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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


I grew up in an environment where the winters are without daylight and the summers are without darkness. My paintings reflect the contrast between light and dark, which I still associate with the changing of the seasons in Northern Norway. My color choices are influenced by this change and its effect on my state of mind. The darker colors , which I use more frequently during winter, have a heaviness relieved by bright hues, while paintings utilizing overall higher values, balance playfull darker tones. The world I am painting is one based on an imaginative interpretation of nature being transformed into a world caught between dreams and reality. I collect information about nature by painting outdoors. This information shares significance with memories of real and dreamed landscapes. Nature acts as a source on two levels; providing direct images described in the paintings and providing influence from natural phenomena like seasonal changes and cycles of death and rebirth. The paintings become a personal expression of my experiences of these pehnomena. Ultimately the work is not about nature in a literal or descriptive sense, but a metaphorical or spiritual way. Nature images described as themselves can be seen in a literal way. Yet because they have been used historically, they also are a universal symbolic language. This allows for the possibility of a visual statement which transcends the obvious literal meaning. The leaves, plants, stars, moon and sun which make up the iconography of my work are important to me, because of their everlasting cycle of death and rebirth, and because of their importance through the history of symbols. In Chinese symbolism, for example, a single leaf is an allegory of happiness, while several leaves appearing together represent people, and plants are an image of life and spirituality. Although I am aware of the symbolic language of the iconography I use, I choose these images because of their personal importance to me.




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