Elen Thiemlová was born  on January 21, 1968 in Ostrava.

   She spent her childhood accompanied by farm animals that she loved to draw. After her grandfather, a dedicated horse breeder, she inherited passion for horses. After her mother she is gifted for music and art. Thus she used to play the piano with a parrot sitting on her shoulder and with pockets full of hamsters. In the doghouse of her pet dog called Ťapka, she used to draw pictures on perforated sheets of paper primarily intended for PCs.

   At the age of 10, while lingering in a bookshop, she came across a monograph of Ilja Repin. Immediately, she was captivated  by the painting “Sadko in the Underwater Kingdom“. Several attempts to copy the picture followed but that was the moment when she realized that her water colours and even temperas did not have the necessary qualities to accomplish the desired effect. Therefore, Elen asked her parents to buy her oil colours and started her first oil pictures. Soon she found out that oil colours could not be treated as easily as temperas, and that she needed professional advice. For that reason she began searching for a painter who could teach her the technique of oil painting.

   Besides painting, singing, playing the piano, she could play the organ, guitar, flute. She was a member of a student rock band called “Saturn“ (playing the keyboard), and also played in a jazz band called “Free“.

   She graduated from Grammar School Volgogradská, Ostrava-Zábřeh and then she followed her studies at College of Agriculture in Brno, where she graduated in livestock breeding. Her desire was to work in the field of horse breeding.

   Unfortunately, after she had had a bad injury of her spine, she had to exchange the riding saddle for brushes and palette. Since then she was taking private lessons with a painter and graphic artist Josef Drha. Their cooperation continued until his death. He taught her not only the oil painting, but also many other graphic techniques. They often went painting in the open air. It was Mr Drha, who told her about the art lessons for adults he had been attending before the WW2.

   Inspired by this, in 1997 Elen and her husband Jiří founded the Centre for Art Development called Viridian, which offered art lessons for adults as the first institution after the Velvet Revolution in 1989. The beginnings of Viridian were also supported by the owners of Piscia company, who offered the centre some empty rooms in their administrative building at Těšínská Street in Silesian Ostrava for free.

   Viridian has become a place where people study various art techniques and at the same time they help organize cultural events for children and adults (e.g. painting for children´s wards in hospitals, Chinese lantern parades, chats with outstanding people, etc.)

   In 2006 Elen and the people from Viridian organized the first „Walking Art Exhibition“ in the world, this event is recorded in the Czech Book of Records. Its unique idea attracted the attention of the famous Czech painter, illustrator and director Zdeněk Miler, the author of the legendary “Little Mole“, who was not only interested in the activities of Viridian, but was also fond of Elen´s work. He greatly appreciated her original ideas and the style of her painting. It was him who encouraged her to proceed with her work.

Zdeněk Miler was Elen´s second teacher and mentor. His influence on her further development was essential. She had to promise that on the day of his 91st birthday at the latest (21/2/2012) she would start exhibiting her works. Elen kept her promise. On February 21, 2012 there was an opening of Elen´s first exhibition in the evening Viridian gallery with  the characteristic title “Keeping the Promise“. Unfortunately, Zdeněk Miler had passed away four months before the event.

   Nowadays Elen helds art lessons for adults in the Viridian studio and continues with her painting and organizing unusual cultural events.

   E.Thiem