One day I took a walk to Risskov forest that situated on the seaside, it was a sunny day, and afterwards I went to a nice café “Rohdes” someone told me about it. Enjoying delicious sandwich I noticed very nice paintings on the walls. There were bright, colorful, with smiling faces and created very cozy atmosphere at the café. There were artists’ business cards, and I took one of them. I contacted Helle Christensen and we agreed to meet for an interview.
Helle was very kind to invite me to her home, and what was the most important and nice of her, when she was not sure about her knowledge of English, she asked her son to help with translation. With his help we communicated (though Helle can speak English) and I was able to write today’s post.
Helle has a strong personality. Ten years ago she had problems with health and had to stay at home for a long time. But for her it didn’t mean the end of a normal life, but the beginning of development her artistic talents. She was working as decorator and a home designer before her illness, and when she stayed at home she started to paint. She joined several art clubs in the beginning, but afterwards started to sell her paintings through Internet and some of her paintings are in city cafés. She is very good in selling her works, during her artistic career she sold around 700 pieces, and only once the painting was return. She has clients in Sweden, Germany and Denmark.
She doesn’t have special art education, and I was thinking after our meeting on one question “Is art supposed to be liked by everyone and be sold or to be strange and shocking, but then just to hang in galleries or cost so much that average people cannot afford it?”
For Helle there is no such question. She paints when she is happy and wants to make people’s lives a bit more lighter and positive. She has her loyal clients, and when she has an order she tries to understand peoples’ wishes and their desires. For some of them she choose different range of colors (for example, elderly people prefer brown and pastel colors, young people and dentists buy varicolored paintings), some wants to have some sort of family portrait or their favorite cities on paintings, Helle sometimes even ask for help from clients’ children and then they are very proud in helping to create a painting. Helle doesn’t like rules in her works, she wants to be free to create her pieces how she wants, and sell them by price she thinks it is the best (in the beginning of her career her works were very cheap, around 300 euros, now big painting costs around 500 euros, which for Denmark is very low price for such pieces of art).
Helle’s life is not only painting, she has a lot of friends, and she is in a fantastic shape, she goes to gym every day and spends there 2-3 hours, also she is a freelance decorator at several shops of Føtex (Danish supermarket) in Aarhus, she has a lot of friends, and also she is hypnotherapist. Her goal is to help people with their problems (smoking, stress etc.) without medicine and using pills.
And in the end she shared her life motto with me. For Helle the most important is to be herself in the life and not to be afraid to make mistakes, just to enjoy every day and to be grateful for what she has in her life.