Nancy Odalen

Nancy is drawn to rosemaling, especially the Ryfylke style, and feels it is a part of her. The palette that she uses in painting echoes the colors found in the shimmering clear coastal light of the west coast of Norway where her ancestors lived. The freedom and movement found in Ryfylke mirrors the traditions of her ancestors and the adventure that both of her grandparents embarked upon as they left Norway to find a new life. Odalen’s journey in the study of rosemaling began with her first Vesterheim class in 2001. She continues to take classes from instructors who have given generously of their time and talents, most notably Andrea Herkert, with whom she apprenticed in 2013-2014. This apprenticeship offered her the opportunity to focus on the Ryfylke style. She has taught rosemaling classes since 2007 at Madison Area Technical College (MATC), the Wisconsin State Rosemaling Association, and the Sons of Norway-Mandt Lodge. In Vesterheim's National Exhibition of Folk Art in the Norwegian Tradition she has earned a red ribbon, a blue ribbon, and Best of Show. Her journey continues as she learns from the old and creates pieces that come from her soul.