Rosemaling and Painting

Beginning Rosemaling

Shirley Evenstad

$85 members / $105 non-members

Live near the Twin Cities, but can’t get to Vesterheim for a weekend class? Vesterheim is coming to you with this Vesterheim and Sons of Norway collaboration class. Learn the basics of rosemaling, including the history, strokes, and simple flower and scroll forms. We’ll work on a 5-6 inch design done in color on backgrounded paper or wood in either Telemark or Hallingdal style. A “kit” with all necessary supplies can be purchased at the time of registration for $36, or you may bring your own supplies. The class will be taught in oils.

Level of instruction: Beginning.

Shirley Evenstad was born in northern Minnesota and graduated from the University of North Dakota with a B.S. in business education. She has been a rosemaler since 1977 and has lived in Richfield, Minnesota, for 40 years. Shirley has studied with several master Norwegian teachers both at Vesterheim and in Norway. Evenstad earned her Gold Medal in rosemaling from Vesterheim in 1983. She participated in a painting project at Epcot Center in the Norway Pavilion, Orlando, Florida, in March 1988. Shirley currently teaches rosemaling classes through the community education program in Richfield, paints by commission in her home, and occasionally travels out of state to teach.

Telemark Rosemaling: Design and Painting

Sunhild Muldbakken

$192 members / $242 non-members

Learn the basics of Telemark design. Sunhild will cover how to draw a design suitable for your object, transfer the design, mix paint, and paint the item. Both the transparent and shaded Telemark technique will be taught. Sunhild prefers oil paints, but students may use acrylic if they wish. Students may bring their own project or purchase woodenware from the Museum Store.

Level of instruction: Intermediate—for students who have some experience in back grounding and basic brush strokes and would like to expand their understanding of Telemark design.

Sunhild Muldbakken has studied with many Norwegian and American rosemaling teachers since 1971. She has taught various rosemaling styles for 40 years throughout the United States. She has also judged many rosemaling shows. Since her husband is from Valdres, she has traveled extensively throughout Norway and become acquainted with the rosemaling in Norway. Sunhild enjoys all of the rosemaling styles, but is best known for her Telemark designs and traditional color. She earned her Vesterheim Gold Medal in 1984. Several of her pieces are in Vesterheim’s collections.

Rogaland Rosemaling

Ruth Green

$256 members / $306 non-members

This will be a project painting class. The project will be a small chest with a hinged cover and a unique closure on the front. The top is flat and approximately 12½ by 19 inches. The chest is approximately 11 inches high, including the feet. An additional smaller project will also be available. The class will be taught in oils, but acrylic painters are most welcome. Patterns and palettes (both oil and acrylic) will be provided. The artwork pictured here is not the project for the class.

Level of instruction: Advanced Beginner and Intermediate. For students who have had a beginner rosemaling class and know the basics of stroke work and how to handle brushes.

Ruth Green is an established Rogaland painter and has numerous publications that are available at Vesterheim’s Museum Store. She is a Certified Decorative Artist with the Society of Decorative Painters. Ruth earned her Gold Medal in 2012.

Rosemaling Borders

Sara Tollefson

$128 members / $178 non-members

Do you feel challenged by borders? Or in a rut using the same ones over and over? How much or how little of a border do you need? Does one rosemaling style require a different border than another style? In this class, explore how to finish your piece of rosemaling. We will begin with simple line borders and progress to medium and larger edges. Some glazing techniques will be included with the wider borders. We’ll take a trip to the collections storage area to study and sketch bordering ideas. Bring lots of posterboard to paint samples and build your “border library.”

Level of instruction: All levels. Some knowledge of basic brush strokes would be helpful, but not mandatory.

Sara Tollefson has studied rosemaling for over 25 years with many Norwegian and American painters and was awarded the Vesterheim Gold Medal in 2009. She has also studied in Norway in conjunction with Vesterheim-sponsored folk-art tours. Sara has taught rosemaling in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin for many years and she was the editor of Vesterheim’s Rosemaling Letter for 17 years.

Swedish Painting

Sallie Haugen DeReus

$256 members / $306 non-members

Sallie taught Swedish painting at Vesterheim in the mid 1990s and is returning to teach Swedish Dalarna painting with figures. Sallie will help you illustrate a story in the Dalarna style on a stretched canvas, or canvas board a personal story of your own. Students may work in oils or acrylics. Sallie paints with oils and does not work from patterns. She will teach you to create your own design, which will include the border treatment surrounding the illustration.

