“Name your paintings”

they said, but naming something is one of the hardest tasks I’ve ever taken on as a human. It is also a great honor—one I will hold respectfully every time a new thing comes to life and needs naming.

It is with great nostalgia that I begin by introducing you to a painting named “Dorothy.” Painting for me began with Dorothy, my grandmother. She was the first real artist I knew and the first to sit and paint with me for hours upon hours. She was the first to make me practice a paint stroke a hundred times and the first to introduce me to exotic names like burnt umber and raw sienna.

This painting began with a bright red petaled flower reminiscent of my grandmother’s gorgeous red hair and firey spirit. She was power and grace. I surrounded the flower with the Norwegian Rosemaling paint strokes that she taught me. Rosemaling is an ancient folk art that Dorothy’s family brought over from Norway a generation before her. She studied the art regularly and adored her Norwegian heritage, so much so that she took on the family farm name—Kjorlaug— as her artist name.

I used watercolor as my medium instead of the oil paint she taught me with, because I’m exploring and trying to find my art loves. Watercolor is fast becoming a favorite.

It is a joy to know that this painting found a home January 2022.

And so it begins…


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