Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wherein I try the art of Rosemaling

Decorated skis
    Next week we are having are last homeschool co-op for the school year (though we will still get together later in May for a potluck and program) and the theme for the month is Minnesota. This has been a very fun theme to develop as there are so many cool and interesting things about our state. We decided that this month the adults/parents would have various stations that the kids would go around and visit. We thought it would be fun to make it as hands on and visual as possible. I think it is going to be so much fun!

  The stations that we ended up deciding to have (and not necessarily because they are the most important aspects of MN but mainly because there were adults that were particularly interested in presenting on those subjects) are: Native Americans in MN, Fur Traders and Voyagers, Immigrants coming to MN (primarily talking about the Scandinavian immigrants as many of them came and influenced Northern MN life) , Logging, A Pioneer General Store, The Civil War's affect on MN and other history and a station where the kids learn about all the symbols (flag, state bird, etc.) of MN.

Some of my first paintings
   I volunteered to do the Scandinavian station even though I don't think I have a drop of Scandinavian blood in me and some other mothers who actually do have history in that area said that they would help. We are planning on having a Scandinavian Kitchen where the kids will get to make Lefse and taste Lutefisk and other fun food items but we also plan to dress in costume, address each other as Lena , etc. (I still haven't figured out my first name for the day) and we wanted to decorate our place a little and show the kids some things that went along with the Scandinavian immigrants.

  Rosemaling is something that is well known in this area and very typical of the Scandinavian immigrants so I figured somebody from our group would probably own something that they could bring for us to show, but nobody did. So I decided I had better try out doing some rosemaling painting myself. I had never done it before but I thought it would be fun to try.

  The rosemaling has indeed been a lot of fun to try. I watched several YouTube videos on the subject (You can see my link to several videos, as well as a bunch of other pretty Scandinavian pictures I found, on my Scandinavian Pinterest board) and I got some books at the library and I have had fun giving it a whirl.

  I still have so much to learn but I did learn several of the proper brush strokes and I have had a lot of fun painting. My things still don't look like much of the traditional work that I have seen but I think they will be okay for some decorations at our homeschool day.
I decided it would be fun to paint some old skis that we had laying around and I think I will prop them up outside the kitchen door. After all the Scandinavians are believed to be the ones to invent skiing so I am guessing they may have brought that sport to MN as well.
 I had fun trying to do rosemaling on some cards.
 I painted a wooden box that wasn't looking to good in it's former condition and so I thought so rosemaling might improve it.

In one book I found the Norwegian saying above right that in English says: "In all your deeds should God's glory the first and the last be." I love that! The other sign says "Welcome" and I plan to put it on our kitchen door for the kids to see.

  When I have pulled out the paints to work on these projects (I just used simple water based paint that we had on hand) the kids enjoy painting as well. They painted pictures, tried rosemaling too and this evening they had fun painting various toy cars and train parts. It is jolly times to take time to be creative together.

   We may need a lot of developing to actually become good at this but we aren't afraid to try or to have fun in the process!

  Are there any of you that are actually good rosemalers out there? I would love to hear painting stories and tips from any of you!

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1 comment:

Beth@Under A Pile of Scrap! said...

I don't hear the term Rosemaling as much as I hear of Tole Painting. My ex-mother-in-law's family is from Wis. and they are of Norwegian decent, so her aunt and grandmother used to do it. There were many items on display in her home & somewhere I have a couple of wooden boxes that her aunt had painted. I would have found your event a thrill to come see! You did a pretty darn good job with your first attempts.

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