In 1843, a young man disappeared without a trace from a modest family farm in Sweden. Seven years later, his mother received a letter postmarked from America. It was from her son, O.M. Norling. He explained that a compulsion to experience this faraway land had driven him to leave behind all that he knew.
The young man is my great-great grandfather. To put so much on the line to obey a compulsion… the audacity of this story was unnerving to me as a younger man. But now, with more years behind me, the sheer volume of life force it represents captivates and motivates me as an artist. For over a decade, I’ve signed my paintings, O.M. Norling.
With pencil, brush and oil paint, I construct eccentric compositions made up of animals, objects and furniture that all echo another time. They are beautiful, dark and humorous stories about the human experience.