Monday, 3 July 2017

Fjortende Julibukta: wind-blown boat-rocked rain-spattered

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Friday 14/10/2016  Fjortende Julibukta  4°C, 7m/s. Sunrise 10:20 – Sunset 17:04.

Morning; grey gloomy light from an overcast sky. 
Grey green blue black sea a slightly swelling disturbed surface. 

Small chunks of glacier ice litter the sea. It rains all morning, so any thoughts of kite flying are abandoned (again) despite wind whipping across the water. We land and on shore I find a wooden structure - a make shift table; laying out my sketchbook and drawing materials and I have an outdoor studio.

JK working on Fjortende Julibukta (photo by Annie)
I draw and at the same time am desperately trying to hold everything down, wind and rain sweep the exposed beach, black ink is pushed and pulled across the page, spattering and running, obscuring images - impossible to do anything else but let it flow. I photograph the images as they disappear. My charcoal drawings fair little better. 
Disappearing drawing
Artist's Arctic table
Everything is so wet. Time to move on and go get dry and warm. I walk back along the shore and watch a sea full of glacial ice slowly heaving, it's as though it's breathing.  

 The pieces of ice have air, bits of rock and earth, plants embedded in them. How old are these particles? How far have they travelled?
 They're so beautiful - the blue colour of air trapped deep inside with orange brown earth and rock, even pinks, yellow green fragments of plants ripple through them


Back to the boat in the gloom. I don’t think it stops raining all day, making for misty blue haze over the landscape. Undaunted I go out on deck and draw, and remain to work here all afternoon as others go back on land for a very wet trek around the glacier. 
I rush to make a quick charcoal drawing of the Fjortende glacier in front of the boat as the mountains disappearing into mist and rain,
 
then, using the frozen pigments I created a few days ago, I smash  chunks of coloured ice and throw them over the paper, allowing them to begin to melt and run across the sheets. 

The images are ephemeral again, ice dissolving with rain. Perhaps this is fitting given global warming and receding ice. 



The most interesting bit is probably photographing the changes – wind-blown boat-rocked rain-spattered.


Later the sea is pale green grey with strips of yellow where rock meets water. With wind increasing, we remain in the bay with anchors down – it’s too strong outside to leave at the moment. Across the other side the lights come and go - a fishing vessel has joined our shelter.

Midnight, from my tiny porthole the sea looks milky white, the boat rocking; think it’s going to be yet another night of little sleep.