This week, we are thrilled to welcome Verone Solilo to the Calgary Art Market. Solilo has an incredible skill for capturing powerful emotion in strong strokes and bold colour. Focusing on landscapes and nature, Solilo’s pieces will certainly take your breath away. In this post, we learn more about Solilo’s influence and approach to creating such beauty.
Let’s start at the beginning with ‘little Verone’. Did you always know you were going to be an artist?
I always knew that I was an artist, even as a child. I was constantly observing the world around me and expressing that on paper, in what ever medium that was handy. The teachers often called me a ‘day dreamer’ because I seemed to be in my own world instead of working on my classwork. But that did not deter me… I continued to daydream and draw.
Your work is very emotive. Where do you find your inspiration?
To me, Colour is Emotion. When I observe nature I see beauty there, even if many others might not. I stay in touch with how that makes me feel, and even though I am technically painting a ‘tree’ , it’s really the emotions that I feel about the tree that I am painting. That requires bright, vibrant colour.
To someone who has never seen your work, how would you describe it?
I would say that my work is Expressionist Impressionism. There is some realism in my work, and some pieces have more than others, but the main thing is that I am trying to express an emotion. The details on a brick wall, or the bark on the trunk of a tree is not always necessary for that. I paint loosely or tight, putting only as much detail as is necessary to express what I am trying to say. Some of my clients have said that it reminds them of Van Gough or Monet, which really warms my heart because I love those masters and I have learned so much from them.
How has your art evolved in the past few years?
Five years ago, the purpose of my art took on a new meaning after my family experienced a crisis. Until then, I was always a careful painter, very quiet, very water colour-ish, always worrying about what people thought. Life became too short to worry about nonsense like that and I started painting with big bold strokes and colour.
What is the piece of art you are most proud of and why?
The piece I am most proud of is not my best work, but it is the piece that marked my transition from soft quiet realistic watercolours, to bold expressive healing colours. One evening, angry and unable to sleep, I sat at my easel and began to paint a realistic scene of ocean waves. But the intense emotion I felt was too much for that anymore and it soon began pouring out in the form of powerful strokes and big splashes of colour. The wave now showed water crashing powerfully against a rock with lots of spray and movement of water every which way. Not realistically at all, but still with beautiful energy. The result was the most moving piece I had ever put to canvas. I felt so much better when it was done and I knew I had just made a huge change in my life. The piece is called “Break and Flow”.
What is your most important tool in your studio?
My pallet of colours is the most important tool I have, because it is one of the things that makes me unique. I use exactly the same colours in my pallet every time. I am very drawn to warm bright colours – even my blues are somewhat warm. I mix any colours I might need myself, but always using that same selection of colours. And no black… ever! Because I do this, I am able to express joy out of sadness, beauty out of the ordinary, light in the depths of darkness.
We like to end every interview with a “non-art” question to help readers get to know you a little better. Can you share a song that resonates with you in a special way?
My most favourite song is Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”. It makes me so happy and thankful! It reminds me that in spite of all the ugliness in the world, in spite of all the mistakes we have made, in spite of myself, our space ship “Earth” is pretty amazing! And… I am part of it! How cool is that?!