Midweek Inspiration – Domingos Totora

The Brazilian artist Domingos Totora creates designs that are beautiful  in their simplicity … and made out of recycled cardboard.

The beauty of Domingos Tótora’s work not only manifests itself in the final product that one might acquire, but in the process itself. From the designer’s philosophy and respect of the environment, the location of the studio and the way the work is produced, all the way to the final product.
– Source

Sketchbook – Winter tree, first sketches

I am slowly – very slowly – re-kindling my art endeavours. This little guy is part , or better will be part, of a new mini series called Winter Trees. 

I started to use my iPad to sketch up colour studies … really like the process … less decisions to make with the brush in hand … maybe, potentially, possibly?

I am also playing with Instagram filters … bear with me … I am still undecided if this is a good idea ^_^.

More coming soon!

minu on Instagram

Finally, you can follow minu on instagram! Get a peak on what is going on in my studio, find out about shop updates, tutorials and what inspirers me on my daily walks.  ( And find random images of experimental hot drink making).

Minu on Instagram screenshot
Minu on Instagram


New minu website

Long time in the making and finally live – the new minu website.

Have a browse around and let me know what you think!

Weekend Inspiration – Harry Clark

Weekend inspiration (even though it is technical Monday morning). In trying to counter a burst of insomnia – nothing new there : ) – I came across Harry Clark’s work and fell immediately in love with it.

Detail from one of Clarke’s illustrations for Faust by Goethe (1925), his own likeness used for the face of Faust (Source 50watts.com)
Mephisto (1914), Clarke’s self-portrait as an absinthe drinking Mephistopheles (Source christies.com)

His works can be found searching for Harry Clark in Google and the essay Harry Clarke’s Looking Glass can be found on the Public Domain review.

Creatures, ROAR! Gallery, Wellington


I am thrilled to join Rieko Woodford Robinson, Annie Collins, Vaune Mason and other Wellington artists at  ROAR! gallery in a group show called Creatures in May 2016!
“There will be drawings, etchings, fabricated animals in wire and fabric, from a wide selection of talented artists including large wooden carvings by the artist Michael Angelo whose inspiration “comes from the spiritual aspects of Nature. “

The exhibition is open from May 5th – 31th.
Opening is on  Thursday May 5th – 5:30pm to 7:00pm

ROAR! gallery is at 189 Vivian Street, (near the corner of Vivian & Victoria St) Wellington City.

Event on Facebook.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


InsideOUT Fundraiser, Matchbox Gallery – Wellington


InsideOUT works to make New Zealand Aotearoa a safer place for young people of diverse genders and sexualities, so when I was asked to donate an artwork to a fundraiser art auction I was happy to do so : ).

The exhibition runs from the 17th-23rd August at Matchbox Studios, 166 Cuba Street -Wellington. The auction is on Friday 21st from 6pm. Entertainment and refreshments provided.

… > Event page on Facebook

Here is a sneak peak of my painting.

identities-01, painting by minu

Identities #1

Acrylic painting on recycled wood.
60 x 40 cm



Tiny Travelling Gallery, Depot Artspace – Devonport, Auckland


I am very pleased to be part of the Tiny Travelling Gallery’s visit at the Depot Artspace in Devonport, Auckland with three new – tiny – pieces from the Night Forest series – Where strange creatures wander through the endless Night Forest landscape sending and receiving cryptic messages.

The exhibition is open from July 18 @ 2:00 pmAugust 5 @ 3:00 pm

More info can be found on  Depot Artspace’s website or the Tiny Travelling Gallery’s website.



Flock Together Group Show, Soul Gallery Hamilton

Flock Together Group Show in Hamilton

I am very pleased to be part of Flock together at Soul Gallery in Hamilton. You will find some new work – Drypoint prints and acrylic paintings on recycled wood – from the Night Forest series – Where strange creatures wander through the endless Night Forest landscape sending and receiving cryptic messages. –  as well as some favourites form 2011 to 2014.

More info on Soul Gallery’s Facebook Event page.



Drypoint print by minu Painting by minu

Acrylics on wood panel, Part 2

Night forest No.1, Session 2

This is the second part. For part one please see Acrylics on wood panel, Part 1.

Using glazing techniques on wood panels, there is no way to overpaint or fix outlines later, so it’s a good idea let the panel rest at least overnight or better a couple of days.

I started the second session by following the outlines with Fluid Acrylics in black and white.

