the limits of Clay glazes & forms were an excellent discipline, preparing me for the freedom of color canvases & new images
Folk Life Paintings
I loved living in Norway in 1989. All the terrain was beautiful. The quality of light in the Rauland area attracts painters, its ornamented log architecture are national treasures and The Telemark folk school in Rauland is a hub for traditional folk studies. This rich atmosphere freed me to look widely into all Scandinavian arts and crafts.
After getting back to Minnesota I pored over a book of Knud Knudsen's photographs from the late 1800 - early 1900's. Knudsen took many photos of every day life on the Tokheim farm near Odda when he visited his sister there. Knudsen's marvelous compositions inspired my first series of paintings. Most of them were done in 1996 while I was part of John Ingle's painting class at the University of Minnesota, Morris.
I notice that most of them refer to water and wooden boats, Wooden boats like the simple pram are the most elegantly functional examples of Norwegian design.
Boat Builder, 1996 Oil on Canvas 24x 30".
Collection: Molly and John LeClair.
The Wedding Boat, 1996, oil on canvas 24x 30"
Collection of the artist
Setesdal Children, 1995, 16 x 20" oil on canvas.
Collection: Jane McKuen Family
Potato Planting Day, 1996, 24x36" oil on canvas.
Collection: Dawson Boyd Performing Arts Center
Wool Gathering in the Yard #2. 1996, 20x24" oil on canvas
This is a dream version of the first Wool Gathering, influenced a bit by Marc Chagall, collection: the artist
Girls Dressing for Church, (detail) 1996 oil on canvas
Girls Dressing for Church, 1996 oil on canvas, 16x 20"
People living on fjords took small boats as we might take a bike ride. These young women are changing into their Sunday best. Collection: Alicia & Jim Johnson
Wool Gathering in the Yard, #1, 1996 oil on canvas. Private collection.
Laundry Day at the River, 1996 20x24" Oil on canvas.
Collection: Pat Michaelson Family
Working Lunch, 1996 Oil on Canvas.
This is a closer look at family making a day of planting potatoes. They brought baskets of potatoes to the planting field in a boat as flat, arable land was rare in Norway. Collection: Pat Michaelson
Pram on the Shore, 2006 Oil on Canvas, 24x 28".
This painting was done years after my first paintings, but seems to belong with this series. I liked the quick detail on the pram in contrast with Lake Superior rocks and waves. Collection Becky & Darryl Schutte
Boy Drinks from Largest Ale Goose, 1996
We visited a museum in west Telemark that hosted a spectacular rosemaled goose. A boy I know well pretended to drink from this to the general disapproval of all adults. It was an interesting picture though.
Folk Art Graphics
The challenge of telling a visual story about Tokheim Stoneware became an important way for me to develop graphic design skills. Alicia Johnson helps design our gallery displays. I learnedto take photos from Jim Johnson. This helps me create context for our Scandinavian design work. has Printers, scanners and digital cameras were wonderful new tools.
When Pigs Dance, illustration for 2007 Julefest Video
This is one of the illustrations that I did for the Julefest Video that Drew Aslesen helped me to make. I loved how Dennis & Carole Johnson take the time to teach us how to prepare Norwegian Christmas foods such as Ribbe.