Artist Christel Maria Nolle

February 18, 2011

Born and raised in Germany, painter and sculptor Christel Maria Nolle relocated to Denmark in the 70’s where she has lived and worked as an artist ever since. Her work is seriously inspiring today with her gorgeous portfolio of abstract and mixed media work on canvas and paper — she is seriously making me want to paint! I love her lines and shapes and how she uses color to captivate, arouse, distract, and pull in the viewer. Her work makes a very clear statement: Christel is a free spirit who has no problem with expressing her emotion through art. I love how she translates her many travels into her work as well.

Artist Christel Maria Nolle

Artist Christel Maria Nolle

Artist Christel Maria Nolle

“To me, the finished painting is like a woven rug – a pictorial narrative comprising many details”, says Christel. I loved reading about her process and inspirations here and found it both informative and inspiring.

Her work is not only bold but versatile — I can see it in a beautiful country home like the one that BY+FRYD lives in (here) or I can imagine it in a more traditional home like something you’d find in London with a chesterfield sofa in posh digs. I can easily see it working well in a home with a slouchy black leather sofa, white walls with high ceilings and wooden floors like a flat you’d see in Stockholm or Berlin. The key with choosing art, at least for me, is to fall in love with a piece and don’t select fine art based on your decor but based on what speaks to you and what taps into your emotional side like no other piece you’ve seen in a long, long time. If your heart guides you, it will most likely look great in your space and if it doesn’t then perhaps your space doesn’t reflect your true self and lifestyle and so you need to make a few small changes in your decor so that it reflects who you are.

Do you purchase fine art? If so, where – galleries, the artist, exhibitions, auctions? If you’ve purchased fine art before, why did you make the investment, can you go into detail? I’d love to know and I’m sure other readers would enjoy your comment too.

(images christel maria nolle)


  • Reply juliette February 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    I’ve purchased a few pieces of fine art over the years and so far my purchases have only been directly from the artist themselves. Not that I have anything against purchasing from a gallery or anything, it just hasn’t happened yet.

    The main reasons supporting my purchase decisions were a) knowing the artist personally in a way that I was able to know the story/process behind their work (thereby making it more meaningful/valuable to me) and b) really liking the timelessness and aesthetic aspects of the piece.

    Of course, price always comes into play! There are a number of pieces I would love to own (or have commissioned) from artists I already know, but it’s just not a priority in our budget planning right now. I will say that getting married brings another hurdle to the process, ha ha!

  • Reply Catherine LES VIGNETTES February 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    A free spirit indeed !

  • Reply Beverly Brown February 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Holly, you are so right! I love that you said, “The key with choosing art, at least for me, is to fall in love with a piece and don’t select fine art based on your decor but based on what speaks to you and what taps into your emotional side.” As a visual artist, I struggle to communicate this to my customers all the time. For whatever reason, most people aren’t confident in their taste when it comes to buying art, yet have no problem choosing music, books, films etc.

    By the way, Christel’s work is wonderful – vibrant and full of life.

  • Reply classiq February 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Such a wonderful post! I love her work, her way of expressing herself through art. And you are so right in what you say about the right impulse to buy art, you must choose it with your heart, not think first whether it will look good in your home.

  • Reply Kim February 18, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I’m an illustrator myself and most of the art I have collected over the years is actually from my fellow artist friends. some I have paid money for and some I have traded my own art for. It’s inspiring when your peers appreciate your art. I also enjoy roaming small local galleries, I usually immediately know if something captures my aesthetic preferences and I want to know more.

  • Reply Mandy of Kini Style February 18, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Wow! What beautiful abstract artwork. I love the mixture of patterns and bright colors.

  • Reply julie February 19, 2011 at 12:24 am

    I haven’t purchased fine art before but I have my eye on an artist who I would love to own a painting by. Have you heard of Michelle Armas Holly? Her paintings a lovely, colourful and optimistic. They make me happy, so of course I would love one in my home. What better reason to buy art than it makes you happy.

  • Reply Jason February 19, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I prefer to collect art from artists I know or am able to get to know before I purchase their work. However, I have purchased work in Japan from artists who I have not known. Japanese art, both modern and old are my favourites. In particular, Serizawa (who was a national living treasure) and Sasajima. I have some of the pieces in my home. I also like to put my own work around my house.

  • Reply Casey Craig Art February 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Hi Holly,

    I just found your site – very inspiring! Always enjoy seeing other artist’s work and what their process involves.

    Casey Craig

  • Reply Vera February 20, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Hello Holly, wow, “die Welt ist ein Dorf!” (the world is a village). Just came across your page while looking for color palette inspiration for week 3 of Get Your Paint On class. As I see, you’re taking the class too. Isn’t it amazing? I love it! Lisa and Mati are so inspiring! Also love Christel Maria Nolle’s work. Thanks for sharing! I better get my paint on now… :-)

  • Reply Emily Smith Pearce February 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Really enjoyed seeing this artist’s work. It’s lovely and inspiring—I like the way there’s plenty of room for weaving your own story around it. When we’ve purchased fine art, which is not very often but a special occasion, it’s usually been directly from the artist. We have to both have this kind of buzzing inside that just says it belongs in our home. Decor usually builds around our artwork. Always the piece is something that invokes a deep sense of place for us, and when we see it, it reminds of us a special time. Recently we bought something from neighborhood (List) artist Franz Betz.

  • Reply stephey February 20, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    This is a great post! I love learning of new artists and their process. I especially liked reading how Christel describes her pieces, how the “finished painting is like a woven rug – a pictorial narrative comprising many details.” This is beautiful and I can sense that through all her layers and line!

    I purchase original artwork every chance I get. I’m blessed to have been raised by a carefree artist, my mom. Our house has always been filled with the most beautiful creations and fueled with inspiration. It’s easy to find inspiration when hanging out w/artist all day and to glimpse their various ways od viewing the world is a blessing! Thanks again for this post!

  • Reply gretchenmist/belinda February 21, 2011 at 12:30 am

    oooh, i love her work ~ her fearless use of colour is so great!
    and layers and detail . . . very cool.
    i used to work for a high end gallery before i had kids and used to drool over the completely unaffordable beautiful work. etsy makes owning art possible. i’ve done a couple of trades with artists i love and i’ve bought some too. so worth every cent. saving up for more :)

  • Reply Glenda Childers February 21, 2011 at 12:43 am

    My heart influences my art purchases. Sometimes I sees something that I love so much, I know I will be very sad later if I don’t get it. My last such purchases was a small oil painting of a village in Moldova. It only cost $50 in a street market . . . but it was mine and I LOVE IT. Beautiful memories of an amazing trip.


  • Reply Julie February 21, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Hi Holly. My sister ( is an artist, so I buy most of my art directly from her. She paints rocks collected from around the world and other ther mediums. I not only love supporting her passion, but I love having original work in my home.

    Thanks for your post! Will definitely check out Christel’s work.

  • Reply Christina Diaz February 22, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I absolutely love her style and color palette! I would definitely purchase her work if I could afford it. I love to buy paintings but mostly buy them at our monthly antique fair mainly because I can buy beautiful unique pieces at affordable prices. I hope to one day be able to buy on a different level. For me life is incomplete without art.

  • Reply Lyne Marshall March 11, 2011 at 12:13 am

    I love Christel’s work and it’s great to see such passionate writing about the arts, and support for what you believe in. I buy artworks when I see something I just cant leave behind and I like to blog and inspire others to create from the heart. Although primarily an artist I have two books based on my personal research into creative processes and the mind. Who would have thought… Kind Regards Lyne

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