Tag Archives: Art

Art inspired by the Spitalfields City Farm manager

The Minks_Art_anjo_for Mhairi Weir_Spitalfields City Farm-14
We portrayed Mhairi Weir in August as the 10th person of our art project. She runs the Spitalfields City Farm. A lot of it is about community work and bringing people together. The Minks_Art_anjo_Spitalfields Cityfarm-6My painting is inspired by Mhairi’s inclusive personality, the need she sees in open green spaces to bring people together. The massive Bengali squash which grow in locked up green houses so they aren’t stolen also left quite a vivid image in my head. The colour spectrum I used reflects Mhairi’s material she thinks would best describe her, which is red velvet as well as her favourite colour brown. The big circle is a reference to the talking quilt project Mhairi Weir launched, where all sorts of people from the Spitalfield area got together to stitch a patch of quilt and record their story about heritage and food. The green area in the background symbolises the shape of Spitalfields Park and Farm – an open green space.The Minks_Art_anjo_for Mhairi Weir_Spitalfields City Farm-8 The Minks_Art_anjo_for Mhairi Weir_Spitalfields City Farm-2The Minks_Art_anjo_Spitalfields Cityfarm-2 The Minks_Art_anjo_Spitalfields Cityfarm-1The result was a 30x20cm large oil painting with multiple layers of glazed oils and scraped away patterns.


The magic storyteller

We featured Bernadette Russell over the month of June as The Storyteller. A few weeks ago I’ve seen her and her partner perform a play called 366 days of kindness, on the question if kindness can save the world. It was a project inspired by the London riots, which lead her to do one act of kindness a day and documented it over the course of a year. That is one part of her, which well demonstrates her interest in other people’s lives. The other part is the white rabbit in her, which can transform a room into a place of magic, drawing colourful words from a magician’s top hat to create new places, ideas, dreams and lets you enter rabbit holes you would have never thought of.The Minks_Art_Anjo for Bernadette RussellThe Minks_Art_Anjo for Bernadette RussellBefore I start with a painting related to a person, I usually focus on those moments we’ve shared and the things that person mentioned in the interview. I then write down all the random things that pop into mind. This process helps me focus and forms an idea in my head for the painting.The Minks_Art by anjo for Bernadette Russell-1 The Minks_Art by anjo for Bernadette Russell-2The Minks_Art by anjo for Bernadette Russell-4 The Minks_Art by anjo for Bernadette Russell-5The result was an oil painting 30x20cm on canvas paper. Find more on lovely Bernadette Russell here.


Sailing the universe amongst koi and mermaids

The inspiration for this art piece was Christopher Merrick – a stylist at the Clapton Blue Tit Salon. He’s a timid young guy with wise thoughts and a passion for hair, tattoos and music. Art for the Bluetit The Minks_Art by Anjo for Chris Bluetit StylistEspecially his many sailor tattoos and his dreams were inspiring for my painting “Sailing the universe amongst koi and mermaids”.
The Minks_Art by Anjo for Chris MaverickThe Minks_Art by Anjo for Blue Tit SalonThe Minks_Art by Anjo for Chris MaverickFind out more about his neighbourhood, thoughts on community needs and who designs his tattoos here.



Anjo Art for The Minks _ Letter Carving_Painting Anjo Art for The Minks _ Letter Carving_Painting Anjo Art for The Minks _ Letter Carving_PaintingMy inspiration for this painting was Lois Anderson, a Scottish letter carver chiseling away on stone in her North London studio. We got to know her whilst renting a room at her house near Stamford Hill, a house full of stones and letters, cats and other artefacts. For more insight into her views on life, politics and what she loves about life check out her Interview hereThe Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois Anderson-100The Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois Anderson-145The Minks Inspiration Lois Anderson The Minks_London_Letter Carver Lois Anderson-152 The Minks_London_Letter Carver_Home-3


