If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen I’ve recently been painting a new series ‘Laze’. It is a collection of paintings heavily inspired by volcanoes, each painting named after a rather fierce volcano from across the globe. Rather than a visual representation of a volcano, each painting is a bold abstraction which I’m hoping conveys the dramatic and chaotic energy which they are so famous for.

The first batch of paintings were released in July and you can read about these and how the series came about in my recent blog post here.

The second and final artworks added to the collection are a much softer colour palette, but nonetheless, they still convey the same power, drama and energy. Abstract in nature, yet full of depth and meaning, I’m really excited to add these to the family! You can see the full collection on my website here.

The final six paintings cover volcanoes from Hawai’i, Iceland and Ireland. Yes, Ireland. You read that right! Did you know Ireland has volcanoes?? Read all about them here in a previous blog post.

“It looks like the beginning of the world, somehow: the sea looks older than in other places, the hills and rocks strange, and formed differently from other rocks and hills…The hill-tops are shattered into a thousand cragged fantastical shapes. The savage rock-sides are painted of a hundred colours. Does the sun ever shine here? When the world was moulded and fashioned out of formless chaos, this must have been the bit over—a remnant of chaos!”

William Thackeray
The Irish Sketchbook of 1842

Although Ireland is not necessarily known for its volcanoes, it certainly is a land that has experienced its fair share of volcanic activity. I was really excited to discover that some of Ireland’s wild and rich landscapes are in fact either extinct volcanoes, or the result of a volcanic eruption. Two paintings in my Laze collection focus on volcanic activity in Ireland; The Giant’s Causeway and Slieve Gullion. Rich green colour palettes signify the rolling green hills of this beautiful Emerald Isle.

Featuring a much softer colour palette than the previous release of neon and black abstract paintings, the soft pinks and vibrant yellows of ‘Mauna Loa’ and ‘Haleakalā’ are inspired by volcanoes in Hawai’i. I visited Hawai’i a few years ago and it was every bit the paradise you expect. These two paintings were inspired by the gorgeous sunsets of the islands. As part of my trip, I visited the summit of the Haleakalā volcano on the island of Maui. Haleakalā, means ‘house of the sun’ and tourists such as myself, flock to the crater to see the sunrise. It is truly an unmissable sight. So I have been told! I couldn’t have picked a worse day to make the trip. We set off at 3am to get to the top of the crater in the worst freezing fog I have ever seen. I could barely see my feet, never mind a spectacular sunrise. And it was cold, so cold. But, we laughed at the irony and had a little explore at the top of the summit anyway. Unfortunately the next morning we had a flight booked to Honolulu – I’m still to see the sunrise from the top of the crater… Another time Maui… Mahalo and aloha!

But of course, it wouldn’t be a Helena Tarn volcano series if it didn’t feature another Iceland painting. This painting is based on the gorgeous landscape surrounding Hekla, to the east of Reykjavik. A smaller work on paper, this painting was inspired by my trip to Iceland. Hekla is an active volcano that dominates the landscape to the east of Reykjavik. Surrounded by geysers and rich, moss covered lava fields, the landscape is barren and windswept. But there is something very tranquil about the land, despite the constant activity surrounding it. The rich blues give this painting a calming nature and the rocky, textured horizon remind us of what has been and what may soon happen again. I can’t explain what a deep impact this landscape had on me. I cannot wait to go back.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the inspiration for my latest paintings. And if you have been following along on my ‘Laze’ journey, thank you so much! To read about each of the artworks, please take a look at the full collection here on my website.

I’d love to know what you think. Feel free to leave a comment below!

Until next time!

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