Serpent

Linda Ursin

Soknedal, Norway

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Artist's Description

Here in Norway (goes for Scandinavia too), we only have one venomous snake.

The common European adder is extremely widespread and can be found throughout most of Western Europe and as far as East Asia. Adults grow to a length of 60 to 90 cm. The largest are found here in Scandinavia and specimens of 104 cm (41 in) have been observed on two occasions.

The colour varies from black to a sandy brown. On the black snake, you can’t see the characteristic zig-zag pattern it’s usually identified by.

It’s not an aggressive snake and usually only bites when alarmed, surprised or disturbed. Bites can be very painful but are seldom fatal.

You should get yourself to the hospital though, as the death from the bite is usually related to an allergy the person didn’t know they had. Anti-venom also spares you some of the pain.

Even though they’re not endangered here, you rarely see one. In my 45 years, I’ve never seen a single one although I’ve been with people when they’ve spotted one.

I used this snake as my reference for this painting and I chose to call it Serpent. It could be interpreted as an image of the Adder or as an image of the World Serpent (Jormungandr) from Norse mythology. That’s all in the eye of the beholder.

The original painting is 70 × 90 cm and painted in acrylics and is available at https://lindaursin.net/product/serpent/

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