I have written seven books over the years, all which are out of print but are now available on DVDs .
Look under Tutorial DVDs for all three "Rosemaling styles Study and Design" books.

Pattern Packets...

Pattern packets are similar to one project from a book. They have more in-depth information, but without worksheets. Worksheets are available in the book for additional help. I have written numerous pattern packets which include a design, instructions, photographs and the line drawing. Most of the wood pieces I use I have designed and may have several packets painted in different styles and designs for each.

booksPackets cover these styles: Rosemaling samplers, Telemark, Hallingdal, Valdres, Vest Agder, Rogaland, Numedal, Gudbrandsdal, Sor-Trondelag.

Packets including European flowers are flowers that are somewhere between stroke and realistic. They have a European feel to them, which is how I came up with the name, not knowing what to call this method of painting. The flowers and leaves are painted on light or dark backgrounds with a different palette for each. First I sketch each flower with Raw Sienna and while wet, paint the flower using strokes. All the flowers and leaves are painted using this method. When the painting is dry, a coat of Retarder is painted over the painting and glazes are added to strengthen and coordinate the lights, darks, tints and accents. Usually this is done several times with each layer drying in-between until everything is balanced, in perspective so the painting has a good flow and is pleasing to look at.

Norwegian Styles...

A Look at the History of Rosemaling
by Gayle Oram MDA.VGM.

Rosemaling emerged at different times throughout rural southern Norway. It was after Christianity arrived and at the time when people learned how to use a chimney and a stove in the corner of the house. A fire in the center of the house, and a hole in the top of the roof caused houses to be smoky and dirty. With the use of the fireplace and a chimney houses became much cleaner. People wanted to brighten up their homes by washing the walls and maybe white washing. Conditions were ripe for the emergence of decoration to liven up the home. Church painters came from Europe, therefore influencing town painters with the current styles from the continent. Some city painters traveled to other countries bringing back ideas and techniques, incorporating them into their work. In return, they influenced the country painters, who used their imagination to develop unique design ideas of color and style into a rural folk art.

While studying Rosemaling from the past, we note that there are many variations within styles. Each painter exhibited his own characteristic methods, motifs and details. Areas were remote and travel at a minimum in the 18th and 19th centuries; thus one of the main reasons styles developed differently valley to valley. There were schools where skilled Rosemalers taught others; therefore the student’s work resembled that of the artist’s. Some took on characteristics of their teachers; others developed and created in their own way, just as it’s happening today. Those who traveled often picked up ideas from others and started incorporating them. In the middle early 1800’s there were so many painters in some areas, a number left home seeking work elsewhere, some migrating to America.

In the Telemark area, rosemaling as well as music, dance, woodcarving and weaving, developed to a higher lever than most other areas. Perhaps this is because it was so remote and travel so difficult in these mountain communities. Rosemaling can be traced to around 1712 and Thomas Blix, who was an urban painter commissioned to paint churches and other objects in the area. Later in the 1760’s the Telemark style as we know it developed from rococo shells and C-shapes. These gradually changed into plant ornamentation with a basic “C” scroll, or stem, and asymmetrical “S” shapes, sometimes intertwining into beautiful, graceful, flowing designs. Beautiful, creative, and imaginative flower forms of all sizes were tucked among the scrolls flowing gracefully from the root of the design. Graceful lines and teardrops completed the designs, so that as time went on the rococo feeling was lost.

In each area of rural southern Norway we can see rosemaling developing and changing so that each district, or even valley, developed a distinctive style. Hallingdal was another prolific area. So much so, that by the early 1800’s, many of the painters were forced to leave home to find work in other areas, especially western Norway, some immigrated to America. Herbrand Sata (1753-1830) was an outstanding painter who mastered the rococo style. It gradually developed into his own symmetrical creations with stylized flowers being the dominant feature of his designs. His two sons, Nils Baera (1785-1873) and Embrik Baera (1788-1876) continued in their father’s footsteps, creating the basis of the Hallingdal style.

I hope this little bit of history will whet your appetite to want to learn more. It’s interesting that in all the folk arts of the world, we can see basic strokes used in different ways to create interesting designs that have lasted and inspired many for hundreds of years.

There are excellent rosemaling reference materials and classes available through Vesterheim Museum, 502 West Water Street, Decorah Iowa 52101.

To further your painting education and pleasure please join the Society of Decorative Painters

Correspondence Course...

The correspondence course was written to help students who do not have a rosemaling or stroke teacher. It's a good way to study by yourself or with a friend to practice and learn about this beautiful folk art. If you are a beginner or more advanced painted and you can tune up your skills with this course.

What is included? The first level covers the basics, including supplies, color, value, intensity, stroke and line control in a 37 page booklet. Seven of the most simple styles are painted on two panels in a patchwork style. Hordaland, Sigdal, Eggedal, Sor-Trondelag, More og Romsdal Sogn og Fjordane and a simple Hallingdal design are included.

Why take this course? It will help further your knowledge of Rosemaling, its history, techniques and styles. To learn the basics for stroke work. To understand each style, it's characteristics and how to paint them. To receive a critique of your work to improve your knowledge, skills and technique.

Critique. There are two mailings. The first mailing includes the basic color wheel, Rosemaling color wheel, palette, stroke and line control samplers. I will show where and how improvements can be made. It will be helpful learning information and is not intended to be criticism. Anything that needs improvement will help and if you repaint it to correct the problem it will help reinforce learning even more. These corrections can be sent back with the next mailing for additional help. The second mailing includes the two panels with seven styles represented. All these panels are wonderful references to hang in your painting room.

What do you receive for finishing the course?  A certificate will be issued that says you passed the first of four levels.
Levels II, III and IV include the rest of the styles using the same format . They include a wood piece to be painted with a particular style.   Level IV includes design techniques and to help you be able to draw your own designs.  I will critique them, and you will paint your design to complete the course.

Details and pictures of the projects and styles are shown on the cover of the booklets.  The total course covers thirteen styles of rosemaling.

Details and pictures of the projects

Correspondence Course Written Material. Each level may be ordered for $50.00 with just the written materials. This way you can read, study, improve your painting skills and paint the projects on your own. See the Correspondence Course Category for more details and to see what styles are covered in each level.

Wood ...

I have enjoyed working with, and painting on wood since I was out of college. I used to paint on driftwood collected on the banks of Shasta Lake in the 60's before I knew anything about decorative painting. Once I wanted to make some plaques that had some kind of an edge, so I filed them all down. Next was a saw, router, drill, etc., and soon I was making things to paint on. My father and I would spend hours in his shop making things when I could visit him.

In the late 1980's I worked with a cabinetmaker for a while, improved my skills and developed a line of clocks as well as other decorative items and furniture. In 1998 I developed breast cancer and the doctor told me I had to slow down. Reluctantly I decided to give up my woodworking to someone else. We worked together developing more new items until his death in 2005. Fortunately, I located Paul Brooks of Tomorrow's Collectibles to take over the woodworking and he has been wonderful to work with. He is very skillful, loves perfection, and fine graceful lines as I do. We have been developing new products, many with a Norwegian feel to them that I hope you will enjoy painting as much as I have.

Wood for Book The majority of the wood pieces I have designed with Paul Brook's suggestions and he has built them. They have a Norwegian feel and are useful items. Some are designed from old museum pieces, ideas I have seen and sketched while in Norway, of ideas designed from shapes of leftover scraps or just an idea.