Jonina was born and raised in a small Icelandic fishing community along Lake Winnipeg, in Manitoba.In addition to her interest in art from a young age, Jonina has always had a fascination with water, boats and weather, particularly the dramatic weather experienced on Lake Winnipeg.
“There is something awe-inspiring about huge waves crashing against a pier, something haunting fog and mist rolling across a vast expanse of water and something deeply soothing and calming about sitting on warm sand at days end contemplating an opalescent lake blending into an evening sky.”
In addition to her studies in commercial art and drafting, Jonina creativity lent itself to several other artistic ventures.She helped design and build a Viking Ship float for “Islansingadagurrin” in which the float’s body was an actual Whitefish Boat, decorated with hand-sewn sails, shields and dragonheads.She also designed sets for winter carnivals and silk-screened material for the MS Lord Selkirk cruise ship.In 1974, and again in 2004, the Marine Museum of Manitoba commissioned Jonina to produce a few paintings of Whitefish Boats to be a part of their permanent exhibit.
Now retired, Jonina is able to devote more time to painting.The series of paintings she continues to work on are of old Whitefish Boats surrounded by winter storms. She works in part from old sketches she made over 30 years ago, as well as old photos borrowed from the Marine Museum, trying to keep as much accuracy in the boats as possible.Jonina hopes to expand the series to incorporate larger fishing boats and freighters that plied the shores of Lake Winnipeg in the past.