Art – The Intellectual Deer

Paddy Screech has inspired me to paint an oil painting – a mix of objects patterns and animal. Paddy loves freedom. His nature is timid and likes to withdraw from the rumble of the city on his boat close to nature. He is a typical London boater, who runs a lovely bookshop on a barge called Word on the Water.
Art_The-Minks_Boater_deer_coffeeA few years ago living on a boat on the canals of London was like living out in remote country. It used to be one of the few anarchic places in London, no mail boxes, no government control, no extra costs than coal, gas and a boat.
Art_The-Minks_Boater_deer_coffeeThe final art piece by Anna is a layering of coffee, pattern, vintage pistol, vagabond, and a timid deer.
The Minks_London_Art_Deer Pattern_anjo-1The hat was inspired by the amazing hat and fashion maker  A Child of the Jago – son of Vivienne Westwood.The Minks_London_Art_Deer Pattern_anjo-1


Art Process- Arctic Terns

One of the things Paddy Screech loves about London are the arctic terns living on the canals. They are a smaller more elegant versions of seagulls. Unlike the seagulls they come up into to the canals.
The Minks_Art_anjo_for Word on the WaterArctic terns have very delicate elegant features. I’ve seen many when cycling along the canal and enjoyed their playfulness. That’s why I painted the initial sketch upside down.
The Minks_Art_anjo_for Word on the WaterThe water is not usually as blue and clean, but if the weather is sunny the blue sky is reflected in the canals.
The Minks_Art_anjo_for Word on the Water


Art Process of Paperplanes

This is a short recap of the art project I created in December, which hasn’t been talked about yet.
It started that we met a Japanese guy at Victoria Park playing a pink trombone. He also happened to be a nuclear physicist, who is very diverse, creative, full of energy and smart ideas. His origami folding skill with a little tiny piece of paper was truly inspiring and was the origin of my Paperplanes painting. The full interview of Dr. Teppei Katori throughout December was the source of inspiration for this art project. You can read it here.
The Minks_Art_London_oil painting-32 The Minks Art painting oilTeppei Katori’s favorite colour is red. I first started with a study on reds using different shades of oil colours and thinning them out with acetone.
The Minks_Art_London_oil painting-37 The Minks_Art_London_oil paintingOur bay window in our Clapton house is amazing for painting projects. You have good light from all sides and sunshine from morning until afternoon.
The Minks_Art_London_oil painting-28 The Minks_Art_London_oil painting-29Another inspiration is the IceCube project Dr. Teppei Katori’s involved in, located at the South-pole. The sketch is my fantasy idea of the invisible cube underneath the ice – with penguins getting curious about the explosions underneath the ice. In the painting the red cube, set on a pedestal is the centre piece.
The Minks_Paperplanes_final_Art_anjo-The Minks_Paperplanes_final_Art_anjoThe Minks_Paperplanes_final_Art_anjo-2We made a short art clip as a teaser for Mr. December Teppei Katori – combining the art process and Teppei’s diverse creative personality. Enjoy.


The Art Process Behind City Fox

At the time of interviewing Theo Stegers – Mr. January, many foxes roamed the streets of London. City foxes are not timid at all anymore. Some of them even come up as close as to a kitchen door having a little moment of romance with a cat. :)
TheMinks_London People ProjectFoxes in the city are what inspired me for the art piece for the founder of the T-Shirt company called WeAdmire.
City foxes are known to be clever, witty and friendly and so is this man whom we have featured as “The Admirer” in January. You can read the full interview on “The Admirer” here.
The Minks_The City Fox_Theo StegersTheo Stegers has his shop and production space in Shoreditch, a very lively, street arty neighbourhood in East London. He commutes every day with his beautiful Raleigh bike.
The Minks_The City Fox_Art_anjoSide note – You do see foxes often but mostly you hear them at night. One time we were even woken by the noise. It is very bewildering at first until you know it’s not a kid getting strangled, but actually are shrieks of some sort of love making.The Minks_The City Fox_Art_anjo The Minks_The City Fox_Art_anjo-3I really love how you can paint very translucent shapes with oil colours, giving it the appearance of glass or city windows. At the moment “The Shard” tower to me seems like the new city landmark of London – you can see it in the distance behind the fox’s tail.
The Minks_The City Fox_Art_anjo The Minks_The City Fox_Art_anjoThe Minks_The City Fox_Art_anjoWe combined the artwork, the fox and Theo Stegers in action in a short art clip. Enjoy!


