Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Lately I have been obsessed with Cows and their symbolism.  Cows are interesting elements in myth, fables and folktales filled with hidden meanings and parables.

Hera queen of the gods.
Goddess of marriage, Women and Birth.
Hera's symbols.  The peacock (the symbol of pride; her wagon was pulled by peacocks) and the cow (she was also known as Bopis, meaning "cow-eyed", which later translated as "with big  eyes") are her secret animals.  The crow and the pomegranate (symbol of marriage) are also dedicated to her.  The Greek goddess called the Queen of Heaven; she ruled over the heavens and the earth, responsible for every aspect of existence, including the seasons and the weather.  Our word galaxy comes from the Greek word gala meaning "mothers milk"... legend has it that the Milky Way was formed from the milk spurting from the breasts of Hera, Queen of Heaven.  Where drops fell to earth, fields of lilies sprung forth.

18th century Icelandic manuscript.
 Buri (the first god in Norse mythology,the forefather of all the gods) is licked out of a salty ice-block by the cow Auðumbla.
According to Norse myth, the beginning of life was fire and ice, with only two worlds: Muspelheim and Niflheim.  When the warm air of Muspelheim hit the cold ice of Niflheim, the jötunn Ýmis and the icy cow Auðumbla were created.
Pros Edda
Then said Gangleri: "Where dwelt Ymir, or wherein did he find sustenance?"
Hárr answered: "Straightaway after the rime dripped, there sprang from it the cow called Auðumbla; 
four streams of milk ran from her udders, and she nourished Ýmir."

Then asked Gangleri: "Wherewithal was the cow nourished?"
And Hárr made answer: "She licked the ice-blocks, which were salty; and the first day that she licked the blocks, there came forth from the blocks in the evening a man's hair; the second day, a man's head; the third day the whole man was there.  He is named Búri.

According to Icelandic belief; if the first calf born during the winter is white, the winter will be a bad one. 

Icelandic legend has it that cattle would kneel at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve; also believed  that they would gain the ability to speak on this night, although it was considered dangerous for any human to hear their speech, as misfortune would befall anyone who overheard them. 

Baulaðu nú Búkolla mín.  Icelandic folktale.

Bukolla; perhaps the most treasured folk story of Icelandic children tells the tale of a small farm boy named Karlsson whose parents do not care about him as much as  their beloved cow Bukolla.  One day Bukolla vanishes to the horror and despair of the woman and her husband.  They go looking for the cow and searche far and wide and long, but do not find it.  They then summon their little boy to go and do not come before their eyes again, until he brings back their beloved Bukolla.  They give Karlsson supplies and new shoes, then send him out to search for the cow on his own.

He walkes for a long, long time, until he is exhausted and sits down to eat.  Then he says:

"Bellow now, my Bukolla, if you are anywhere in life."

He hears the cow bellow from far, far away.

Karlsson walks for a long, long time, over mountains and through rivers.
He climbs down rocks and into a very large cave where he finds Bukolla tied to a block.
The boy unties the cow and they head back home, but just like in any good story there are Trolls; the large female trolls that had snatched Bukolla from the farm and brought her to their cave. They are not about to let go of Bukolla without a fight.  As the big angry Trolls follow Bukolla and Karlsson on their journey home they are never far behind. After the boy and the cow pass a river they look back and  see that the Troll women are on the other side about to cross the river and get them.

The boy says:  "What shall we do, my Bukolla?'

She says:  "Take a hair from my tail and put it on the ground."

He does as she says.  The cow says to her hair:  "Do I, and I recommend about, you will be such a large river that nobody can cross it except the flying birds."

At the same moment the hair became a large flooded river that the Trolls cannot cross.

The story goes on with numerous hurdles and close encounters with the Trolls, Karlsson and Bukolla. Hairs from the cows tail becomes a big mountain which the Trolls cannot cross. The big Troll women try but get stuck in the hole they carved into the mountain in order to get through, and I belief that they are still stuck there.
Karlsson makes it home to his parents with Bukolla and his parents finally recognize what a fine boy they have and love and cherish him for the rest of their lives.  I love stories with happy endings and I will stop here with my analogy of cows.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday in Parrott_Sunnudagur í Parrott Georgia

Today was a beautiful sunny day in Southeast Georgia, perhaps a little on the cool side for us southerners at 76 degrees.
A perfect day for visiting Parrott, a small town east of Albany where Rita's antiques and estate sales is located.  Rita's estate sales  Such a nice place to visit and browse for unexpected and lovely things; fabulous hospitable women (real southern belles) to see and mingle with.


Nothing says White quite like the Magnolia blossom with its distinct lovely fragrance.  Magnolia trees are most lovely here in May when they bloom with their big white exotic blooms; they fill your senses with their seductive fragrance filled with promise of an eternal bliss.

Friday, May 13, 2011


To me there is nothing like the BLUE color of Icelandic sky with its cool and soothing palette, particularly the cotton cloud formations; images of elf and gremlin like creatures.  I remember as a little girl lying on the grassy lawn of my childhood home staring up at the clouds; once I figured out a shape of a duck or a bird it would turn into an elephant or a mermaid. Arngunnur Yr, an Icelandic contemporary painter, manages to stir my emotions and allows me to dream of the Icelandic skies of my childhood in her wonderful mysterious paintings.

