Tag Archives: Roseau

Local Artist Story: Jean Honl

Artist Story: Jean Honl ~ Rosemaling

Sarah Meisinger, owner of En Liten Svensk Shoppe in Roseau, wrote a blog post about local artist Jean Honl and her Rosemaling. Read the post below:

Many of our customers enter the Shoppe and immediately recognize Jean’s art work.  They know it because they already own a piece of Jean’s art or their friends, neighbors or family members do.  Jean has been a beloved artist in Northwestern Minnesota for over 40 years and we are so pleased to carry her traditional Scandinavian Rosemaling at the En Liten Svensk Shoppe.

 Jean’s work is especially impressive because she is primarily self-taught and she does much of the woodworking herself.  She designs, builds and creates the pieces that ultimately become the canvas for her beautiful painting technique.

Recently, we hosted a strolling demonstration at the Shoppe to showcase Jean’s talent and I spent some time chatting with her, admiring her ability to answer my questions and paint at the same time (the kind of focus that only comes from years of practice).  I asked Jean about her favorite part of the Rosemaling process and she said, “This… right now, it’s my favorite.”  And what Jean was doing was the detail work, the intricate lines and scroll work that is a defining characteristic of the art form.

Jean’s work has been showcased on Public Television as well periodicals and publications across the region.  She is a mother and grandmother and lovingly shares stories about her trips to Fargo to see her grandchildren, spoiling them as only grandmas know how.

I asked Jean about how she got her start in Rosemaling and how her skills have progressed over the years.

“Our Roseau School was offering a Rosemaling class through community education and my husband convinced me to go. That night I fell in love with Rosemaling and have been painting since 1974.”

Jean goes on to explain, “When I started Rosemaling there were only a few books about the technique. Now, through the internet, Rosemaling is very accessible and has been introduced throughout the world.”

Jean describes how she’s perfected the art over the last many years and notes that she’s had many opportunities to learn with a variety of teachers and in different settings.  Jean offers a couple of examples of the places she’s explored Rosemaling, “I took classes at Vesterheim in Decorah, Iowa and close to home in Grand Forks.”

Jean offered some thoughtful wisdom when I inquired about any advice she might have for a new artist just starting out,

“My advice to Rosemalers is don’t give up. Rosemaling isn’t learned overnight. Try to find a Rosemaling class. Sons of Norway, Vesterheim, and Rosemaling Associations are a good place to start.”

I asked Jean if she actually makes all of the wood pieces for her products and her response made me chuckle.  She said, “When I show the finished pieces to people, they think my husband made the furniture.  I do set them straight.”  Jean has a woodworking shop connected to her garage and she loves the process of building the wood pieces.  Currently, Jean has been building and Rosemaling large pieces of furniture for her home.  She’s wanted to create the pieces for years and decided that if she was going to build them herself, she wanted to do it now as her children are all grown and she has the extra time.

I asked Jean if there’s a favorite piece she’s created and she shared a photo of the large corner cupboard she has in her guest room.  It is absolutely incredible!

We could not have a Scandinavian Shoppe without Jean’s art work – it is a symbol of the beauty of our culture and traditions.  Thank you, Jean, for collaborating with us and for sharing your immense talent.  To learn more about Jean and her artwork, please visit the En Liten Svensk Shoppe on Main Street in Roseau and visit Jean’s website at:

www.jeanhonl.com

As Jean aptly says, “Happy Rosemaling!”

Handcrafted Bags Created by Area Artist Bonnie Hagen

Bonnie Hagen is an artist at En Liten Svensk Shoppe with a flair for color, design and detail

Bonnie’s Story:

“I grew up admiring my godmother who could sew anything without a pattern!  She inspired me at an early age to use my imagination and create beautiful things to wear as well as different accessories.

When I retired, I decided I needed something to keep me busy and started creating purses, weekend bags, traveling bags and water bottle bags.  I have approximately 16 different varieties of bags that I love to make.  My greatest pleasure is picking out the fabric and designing a special bag with that print or design in mind.  If I’m having a bad day, a quick trip to the fabric shop to just admire and feel the fabric sets me right back into feeling good about the day. “

You can read more about Bonnie and the bags here.

You can find Bonnie’s bags at En Liten Svensk Shoppe, 101 Main Avenue North, Roseau. You can  reach her at (218) 242-0894 or bonniehagen48@gmail.com.

Artist Story: Dean Brateng Weaving

This blog post was written by Sarah Meisinger, owner of En Liten Svensk (A Little Swedish) Shoppe in Roseau. It features area Artist Dean Brateng who’s work is available for purchase at Sarah’s shop in Roseau. To learn more about the shop see their website here.

(A wonderful variety of colors and sizes.)

Dean and Pat Brateng emit the down-to-earth, hometown friendliness that inspired me to open a Scandinavian Shoppe in Roseau.  Dean has been weaving longer than I’ve been alive and it shows in the craftsmanship and the quality of his beautifully woven rugs and bags.

