BROOKLYN — The seafaring tradition runs deep in oil painter Odd Andersen’s blood. The New Jersey resident, son of a Norwegian merchant seaman, spent almost three decades as a dock builder in the New York harbor, where he worked on such projects as the Tappan Zee and Throgs Neck Bridges and docks at Port Newark, Port Elizabeth and the Brooklyn waterfront.
Born and raised in the former Scandinavian neighborhood in Bay Ridge, Andersen began drawing cartoons at an early age. At 15 he studied painting for about a year and has been painting for about 50 years, mostly after retiring, when time was more available. He also studied for a year in the 1980s but is largely self-taught.
Drafted into the Navy in 1955, Odd Andersen spent two years on small boats in Delaware. Andersen’s father was born in Norway and went to sea as a teenager, making two voyages on whaling ships to Antarctica before he was 16.
Andersen has exhibited his works at the Belskie Museum in New Jersey at the “Ship Ahoy” exhibit. Presently his paintings are on exhibit at the Heritage Hall Museum of the Norwegian Christian Home and Health Center in Brooklyn.
His large-scale oil paintings of boats, bridges and waterfront scenes will soon be exhibited on the walls of the 98-year-old wooden barge that is home to the Waterfront Museum in Red Hook. The exhibit will be on view from April 19 through Oct. 20. See the museum’s website at www.waterfrontmuseum.org for a full schedule of activities.