Sunday, July 18, 2010

Remembering Norway

"Remembering Norway"
11" x 14"

The Oseberg Burial Ship was unearthed in 1904 and came from an 834 A.D. Viking burial mound. The ship dates to 800 A.D. We saw this ship at the Viking Ships Museum on the island of Bygdoy, near Oslo, Norway. While traveling on a bus, I did a small drawing that I discussed in an earlier post. On the same visit, I took a photo of a finely carved wagon found in the ship.

The carvings at the top of the painting came from this wagon. I was amazed at the beauty of the work done so many centuries ago. I love the stylized animals. The woodcarving tradition is alive and well today in Norway. We visited an aquarium with a display of carvings of local scenes from 1900 to the 1950s and a gorgeous room in the Kvikne Hotel decorated with furniture and trim done by a modern master carver.

When we stayed in Balestrand on the fjords, I did a couple watercolor sketches of my wonderful view from the small hotel there. You can see the painting that inspired the fjord representation in this painting. The design of this painting is very personal, recalling my thoughts when I was on the fjords. I could imagine the Oseberg sailing the Sonjefyord and feel the texture of the carvings on the prow of the ship and on the wagon. I chose a double analgous color scheme of blue to violet and yellow to yellow orange rather than using local color.

I had a difficult time photographing this painting, so it's a bit off kilter.


hwfarber said...

This is just so totally your own memory of the trip; really well designed.

Woodcarving can probably never be improved upon. I still feel the draw of chisel and mallet; working with the grain of the wood was exciting.

Mary Paquet said...

Hallie, thanks for checking in. I love texture -- it just makes me touch. I was intriqued by the markings on the carving -- were they the grain of the wood, were they incised? I think most were incised to take advantage of the grain.

Also, I was fascinated by the use of the circular symbol 1200 years ago and it is still used as a symbol of wholeness. I tried to find out the meanings of the Viking symbols without success.

AutumnLeaves said...

Just lovely, Mary. There is a sense that this piece was done many hundreds of years ago with the style of the piece. Beautiful work and wonderful post!

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mary, WONDERFUL! I like the design and I like how you orchestrated your colors. And, of course, I'm partial to the subject. Most creative!

Gary Keimig said...

interesting post and neat watercolor memory Mary

PAMO said...

Beautiful Mary! I love the complementary colors and the memory that goes with your work. Beautiful.

Charlene Brown said...

This is a wonderful composition, Mary! And thank you for the lovely stories about where each part came from.