17" x 17"
oil on ceramic tile, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Folk Songs of Iceland
The photograph of Anna Thorhallsdottir (Anna Þórhallsdóttir), on the cover of Folk Songs of Iceland is, like the music on that record, and maybe like Iceland itself, serene, mystical, and meditative. I've never been to Iceland (I only flew over), I never read the Edda (I only know of it because of crossword puzzles), and I can't speak the language. Yet I have fond memories; one of my art professors in college was an Icelander. Sigurdur Gudmundsson is his name and I regard him highly. I would characterize him as serene, mystical, and meditative, like the land, and the record, and the photo, but he is funny too. Something happened in the process of painting Thorhallsdottir's portrait. Something made the sitter jump up and dance, the quiet sky swirl. The stillness vanished by the northern light, pagan deities, and fairy grandmothers. By the Sugarcubes, Sigur Ros, and Sigurdur Gudmundsson. Memories and myths I carried into making this painting of Anna Thorhallsdottir.
And...by the way...the instrument she is playing is called langspil, an Icelandic drone zither.