Why the bear track? Ladd has signed his work with a bear track since the mid-seventies, reflecting the meaning of his last name. Bjørn in Norwegian means bear. In old Norwegian, by means place. So the name means “Bear’s place.”
How does one pronounce the last name? Start out with the name of the Seattle suburb of Burien. Now you’ve got “Bur” with a long u sound. Now take the Vancouver, B.C. suburb of Burnaby. Pronounce that with the long u of Burien, and you can say Bjorneby!
Below you will see the logo Ladd designed for the anniversary of the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.
These paintings are not intended to be simply about the art works themselves, but about the nature that surrounds us, refreshes us, brings peace, calm and health. A day is not complete for me without a daily walk, hike or showshoe. For me it’s also spiritual time, time to pray and ponder, time to listen to the One who created and sustains us.
As a Scandinavian-American kid, a beautiful day was wasted if spent entirely indoors. With six decades behind me, that hasn’t changed.
It’s not my aim to be photographic. My aim is to be painterly enough that you can see the strokes of the brush, the texture of the paint, and so discern some of the process that came to make the image.
At the same time, these are realistic paintings, painted, at least in part, from observation or my photographs. I’m not disappointed when a photo doesn’t turn out. Some of my best paintings have been when I used a failed photo as a reference to paint from.
This is a personal vision, but a vision of what we all share, the nature that surrounds us. In the midst of a stressful world, I hope these transport you to a place of peace.