Fire and Ice - dreaming of Iceland

 30 Days of Aqua #26  Acrylic on panel.  2018   ©Amy Guion Clay

30 Days of Aqua #26  Acrylic on panel.  2018   ©Amy Guion Clay

The heat is already bearing down, the skies hazy with drifting wildfire smoke from miles away, and my default guidance system pulls me north. Could be my genetic predisposition - 98% British Isles, Irish, French and Scandinavian. I'm not built for heat and glaring sunlight. 

I did a residency in Iceland back in 2012 at Gullkistan, and wrote this passage in my sketchbook while there:

"To be in Iceland, the newest land mass on the planet - the rumbling belly of continents. Breaking, stretching, gasping open. Bleak, scoured, fertile. The clouds pan across the flatlands - spreading light here and there. Love that islands lay low beneath the heavy atmosphere. Like Ireland, England, Scotland - my genetic homelands. 

Even though the dankness can bite when it moves in, even though I resist the chill and damp, I'm at home with its melancholy tug. I am most my own in that undefined longing place. Longing for nothing really, just the inherent bliss and grief for the passing of form and time. The low guttural wailing of the lonely wind, and when the heaven's liquid wrath falls mercilessly, I curse the skies, all while secretly in love with the falling gods."

 30 Days of Aqua paintings #10, 21  Acrylic on panel 2018 6" x 6" x .75"

30 Days of Aqua paintings #10, 21  Acrylic on panel 2018 6" x 6" x .75"

I've been focused this past month on my 30 Days of Aqua painting challenge for good reason. Something about the color of aqua brings relief from the climbing thermometer. So no doubt this color will continue to inspire me in these summer months. My natural response to aqua is also to reach for its near complement - various shades of orange/red. The dynamic relationship between these opposing colors brings a vibrational energy to the painting. In my classes I talk about color relationship frequently, as no color exists in a vacuum. All color is in relationship to its neighbors even if that's the color of the white paper or canvas. But for now I'm thinking of the 2 sides of this particular coin - hot and cold, fire and ice, red and aqua, and feeling its contrasting elements.

 Dock and life preserver in the Glacier Lagoon - Iceland  2012   ©Amy Guion Clay

Dock and life preserver in the Glacier Lagoon - Iceland  2012   ©Amy Guion Clay

 "Fire and Ice 1" Acrylic on paper 10" x10"  2012   ©Amy Guion Clay

"Fire and Ice 1" Acrylic on paper 10" x10"  2012   ©Amy Guion Clay

 Glacier Lagoon with red jacketed zodiac travelers in the distance - Iceland  2012   ©Amy Guion Clay

Glacier Lagoon with red jacketed zodiac travelers in the distance - Iceland  2012   ©Amy Guion Clay