7) Following outlines with Fluid Acrylics (black and white) thinned with Acrylics Flow Release. (Use with care!)

8) Setting lights and shadows in black and white glazing layers. Repeat in layers.

9) Slowly adding more glazing layers in colours. Repeat in layers and sand in between. “Fix” with thin glazing layers using Polymer Medium (Gloss)

10) Once happy with the overall colour and shape it’s time to add the final outlines using Fluid Acrylics in black and white. I add these in layers as well until the final highlights stand out.  

11) Again, let it rest for a week or so.

12) Decide on final glazing or varnish.

Tada! Done.

Painting by minu

Acrylics on wood panel, Part 1

Night forest No.1, Session 1

This is the first part. For part two please see Acrylics on wood panel, Part 2.

It’s not really session 1. There was much sketching and revising on paper beforehand. But this is not what this post is about ^_^.* I am not even sure what this post is about (to be honest) … other than this strange thing that happens when you re-start.

There were many things getting in my (creative) way since “The Fox and the Wolf“—the House, the new studio, winter, work… stuff…

And then one late afternoon there is all of a sudden an empty canvas – well, in my case a recycled plywood panel, but that sounds less … not “poetic”, this is not a poem, … less “something” – in front of you, your tools are arranged around you (and yes, that really important glazing medium has dried out, but on this afternoon it’s not the end of the world), and the image hovers just around the edges of your consciousness, and you know it’s that time.

Time to enter the Night Forest and see what the guys are up to…

1) Recycled plywood board, sanded and cleaned, leaving ‘uneven patches’ (layers of old stains).

2) Base layers using Fluid Acrylics thinned with GAC-500 Extends Fluid Acrylics (Golden – there is not much else available in New Zealand… ). Let each layer dry completely, before applying the next one**.

2a) Adding glazing layers using Polymer Medium (gloss)

3) Turn panel from time to time to paint back with Gesso to avoid bending

4) More layers until the starlit night just shines through…

5) Transfer outline onto panel.

6) Knowing when it is time to step back and go to bed…

… to be continued soon …

*) There is never a session 1 in (my) creative process anyways. There are just loose ends floating around, and if I am lucky I can catch one … but this is not what this post is about either.

**) Writing useless blogpost between the layers dry is optional…

More (slow) progress with renovations

minu studio renovations

More super slow progress in the new studio – my first open shelf unit starts to look … okayish (if I am allowed to say so myself ^_^). I am striving for the perfect balance between creative chaos and easy access to things. I am also not allowed to spend any money unless I ‘absolutely’ have to ; )_, so the only things I bought are the shelf rail system ($150NZ) and the castors for my old trunk ($15NZ).

I have a slight obsession with plastic boxes (and bags)… took me ages to find the right boxes with just the right translucency… luckily I already had these in the old studio, so they just got cleaned-up and resorted.

minu studio renovations

Most of the wooden and cart-board boxes are second hand collected over the last 7 years, others I brought from Europe or bought in stationary shops in Wellington…

minu studio renovations

A couple of friends moved in right away (they are still slightly piqued about the fact that I kept them in storage boxes for the last 6 month… )

minu studio renovations

The shelves are refurbished from bits and pieces in the house, I only gave them to very quick sand …

and one thing at least is done


In the (new) minu Print Studio #3

Forest Dreams No.1 minu drypoint

I started work on a new edition, but for now I still have to catch up with my old editions, which is why I have six new fox girls dreaming of the forrest while drying on my floor ^_^.

Forest Dreams No.1 minu drypoint

P.S. It had been a while again… If I could extend the days to have – let’s say 32 hours I’d manage better ^_^…

In the (new) minu Print Studio #2 – Mono print tutorial

mono print photo walk through

My first experiments with mono print (…it was high time to try something new). Once you get a handle on the inks this is fun, and no press needed!

mono print photo walk through

Printing shadow rabbit – mono print, 1 colour

There are quite a few different mono print techniques. The term mono print defines that only one print is taken from the plate; it does not define the way you get the ink on the plate (or the paper). I chose to ‘paint’ onto a perspex sheet and to transfer the print onto the paper using a roller.

1) Choosing the ink

It took me a while to make it work*. You have to work on the plate for some time and the thin layer of ink draws quickly. I tried a couple of different inks and paints, in the end I used screen printing ink (water based) and thinned it with screen printing medium (the medium extends the time you can work on the plate). The screen printing ink can be rolled, painted and wiped away easily.

