Room Art Gallery was established in 2008 by Agne Christensen. The gallery occupies the space at 86 Throckmorton Avenue in Downtown Mill Valley and features works by both Bay Area artists and major masters, housing the largest collection of Picasso, Chagall and other masters in Marin County. Focused on creating an intimate space for artists to execute and express their visions on a intimate level, Room seeks to nurture a platform of creative communication. Committed to providing a showcase for regional Northern California art, Room actively participates in the Mill Valley Art Walk each month, spotlighting a new native artist.

Lithuanian born owner, artist and designer, Agne Christensen was trained in both Europe and at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her “Sketchbook” abstract and figurative oil painting collection is on display in San Francisco’s Horatius Gallery.


Owner: Agne Christensen

Agne Christensen | Owner / Artist / Designer

Agne Christensen is a contemporary artist and owner of Room Interior Art Gallery in San Rafael, California. She is an abstract, figurative painter who trained in both Europe and at San Francisco’s Art Institute. Christensen explains that she paints from pure emotion, experiences and feelings. Twenty-nine of her paintings are collected in “Sketchbook: Recent & New Oil Paintings by Agne Christensen.”


Dig In Magazine Interview with Figurative Artist & Owner, Agne Christensen, of Room Interior Art Gallery

Dig In Magazine: Thanks so much, Agne, for taking the time to talk with Dig In Magazine! On your website you say that your work is from “emotion,” can you explain that idea further?
Agne Christensen: When I was four years old my mom gave me a notebook that didn’t have any lining or anything and that’s where it started. I didn’t write my feelings, I drew them. One thing of course is that I didn’t know how to write yet. But it was little codes for myself to deal [with my feelings] or put them [feelings] out there with a colored crayon. I was so attached to it. Everything that I feel or experience, I try to draw or paint. It helps me to get rid of it or look at it from a different angle…kind of [like] having a conversation with myself. It is almost like active meditation.


DIM: What is the subject matter of your various paintings?
AC: I get inspired with just living the life I’ve been given, so the subjects…[are] just experiences or places or people [I’ve] met…The colors [that] really captured me, living the life and noticing certain things [that are] important for me…[they] give me something to think about. I kind of just put them in the back of my mind and it becomes my little diary.


DIM: How do you come up with the ideas for your paintings?
AC: Experiences and feelings. I paint what I know and what I know is what I’ve felt or seen. And I never paint what I see actually. The image that I saw…I put it through myself and then this is [the] result. I do a lot of figurative work, but I never paint from the model. I sketch model[s] a lot and I try to do it like every three months, a long session, of just sketching, knowing the bone structure and knowing the proportion and everything. But then I paint [and] it’s only about the feeling. And the body shape…how the color comes with [it]…being very confident about your line.


DIM: Who are some of the artists that inspire you?
AC: I love Matisse as an artist and a person himself….and Schiele.


DIM: How would you describe your artistic style?
AC: I think it could be very abstract, contemporary.


DIM: On average, how long does a painting usually take from start to completion?
AC: It SO depends. There’s some art that I still work on that I started six years ago, and some of them just happen over the weekend. So, it really depends on the feeling, how much work and how much frustration or something I need to dig in[to]. It’s really hard to tell. [For] some of them I’m struggling almost. I just sold one of my pieces [that] I worked [on] for six years. It was a relief. It was a long time.


DIM: Were you formally trained in art? And if so, where were you trained?
AC: My first oil painting was in my mom’s boyfriend’s studio. Since then, I just loved oil. And I went to [a] special school. It was a very prestigious school in Europe. So since fifth grade until twelfth grade, I [had] double schooling because I went through all [the] high school stuff and then, was specializing in art. So, it was really intense. But amazing people worked with me and I actually entered the art academy at home, finished my bachelors and started my masters. And I came here to study art at the San Francisco Art Institute.


DIM: When did you open your gallery Room Interior Art Gallery, which is located on 4th Street in San Rafael, California?
AC: It was Friday, October 30th, 2009.


DIM: And when did this dream of opening your very own art gallery come about?
AC: I always wanted to be surrounded by art, artists and everything about art. So, there just was [no] long thinking [about it]. And [I] always wanted to have my own studio in the gallery…to make it more [of] an experience in the gallery, not just art pieces hanging. I always say “it’s like buying a bread from the baker…it is the same experience [when] you buy art from artists. It smells like art. It is art. My hands [are] full of paint.


DIM: How did the organization, Women’s Initiative, help you with the planning and development of your art gallery business?
AC: So, I wanted to have an art gallery and I had a little girl on my hands. I knew the creative part [of it], but I didn’t know the steps to take [in terms of] the business part of it. So, Women’s Initiative was the most amazing thing that had ever happened to me. I had this big idea. It made me kind of cut things down, because I researched so much. And it was really kind of an easy and fun way to really do a very serious [thing], because this project was not just a wishful thing that I always wanted to do. It was one of those things that I had to feed the little girl [with]. This is it. This is all I want. This is all I know how to do and it had to work. So, I did whatever it took to really finish and complete the business plan, researched the location and really have a structure to do it right.