Level of instruction: All levels welcome. Please have some basic experience using a brush if you are a beginning painter. Accelerated students will complete several canvases in the four-day class.

Sallie Haugen DeReus, a third generation Norwegian-American, is a 1974 Vesterheim Gold Medalist who has been painting since the late 1960s. Her early instructors were Sigmund Aarseth, Nils Ellingsgard, and Bergljot Lunde. She partnered for 30 years with Sigmund Aarseth on commissioned interior decoration and helped him teach three classes for Vesterheim in Scandinavian interior design. Her work has been shown in numerous shows over the years including Norwegian Folk Art: The Migration of a Tradition, a traveling exhibition curated by Vesterheim. Sallie has taught and judged rosemaling from the East to West Coasts. Years of painting experience gave her the ability to pick up Swedish Dalarna painting along the way. She has a B.S. in Applied Art with an emphasis on Interior Design.

Rosemaling in the Gudbrandsdal Style

Andrea Herkert

$256 members / $306 non-members

The elements of the Gudbrandsdal style—the color palette and the historical origins—will all be presented and studied in this class. We will spend time in the museum studying and sketching the carving—it is fundamental to the Gudbrandsdal style. From there we will work in the classroom on the elements to build the design and the techniques inherent in painting it. Students will then go in their own unique directions, designing pieces they bring with them and using the designs and patterns prepared as inspiration. This will be a wonderful opportunity to immerse ourselves in the richness and drama of this beautiful style of painting.

Level of instruction: This class is open to all levels, but some knowledge and experience of rosemaling will make it a more enriching class.

Andrea Herkert graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with majors in Art and Art History. She took her first rosemaling class in 2007 and continued with many more wonderful, talented teachers from the United States and Norway. She studied for one year with Nancy Schmidt after receiving a Folk Art Apprenticeship grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board. She received her Vesterheim Gold Medal in 2013. Currently, she is in her studio full time doing commission work and painting for local organizations. She teaches ongoing classes, is on the board of Wisconsin State Rosemaling Association, and is an active member of the Illinois Norsk Rosemalers Association.

The Art of Painting Nisser and Trolls

June Nyberg

$256 members / $306 non-members

Storytelling with a brush! Scandinavian countries are rich in folklore. Norway, with its nisser, trolls, and everyday country life, tells its folk history with brushes and paint. Join June as she shows you the art of painting stories. By the end of class you, too, will be telling your stories through the nisser and trolls. All painting supplies provided.


Level of instruction: All levels. No need for painting experience, each brush stroke is explained.

June Nyberg has been an instructor and painter of Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Russian painting for over 40 years. She studied under Norwegian painters such as Oskar Kjetså, Nils Ellingsgard, Sigmund Aarseth, and Egil Dahle. She also studied with Swedish painter Tage Andersson, Russian painter Natasha, and Sr. Mary Charles, as well as several American Gold Medalists. She is a long-time lover of Norwegian folklore and painting stories.

Rosemaling in the Hallingdal Style

Donna Benson

$256 members / $306 non-members

This class will concentrate on traditional Hallingdal designs, flowers, and palette colors. Hallingdal is a symmetrical style, using bold flowers, leaves, and scrolls. The Hallingdal area in Norway produced many excellent painters and we will study their pieces. The project for this class will be either a traditional kerchief box, 12 inches in length by 8 inches high and 6 inches wide, with a rounded lift-off lid, or a round tine (like the one pictured). Students will also be able to paint on large pieces of their choosing. Designing is an important element in rosemaling. Donna will have some designs available, but also will encourage and guide students to create their own. The class will be taught in oils, but students can paint in acrylic if they choose.


Level of instruction: All Levels.

Donna Benson, from Washington Island, Wisconsin, has been painting since 1976 and specializes in the folk arts of Norway and Sweden. She has studied extensively over the years with many Norwegian and Swedish artists. A Gold Medalist since 1997, Donna teaches throughout the United States and recently in Japan. She judges rosemaling competitions and has given presentations at cultural centers and museums. Her work is part of the permanent collections of several museums and is in private collections worldwide. She is currently president of the Illinois Norsk Rosemalers Association.

