Tag Archives: lithography

The Architecture of Souls

If you look at mountains on a human scale, they have presence.

blue22Volcanic Glass, Skjaldsvik, Iceland

If you look at mountains on the scale of a mountain, they have presence.


Mountain in Late Afternoon, Skagafjörður, Iceland

If you look at mountains from a cultural point of view (in this case, Nordic mythology), they have presence…


Spring Sunset, Skagafjörður

In this case, story unfolds in time, as the earth turns from the sun, which is just below the ridgeline. Here is the same mountain a couple minutes later …sunset2

Spring Sunset, Skagafjörður

And a half hour later, when the sun is behind the shoulder of the Arctic Ocean?


Spring Sunset, Skagafjörður

The story continues through the northern lights at night, and on into the next day. Light is writing on stone and ice. If the mountains are viewed through Christian eyes, perhaps this is the spot for the centre of Christian life in Iceland.

holar2Holar in the Distance

The Heart of Christian Iceland, Skagafjörður

If you’re thinking of print making or writing, you might as well think big. When your technology is the earth itself, it’s easy to think of the architecture of souls.

Salt Lithography

Here’s another variation on lithography from Iceland. This is one that the sea writes upon the snow, with the land (in this case ground volcanic basalt). I found these transitory prints written in a heavy spring snowfall as the tide was coming in at Sauðarkrokur in the Skaga Fjord.s3


I see the beginnings of a language here, and here …





Contemporary artists search for the lack of signification, yet this is the universe …




It’s just that it’s not a humanist meaning. Look at how the snow erupts in volcanoes when pressured from the sides! Stunning.

Next: A Language of Light and Shadow from Hofstaðir

Painting with Ice

The Icelandic artist Páll Guðmundsson of Húsafell does a lot of work with rock. Sometimes he makes faces on boulders and scatters them in streams, where they look a lot like the boulders with natural faces that are already scattered there. It is like adding extra cards to a deck, and makes life a worthwhile adventure. On December 1st, 2008, however, the Church of Reykholt, Iceland, put on a display of prints of St. Cecilia, which Páll created by painting ice with images with pigments made of ground local stone, then allowing the ice to print them onto paper as it melted. They are inscribed with poems by Thor Vilhjálmsson. Here is one…  


What an inspiring transformation of the art of lithography! Páll is not the only artist in Iceland playing around with the interface between faith, ice and stone. Here’s a spontaneous piece of folk art I found at the sheep fold on the cinder cone, Grabrok …P1280259The angels are among us. Good to know.

Next: snow meets the sea at Sauðarkrokur.