A Timeless Norwegian Art

Rosemaling Bjorn Pettersen

History of Norwegian Rosemaling

Rosemaling is a little known traditional art form unique to Norway and is characterized by stylized flowers and ‘c’ and ‘s’ shaped scrolls, inspired by the Renaissance and Acanthus motifs. It is a regional folk art that is timeless and dynamic.

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Traditional Telemark Rosemaling

How did Rosemaling evolve?

From rudimentary beginnings in the woodcarving decorations and religious art of the Middle Ages, Rosemaling first appeared in Norway during the Renaissance and Baroque periods of 1550 –1700.  Early examples, such as stylized plant motifs and acanthus scrolls, can still be seen in the traditional Norwegian churches dating from that era. In addition, regular trading of goods, with other countries in the Hanseatic League, provided the opportunity for East Asian influences to reach the shores of Norway and this provided further inspiration and influence for development of Norwegian folk art.

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Bykle church
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Wood Carving in Lesja

International trends in religious and modern art were relatively slow to reach the rural areas of Norway, and it was only as church furniture and fittings, (manufactured by the fashion-conscious urban craftsmen), were gradually installed in the country parishes, that new designs and ideas were introduced to the country folk.  Well-to-do farmers and Government officials and the fashion conscious, urban Norwegian elite were more heavily influenced by international trends in decorating and thus Rosemaling was confined mainly to the households and churches in the distant, rural Valleys of Norway.

1766 Chest from Simenrud Fåberg
Bridal Trunk with Acanthus leaf Stylization

In this relative isolation, rural Norwegian folk artists adapted the Renaissance inspired religious motifs and changed it to suit their own purposes. Over time, this folk art developed into an original style that evolved into a new art-form, with individual characteristics pertinent to each Valley. Between 1700 -1850, lavishly painted objects were often seen as status symbols. Therefore, itinerant or local folk artists were in high demand painting Rosemaling designs on cupboards, dressers, bridal trunks, saddles, harness parts, sleighs, and even clocks

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Acanthus leaf form in Lom church

The symmetrical designs of acanthus vine elements, so popular in the Renaissance era, were heavily influenced by Rococco trends from Europe, and later adapted by folk artists, finally emerging, in the Telemark region of Norway, as the distinctive ‘C’ curves and ‘S’ scroll forms, of Rosemaling, on an asymmetrical central root. This is the very popular style that we now identify as Telemark Rosemaling.

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Contemporary Telemark Rosemaling by Bjørn Pettersen

 

As the twentieth century approached, Rosemaling declined in popularity and it was only the political situation in Norway that saved it from complete obscurity.  Once Norway gained its independence, as a nation, there was, amongst the Norwegian public, a groundswell of interest in all things Norwegian, particularly crafts and painting. The revival continued throughout most of the 20th century and ensured Rosemaling had a promising future, both in Norway and in immigrant communities around the world, especially in the United States.

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Stave Church in Lom

 

An opportunity to see the rich heritage of Norway should not be missed. By studying the Rosemaling in the Stave churches, museums and contemporary exhibitions in Norway, a folk artist can, like those painters in centuries past, become inspired to create individual masterpieces and hopefully, their own original style.

 

History and Art is Something Beautiful to Ponder About

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How to Design your Own Artwork – Space

If we are ever to begin to design our own art, we need an understanding of the various elements and principles of design, and how they combine to create an overall pleasing visual effect. So far, in previous posts, we have looked at Line and  Shape, and how they contribute to art forms. This week, we focus on the element of ‘SPACE’ and find how it can assist to create a better design.

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Week 3 – Space 

Space as an element of art that refers to the area around objects: either Positive Space: that is areas occupied by an object or form and, Negative Space: the area in, between, around, or within objects. Every positive shape is surrounded by negative space.

You can further divide Negative spaces into: –

  – Passive negative space – this separates visual elements, and includes things like margins and the spacing between letters, words, or lines.

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-Active negative space – this draws the viewer’s eye to something, or help viewers focus on the objects that they should see, instead of making their eyes look all over the place.

Notan negative and positive space

 

Continue reading “How to Design your Own Artwork – Space”

Color Your World – Extending my Palette

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Over at Jennifer’s blog she is all about colour.

A daily ‘Color Challenge’ is running until next month. Such a challenge can help with understanding colour, its attributes and nuances, and how it makes us feel. Everyone sees colour differently.

Having a good sense of colour can help us make good choices in home decorating, in how we dress, in art and in how we feel, as colours around us can often affect our moods. Just think how we feel when the skies are dark and grey, as opposed to a sunny morning with a blue sky.

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Find your perfect colour combination

There are various colour matching tools on the web, (links below), that can help you find the colour that most matches the one you want for your art/decoration/clothing/craft. You can even upload your own image and analyze the colours there.

Today’s colour is PLUM. A full-bodied colour, often spoken about as if it were a description of a much cherished wine! Here’s why:

104_0427Which one is closest to your version of the colour, ‘plum?’

What colours affect your mood?

Colour Matching Tool

Colour Explorer Tool

#cyw or #coloryourworld

Something colourful to ponder about

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WP Photograpy Challenge Monochrome Art Project

Wedgwood and Sons, produce Wedgwood, fine china, porcelain, and luxury accessories. The company was founded on 1 May 1759, by Josiah Wedgwood.

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It is not my favourite thing but I do admire the artistry in its production. I used wedgwood and the Moravian designs frrom the Czech Republic for inspiration for this jewellery box.

A simple monochrome palette can look effective on a blue background.

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Linking to WordPress Daily Post Photography challenge
Monochromatic<a href="http://Monochromatic“>http://Monochromatic

Acrylic on pine
Pattern Available (free shipping)
Are you a fan of monochrome designs? If so, why?

Something  to Ponder About

Spotlight on Traffic Lights – Traditional Art – July

This month the ‘ Traditional Art’ feature depicts a contemporary phenomenon that has quickly turned to an established tradition in modern, suburban Australia:

Decorated Traffic Signal Control Boxes

A boring, metal-grey ‘signal box’ that controls the traffic lights is just that – boring and sterile. Add a little imagination and a group of unemployed art students and a phenomenon  of community art is born.

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What is more, tenders for this community art project are called annually, by the municipal council authority. This has evolved to become a fantastic way for struggling artists to earn extra income, or, alternatively, for the councils to engage enthusiastic volunteers in the community.

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The variety of designs and local artistic ‘input’ is admirable.  A brightly coloured signal box, of course, is better visually and aesthetically, than the cold, grey metal box. One could even develop a collection of  photos documenting each box  to form a themed picture story of one’s travels!

traffic light control boxes

It might be a little distracting to drivers, when waiting for the traffic lights to change at an intersection, however, it chases away the boredom and keeps one from the temptation of checking the mobile phone!

Some  traffic box murals even tell a story pertinent to the street/area.

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Rosemaling traditional art

Traditional Art Forms – the diversity of themes of the new traditions is –

Something to Ponder About.