Fortid, nåtid og framtid
I was born and raised in Stoughton, Wisconsin, a small, rural farming community of Norwegian heritage near Madison, Wisconsin. I served in the U.S. Marine Corps for six years following High School and returned home to Stoughton where I have lived and worked in the area since.
I began rosemaling in 1991 as a hobby and enter local competitions and the national rosemaling show at the Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, Iowa. Rosemaling remains a hobby, my main employment is elsewhere.
It was on a whim that I began rosemaling. My wife was taking classes at the local vocational school to develop skills for employment and I decided to take a “fun” hobby class to fill an evening when she would be busy. I looked at the list of classes offered and picked rosemaling and 20 plus years later I am still painting. It not only allows me a creative outlet, it is a social network of friends, also. I am involved with our local rosemaling group, the Wisconsin State Rosemaling Association, since I began rosemaling.
In the past few years I have had a sense that rosemaling needed originality to remain vibrant and attractive. When I started rosemaling there were 3-4 main styles and as the years went by people started to embellish on their back grounding and faux finishes to in-fuse creativity. Then, more regional styles were being painted. Now, people are expanding to introduce originality with their own personal flare.
Folk art, which rosemaling is a category of, by definition, is an art form of the common people that lives, breathes, and changes to accommodate the desires of the common folk. I truly believe new ideas need to continue in rosemaling today to keep it vibrant and attractive for people of tomorrow. Rosemaling today is not what it was 20 years ago, it has changed, and will continue to change as artists stretch their creativity to create interesting pieces.