Kristoffer Thomason Kjorlaug

reads about the palm trees

What I see in this painting

Palm trees were foreign to Norwegians in the Northern Tundra. Families learned of exotic places by reading together in their homes and with family. It was one way to pass the long nights in Norway. The first thing my grandmother would do when we came over was pick a book out to read a little of each day while we snuggled on the couch together. Whe she read, the stories took me places I had never been and remind me of being with her to this day. 

My Norwegian ancestors lived on a farm in Norway in a small region called Kjorlaug. The 4 Rosemaling seed paintings are from bits and pieces of stories my Norwegian grandmother told.

Norwegian Rosemaling is an ancient Norwegian folk art taught to me by my grandmother. 

What is underneath this painting

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.””

Psalms 92:12-15 NIV

The words in this Psalm were often read on a Sabbath. This rest means listening. Listen then when God describes you. He knows what you are like when you are with Him. You look like a tree when you follow Him—a straight palm reaching far upward, bearing fruit, flourishing beside Him. The date palm produces a fruit that would have been thoroughly enjoyed in Israel, and by Jesus when he walked there beside us. 


This art series began on a rabbit trail I was trekking down to find trees in the Bible (there are so many!!!) I love trees, but four arrested my attention and became the subjects for this Rosemaling seed series. Trees are a picture God often uses to describe humans and these four—the date palm, the almond tree, the oak, and the mustard— are how God pictorally described the righteous (those who follow Him). Now when I look at these trees, I feel seen and described by my God. The trees were brought back to seed form in the creation of these pieces because spring was coming when I made them, and I was so looking forward to it. —Kristin

Kristoffer Thomason Kjorlaug reads about the palm trees
Watercolor and Ink – 8×10 inches

This painting was sold at gallery840 in Allentown PA and lives in a little cabin north of here.


Limited Edition Prints of all the seeds are available:

High quality archival prints of Kristin Kjorlaug’s original Rosemaling seed series in watercolor and ink. 8×10 inch print. Ships within 2 weeks. 

Prints are available for purchase through the gallery840 website.

Norwegian Rosemaling Seed series

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