My Little Cupcake

“My Little Cupcake” was inspired by a photo that I took at our family farm in South Africa. I baked cupcakes for the worker’s children. Through all the laughter this little girl had a sense of sadness about her. I wanted to capture this is my art

I used acrylic paint with a monochrome colour scheme for the portrait. For the background, I wanted to use a very bright colour to brighten up the mood of the little girl, and something that seems to brighten up a lot of peoples mood is shopping. Thanks to my mother’s shopping trip to Ted Baker I received one of their large green and purple shopping bags. I wanted to create the effect of a kaleidoscope with the two different colours that are captured to represent movement and makes you wonder what shape will be taken next if we were to rotate the cells to change the kaleidoscope.

Title: “My Little Cupcake”

Dimensions: 1000mm x 1000mm

Medium: Mixed Medium (Acrylic paint, Ted Baker Shopping Bag)


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Art Meets Coffee, an Art Exhibition inspired by Art Meets Coffee hosted by BookMunch

Art Meets Coffee

16 -30 November 2017

An Art Exhibition inspired by Art Meets Coffee hosted by BookMunch

TechStars Startup Weekend 2017, an Art Exhibition hosted by Our Space during the TechStars Startup Weekend.

TechStars Startup Weekend 2017

16-18 November 2017

An Art Exhibition hosted by Our Space during the TechStars Startup Weekend.

Art and Headlines, an intriguing visual interpretation of iconic Khaleej Times front pages by local artists, hosted by Andakulova gallery.

Art and Headlines

16-22 November

An intriguing visual interpretation of iconic Khaleej Times front pages by local artists, hosted by Andakulova gallery and inaugurated by Mr. Yasser Al Gergawi, Director of Cultural Events, Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.

Wall of Happiness, an Art Exhibition organized by ZeeArts Community, curated by Zaahirah Muthy and hosted by Mgallery by Sofitel, The Retreat Palm, Dubai

Wall of Happiness

2 November 2017 – 31 January 2018

An Art Exhibition organized by ZeeArts Community, curated by Zaahirah Muthy, inaugurated by President Ameenah Gurib and hosted by Rgallery by Sofitel, The Retreat Palm, Dubai.

Art Fiesta, an Art Exhibition hosted and organised by Cartoon Art Gallery. 

Art Fiesta

4-9 September 2017

An Art Exhibition hosted and organised by Cartoon Art Gallery.

For the interview of fellow artist Ahmed Alfalasi with Fujerah TV Team click here 

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Artist Avenue, Index Exhibition as part of the DAF group

Artist Avenue, Index Exhibition as part of the DAF group

22 – 25 May 2017

The Artist Avenue was an art gallery as part of the Index exhibition and specifically created for artist and galleries looking for exposure in the interior design field. The four-day event (22 – 25 May 2017) hosted over 60 artist and galleries. Throughout the event, there were more than 25,000 attendees over the four-day exhibitions from design professionals, art procurement managers, as well as consumer and commercial art buyers.

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Amirah Ji, A Great Cup of Coffee Surrounded By Mariska Nell’s Art

Amirah Ji, 1 December 2017

Thank you to Amirah Ji for the wonderful article, “A Great Cup of Coffee Surrounded By Mariska Nell’s Art”

Read the full article here. 

A Great Cup Of Coffee Surrounded By Mariska Nell’s Art

I do appreciate a poetically placed cup of coffee. Some ricotta pancakes to go with my first cup to start me off on the first few chapters of my read. Maybe some cozy egg sandwiches and a cinnamon latte once I’m a little deeper into the plot and (sighs)…. just writing about it is giving me a fuzzy and warm feeling inside.

There’s an Art Meets Coffee Exhibition Series running at Book Munch Cafe in Wasl Square and it’s just the kind of place I’d like my poetically placed cup of caffeine and munch. Especially because Mariska Nell chose to showcase her artwork in such a wonderful setting!

Her work is composed of repurposed Nespresso Capsules. The outcome is glorious and the images are stirring. Just the concept of experiencing a Cafe transformed (even a little bit) into an Art Gallery is an act of universal justice especially if it leads to the five times, award-winning Cafe being laced by conversation-inducing art. Mariska Nell’s creations succeed at that.

Mariska is also exhibiting at Our Space in the Lamborghini Building on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai for your viewing pleasure.

Khaleej Times, Art meets Coffee at this quirky cafe

Khaleej Times, 21 November 2017

Thank you to the Khaleej Times for the wonderful article, “Art meets Coffee at this quirky cafe”

Kobo Art, The Art of Recycling

Kobo Art, 16 October 2017

Thank you to Kobo Art for the wonderful article, “The Art of Recycling”

Read the full article here. 

What Else GeorgeTHE ART OF RECYCLING with Mariska Nell.

About Mariska Nell 
Mariska Nell is the artist and Interior Designer behind Design By Mariska. As an artist, Mariska’s work focuses on combining art and recycled materials to create something beautiful. Where some see empty soda cans and Nespresso Capsules as items that should be tossed into the trash, Mariska sees art. It is for this reason that Mariska Nell started creating art that combines painted portraits and recycled materials. She creates pieces that have been commissioned by her clients as gifts or for their personal collections.  Her work has also been entered in competitions and auctions where proceeds were donated to charity.

Mariska Nell

Nespresso Capsules and soda cans were just a beginning of what Mariska has been able to repurpose using her art. Shopping bags, bottled water caps and even candy wrappers have all been part of the pieces that she creates to tell the stories of her subjects.

In one of her most recent creations, Mariska paints a portrait of a renowned Dubai based radio presenter and his two daughters. She then adds an emotional element to the portrait by creating a jigsaw puzzle effect using shredded pieces of paper from their favorite milk box.



“I want to create art that captures memories, that can be touched. I start with painting portraits of my subjects using photos that I took, and then I add a third dimension of depth and texture using actual recycled materials. This is often the emotional part of the artwork. This way my work is both a piece of art and also an emotional memorabilia.” Says Mariska.

On 17th October, Mariska will be collaborating with Patagonia to exhibit her work in a private show hosted by ZSI Trading LLC. The exhibition, which will be held in Al Zarouni Building in Al Barsha, will then open to the public on Wednesday 18th October (9am – 1pm) and Thursday 19th October (1pm – 5pm).

“In this exhibition you will see a lot of paintings that represent the personal stories of my subjects. The painting tells you who the subject is and the background tells you the rest of the story” Says Mariska. “Many people come to me because they want to immortalize a memory. They might have a photo of their wedding day and together I find items that mean a lot to the couple and use these to create a piece of art that is unique.” She adds.

“ZSI is honored to work with Mariska Nell and support a local environment project. We truly believe that art and recycling brings together a great concept, change minds and inspire people.” Said Dewald Van Der Wath, the General Manager of ZSI Trading LLC

“When we met Mariska, her art spoke to us. She is able to see a deep meaning in items that other people would throw away. In this exhibition we hope that more people will see that it is possible to recycle and repurpose in very creative ways. And that more artists will be encouraged to share their art.”  Says Lillian Kithia, the Executive Director of SPARK Publicity, the agency that handles Mariska’s publicity.

Follow Mariska Nell on Instagram @DesignbyMariska

Public Exhibition showing:

Location Al Zarouni Building, Office 305, Al Barsha.

Wednesday 18th October (9am – 1pm)

Thursday 19th October (1pm – 5pm).

Mariska will also be hosting workshops for adults on 19th October at 10am and for children on the 19thOctober at 4pm.

Workshop Details:

Book a your place in a workshop with Mariska Nell.

Reservation is mandatory –

Adults 19th October at 10am

Children 19th October at 4pm”