Joanne Storbakken Hultstrand and Bjorg Oseid Kleivi are bringing splashes of color to Norsk Hstfest with their rosemaling pieces.
Kleivi, a rosemaling instructor from Norway, met Hultstrand, of Idaho, about 12 years ago when Hultstrand signed up for rosemaling classes in Decorah, Iowa. The two have been exhibitors at Hstfest before, but this is their first year exhibiting together.
"We came here (to Hstfest) to show people what you can do with rosemaling, and what it looks like on certain pieces," Hultstrand said.
Bjorg Oseid Kleivi,left, and Joanne Storbakken Hultstrand work on rosemaling pieces at the Høstfest.
"Some people just like it, even if they're not Norwegian. They like the floral. It just kind of 'explodes'. They start rosemaling because they like something different," she added.
The floral artwork of rosemaling is varied according to the region of Norway the painter is drawing inspiration from. Hultstrand and Kleivi are displaying pieces in the Telemark style, which begins with a root center from which a scroll branches out with leaves and flowers that are varied and irregular. Hultstrand said she also likes to work in the Gudbrandsdal style, since it is the area where she is from. Gudbrandsdal rosemaling is known for its distinct acanthus scroll and leaves.
Hulstrand explained that in Norway, rosemaling began when men needed to earn extra money during the long winter months.
"In Norway, men were the first rosemalers, to make extra money in the wintertime. They would go to different valleys and start painting. Some were creative, and some were rustic. They would use certain colors (in each region). I believe they were the only colors they could get," Hulstrand said.
"A lot of old rosemaling is pretty dark with red, black, green and ochre," she added.
Rosemaling is typically done on wooden items. At first, it was seen mostly on immigrant trunks, large wooden plates, walls, and chests. Today, rosemalers continue to decorate various items with their work.