What I do besides thangka painting & teaching
I often get the question of what I love to do when I’m not busy with Tibetan and Buddhist art.
This month I had some time for these other passions:
MakeUp for theatre & photography
Ever since I was quite young I’ve been painting faces besides canvasses; for theatre and photo shoots (magazines and advertising).
These days I don’t have a lot of time to do this anymore, but this month I had, when theatre group Stenen Hoofd asked me to do their make-up on the evenings that they performed in the Polanen theatre, here in Amsterdam.
On the right you see one of the examples of make up transformation that I created: Judith, a beautiful woman was transformed in this ugly man, who played the main character in The Miser, by Moliere.
If you want to see more of my make-up artworks, go to carmen-mensink.paspartout.com
Acting / Theatre Playing
For many years working as an actress in theatre pieces made a substantial part of my income, which I did besides my freelance work as a graphic designer (of which I graduated in Art School), all in Amsterdam where I’m based.
These days I just play theatre for fun. Every year I travel to France or Berlin with a theatre group called Tokodrama.
We don’t perform there on stage for an audience, but it’s a theatre training just for ourselves, to improve our acting skills on different levels and especially have lots of fun!
This april our group went to Berlin again and the director Bart van Heel had exercises and different theatre styles – a lot of improvisation, but also performances on music, but we also got a juggling class after which we combined this with a theatre piece.
Visiting Antique and Flea Markets
As my parents are antique dealers I grew up visiting flea and antique markets and developed an eye for beautiful things. I remember buying my first Buddha statue on a flea market in Brussels when I was around 11 years old. I had no clue what a Buddha really stood for but I remember being very much attracted to it and felt a connection with this image. Up until today it’s my main Buddha statue on my altar at home.
On this trip to Berlin I also visited a few flea and antique markets -in between the theatre lessons!- and bought a few lovely items: 2 older, very small (10cm high) Asian vases that are beautifully crafted, and a large bronze Buddha hand to hang on the wall, that makes the mudra of pressing the thumb and pointing finger together, the Gyana Mudra ( Mudra of Knowledge), one of the most mudras in yoga and meditation. As my house is quite full with items already it will be a challenge to find a good place for it!
During my stay in Berlin I also visited several museums, another thing that I love to do in my spare time.
I had a great time at the the Bröhan Museum (museum for Jugendstil, Art Nouveau and Art Déco), and during the extra day that I stayed in Berlin I paid a visit to the Berlinische Galerie (Modern Art – a bit too modern for me!) and the Käthe Kollwitz Museum (famous female artist from Berlin).
A few days after I got home I traveled again to Germany, this time a bit closer to the Dutch border, to Düsseldorf. There I was invited to a big party of one of my German students and her husband, Isa and Peter Hesse. My assistant and partner Roméo joined me and we stayed the weekend to visit the 2 main museums there; K20 and K21, which are connected to each other.
The first museum (K20) featured a wonderful exhibition of Otto Dix, a famous German painter who was born in 1891.