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May Blog 2021: The Viking Within / Spring Art Special / Toronto Arterial Show

Updated: Jun 1, 2021

The Viking Within

The gifts that come with changing seasons are presently budding and blooming all around us. And yet, even with the bright yellowish green colour scheme and soft petals transforming the Montreal landscape, in my studio the spirit of both winter and summer are lingering like memories of the past and visions of the future meeting in the middle, spreading cool muted whites on some canvases and bright vibrant hues on others.

I recently was gifted an Ancestral DNA test, which helped confirm the most dominant heritage that flows through me. The results ignited a new thread of exploration. My Western/Northern aspects (Norwegian/Swedish/Scottish) and my Eastern/Southern aspects (Filipino) are ushering in opposing palettes in the chilly like Winter, the other vibrant like Summer. And here I am in Spring....somewhere in the middle, between seasons, between climates, between cultures.

The seascape series, Poseidon Embrace, that reflect the fierce northern elements now hold more layers of personal significance. Perhaps the stormy sea winterscape that I’ve been painting all these years resemble terrain that the Vikings were often surrounded by or journeyed through. The Norse Viking Gods of the Sea, Storms and Wealth (Thor and Njord) join Poseidon in my homage, perhaps sending a nod of acknowledgment to those adventurous Northerners that came before me.

For one, my Norwegian great grandpa and his brother, whose family had immigrated to a Scandinavian settlement in LaCrosse Wisconsin, had ventured to Nome, Alaska when they heard the adventure call for the Gold Rush. According to my cousin, Susie, my great grandpa, Thomas Sorensen was 12 years old when he and his brother Neil rebelled and left LaCrosse, making their way to Seattle to earn passage on a steamer up to the Gold Rush. There, as boys they found work as busboys in the filthy overcrowded eating houses. That’s where they were inspired to one day offer a clean and healthy eating experience for all, and years later in Vancouver they opened that restaurant.

As I dig into the past and discover more on where I come from, it reminds me of an invisible linage that I am apart reminds me of all the many aspects that are within, lingering, concealed, revealed and transforming through present day habits and choices.

The Spring Art Special

My Eastern Southern roots intrigue me. There’s so much I don't know about my Asian heritage. Presently it is revealing itself to me through dynamic and bright, bold colours in the studio, but its still needing time to marinate. My Filipino roots (Visayan Island/Central & Southern Luzon) feel like my summertime within, so perhaps that’s when it'll peek out and show more of itself. But for now, with my Scandinavian roots in mind, I'll share images of the recent Northern seascapes.

I would also like to mention that for the rest of the month there will be a Spring Art Special on the smaller Seascape paintings below. For those details just click on the images.

Arterial Toronto Art Show

And a reminder to you all that the group art show in Toronto is coming to an end on June 12th, so if you haven’t had a chance to familiarize yourself with my work that’s now on display at the Arterial Gallery, you can find those paintings below.

I hope you get to savour and enjoy the rest of this flourishing Spring and take the time to stop to smell the budding, blooming flowers! My best wishes to you all. And may you keep connected, creative and compassionate (with yourselves and others).

Verona xx

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