DIM: What types of artwork do you display and sell in your gallery?
AC: I actually have a variety. I have such a big range, because working with interior designers, I want them to walk in and have a choice…which way they want to go. I want to have a range to please them. I have four international artists from Europe, [which are] from Belgium, Austria, Lithuania and Russia.


DIM: I understand that you’ve worked with realtors, architects and interior designers creating custom pieces. Can you tell me a little more about how your artwork intersects with these industries?
AC: When I was eighteen years old back in Europe, I worked in a design studio and next door were two architects who were building new buildings. They knew that I was an oil painter and they asked if I had something that they could borrow. I had those two gigantic paintings that I did and I said “please guys, just do not sell [them], because this is all I have for finishing my school.” And they said “it’s okay.” They had this huge commercial building that they built and it worked so well. And the client of theirs liked the building and they offered to buy the painting. They set this amazing price of 30,000 of Lithuanian money, but it was still a lot of money. And since then I’ve been doing this custom work. The thing is [that] I’ve been an interior designer myself and I know what could work and what they’re looking for. And it’s so hard to come up with [it]…going through the art pieces just to find what would work with the project they are [working with]. So, for them, if they could just choose the style of the artist around the room and go from there, they could get the size and the color they want…[like] if they want abstract or if they want landscape. So, it is really time consuming, and that’s why I just want to make sure that Room offers them something…and interior designers need art every single day, so it made sense for me to have a niche [when] opening the gallery.


DIM: Recently you held a solo art show for the neo-abstract artist Carly Ivan Garcia, in which a Vimby was filmed, and you also have two paintings by the well-known aerosol artist, Chor Boogie, being displayed on your walls. Both of these artists are avant-garde and somewhat edgy painters. Do you see a movement emerging in the art world that is focused on art and artists that are more innovative and progressive in nature?
AC: One [way] that I choose my artists is [from] my gut. I like what they do. I get inspired and I think especially in this community, people need to see art that just gives you goose bumps. And these two guys are really strong. I’m really proud to have them and I’m really proud that they wanted to be a part of the Room, because I’m very new on the block. I think all of us need some great pieces to be seen and I just opened my doors for those two.


DIM: What events has your gallery been used for and what types of workshops do you hold in your gallery space?
AC: I am very proud of [our] fundraisers. Tom Steele. Chicks in Crisis are doing another one. And I want Room to [have it’s] doors open for a lot of things [that] I’m passionate about. Health, education, moms and children. And another thing is that everybody loves the space itself. And the workshops also educate the community…the energy workshops and how to heal yourself and how to prosper yourself. And also, we’re starting classes at the Room, so there are a lot of new things coming up.


DIM: I’ve heard that many of your art pieces are being displayed at Horatius, an art gallery in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill. What is the name of the collection and which paintings are being presented there?
AC: I have twenty-three paintings at that show. And it is my line with little angels. They are figurative again. So, I call it Sketchbook [Sketchbook: Recent & New Oil Paintings by Agne Correll]. My mind is my sketchbook and all of those shapes and figures…it’s all from there.


DIM: How often do you paint?
AC: I would love to do it every single day, but it happens maybe once or twice a week. I am still really busy at the gallery…running it. I’m trying to get more help and more time for me to create, because that’s when I’m happiest.


DIM: What are you working on now and what are your upcoming plans for your personal artwork, as well plans for the future of Room Interior Art Gallery?
AC: I want to do a lot of installations. I have this thing in my head that keeps coming up. I need to just sort out a lot of business things and go for it. And again, it’s all about the figure. But I think I just want you guys to visit and the actual installation will come and you will see what I’m talking about. Again it’s all about the figure. It’s just a different approach. I want to do a little spotlight for myself. And I will show you what I mean.


DIM: What do you like to do outside of art?
AC: I have a little girl. So, anytime I can be with her…[it’s just] my dog and my girl. That’s another thing that makes me high and happy.


DIM: Great! Well, thanks so much for talking to Dig In Magazine and best of luck with Room Interior Art Gallery and your artwork in the future!
AC: Thank you so much!

Seek Fine Art

I really want to change people’s perception of the art world. Room Art Gallery was my first step to get upcoming artists a space to show the work that gave me goose bumps and inspired me as an artist to create. I always felt blessed walking in my art “room”.

Seek Fine Art is my second step to bring this experience to more people. I love art! All types of art, even the kind that makes me uncomfortable. I love what art gave me and keeps giving me everyday. I want to know every gallery, artist, art everywhere at anytime.

Art is like music. I invite you to SEEK the art that makes you feel. Find your own color, brush stroke, medium, subject, size, form, line or maybe a whole other dimension of experiencing art. Not every artwork will rock your world, like not every song is one you will groove to. It’s so incredibly powerful that I am here to make the journey of meeting art easier and more enjoyable.


Agne Christensen
Founder & CEO