Welcome to my Japanese ink painting world

This page is meant to give you a quick overview of my artistic work from the past years, in addition to the weekly inspiration dose found on zen Mondays here. I create ink paintings in the Japanese zen style, where the main goal is to convey the essence of a topic through a few well placed strokes and the beauty of black to white infinite gradations. Birds and flowers are the most frequent subjects, and I use selected color accents for the subject in focus on every painting. My work can be split into two main categories – zen journals and stand-alone ink on paper works. My personal journey towards Japanese ink painting is a long, curious one. You can read more about it on this artist interview with Candace Rardon at www.momentsketchers.com/mafalda.

Zen journals and editions

My smallest size paintings are 10 x 15 cm, created with Japanese ink brush pens, and they are my “zen journals”. Zen journaling is a daily opportunity to connect with the nature and seasons, celebrate transience, refocus one’s mind to truly see and be grateful for the beauty surrounding us. It is also a nifty “hack” to restore energy and creativity to the levels demanded by my professional activities. I paint on my zen journals every day.

Although Japanese-looking in their aesthetic feel, I have zen journaled my way through subjects as varied as the gardens of Zurich, the birds of New Zealand or sea creatures of the Maldives. In late 2018, I published a first mini art edition based on a selection of images from the zen journals. The second edition of this mini book is available here.


I am currently prioritizing new edition projects for 2021 based on the latest journals content.

Original ink paintings

In addition to the edition projects above, I create a number of original ink painting works every year. Some in pure monochrome black and white, some with a restricted palette of Japanese ink colors. I paint on washi (Japanese paper). Preparing an ink on paper work for sale through the traditional “wet mounting” process is a cumbersome, labor intensive and lengthy task. Some of my works have been assembled as scrolls and hand fans, but the lead-time can be close to a year for such pieces. For this reason, the most frequent format available for sale online is the “ready-made” shikishi (Japanese paper already backed on a square hard board format with a gold coloured rim). All my original works are signed in black ink and stamped with my artist seal (or a positive wish seal in the smallest works).

How you can enjoy my art works

You can enjoy my works and process in several manners: follow this site below, follow my instagram account @mtenente, attend a collective exhibition I participate in. All of the above are free ways to engage with my art. Or you can choose to own some of my work. You can do this by purchasing a copy of “One Moment, One Drawing” or an original art work. The edition and original works currently ready for sale are available exclusively on my online shop here, and on occasion at public events related to Japanese culture and ink painting. If you are interested in another work you have seen on my site or instagram account, please contact me directly here: www.mafaldatenente.com/contact

If you’d like to learn more about my ink painting practice or collaborate on a specific project involving my painting skills, contact me here. As ever, thank you for visiting today!


All rights reserved. “One Moment, One Drawing. Twelve ink drawings to chase the seasons”™, 一期一絵、水墨画で描く十二節気“™ are the intellectual property of its author Mafalda Tenente, 2020.