Moon Over the Mad House Jan 31, 2010

At the time of this painting Iceland was known for having the highest suicide rate, per capita, than any country in the World. Isolation; cultural and geographical limitations, create a "no way out" belief system which once accepted begins a slow spiraling down into the frozen abyss.

Any sign of mental illness; berserkness, quirkiness, could land you in the "Klepper", or "House by the Blue Bay". Once placed there, your reputation in Iceland is stigmatized, and you are branded for life, no matter who's son or daughter you are.

After being picked-up by Kristjan, and warming my frost bitten toes, we all had a conversation about Madness and Creativity. The spirit of Van Gogh entered our presence again, and Eringer (the Mysterious) talked about paying homage to Vincent Van Gogh. Why not travel to Arles, France, where he went mad? I could paint my own 'starry night'.

What would it be like to go to the asylum where he was committed? I wondered, what would it be like to paint that asylum? After all, it was here that he painted the most important nocturnes in art history, "Starry Night". We started planning our trip to leave next Winter, for France, 2002.

The local (or loco) art of native Icelanders seemed rather bizarre; like Outsider Art- art on the edge, depicting Moon-like landscapes with strange compositions, and symbols integrated into the paintings, which gave a hint at narration, with a twist of Island Fever.

A wee bit berserk, but what does one expect from the yalping vikings?