ArtView May 2015 - Page 37

Arctic Sketchbook: Floating ice (Oil on paper 7x10 inches) this series I am creating large oil on linen paintings, upwards of 7x9 feet, exploring the emotive qualities of the formal shapes of the Arctic Ocean including the ice and fjords. The color of the Arctic is a steel-Prussian blue this time of year, and every few hours I saw a different type of ice in the water. One hour a fjord could be filled with polygonal pillows of ice dusted with white snow. The next hour thousands of miniature pale blue icebergs would float by, snapping and crackling as the gases inside them burst. At one point we were surrounded by so much ice that I felt like I was floating in a mint julep. At the end of every fjord is a glacier, a miles-long wall of turquoisecerulean ice calving into the sea, carrying with it bits of rock and sand, carving out the mountains in real time. (The ship’s crew told me that the glaciers are a lot smaller than even 5 years ago. We saw islands that have probably not been revealed in thousands of years). The entire Arctic world is an exercise in abstraction. It is as if Mother Nature is playing a trick on we ‘Middle Earthers’ by showing us what she can