Rosemaling in the Os and Vest-Agder Styles

Trudy Peach

$256 members / $306 non-members

In this project class, we will use design influences from old pieces. Bring photos of old Os or Vest Agder pieces to class for inspiration. You can paint on woodenware or backgrounded tagboard. The class will be taught in oils, but acrylic painters are welcome and can work on their own. The class will use only walnut oil and walnut alkyd medium. Thinners will not be allowed in class; however, you may bring clean odorless thinner to use outside the classroom in order to remove an error. Projects will be listed with class material list. There will be a materials fee.

Level of instruction: All levels.

Trudy Peach is a Vesterheim Gold Medal winner and is a Certified Decorative Artist with the Society of Decorative Painters. She studies old pieces of rosemaling to influence her designs in Rogaland and Os styles. Trudy shares these ideas with students to help them develop an awareness of how to interpret designs. She has taught rosemaling throughout the United States.

Back to the Basics Valdres Design

Sara Tollefson

$128 members / $178 non-members

This will be a drawing class emphasizing the basic forms of Valdres designs. While some symmetrical scrolls may be involved, most designs feature a variety of flowers hanging from ribbons or ropes, planted in a ground, or arranged in a vase. Rococo scrolls and chinoiserie (simple monochromatic scenes) are also included in this primitive style. Those beginning to design in this style will learn the basics and experienced painters will find it a good review. We will study old Valdres designs in the museum. Bring your sketchbook and any woodenware that you would like help designing.


Level of instruction: All Levels.

Sara Tollefson has studied rosemaling for over 25 years with many Norwegian and American painters and was awarded the Vesterheim Gold Medal in 2009. She has also studied in Norway in conjunction with Vesterheim-sponsored folk-art tours. Sara has taught rosemaling in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin for many years and she was the editor of Vesterheim’s Rosemaling Letter for 17 years.

Basics in Rosemaling for Beginners

LoyAnn Nasby

$192 members / $242 non-members

This simplified class will be taught in oils and is geared not to intimidate. LoyAnn will share the step-by-step basics and a collection of tips that have worked for her, gathered over the years. The two easy projects will be pre-base coated Christmas ornaments to develop brush control. Pre-base coated sheets will be ready to practice on. She will cover base-coating steps, brush care, mediums, detail, strokes, varnish, and rosemaling products.

Level of instruction: All levels.

LoyAnn Nasby began rosemaling 26 years ago, but she still remembers her beginning years and teaches from that perspective. She has studied under many of the great rosemaling teachers here and in Norway, has taught for 12 years and paints and teaches a wide variety of styles. She has traveled to Norway three times, twice with Vesterheim Folk Art Study Tours in 2003 and 2007. LoyAnn received her Vesterheim Gold Medal in 2009.

An Exploration of Three Mystery Styles

Patti Goke

$256 members / $306 non-members

Patti loves a mystery, how about you? This class is for anyone who wants to learn something a bit different. Patti will guide Vesterheim’s 2014 Folk Art Tour to Norway in June and bring home three lesser-known rosemaling styles to explore with you in this class. The styles and designs will be determined after the tour—that is the mystery! Class participants will learn what makes the styles unique. Each day a different style will be explored, discussed, and painted. The styles and pictures of class projects will be sent with final class information. Each participant will receive a CD of pictures of pieces that were seen on the tour. Projects will not be so difficult that they cannot be finished in a day and yet will be a true representation of the style. Instruction will be in oil paints, but acrylics are welcome.

Level of instruction: All levels. Some familiarity with painting and brush strokes is helpful but not necessary.

Patti Goke of Saint Cloud, Minnesota, has been rosemaling for 24 years and has taken many classes with American and Norwegian artists. One of her rosemaling experiences was painting in the Raftevold Hotell 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.

Os Rosemaling in Acrylics

Lois Mueller

$192 members / $242 non-members

Attention acrylic Os painters at all levels—this rosemaling class is for you! This class will explore the unique colors and flowers of the Os style of rosemaling using a black background on your choice of a jewelry cabinet, a panel that could be framed, or the door for the cabinet that is already a framed panel. Basic brush strokes, color mixing, and a bit of history will be included in the instruction. The Os style is found in Hordaland County in Norway and is the most vibrant rosemaling. This is a great way to learn all about rosemaling in acrylic paint.

Level of instruction: All levels.

Lois Mueller has been painting since 1977 and teaching since 1979. Since receiving a Gold Medal from Vesterheim, she has written nine rosemaling instructional books and taped a DVD for beginners. She has taught in Canada, Taiwan, and throughout the United States, and the best part has been meeting many wonderful people with similar interests.