European creativity and American experience
Arts and Medicine

European creativity and American experience

Denise Hansen

58 route de Colmar, L-7766 Bissen, Luxembourg, Europe

Corresponding to:
Denise Hansen. 4459 Ranchwood road, 44333 Akron, OH, USA. Current +1 330 576 6165; End of June +352 83 50 54.

Submitted Mar 09, 2012. Accepted for publication Mar 16, 2012.
DOI: 10.3978/j.issn.2223-3652.2012.03.03

Pablo Picasso stated, “art does not call for explanations”. He should know having created so many incredible pieces. Why then do so many people seek explanations regarding the what, the where, and the when a piece evolved.

Are people really seeking to understand the artist himself - the who, the how, and the why? Do they want to connect with the way an artist perceives and interprets reality and thus creates a new reality. What if their questioning is not as much with regard to the result but the reason of creation?

I have no intention giving any explanations to specific pieces of mine but feel that it might be noteworthy to explain the way I call them to life.

At the art academy of Trier, a college lecturer almost disbelieved my facing an empty canvas and not having a vision of what I intend to paint, until he saw and encouraged my working process. What he did want me to do though is work in series for the benefice of evolution.

My love for depth in paintings, depths that are not perspective depths but real material layers makes me launch out into lots of different layers. From sawdust, sand, paper, fabric, marble dust to lots of modeling paste (Figures 1A, B, C). Even hay or ground coffee found their way into my paintings. With a massive amount of this material I work myself into a kind of dialogue sometimes more a struggle (Figure 2). The rhythm, the cadence of the working tool on the canvas will be as important as the diversity of structural designs appearing and vanishing in front of my vision through the scratching, the reaming, the modeling. I lose myself into this process. If unsatisfied I might place emphasis on visual weight or the dynamics of the space until I decide that the result is a good base to work on.

Figure 1
Figure 1 Völker (A); Variation on people (B); Wings to fly (C)
Figure 2
Figure 2 Klotziges Gleichgewicht (180 cm × 140 cm)

Contemplated from a certain distance most of these creations could deserve to be called a painting by themselves they of course still call for color accents. This is how many of my abstract work develops.

But then, as an artist I am so close to this structure, touching and touching up the texture, talking and sometimes arguing with this mass of materials. And quite often the result, the way for instance satin paper folded under the impact of the painting knife like wrinkles might suggest the skin of an elephant to me. In other moments it may be stone carvings of ledges, or the cracks in the skin of a rhinoceros or an elephant (Figure 3A) . And if this happens, I'll go for it.

Figure 3
Figure 3 Detail of painting 3B, paper and sand cracks suggesting elephant skin (A); Elephant (B)

So once a texture called for a motif I work a monochrome on top of it and from there I will sketch and paint with different media, the result will be a more figurative painting (Figures 4A, B, C, D).

Figure 4
Figure 4 Modern Leopard (A); Rhino (B); Moose mai visto (C); Buffalo (D)

Of course role model artists, events, personalities, personal highlights or tragedies will always find their way into my work but this is true for every artist and thus almost not noteworthy.

My sculpting work is a totally different process. In fact my fingers just work their way through the clay; the perspective depth being a constant reality. Thus torsos will be as close as possible to reality (Figure 5A), faces will have more accurate proportions (Figure 5B, C) than most my painted bodies or faces will have.

Figure 5
Figure 5 Various ceramics combined with iron, rust and bronze

What might be more special to my sculpting is my love for a combination of different materials and this is why I allow nature but also traditions and even religion to work their way into my interpreted reality, my creations. I drape torsos for driftwood (Figure 6A), try to interpret the Native American blowers (a lucky charm “blowing”or keeping away illnesses or bad luck from the house it’s supposed to protect) or create even a modern version of a crucifix (Figure 6B).

Figure 6
Figure 6 A: Lake Erie driftwood sculpture; B: Modern Crucifix series

This personal creativity scheme in painting and sculpting results in very large range of work. None of the series alone can define my style, they all carry my personality, my specific handwriting.

For more details on the artistic CV and more pictures of my work please visit and for any comments or constructive critics feel free to email to

What an opportunity for a native Luxembourgish artist to be able to escape the boundaries of her small country widening her vision while travelling and living in the United States for the past two years. Many impressions and great experiences of this exchange reflect in my recent pieces (Figure 7).

Figure 7
Figure 7 American bridges (91 cm × 122 cm)

Now as this special adventure comes to an end, it was a privilege to share ideas and pictures of my work with you.


Disclosure: The author declare no conflict of interest.

Cite this article as: Hansen D. European creativity and American experience. Cardiovasc Diagn Ther 2012;2(3):252- 257. DOI: 10.3978/j.issn.2223-3652.2012.03.03