Something old, something new, something borrowed, something not blue. Mezen painting was named for the location where this art form began, along the Mezen River in the Kola Peninsula of Russia. It is among the oldest (something old) of the Russian folk arts. Mezen motifs have features in common with the ancient rock drawings of northern Norway and Russia (something borrowed). The designs feature stylized animals (the horse and reindeer are the most popular) and symbols representing nature. Every painted element has a meaning. The palette is simple: black and red (something not blue). The Sámi people were not restrained by geographical borders and at one time traveled between northern Norway and the Kola Peninsula, following the reindeer. Want to try something new? The techniques you will learn in the class will help you with your linework in rosemaling. This two-day class will be a project class, but I always encourage class participants to use colors they like and modify the design to make it their own. This class is open to 12- to 17-yr-olds. The class will be taught in acrylics, but oil painters are welcome. Appropriate woodenware will be available through Vesterheim's museum store.
Patti Goke of Saint Cloud, Minnesota, has been rosemaling for over 30 years and has taken many classes with American and Norwegian artists. One of her rosemaling experiences was painting in the Raftevold Hotel in Hornindal, Nordfjord, Norway. Patti is a Vesterheim Gold Medalist, Vesterheim Rosemaling Letter editor, and contributor of rosemaling articles and projects for Art Apprentice Online e-zine. She was the guide for Vesterheim’s 2014 and 2016 Folk Art Tours to Norway.