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!


One Wolf too many!

I have one Wolf (No.7 of 25) sitting in my studio. He is wearing a green jumper and he is quite … well he likes to comment on everything and now he wants to go on an adventure… *sigh.

Wolf by minu

He is available for $125.00 (on pick-up or plus shipping costs) and was part of the Wolf and the Fox exhibition and you can see more images and all the info under The Wolf, Limited Edition.


Mail Me Art – minu Submission 2013

… and she is on her way to Darren Di Lieto’s Mail Me Art*) project (to which I feel honoured to have been chosen to participate in again ^_^).

If she arrives save and sound, she will be part of ‘Mail Me Art: Short & Sweet’ at The Framers Gallery, London, from 30th July – 3rd August 2013, where all the mail art will be on display and the new book will be available to buy and browse.

Mail me Art 2013 minu submission

Mail me Art 2013 minu submission

Mail me Art 2013 minu submission

*) 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.

Exhibition: The Wolf and the Fox, Thistle Hall, Wellington, 2013

I often get asked if I have something online about the background and theme of my exhibitions. So I am about to start a new section and this is the first post including the artist statement and a list of artworks on display in the show ^_^…

Forest Dreams No.1 minu drypoint

Forest Dreams No.1 , print by minu 

In December 2012 I exhibited together with Rieko at Thistle Hall in Wellington. The theme of the show evolved around the European archetype of the Big Bad Wolf (and the innocent Girl) and the Japanese Red Fox (Kitsune).

“Little Red Riding Hood took off her clothes and got into bed […] and the wicked wolf fell upon her and ate her all up.”
Le Petit Chaperon rouge, Charles Perrault, 1684

The Wolf

Versions of the Big Bad Wolf living in the Dark Forest appear in numerous European folktales, most famously in Little Red Cap aka Little Red Riding Hood. Current interpretation traces the origin of the tale back to Norse mythology: at the end of the world the trickster God Loki is let loose to “hurry in the form of a wolf to swallow the moon”. The moon is seen as feminine, as the “Lady Luna”, ergo: the Wolf eats the Girl and usually this takes place in a Dark Forest.

I have always seen the Wolf and the Dark Forest as a dual entity, where the whole or the parts are endangered species. The girl is a symbol of change. She is either swallowed by the shadows in the forest never to return, or she is “rescued” by – of all people – a wood cutter with an axe…

The Red Fox (Kitsune)

In the Kitsune tales the Girl and the Fox are one. Kitsune, Japanese for fox, is a common character in Japanese folklore, either depicted as a wise guardian or as a trickster. The Fox often possess magical abilities including the ability to assume human form. They often change into a young girl, but they have difficulty hiding their tails. Many tales also include a jewel glowing with kitsune-bi, or fox-fire, holding a part of The Fox’s magical power or even part of its soul; the kitsune will die if separated from it for long. The foxfire could be related to western tales of the will-o’-the-wisp’ mischievously leading lone travelers off the path at night.

You can read our press release, photos of the opening and the show are on Flickr.

My artwork for the show included:

  • The Fox and the Jewel, No.2, Drypoint print in limited edition
  • The Fox and the Jewel, No.1, Drypoint print in limited edition
  • Forest Dreams, No.1, Drypoint print in limited edition
  • Forest Dreams, No.2, Drypoint print in limited edition
  • Forest Dreams, Acrylic on recycled wood
  • The Wolf and the Forest, Drypoint print in limited edition
  • Wolf Dreams, No.2, Drypoint hand-coloured, limited edition
  • Wolf Dreams, No.1, Drypoint hand-coloured, limited edition
  • Directions, Acrylic on recycled wood
  • Fox, Creature in limited edition
  • The Other Fox, Creature in limited edition
  • Red Cap, Creature in limited edition
  • Wolf, Creature in limited edition
  • Winter Tree, Installation

The prints will be available online soon!

Wolf Spirit, plush by minu

Wolf Spirit, plush by minu 

Writing: Philip Pullman Ten Rules for Writing Fiction or Better the Non-delivery

A selection of my favourite quotes by the author Philip Pullmann.

Phillip pullman’s answer to a Guardian writer survey titled “Ten rules for writing fiction”:

My main rule is to say no to things like this, which tempt me away from my proper work.

