Inspired by Oleanna Cunneen, I created a border

In researching the history of Mount Horeb for the troll coloring book, I learned about this woman Oleanna Cunneen. She was of Norwegian descent, and she did a lot of art in a very traditional, Norwegian style. She was the first troll creator in Mount Horeb. Her trolls were about a foot high, usually, and were displayed in store fronts around town. (aside: She even sent one to then President Ronald Reagan!) When she painted on wooden boards, she often used a rosemaling border.

Troll painting by Oleanna Cunneen, with Rosemaling border.

I wanted to incorporate that into my coloring book, The Trolls of Mount Horeb, some sort of Oleanna Cunneen-inspired border, so I ended up doing this around the poetry. I then realized (a bit too late) that if I surround the poetry with something to color, then I have back-to-back coloring, which it appears colorists don’t care for much. The whole point of the poems is so that every other page will not have coloring. Also, I like writing poetry. But, anyway, it seems too late to change it. Sorry not sorry? Maybe the borders will only bleed through to around the outer edges of the trolls, and then the trolls will have a border, too. Though, probably not. Probably, this is just a big goof.

The border I’m putting around my poems in the new Trolls of Mount Horeb Coloring Book.

Maybe it’s a huge mistake. Maybe, it’s the best thing ever! Probably something in between.

Either way, doesn’t look like Rosemaling until you color it.

Shoshanah Marohn
Shoshanah Lee Marohn is a writer and illustrator whose books include the recent children's book, "Murgatroyd Buttercups," the almost-best-selling "Birds in Beards Coloring Book," and the notorious "Avoiding Sex with Frenchmen."

4 Comments

  1. I love her style of trolls. Very fun and whimsical. And I’m a big fan of breaking rules, so bleeding colors be damned! Maybe it’ll make it look even more fun with the mixture of colors?

  2. The border on the plate reminds me of eels. Your border looks like flowers and leaves and possibly the odd shrimp. It doesn’t look like a goof to the naked eye.

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