Tuesday, March 3, 2009


These pieces were all inspired by Iceland! Please click on the image to enlarge...

I drew this at JFK waiting for my flight to Reykjavik.

This is a very abstracted landscape of Iceland in winter. Just to give you a point of reference, here is a picture I took out of the window of a bus during a snowstorm...lots of white:

Here's the next drawing...

This was inspired by a beach at Jokulsarlon. I loved the play between the black beach, the white snow, and glassy chunks of ice. Here is a picture from that beach:

And here is the next drawing...

So, I LOVE glaciers. (I drew about glaciers a couple years ago, and if you're curious you can see my musings and drawings on the subject here.) So it was a big goal of mine to visit Vatnajökull (the biggest glacier outside the polar ice caps) while I was in Iceland. The experience of hiking along this massive glacier with no other person in sight was really humbling and awe inspiring. When I stared into the ice it overwhelmed me how inconceivably old, powerful, and massive it is. I felt like I was just looking into forever...this is my attempt to draw about the experience.

Icelandic is such an intriguing language, I really wish I wasn't so terrible at pronouncing it! (In an old drawing of mine my heart speaks Icelandic.) Although I'm hopeless at speaking it, I still find it fascinating. Here I copied from the opening chapters of the famous Laxæla Saga.

Karat hits Reykjavik

Heart Radio Tower copper etching by Karat. It's in downtown Reykjavik, on Klapparstigur just North of Laugavegur.

Lost in Brooklyn copper etching by Karat. It's on Bankastræti by Naked Ape. (At Grundarstigur)


It's amazing what a bargain Iceland is right now, especially in the off season. The krona is worth half of what it was when my guidebook was published, so you basically get Iceland half price of what it normally is! ($25 hostel bed instead of $50) When I arrived I was surprised the airport brought up their current situation...

Downtown Reykjavik:

View from Hallgrimkirkja church:

Inside Hallgrimkirkja church:

Parliament (Althing) in action:

David (my new German friend) helping Mr duck try one of the famous hot dogs:

Original Icelandic sagas at the Culture House:

The National Gallery of Iceland:

Solfar and the harbor:

Here are pictures from around town...

Kids dressed up for the Icelandic equivalent Halloween. (they sing for candy)

They sure love their Skyr! (It's a thick yogurt)

Mr Duck at Tjörnin, the big pond downtown:

Sun in my eyes...

South East Iceland

Flying out of Reykjavik, to Höfn...

I stayed near Höfn at the wonderful Brunnholl Farm. I was the only person staying there! But there were a lot of dairy cows to make up for it...

This was my view, you can see the glacier in the distance!

These are pictures from driving around the area between Höfn and Jökulsarolon...


Jokulsarlon is a lagoon where you can see icebergs floating from Vatnajökull glacier towards the sea. In the winter they are mostly all frozen together, but you can see seals which avoid this area in the summer!

I fell in love with the neighboring black beach, covered with smooth stones and chunks of ice that looked like crystal. It was so surreal...

Vatnajökull Glacier

I have always loved glaciers, and it's been a dream of mine to actually visit one in person. In Iceland I decided to visit Vatnajökull, which is the largest glacier outside the polar ice caps. One tongue of the glacier called Flaajokull was near Brunnholl Farm, so I hiked there...there were no other people around so I amazingly had the glacier all to myself!

Close ups of the ice...

Here I am sitting on top of the glacier. It was way too slick to walk on in regular boots!