Nano Nore's Norway
The Nore family came from Norway to Nebraska 100 years ago. But we have kept contact with our Norwegian cousins and share the common Christmas meals of lutefisk and lefse (codfish and flat bread) ever since as they do in Bryggia, Nordfjord, Norway. I visited Norway and my cousins in 1998 and vowed to return again to spend a greater amount of time making art.
So for 2 years I planned and saved toward a trip to Norway. And William Jewell College helped me with a $1000 grant. My suitcases were filled with art supplies for a 3 month residency in the western fjord country and stays with my Norwegian relatives in Alesund, Blakset and Bryggia.
While in Norway I drew and painted the sights near my family of origin primarily in and around the Nordfjord, Norway. Eventually my primary response to the fjord views of the Innvik landscape had to be “representationally abstract.” The small sections of farm land, in myriad colors of ochre-browns, light greens, yellows, and dark greens, glowed radiantly as the midnight sun positioned its rays on these acres and woods across Nordfjord from Blakset. It was magic. Because of the steep angles on both sides of the fjord, these paintings give the impression that the viewer is air bound and observing the landscape as it were from an airplane, when in actuality I was in a cabin across the fjord from Invik. These were executed on black gesso (on canvas) or archival India ink (on 140 pound 100% cotton rag watercolor paper) with gouache (opaque water color), Caran d’ Ache Neo-pastels or Sennelier oil pastels.
My second response to the landscape of Norway is emotional & representational, with hints & veins of expressionism in the prints. I have drawn interesting rock formations, Nordfjord & 19th century Norwegian boats, Bryggia dock, Kannensteinen Rock, Selja Island (of St. Sunniva fame)—the Benedictine Monastery and the boat dock, Selje Lutheran Church, and the Totland Lutheran Church seen from the Old Bryggia Road. The black and white linoleum prints are each in an edition of 30 on 100% cotton rag paper
I want a bold interplay between the positive and negative shapes. This is most clearly seen in my prints. I believe in autobiography—the experience viewed, then translated onto a two dimensional surface. Before a drawing, print or painting represents “something”, I want it to have strong design which reveals structure in its lines and angles. I don’t want a pastiche of Post-Modernism with random snippets of images in disjointed juxtaposition. This is too much like giving in to our chaotic world. I want to take and make order of my chaos. This is my gestalt.