam,
and Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness
and permanence, and #3 graphite on 140 lb. Arches
cold press rough 100% cotton watercolor paper
Gifted to my Castine hosts, Johanna and Pedrick Sweet
Private Collection


 
Photo of my host Johanna's hollyhocks
shadowing in the morning on their home
in Castine, Maine, July 20, 2018
Sheet Music of Hollyhocks
by Bruce McMillan
 
With a bright rising sun casting
its light on paper-white clapboard
lines, hollyhocks trumpet joy as
their musical clef starts the day.

© 2018 Bruce McMillan

At the Castine
Plein Air Festival
2018 Show

 

1
On Saturday July 21, 2018, at 3: 30 we gathered,
all of us painters, for the awards presentations, with Don Tenney, Director,
at the ABA Hall, Maine Maritime Academy in Castine.

It was a pleasure to finally see and meet all of us who'd been scattered all around
Castine on the peninsula and see what we'd all painted in the previous two days. 

The awards went to:

First Prize, Michael Vermette, Indian Island, ME, Eaton's Boathouse at Dawn
Second Prize, Chrissy Nickerson, Canmore, Alberta, Canada and Cape Rosier, ME, View, the Bagaduce
Third Prize, Roberta Goschke, Waldoboro, ME, The Little School House - Adams School

Five Honorable Mention Awards
Elizabeth Ashton Hallett, Brooklyn, NY, View, Blue Hill
Alison Menke, Clarksville, MD, Summer Beech Tree
Anthony Watkins, Bradley, ME, Harbor Nocturne
Henry Coe, Parkton, MD, Boatyard
Laurie Lefebvre, Red Ride

Judges for the awards were Jill Hoy, Jill Hoy Gallery in Stonington, ME, and Josh Adam, Adam Gallery in Castine.

Castine Captured award for the artist whose painting best depicted the essence of Castine:
Julia Durgee, Portland, ME, Castine Scene.
 
2
At 4:00 pm the public was invited in to feast on the art and as well as
take some of Castine home with a purchase.
I had my chosen six on display.
 

3
It was a full crowd, a busy place for two hours.


4Across from my table I spied a painting that captured the essence of event, what we'd been doing for the past two days. It was painted by Mary Brann of Searsport, Maine. Mary said that the painter in her painting was so engaged in painting her scene that she wasn't even aware that she was the subject of Mary's painting, and never even saw it. Note the person looking at this art, hmm.
 

5
Alison Painting Castine
Mary Brann, Searsport, Maine
Oil on canvas, 11" x 14" (w x h)
New art in the Bruce McMillan Collection
(I couldn't resist, Mary captured the event through Alison.)
So, who was that looking at the painting?
 

6
Mary Brann, left, of Searsport, Maine, the painter and
Alison Menke, right, of Clarksville, Maryland, the painted painter,
who finally got to see the painting and absolutely loved it.
 

7
At the end of two hours, two of my paintings, red dots, had found homes.
And Blue Hill Too, 14" x 11", $275
Breeze in Castine Harbor, 7" x 5", $115

And at the end of the day some of us
artists gathered to celebrate over dinner...
 

8
I was stuck between two winners, Alison, left, and Chrissy, right.
 
Alison Menke, Honorable mention Award, left, is an accomplished painter, traveling the country, California to Maine, in her plein-air vehicle, painting fine art, winning awards, and engaging everyone with her painting enthusiasm and warm, endearing personality. And she'll be painting on my wall in Mary Brann's painting. Alison's web site is HERE.
 
Chrissy Nickerson, Second Prize, summers in across-the-harbor Cape Rosier, and lives in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. And I've had her art hanging in my house for years. We met in February 2007 in the Exumas, Bahamas on her parent's boat for brunch. She was playing with watercolors. That morning she also painted with my two grandsons on the dock. Two watercolors that I purchased from her that morning hang in my home. And I commissioned a watercolor of my son's sailboat, SV Grace, which hangs in their home. I remember seeing her sitting out in her dinghy painting it at anchor. And I've watched her online over the years mature into a brilliant, masterful oil painter. And our paths crossed again, this time as painters, at the Castine Plein Air Festival, 2018. Chrissy's web site is HERE.