Thursday, April 10, 2014

a day out with a gold medalist

My good buddy and partner in crime, Mary, got me involved in something (AGAIN) this time with a local rosemaling group. Now, I've always admired this art form, enjoying the annual show at Swedish days in Geneva, Illinois for many years. When our children were small we sometimes stopped at a McDonalds in Norway, Michigan on our way to or from Uncle Dan's in the UP which was entirely transformed inside with rosemaling and is still the only McDonalds I've ever been in that had oilcloth tablecloths and real flowers on the table at breakfast. But I had never once thought I'd be taking up the craft, and certainly not at this stage of my life!
This winter, Mary, who can do everything and really well, attended a quilting retreat where she met a woman who will be teaching a 3 day rosemaling class this September. Spending time with this woman while quilting and chatting and eating and quilting some more rekindled Mary's interest in the art form, caused her to dust off her painting supplies, and led to talking me into joining her. Before I knew it we had both become members of the local rosemaling guild. Oh dear….
This past Tuesday I attended my first meeting which was a day long demonstration by a gold medal winner, Irene Lamont. What an amazing day. All of the ladies (and one husband) in the group were friendly, talented, experienced and probably Norwegian. You see, the guild is based out of Westby, heart of Nowegian country around here. Irene was their guest artist this month. And she wasn't the only gold medalist in the group, nor the only one who has works displayed in the famous museum in Decorah, Iowa.
What a marvelous day. Irene painted two oval wooden plaques during the course of the day. In the late afternoon she asked us to put our names into a basket for a drawing. She was giving away some of her art, downsizing before moving into a condo, and among the prizes would be the two samples from her workshop. Now I seriously began calling one of them to me, I mean seriously believing I would be taking one of them home.

Irene at work

in process

finished piece

examples of her line work

in process surrounded by tools and a few finished pieces

the finished piece

And I did. That lovely work painted on the black background now has a place of honor here at the farm. I was so thrilled when she called my name I burst into tears and everyone in the room cheered and some of them got teary eyed too, happy for this newcomer to be so excited by an art they've loved and respected for years.
I guess it's time to pick up some brushes and paint and get started with a new sketch book before the class this September, because, you guessed it, my buddy Mary and I will be enrolled.


  1. How wonderful to have a new hobby and to also win a piece of art work that will inspire you to paint! I am looking forward to see how you progress later in the year.

  2. So happy for you, Sharon!!! Love the piece you won and all of the beautiful designs!! I felt the same way (at this point in MY life!), taking classes and trying new things. But it is exhilarating and I'm sure you'll love doing this - with a friend makes it even better! Love your header!!
    Can't wait to see what you do!!