His answer to Why Children should read taken from another Guardian article “Philip Pullman: a life in writing”:

For the same reason that I think it’s important that they breathe, eat, drink, sleep, run about, fool around, and have people who love and look after them. It’s part of what makes us fully human. Some people manage to get through life without reading; but I know that if I’d had to do that, an enormous part of my mind, or my soul if you like, would be missing. No one should be without the chance to let their soul grow.

I am temped to quote his whole Talk for the National Novel Writing Month, but this one made me laugh out loud:

I don’t know where they [inspirations] come from, but I know where they come to: they come to my desk, and if I’m not there, they go away again.


… so … I’ll better stop now and go to my studio; there is some printmaking to do.

Loki No.1 and No.2 to go out into the world

Loki aka Ratty, plush by minu

Loki #1 is going to live in France and Loki #2 is going to live in New York.

They do look at bit skeptical, but I think they are looking forward to see something of the world ^_^…

Travel save!

The Wolf and the Fox, Thistle Hall, Wellington

All the better to see you by Rieko

All the better to see you by Rieko

Forest Dreams No.1 minu drypoint

Forest Dreams No.1 , print by minu 

Wellington based artist Rieko and minu welcome you to their show “The Wolf and The Fox” and invite you to step inside the world of their creatures and creations. The show will include new work in oil, acrylic, works on paper, plush creatures and sculptures set side by side.

The fairytale characters in Rieko’s portraits seem to be reluctant to reveal their stories. Her anthropomorphic animals are placed in sceneries that seem to be taken from almost forgotten childhood tales. Both subjects have a curious nature giving the viewer a window into their character and feelings. Her acrylic paintings are influenced by the pop surrealism movement, while maintaining a romantic innocence. Originally from Japan, and now based in Wellington, Rieko studies at Inverlochy Art School and this is her second exhibition.

Minu’s creations are influenced by European folk tales and traditional book illustration, as well as the contemporary illustrations in pop and street art culture. Her cute characters reveal an often melancholic and almost mischievous side at the second glance. Originally from Germany, Minu now works as an illustrator, printmaker and toymaker in Wellington. Her work is known from her participation in several group shows in Wellington, as well as her appearances at the New Zealand Artshow in 2010 and 2011. Her prints and toys are available in selected galleries and online.

The show opens on Tuesday 4 December at 6:00pm and will be open from December 5 – 9 2012, 11am until 7pm. Thistle Hall is located in the Upper Cuba area at the corner of Cuba and Arthurs Street.

Event: “The Wolf and The Fox” Paintings, Prints and Fairytales Creature
Where: Thistle Hall is located in the Upper Cuba area at the corner of Cuba and Arthurs Street
When: Opening Tuesday 4 December at 6:00pm, open from December 5 – 9 2012, 11am until 7pm.



Red Shoes, by Rieko

Wolf Spirit, plush by minu

Wolf Spirit, plush by minu 

Sour Grapes by Rieko

Sour Grapes by Rieko

Tea with wolf, print by minu

Tea with wolf, print by minu 

Wild Things: Art for the Imaginations of Children, Black Asterisk, Auckland

Bear Spirit, designer toy by minu

This little fellow is super excited (and I am too ^_^) to be part of the “Wild Things: Art for the Imaginations of Children” group show at Black Asterisk in Auckland.

‘Wild Things’, a Black Asterisk group show, encourages children and adults alike to merge imagination and reality through the display of otherworldly creatures and alternative worlds. A combination of styles and mediums mix literary, surreal, and fantasy influence with individual artistic vision. (quote Black Asterisk)

The Bear Spirit will be available at the show, as will 2 painting, a shadow box and a selection of my prints.

Artwork by minu

Event: Wild Things: Art for the imagination of children
Where: Black Asterisk, 10 Ponsonby Road, Auckland, New Zealand.
When: Preview Thursday 6.30pm Nov 22, 2012, show open from Nov 22 – Dec 24, 2012, Open daily 11am-5pm

Visit: or find more info on facebook.

Ratty aka Loki Mouse now available online!