For our Artist feature this month, we are featuring Dean’s weaving and a bit of his story.

 (A unique and durable woven bag!)

Dean was first introduced to the art of weaving by his Aunt Lillie Peterson of Roseau.  Dean’s Aunt Lillie was a well-known rug weaver and had many customers throughout Northwestern Minnesota.

When Dean was a young boy, his mother would drop him off at Aunt Lillie’s house while she ran errands in town.  It was during these times spent with his Aunt, that Dean began to learn about loom weaving.  Aunt Lillie would put Dean to work cutting materials along with other tasks and it was then that Dean’s lifelong interest in weaving began.

  (Dean at his loom weaving a beautiful Scandinavian inspired design.)

Years later when Aunt Lilly went into the nursing home, Dean inherited her loom.  As the story goes, the loom was Dean’s if he agreed to keep the loom in the family.  And today, Dean and Pat have created a loyal customer base and their rugs can be found in countless homes.

A key collaborator in the weaving process is Dean’s wife, Pat.  I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing Pat’s stories about how generous the community is when it’s time to get rid of clothing, especially old denim jeans.  The Brateng’s have often come home to their farm in rural Wannaska to large boxes and bags of jeans sitting on the front porch or in the yard.  Because of their reputation for rug weaving, many folks are aware that Dean and Pat will know exactly what to do with the items… they will re-purpose the clothing and create something lovely and useful.  I asked Pat if she finds it a little odd to come home to other peoples’ clothing and she only smiled, laughed and said they’re “used to it.”

We are very pleased to carry the Brateng’s weavings and appreciate that when they’re not farming, gardening and doing a variety of other tasks (they are busy!) Dean and Pat are creating rugs and bags for the En Liten Svensk (A Little Swedish) Shoppe!

Artist Story — Janet Johnson of River’s Edge Studio

This blog post about Artist and NWMAC Board Member Janet Johnson is written by Sarah Meisinger, Owner of En Liten Svensk (A Little Swedish) Shoppe in Roseau. You can read this and other blog entries at https://www.alittleswedishshoppe.com/blog.

Artist Story – Janet Johnson of River’s Edge Studio

July 1, 2018

Janet was one of the first artists I met when the new Shoppe was beginning to take shape.  She is the kind of woman that when she speaks, I listen.  She emits wisdom, warmth and kindness and her eyes brighten when she talks about her art and her love of creating.  

I asked Janet several questions to help me kick off the Artist Story Series on the Blog.  Here’s Janet’s story, in her own words.

Little did I know as a child growing up in Williams, Minnesota, that I would one day have my own studio and would be selling my art and showing it in a gallery!  After all, our little school which didn’t even offer kindergarten back in the day, and never had an art teacher.  I had no idea I was interested in or had any talents in art until I took my first art class in college as a general ed credit, and just kept going.  I was determined to teach English at the time, but earned my teaching certificate in both English and Art.  Teaching English at a high school level and raising three daughters left little time for me to pursue my art interests, but in the middle of my career, a year after a life changing event, I was asked to teach middle school art.  I said no several times because I felt that I had nothing left to give. I finally took that chance, and that has made all the difference in my life!

Doors opened for opportunities that helped me grow as a person and as an artist.  People on a statewide level actually valued my input and it amazed me.  My confidence grew.  My connections with other artists developed.

Because I had left my art in the shadow for so long, I had to scramble to catch up in order to teach middle school students.  I hit the books and the internet and talked to other artists and art teachers.  I found that giving kids basic skills and then stepping back to let them develop their own artistic voice was very successful—and joyful!  By the time I retired in 2013, my high school students were winning awards and being showcased at the state level and in regional competitions. My own art was improving as well, because I was constantly studying and practicing and exploring different methods and mediums in order to pique the interest of my students.

My art studio, which I developed after my husband and I built a new house shows evidence of my zest to learn as much as possible in as many mediums as possible.  Uff da!  My studio is FULL!  However, it has become apparent that I need to focus on just a few mediums, primarily pottery.  Why?  There are only 24 hours in a day, and I have gardens, a husband, and a family who also need my time.  I decided to focus more on pottery because it is beautiful and utilitarian.  In economic terms, pottery sells better.  If I want to continue to create art, I need to sell some of it too.

I still do some painting, mixed media, and print making, as well as teaching a variety of art classes, and mentoring other artists, but most of my time is spent on the potters wheel.  I have shown my work in a number of art shows sponsored by the Region 1 Arts Council, as well as at the Riverwalk Gallery in East Grand Forks.  When Keith and Tom Pringle began planning to open a coffee shop in Roseau, they asked me to show and sell my paintings and pottery there.  What a wonderful opportunity!  Then when Sarah Meisinger decided to open her En Liten Svensk Shoppe on Main Street, I was again asked to bring in my pottery.  For a time I also had my work at The Plaid Walleye in Warroad.  These wonderful opportunities keep me producing work, which is a good thing.

