Recently returned from a field trip to Platcha Hut which sits by the Ice plateau on the eastern finger of Long Fjord. A week of strolling about the rocky Vestfold Hills was a productive time. Beautiful lakes both frozen and hyper saline tarns that refuse to freeze were sketched and walked over, excursions about the edge of the icecap, trips over the frozen fjord with instep crampons and ice axes all keep us busy and mesmerized. Fine Antarctic summer weather made it all the more brilliant. Drawing and absorbing the landscape was my task with a small new years eve celebration thrown into the weeks activities to ward off the possible hut fever madness.
Sitting on a black dolorite volcanic rock one sunny but windy afternoon watching the ice plateau shimmer like titanium metal was as relaxing as sun baking on a tropical island beach. The dress code was rather different and the refreshing sea breeze was replaced with painful gusts flung directly off the icecap which looked like a frozen ocean. It pleased me somehow to be weathered by this deadly wind on my face and exposed to a gorgeous icy glare. All too strange and grand.
Now back in the Heli-pad studio working on the smaller paintings. Building, sorting and preparing the larger works on linen. Much of the sea ice has melted in the bay so we were able yesterday to make a Zodiac boat trip out to Iceberg Alley where we hunted for a jade berg amongst the thousands of huge white gems floating about in the dark Antarctic sea.