The bonsai series — inspired by Tony Margiotta

Painting is a process. Constant decision making. Inspiration play’s an important part. Tony is a peoples’ person and connector. He has the ability to see in others what they at the time might not be able to see themselves. This process is comparable with the plantation of a tree, or for that matter a bonsai tree. An idea has to be watered and cared for on a regular basis to grow and eventually become the beauty that it is supposed to be.

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The inspiring person, that is Tony, combined with the intention to describe interconnectedness in a contemporary setting was the basic inspiration for the bonsai series.

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What they call “a moment”

What is a miracle you have encountered recently?
A miracle? Well that’s a good one. I am not experienced in miracles. I have experienced feelings that make me think something is truly amazing about life. That was for a couple of occasions, but my main one was when I was in Brunei jungle. I was in Brunei jungle for six months doing jungle warfare and survival training.The Minks_art_TonyMargiotta I was very fortunate to be doing that with the British Special Forces. And there were times when we had time off to just hang out in the jungle. You never left the jungle during that time. And I remember I sat there one day in the thick of the jungle and it was really quiet, it was about 6 AM in the morning. The Minks_art for_TonyMargiottaAnd I remember seeing a troupe of black and white monkeys, moving from A to B across my vision above my head and they just stopped and they all looked at me and I looked at them. And I don’t know why but the whole jungle just sort of started making noises and with all of my senses I could smell, I could see the jungle. I felt quite lonely on my own. And I just had what they call “a moment”. The Minks_art_jungle_TonyMargiotta-4I’ve had that before when I was mountain climbing where you just feel at one with the planet. And I just thought freaking hell this is awesome. What are we about, why are we on this planet? However we are on the planet to live amongst other living things and the smells and nature. That to me was kind of an eternal miracle and funny enough that feeling, I always remember. It’s one of those things that always comes back. It has been a guide to me through life, in how I approach things now. I only very rarely get stressed because I just think of things and think you know what, remember that time I was in that jungle, on that mountain, this is a special place. And we are only here for a small amount of time. Miracles happen to me every day, small miracles happen to me every day. When I do really small things. Sorry that was a bit longwinded – I could talk all day about miracles or potential feelings I have experienced. I am very fortunate. 

The painting was inspired by Tony Margiotta’s encounter in the jungle.


Art piece inspired by Komana

The Minks painting progress_Anjo“At Livia Henne’s Victorian house I was inspired by the headless boy – (mentioned in an earlier post), her various collector’s objects and her art books.” One book was of the ABECEDA, by Karel Teige (1900-1951), a Czech avant-garde artist of the 1920s. His 1926 photomontage of a Czech dancer forming letters and typography are an enduring masterpieces of Czech modernism. See two of his letters below.
Karel-Teige-Abeceda-1926The print designer Livia Henne, was inspired by these letters in the past and has created an even more abstract textile print version of Teige’s typography for her label Komana.komana print photo by the minks“What inspired me for the painting was a mixture of Livia’s house, Victorian objects and Teige’s typography.”TheMinks_London People Project_Art_sketchLivia-1brainstorming for the painting
“Another topic that often came to my mind was creativity and where it originates.” In the 19th century physicians tried to measure the skull to localise different areas of the brain and their functions. The German physician, Franz Joseph Gall was the inventor of the discipline of phrenology. Livia has a couple of such Victorian Phrenology statues sitting up on her shelf overlooking the bay window living room.
Phrenology chartsLeft image:  1848 edition of American Phrenological Journal published by Fowlers & Wells, New York City, right image: Webster’s Academic Dictionary, circa 1895
TheMinks_Phrenology_London PeopleProjectart - anjo The MinksAt her house there are many pretty keys, but what do they open, which treasures do they unlock?
TheMinks_London People Project_Art_sketchLivia-2Sketch: “key holes and lonely keys”
The Minks headless boy BoyThe headless boy – there’s a story behind him read more about him here.
the minks art anjo

The final piece is a detached floating of inspiration – the Teige Letter “K” as a reference to the print designer’s label Komana, lonely keys, the french headless boy, the thinker type phrenology statue and edged glass windows common at Victorian houses. It is a bit like a dream, where single objects come and go, but are not really connected but sort of flash into our inner mind. Maybe that is where creativity roots.TheMinks_London People Project_Art-18