Joan Dahl is a published author of several hardcover art books and various articles in major art magazines as well as having made several Rosemaling DVDs. She has been a Rosemaling teacher since the mid seventies and has researched this artform for 17 years in its homeland of Norway. There she taught the Norwegians their own artform at the University for 9 years. In Norway Joan Dahl had the opportunity to meet and paint with several of the late Rosemaling masters. Therefore, she teaches the authentic Norwegian Rosemaling and folklore in the manner it was originated in its homeland. This includes painting in oils. Her favorite paint is Permalba-Professional Oil Colors by Martin/F Weber.
Joan Dahl has not only taught Rosemaling at the Norwegian University. These two pictures are from a recent seminar she conducted in South Korea.
The US has become the adopted homeland of Rosemaling. This started with the mass immigration from Norway in the second quarter of the nineteenth century when many Rosemalers moved to the New World. Much credit for this growing popularity must also be given to the great Vesterheim Norwegian-American museum in Decorah, Iowa. This is the US cultural center for priceless Norwegian art and heirlooms from the days of the first emigrants and up to modern times. Joan Dahl’s art work is on permanent display there, along with the other treasures.
One of the favorite objects of Rosemaling in Norway was the storage trunk. This piece of furniture became the standard luggage of the immigrants. As a consequence, examples of Rosemaling came to America in an even greater numbers than the painters who produced this art. In the past, the connection between Rosemaling and America was largely due to historical circumstances. Today, a much more significant relationship is being established. The revival began with the immigrant groups, but soon attracted the attention of the broader American public. Rosemaling is now found in adult education programs and arts and crafts businesses all over the country. There are now many more Rosemalers in USA than in Norway!
Rosemaling is an over 1000 year old art form which was copied by the roving Vikings in the 9th century from the Greek and Roman acanthus leaf. They used to carve this leaf on their ships as decorations and protection from evil happenings. This is one of the earliest Rosemaling forms known. Today’s Rosemaling continues the characteristically complex curving and interfacing of the organic decorations of the Viking Age. Today, the three prominent Rosemaling styles are Hallingdal, Rogaland and Telemark. With the loss of the original Master Rosemalers in Norway, there is a lack of good sources of instructions in the homeland of this beautiful art. There are no major teaching institutions available anymore. Several decades ago, there used to be a Rosemaling School in a place called Sand in the southern part of Norway, but there are no major educational institutions available anymore.
From over 30 years of teaching experience in Europe and USA, she has developed simple painting techniques for the beginners and more challenging painting methods for advanced painters. Joan Dahl is well known for her exceptional ability of color composition and strokework which are clearly demonstrated in every project she creates. She speaks English, Norwegian and Polish fluently and understands Danish and Swedish. Her entertaining teaching methods make it a lot of fun to attend her seminars.
Living in Florida many of us "adult" men rarely get dressed up with a jacket and tie. The enclosed picture is the last time I was dressed in party cloth and was taken of Joan and me at a Christmas party in the White House when Laura Bush was the first lady. We didn’t crash the party, but were invited because Joan had painted a beautiful Christmas Decoration for them. Needless to say, we are both very proud of this picture and for having had the opportunity to visit the White House.