THE BLOG
10/13/2014 12:25 pm ET Updated Dec 13, 2014

An Artist in (the Middle of Nowhere) Iceland [VIDEO]

Iceland might boast the most writers, musicians, singers, and artists per capita than any other nation on earth. With a national population only equaling the size of Pittsburgh, PA (USA's 62nd most populated city), it still seems that nearly everyone in the capital city of Reykjavik has a band, a new book coming out, or has hung out with Bjork.

But move outside of the capital region, and it's the Icelandic landscape that becomes the artist. Geothermal lagoons boil next to frozen volcanic moss. The ocean reaches icy fingers into the side of the island, creating deep, dramatic fjords. The frozen tundra of the north mixes its mountaintops with the gray clouds settling on their peaks. And is is here you can find the colorful, brilliant artist Jón Eiríksson.

As you head north towards the city of Akureyri, turn down a dirt road off Iceland's Ring Road 1, ask for directions at the third farm on your left, go past a few dozen sheep, drive until you hit a large green tractor, and there you'll find one of Iceland's most unusual and talented artists.

Jón Eiríksson's computer is broken, he hasn't owned a television for five years, and he does farm work for eight hours every day. What started as a way to rest and relax after a day of manual labor, has turned into a large, mystical collection of surrealist paintings and animal portraits. His colorful landscapes and ostensibly endless portraits of dogs, cows, and birds line the walls in his self-made art studio, splashing the large room with an array of color and imagination. Outside, the empty, cold wind of the Icelandic north continues to howl, creating the landscapes and personality from which Jón takes his inspiration.

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