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Art from the Heart

Today, we chat with Helia Sousa, an artist from San Jose, California. Angela & Helia are good friends and met during their time organizing the Day of Portugal festival at Kelley Park. For more info, visit:

Helia discusses her family’s creative roots in Terceira, Azores, where she was born – her dad was a barber and mom was a seamstress. She began painting after taking an art class in high school and hasn’t stopped since. Helia’s favorite subjects are rural scenes of life in the Azores, especially in Terceira and São Miguel—where she still has family—although she has expanded her portfolio since.

Angela mentions that she thought she was in one of Helia’s paintings after visiting the Azores – Helia captured the magic so perfectly on a canvas it transports you to the real-life scene. “Never stop learning” is one of Helia’s mottos! A self-taught artist, she jumped into a new artist career after retirement and teaches classes at local craft stores.

Fun fact: Angela and Helia also work together on the series of books Angela authors, along with Angela Silveira. Cheers to strong Portuguese women working together!

Now on to food… Helia shares her love of baking and she often makes Maria’s queijadas de leite (milk tarts). Find the recipe here: Surprisingly, Helia is not a big fan of shellfish, but she does love an açorda and linguiça (who doesn’t?!)

View Helia’s artwork on YouTube here: Helia’s Facebook profile:

Have a suggestion about who we should interview next? Send us an e-mail at!

Até a próxima!

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