Never one to be satisfied with a little knowledge, I constantly challenge myself to learn new techniques and work with different clays or glazes.

I am somewhat self-taught, but that is because I constantly observe and talk to other artists, and I am an avid fan of Pinterest!   I don’t like to copy what other artists have done, but rather use what I see and learn in order to recharge my own creative juices and practice basic skills.  When I took a pottery class in college many moons ago, I never really learned how to consistently center clay on the wheel.  My on-going research and many attempts now help me to help others who are struggling with centering clay.

Problem solving is one of the prompts that gets me out of a “good enough” rut.  When I didn’t like how pocket mugs felt at the tips of my fingers, I designed a different type of handle that would snuggle the hand, but not crowd my fingertips.  Thus, the Snuggle Mug was born.  When a thin spot developed in a cylinder I was throwing, I learned how to control the way the clay fell instead of  just taking the clay off the wheel and throwing it in the recycle bucket.  These pieces become my “soggy bottom pottery”—truly one of a kind pieces!

When I don’t like the direction a painting is going, I might mask off an area and cover up the rest of what I had started, and then go from there.  In a nutshell, the art work itself is not sacred, but the process of discovery is.  Much of what I start, especially with painting and drawing, follows a path different from what I first intended.

Those usually are the most successful works—when I just dive in fearlessly and let the work develop itself.

This attitude toward working creatively and letting go of my ego spawned a collaboration with another artist friend of mine.  We decided to work together on creating a dozen mixed media works of art, agreed on some simple rules, and pinky swore that we would still be friends when we were done.  The result was a body of work that still amazes me.  One of those pieces is perhaps my favorite.  It incorporated my “long distance” relationship with my mother whom we buried on my 22nd birthday, as well as some of my grandmother’s hand crocheted lace.  Everything wove together with vines from a plant my mother gave to me, and which I gave to my friend who drew it into our composition along with a gate from her childhood.  Both of our lives touched the lines and colors and patterns to create a piece that is poignant and timeless.

Where does my creative process end?  At my end I guess.  I cannot imagine a day without being creative in some way, whether I am planting flowers, adding personal touches to our home, singing to the birds, helping another emerging artist along the way, or going out to my studio to see what delicious mischief I can create out there.  Every day I work at becoming the person and the artist I was always meant to be.

  Janet’s goofy side as she plays the “poetress” in the community production of “My Name is Alice.”

Janet’s art can be found at the En Liten Svensk (A Little Swedish) Shoppe in Roseau  alittleswedishshoppe.com and via the River’s Edge Studio Facebook page – link here.

Roseau Concert Nights at the Gazebo

Enjoy an evening of outdoor entertainment with concert nights at the Gazebo in Roseau this summer on Thursdays from 6:30-8:30 pm. Bring your lawn chair and listen to music on the banks of the Roseau River. In the event of rain, all concerts will be held at the Roseau School Theater. Here’s the schedule:

June 14 Dariann Leigh

Dariann Leigh, a small town girl with a big voice, and even bigger dreams. Singing since she could talk. Her small town roots show in her natural, and raw performances.  Hot dogs, chips and cookies served by Moe and Messiah Youth Group. 

June 21 Paul Wilson and Mary Abendroth

Enjoy these Scandinavian Folk Musicians Paul Wilson and Mary Abendroth. Midsummer Celebration with Scandinavian treats served by Sons of Norway. Funding provided by Minnesota’s Legacy Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund

June 28 The Jensen Sisters

Two free-spirited singer/songwriters with a passion for country music with a Little Rock n roll sound.  Roseau Lions will be serving burgers.

July 12 Gabby June

Root beer floats served by the Roseau Area Community Fund.

 

July 26 Kari and Billy

Whether performing on a big stage or simply playing to friends and family around a campfire, Kari and Billy are seeking to bring back the simplicity and wholesome feel of great melodies and relatable lyrics.

 

 

 

August 2  The Overtones

The Overtones are a quartet – they have been singing together for over 30 years. Burgers served by the Roseau Lions.

August 9 Jesse Bean

August 16 Jordynn Johnsrud

August 23 The WoodPicks

Join the end of the summer concert series with the unique talents of the five member band, The WoodPicks Their enjoyable stage show incorporates strong harmonies and musical style that features their own arrangements of original music and old favorites.

The WoodPicks have been fortunate to share the stage with such great acts as the Grascals, Monroe Crossing, Dailey and Vincent, actor/singer Ned Beatty, JD Crowe, John Cowan, High Plains Tradition and Special Consensus. Food will be served by Roseau ALS.

Funding provided by Minnesota’s Legacy Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

Don’t forget your lawn chair or blankets!

For more information contact roseaupromotions@mncable.net