I love tangents, or at least I love the way the mind can go off in totally unexpected directions.

This happened to me when I was trying to get some references together for a painting, I wanted an inscription to go above the doorway to a tomb, and after scratching the grey matter for a short while I decided to phone email a friend for some suggestions. One thing that was suggested (though it was not really a tomb inscription) was the text from the Skarpåker Stone, and so I went and searched out the Skarpåker Stone…

… the trouble with having a slight addiction to painting a particular thing is that when you are presented with even the slightest chance at painting that subject you’ll have a go. One of my painting addictions is standing stones and stone circles, so there was little option left for me but to ignore my original painting and try to render the Skarpåker Stone. The inscription on the stone by the way reads “Gunnarr reisti stein þenna at Lyðbjörn, son sinn. Jarð sal rifna ok upphiminn.” Which I am told translates as “the Earth shall be rent, and the heavens above”, it’s an expression of a father’s grief at the loss of his son.

I enjoyed painting this one, there are quite a few bits that I could have done differently but not to worry 😉

Skarpaker Stone

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