Long promised and finally ready to go! ‘Ratty (aka Loki Mouse)’ is now available online at (New Zealand and Australia) and (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and  (UK, USA, Canada and everywhere else).

I was thinking about turning Loki into a limited edition for quite a while, when I finally found this perfect boiled merino felt for his jumper.

I am aiming for 12 variations in jumper and scraf so there will be 12 times 12 designer Ratties.

There are many more images available at flickr!

I am very aware that this is on the upper end of the price range, but Ratty is tricky to make and there is a lot of handwork involved. He definitely is rather a design object than a toy…

… Jeez! that sounds so posh ^_^… he actually just wants to hang out on your sofa writing poems and watching Truffaut movies at midnight with a glass a wine.

Anyway enjoy!

Printmaking Friday

Rabbit No.2, Drypoint by minu

Mumble, grumble, mumble … *)

Rabbit No. 4 now drying in studio ^_^…

I finally have a couple of prints from all current editions and can start on something new!

Hmmm, maybe some more copper sulphate etchings?

Will see…


*) the Artist would like to express her annoyance with the treacherous Fates of printmaking, but

a) she does not want to bore you

b) she actually is afraid said Fates might be listening…

… shhh!

Printmaking Friday

Beaver, drypoint from minu

The Beaver drying on newsprint 

Now. There are good days in the Printstudio and there are …

…. not so good days. Last Friday nobody was there to let me in. Now, that’s kind of okay, I was 30 minutes late, so I had to wait another 30 minutes for Nick to come back from lunch …^_^… fair enough.

But. It then took me over an hour to figure out that the black smudges on my prints are not caused by my dirty fingers; a person, of very little brain, used the water-bath to colour their paper with black ink. Naturally he-she-it cleaned it just bad enough for the next person to not see the stains on the edges and even the glass to dry the paper on….


Anyway, all is well that ends well, and I left with 5 good Beaver prints ^_^…


Friday Printmaking

Friday Printmaking, by minu

My stubborn ‘I-can-write-this-book’ project is slowly taking over my life. Not that I have any reason to complain – I even find grammar inspiring these days – I write my 500 words per day – and throw 490 away the next day ^_^ – read lots of books, listen to university podcasts and, in general, just love everything about the process.

Anyway, I haven’t abandoned my toys or my printmaking and still go to the print studio on Fridays. The Badger No. 2 printed really nicely on the new paper and will pop up in the shops soon.

And there is more to come ^_^…


Printing Paper, a Crisis and Help from Christchurch.

Puh! What a relief. It took almost three month to replace my old, for-some-reason-not-available-any-more @#$%^&, printing paper. After I had tried every other paper available in Wellington, wasting an obscene amount of time and money, I sent a sample to Fine Art Paper in Christchurch, and encountered friendly, even exceptional, helpfulness! Small samples were sent, selections made, bigger samples were sent, proofs printed, paper ordered, paper sent, and finally today: a paper-stress-free day in the print studio!

The kind of darkness..., etching by minu

The kind of darkness…, etching by minu

For copper sulphate etchings, I’ll use Tiepolo, made in Italy. It has a warm white colour, a smooth surface, and withstands rigorous pressures. It is mould-made out of 100% acid-free cotton.

For the Afternoon Tea series – and most other drypoint on Perspex or PET series – I’ll use the new Revere paper, because of its slightly whiter colour. The 100% cotton paper is made in Italy by Magnani, with a nice ecological touch ^_^ using hydro energy and no chlorine.

I can highly recommend both papers for all intaglio printmaking techniques.

All is good that ends good.

Many thanks again to Fine Arts Paper.

A Curious Nature – Many Thanks ^_^

First Snapshots

Badger enjoying Afternoon Tea on the window

Rieko and I were totally overwhelmed by the amount of people who joined us for the opening night. Rieko sold all her work during the opening and we got very nice feedback from everybody!

I would like to thank Thistle Hall for hosting the show, Inverlochy Art School for their support, Sophie for being her beautiful self and helping me with the set-up and Stefan Lehmann for taking the pictures, Jonno and Rieko for their patience with my totally stressed-out self.

Many thanks to all who made it to the show!

A Curious Nature - Opening

Opening night 
minu artwork for A Curious Nature

New work for the show

Many more images on Flickr.