With Mother's Day coming up on Sunday, my thoughts turn once again to my mother. Although she's no longer here to celebrate the day, she will be on my mind. After she raised my four brothers and me, she had time to learn how to do rosemaling at the local vocational school. My brothers and I have pieces of her beautiful work in our homes, as do many other relatives and friends of hers.
Rosemaling is the folk art of Norway, and the word itself means "rose painting" or "flower painting." My mother was a full-blooded Norwegian. I think she chose to learn this painting technique because it was a way for her to preserve an old tradition. That was the type of thing that was important to her.
Rosemaling isn't something a person can learn to do well without a good deal of practice. To achieve the desired colors, paints have to be blended on a palette. Burnt Sienna, Prussian Blue, Cadmium Yellow Light, Titanium White, Ivory Black and Golden Ochre are a few of the basic colors used to create the blended colors. The paint is applied using various sized brushes and a number of brush strokes. Rosemaling is done with free-flowing strokes; the pressure applied to the brush regulates the width of the stroke.
The photos above are of objects that Mom painted and which I have in my home. My father made all of the items that Mom decorated. Conveniently, woodworking was one of his hobbies. The birdhouse is designed in a Scandanavian style with several quaint details. Mom painted the roof and each surface of the house with a flower design. The round wall plaque was decorated by her with a flower design and she lettered "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread" in Norwegian across the top edge. The napkin holder, the small round box and the square, hinged-lid box were all made by Dad and then painted by Mom.
I feel fortunate to have these keepsakes and blessed to have parents who took the time to create momentos that I can cherish. These handmade items help keep Mom and Dad close to me and I like that.