Blue is the color of sky and water. From the time of the ancient Egyptians, the blue depths of water personified the female principle, while sky blue was associated with the male principle. Blue is the color of all heavenly gods and stands for distance, for the divine, and for the spiritual.

Blue was commonly used in art depicting the Virgin Mary. One of the most celebrated in Chartres Cathedral, the beautiful Blue Virgin Window is a rare Romanesque survivor from about 1150.  The Virgin sits crowned and enthroned, robed in blue against a ruby background. Angels support her throne and surround it on both sides, swinging censers and holding candlesticks. A dove descends onto her head from above, its beak connected with her halo by three blue rays.
Put some blue in your life when you want:

    relaxation to counteract chaos or agitation. 

to open the flow of communication

To broaden your perspective in learning new information.  

Ray Charles was born and raised in Albany, Ga.  In honor of him we have Ray Charles plaza here in Albany.  

                                  BLUE for solitude and peace.

Next time WHITE...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Last Day of Class_Síðasti Skóladagurinn

Today was the last day of my Understanding Art class for this term.
I will miss you all; playful, intelligent, and outrageously funny bright bunch of you.
I am reminded on occasions like this how blessed I am being an educator.
I so much look forward to seeing all of you proudly walk  and accept your Diplomas with joy.

Enjoy the ride...

Monday, May 9, 2011

RED_ Auðvitað Rauðan svo ósköp Rauðan...

Red is the color of fire and blood.  Blood and fire have both positive and negative connotations;  bloodshed, aggression, war and hate are on one side, and love, warmth and compassion on the other side.  When I ask the students in my Art History class to describe their feelings about the color red they usually begin with associating it with rage, hate and aggression.  Then they will say, but it is also warm like the sun, like love, like Valentines.
The Viking God of Thunder Thor had flaming red hair, and lighting was believed to originate from blowing into his read beard.  Red animals such as the robin, the fox and squirrel were Thor's sacred creatures. Virgin Mary's hair and the robes of Angels were depicted red in medieval paintings.  The color red was expensive and it required complex technical processes to extract the dye from the cochineal beetle insect.

Cochineal beetle insect.

Perhaps red has a  more personal and emotional association  than any other color.  Red is inherently exciting, dangerous and  stimulating. The amount of red is directly related to the amount of energy perceived.  Red draws attention and a keen use of red as an accent can immediately focus attention on a particular element as we can see so clearly in this oil painting by Henry Matisse, Red Studio, 1911

The color red definitely encourages action and confidence as can be seen in my attempts to catch the color red through my camera today.

The color red provides a sense of protection from fears and anxiety.

Red symbolizes feast days of martyrs in the Catholic church.

In England, red phone booths and red double decker buses are national icons. Standard British pillar boxes (mail boxes) have been painted red since 1874.

The belief in the protective power of the color red can be traced back to the old Chinese folklore of the Nian, a man-eating beast of ancient China who used to feed on human flesh. Discovering that the creature abhorred loud noises and the color red, the people made liberal use of the color not only in their firecrackers, but also in home decorations and clothing to protect themselves from the Nian.

Last but not least, the power of Red in action


Sunday, May 8, 2011


Being a blogger does not come easy to  me; I feel intimidated and unsure of myself when I write in my blog.
Hardly anyone reads my blogs, except for my dear sisters (who would do anything for me), a few relatives, and a handful of other people that I am so grateful to for bothering to comment on my pictures and posts.
So why bother with blogging then?
Because it is a challenge for me to write; I want to become a better writer.                   
I blog because I like to share my views of the world with like minded people.                                          Blogging helps me be a better image maker, and gives me a way to share my images with the world.
Ok, stay focused here...  How can I challenge myself to keep writing and sharing my images on this blog if hardly anyone bothers to read it anyway?
Ok, stay focused here... How can I make sure that I keep up my blogging during times that I do not feel like I have anything to share with the world?

Welcome to:
Day One_ GREEN

Victoria Finlay's book COLOR http://victoriafinlay.com/  offers the history of color through her travels around the world looking for the DNA's of color.
Her book charmingly describes the true stories behind your favorite colors.

I have decided to write about and post images of a specific color each day for 10 days beginning with the color green (kudos to my sister Kristjana).  Just like in the movie JuliaandJulia http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/julieandjulia/
I am going to write about and share this journey through the rainbow of color.

Beginning with the green colored items I found in and around my house the journey begins.

When I had made the decision finding green colored images in my closest proximity was not challenging at all.  

Suddenly many of the things I own looked green and important enough to be documented.

Even my latest art piece had GREEN painted all over it.
Tomorrow - RED

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dagur í Georgia - A Day in Georgia

Framtíðar Lampar - Future Lamps

Such a lovely little cloth book.

Just gotta love Sassure

Alice and Jay, the most fabulous innovative store.

Rita of Rita's Estate Sales. Albany

Selling homegrown plants...

she brought her rooster for the day.

Yes, this goat was for sale!!!

What a fabulous day in Southeast Georgia.  The weather was perfect for estate sales and yard sales.
Found a few interesting curiosities and old children's books.  
Enjoyed myself and had a lot of fun and interesting conversations with people like myself that just love bargain hunting and finding the odd thing that they just have to have.