History & Traditions

Lens Artists – Creativity

We are all creatives here at the blogging world. As Manja recently commented, posts can be stories, and stories are creative. But today I would like to post some creativity of my own.

I never considered myself a creative sort, that is until I discovered a very old decorative art form from Norway, called Rosemaling and even though I was far away in Australia, I was determined to learn how I could paint in a similarly creative way.

Little did I realize that Rosemaling was to take me to so many places, meet so many fantastic people, and make so many enduring friendships around the world. From Iceland to Turkey, Japan, Holland and back to Australia.

rosemaling fabric
One of my painting that I have printed on fabric

As I have my own photographic challenge, that I co-host with another blogger, I do like to support other bloggers who are running challenges, when I can. This is the first time I have participated in the Lens Artists challenge.

Rosemalt kubbestol
My mentor’s Rosemaling

This very old art form, called Rosemaling stems back to the 17th century and I think those who created the styles initially were extremely creative. It arose from Renaissance motifs but developed into individual styles based on each district in Norway.

Inside an old Norwegian Stave Church. I love this blue!
1766 Chest from Simenrud Fåberg
Norwegian Rosemaling Telemark Technique
Telemark Style rosemaling I painted. The small rose motif to the bottom left has been used by graphic designers with my permission.

Take a look here for the rules and other participants here Lens Artists – Creativity

Something to Ponder About


48 thoughts on “Lens Artists – Creativity”

    1. That is so lovely to hear Efi! I have a few posts about it if you use the search menu on my blog. But you can also find lots about it on the net. Also check out Vesterheim Museum in Decorah Iowa, USA, as they preserve the Norwegian American Rosemaling styles.

      Liked by 2 people

          1. I will very soon …repost your’s if you let me !!

            I like this : “Before technology arrived, Norwegians spent long winters in darkness, so, in order to brighten up the interior of the homes and places of worship, they developed a form of traditional painting that was completely unique”.

            Thank you Amanda!!!!!!!

            Liked by 2 people

  1. I e seen and loved this but didn’t know the name. There was a shop near my home in CT that imported beautiful Norwegian chests that featured it. They were gorgeous but Uber expensive! Very creative!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tina. In Norway, you will often see antique chests for sale in thrift shops for a surprising price. Although there are some limitations to exporting them because of their heritage value. I find it incredible that a treasured art piece as old as from 1800’s is for sale, yet it was quite common for household to have that painted Norwegian chests you mentioned. No wonder they are so expensive in the States. CT is the states, right? I am Australian and my knowledge of USA is fairly limited.


  2. This is marvelous! Intricate and beautiful. Thank you for helping me know about this…I did not know about this beautiful art. I will read up now more about this and keep a look out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Moon. It is not that well known unless you are Norwegian or of Norwegian heritage. It is very special. You will find some examples in the mid west of USA – as that is where a lot of Norwegian family immigrated to, in years gone by.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The blue colors inside the church remind me of some houses in Portugal which are tiled on the outside. Different from rosemaling, yet similar in creating unique art to beautify one’s home. I’ve never tried it, but recently started a watercolor class. The next workshop will be painting roses with water drops. I’ll have to think about a blue theme! I feel inspired by your artwork, Amanda!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So lovely of you to say that, Sabine, and I look forward to seeing your finished artwork if you wish to share it. Roses with water drops in blue! So pretty. I haven’t seen much of the Portugese art but can imagine what it might be like. Portugal is one of those countries I would be keen to visit one day. I hear the seafood there is delicous. Have you been?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes Amanda, we spent a few days in Lisbon a number of years ago. It very much reminded me of Athens, Greece. We saw a lot of sights, and one of my favorite things was the Fado Museum and also the Botanical Garden of the University. There’s a post or two on my blog if you want to take a look.
        I’ll have to see about the rose painting as I’m just a beginner, but having fun is the main objective!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The blue ones from the old church has become quite iconic in terms of Norwegian art. It is delightfully naive with an artistic element fused in the design. I love how it rambles freely.Can you imagine seeing this each week when you attended church?


    1. Thank you Amy for visiting and leaving such a lovely comment. Welcome to Something to Ponder About. Thanks also for running a great photo challenge as well. It was fun participating this week and I see many names familiar to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ohh, I’m glad that what I said met an eager ear. 🙂 This is most excellent! All of it: that you take part in this challenge for the first time, that you are doing this art form (which I never heard mentioned before), that it took you places and helped you meet new friends. I love the first photo of your design on fabric the most, simply gorgeous! To many new creative challenges!


    1. It isn’t that well known, Donna. Unless you are Norwegian or of Norwegian descent. Well, now there are a few more people who have heard of it! I am glad of that.


  5. You are very creative, Amanda! And so talented in this beautiful art. Living in Sweden I know it fairly well, and we have some quite similar art in Sweden – but I did not know each valley in Norway had their own! Thank you so much for joining in the fun and letting us see some of your work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such kind words, Anne – C, and thanks for popping over. I suspect that a lot of Scandinavians would be familiar with the term, Rosemaling, because Denmark and Sweden had their own form of Rosemaling – just a bit lesser-known. Norwegian rosemaling flourished at a time when decorating one’s home in a peasant painting style was popular throughout much of Europe. There is Bauernmalerei in Germany and Alpbachtal in Austria, for instance. It was the very isolation of some of the valleys in Norway that meant the painters of the basic styles of Renaissance art adapted, changed, moulded and evolved their own art style that was peculiar to their Valley. That is one of the interesting things for me. Folk art is seen around the world but due to the geographical isolation, we see this evolution to a higher level of art forms based on districts, in Norway.
      I have seen quite a bit of Swedish and Kurbits painting and have even painted a few Swedish style designs myself. One of them is very popular in my Spoonflower shop too.


  6. I read a few of the comments Amanda, and as a result went and had a quick look at the Spoonflower website. I’ve not come across that before. So many fabrics (and other things)- I wish I had the patience to sew! I like the blue inside the church too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Spoonflower is a fun website that gives a hobbyist a chance to share their fabric design with the world. There is a link to my shop Forestwood Designs on the sidebar of my blog or at the footer on a mobile phone. You can even upload a photo of your pet to print on fabric for cushions etc. If you are not a sewer, then Redbubble is another site that has a larger range of merchandise to print your favourite photo on. Lots of fun, Chris.


    1. No worries, Snow. You can’t get to doing everything with young tots.I print some of my designs on fabric at a website called Spoonflower. Funny name, but it has loads of fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap designs. My ‘shop’ in their site is linked on the sidebar here. “Forestwood Designs” is me! At Spoonflower you can upload a photograph or make a design using graphics using say Picmonkey or Illustrator and they print it out on fabric or gift wrap. Once you have it printed, you can sell it through their global shop if you want. It is a lot of fun, Snow.

      Liked by 1 person

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