- Life Dates Born 1928, Britton, South Dakota
- Occupation Housewife
- Residence at Time of Award Morris, Minnesota
I was aware of my Norwegian heritage from the earliest childhood—lefse all year, hardanger linens on the tables, playing Grieg, and hearing Norwegian spoken at reunions. The awareness turned to pride after a 1970 trip to Norway when I visited family farms and saw the bunads, sweaters, carving, and painted wood. My precious souvenirs included a bowl and plate painted with rosemaling with Telemark scrolls.
Enrolling in nearby Sons of Norway classes led to an ardent study of rosemaling with 15 Norwegian teachers and 10 Gold Medalists. I traveled on four Vesterheim tours to Norway. Sigmund Aarseth inspired me to think and create as an artist. Nils Ellingsgard taught me to be a student of the folk-art traditions and corrected my brush strokes and color mix. Bergljot Lunde expanded my knowledge of the historical colors. Eli Saelid and Kari Petersen taught elegant lettering. Knut Andersen and Ragnvald Froysadal demonstrated different ways with scrolls. Each teacher expanded my vocabulary, opened new worlds, and inspired me to paint projects in the various valley styles or traditions.
Rosemaling is an expression of the things I love. There is color, that elusive blue of water that melts off icebergs and pools with a hint of green. Red of a summer sunset is touched with yellow, softens to coral, deepens to orange. Golds are soft and creamy, barely there, or opaque and ready for bold line work. Spreading color, I feel the rhythm of colorful “C” and “S” strokes emerge like a familiar melody. Soon flowers, fillers, and lush tulips bring back class memories. As much as rosemaling has led me to look back to historical design, I became curious about current design. Colors in fabric, borders on china, carving on furniture, interior design resources inspire my creativity.