You can also use open acrylics and an open thinner, in a way that’s the same thing…

Continue reading “In the (new) minu Print Studio #2 – Mono print tutorial”

In the (new) minu Print Studio #1

If you didn’t print for a while it is very likely that your first attempt might not work out the way you planned. Especially if you start in a new printing environment. So I successfully procrastinated my first print session in the studio until today. (Plus I only found the spokes for  my printing press yesterday… in a box labelled ‘bits and bobs’… *sigh.)

Anyway! Today was the day and what better than to print some Wolfs.

Printing Wolfs – 3 colour drypoint in one go.

1) Set-up workspace and review notes (precondition: you actually took notes during the proofs or first part of the edition ^_^…)

2) Set-up press (based on said notes…)

Continue reading “In the (new) minu Print Studio #1”

Bear No.2 preview – He is back!

After I picked up the new workbenches on Wednesday I thought: No more excuses. There are tables, lights and stools, that is enough to get started. I unpacked the fabric, patterns and finally found the cable for the sewing machine in box number 12 1/2 (*sigh).

And why not do something you promised since over 12 month: The new bear!


He is based on the same pattern, but the change from a medium dense 9 mm pile to a light 6 mm pile is more significant than I thought it would be. And I really like it. He is much skinnier, and his contours are much more defined.


Continue reading “Bear No.2 preview – He is back!”

My new studio-to-be (aka why it is a bit quiet on my blog)

I finally found a house for my studio (and a garden for me).*) There is lots to do and it will take a while to take shape, but here is a first progress report in pictures…


Layers of old wall paper going back to the 1930ties, some hand cut and hand stencilled


Getting rid of the (horrible) structured hardboard, stripping everything back to the original hardboard sarking.


Getting the insulation inside the wall


New plaster boards

More images on Flickr

More soonish…



start footnote rant**…

*) After 12 month of driving around Wellington to visit open homes, endless hours online, wasting an incredible amount of money and time in tenders procedures (including the accessional shouting at real estate agents) and other unpleasantness in the idiosyncratic New Zealand house buying process…

… *sigh

… end footnote rant

footnote of footnote

**) I am incredible happy with my little house, so I only rant in footnotes…

… ^_^


Minu on TVone’s Neighbourhood

A film crew from TVone’s Neighbourhood came to visit me in August. They followed me around town, and came to my studio. The episode was finally screened in October 13th, and can be watched online on the TVNZ website (Episode 26 Wellington CBD).

They also published another bit of me in my studio on their Facebook page.

Many thanks again to the Film Crew! I have to admit I was ‘a bit uncomfortable’ with the whole idea at the start, and they made this a very easy.


Quote of the day

The scariest moment is always just before you start.

On Writing, by Stephen King

So true. It is the same moment you get up and see if the contents of your fridge might be of assistance to your creative process– or post quotes on your blog.



Minu Open Studio Sunday, 26 May 2013

Meet minu at Toi Poneke’s Open Studio Day on Sunday May 26, 2013

Minu Open Studio Sunday, 26 May 2013

Come-by and say Hello at the Toi Pōneke Arts Centre Open Day on Sunday, 26 May 2013, 11:00 until 16:00, at 61-69 Abel Smith Street in Wellington. There will be printing demonstrations, prints and soft toys for sale at 20% off, as well as proofs and sketches*). My studio is No. 18 on the second floor. There are lots of other activities and open studios at Toi Poneke, for a full list see the Facebook event page.

I am looking forward to seeing you!

Event: Minu Open Studio as part of the Toi Poneke Open Studio Day
Where: Studio 18 (north-west corner, 2nd floor) Toi Poneke, 61 Abel Smith St, Wellington, New Zealand
When: Sunday, 26 May 2013, 11:00 until 16:00

*) If you would like to buy something please remember to bring cash as I don’t have eftpos ^_^…

Mail Me Art: Short & Sweet at The Framers Gallery, London

Mail Me Art: Short & Sweet

I am participating in Mail Me Art*) 2013. All mail art will be on display at the ‘Mail Me Art: Short & Sweet’ at The Framers Gallery, London, from 30th July – 3rd August 2013, and the new book will be available to buy and browse as well ^_^.

Mail me Art 2013 minu submission

Minu Mail Me Art Submission 2013 (Little Red Cap)

*) Mail Me Art is a project that has brought together an international community of artists and illustrators, amateur and professional alike, through art in the form of mail.

**) I just heard that Little Red Cap arrived save and sound!