Aileen 2024 April 11 2024

 April 2024

We're helping to raise funds for Healesville artist Aileen Stinten who was recently diagnosed with cancer. The money raised from selected products purchased on this website will be used to assist her with medical and incidental expenses. We will forward all monies (less transaction and bank charges) directly to her. (Hit the 'Fundraising for Aileen' heading at the top of the screen to navigate to donated products)


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September 2018

Earlier this year Aileen on her way to the organic cafe, intrigued by the fragrance of Sweet Cinnamon wafting down the main road, popped her head into the studio to see what we were about. There ensued a half hour or so of conversation; she told me about her art and would I be interested in selling her cards? A few days later she returned with a bag of reproductions of her animal portraits and I could not quite reconcile the talent with this doe-eyed, unassuming lady. Of course I can now. Since then Aileen has introduced the "Arts and Minds" group to the Malka Studio and helped coordinate "Nelly's Gift" an exhibition of Petronella Jones' inspired monoprints in May of this year. We are delighted to host her retrospective exhibition.


In 2001 at the age of 50, a notice at the Corinella Community Centre caught my eye ‘Exploring Drawing’ with Gary Simmons

From different aspects of drawing and then onto other mediums I explored

A diagnosis of fibromyalgia I turned to art for therapy, it gave me purpose and something to focus my mind upon.

And then there was a random gift of art supplies including canvas board and oil paint – and not knowing what to do with them.  Soon after receiving them, my friend Cathy asked me to draw from photographs, a picture of her Clydesdale. After making a few drawings from photos, without telling anyone, I had a go at painting one of them in oil. I just used the oil without any other medium. (I thought you used them straight out of the tube)

Painting finished, I showed it to the art group where without prompting, someone offered a frame that fitted the canvas perfectly, and another took it to her work at an art framer to have it framed. It was so worth the effort.  When I took the painting to Cathy she was so overwhelmed and happy, she burst into tears. Her reaction was priceless. And without knowing, the frame fitted her décor.

The way it all came together made me realise I was being directed. My motivation and urge to make the painting were quite strong. Step by step, materials I needed were given to me as needed to make it happen.

I then discovered my preferred mediums: soft pastels, charcoal, and oil pastels.

In 2004 I moved to Healesville where I joined and now tutor the U3A ‘Art and Craft’ group.

2009 & 2010 I participated in the ‘Yarra Valley Open Studios’

I like to experiment with organic eco-printing using iron sulphate and sometimes tea diffusions; and ‘gelli printing’ with a solution of vegetable gelatine, glycerine and dried leaves.

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has encouraged and supported me in my art journey.  Aileen


A little bit about Vaidas... December 01 2021

We're delighted to be hosting a selection of multi-media works by Vaidas Zvirblis for the Summer '21-'22 at Malka Studio Healesville. Bold, playful and imaginative, his paintings elicit boundless narrative. Opens December 11.  More info follows below



Cats, Dogs & Rabbits  Original oil & clay mixture on canvas  by Vaidas Zvirblis size 91cm x 91cm

 And here's the more...


Vaidas is a multidisciplinary artist currently based in Lithuania. He was born in 1964 in Lithuania. Vaidas received his MFA at Vilnius Art Academy in 1991. In 1996 he received a UNESCO scholarship for 3 month art residency in Sanskriti Kendra, India, which culminated in a solo exhibition in Delhi. He moved to Australia in 1998, settling in Melbourne with his family. Drawing was always been at the core of his practice, having illustrated 6 children’s books, one of which received the 2008 Most Beautiful Children’s Book Award from the Lithuanian Council of the Arts. He also represented Lithuania at the 2011 Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy and the 3rd Tallinn illustration Triennial in Estonia in 2009. Vaidas exhibits regularly in Lithuania & Australia exploring a wide range of creative mediums. Since 2016 Vaidas lives on his large farm in Lithuania, where he paints, draws and makes large-scale outdoor sculptures & public commissions.


1983-1991                     Masters of Fine Arts

                                      Vilnius Art Academy-Kaunas Art Institute, Lithuania

1975-1982                     J.Naujalis Secondary Art School, majoring in painting

                                      Kaunas, Lithaunia


2008 February                Lithuanian Art Council Award

                                      Most Beautiful Children’s Book of the Year. Vilnius . LT

1996 February               UNESCO-ASCHBERG scholarship

                                      Sanskriti Kendra Art Residency, New Delhi. Feb-May 1996


2020 September           KILOWAZ art symposium, Siauliai, Lithuania



2019 September           Paintings & sculptures at “GAUDRE” salon of lights, Vilnius, Lithuania
2018  March                   “PIEVOS” paintings & sculptures, Traku Vokes Dvaras, Lithuania

2008, 2011, 2015          Recent Paintings. Bird’s Gallery, Melbourne

2010, 2013                   Sculpture. Bird's Gallery, Melbourne

2005 March                   New Drawings. Ink wash on paper, Bird’s Gallery, Melbourne

1997 June                      Moving Sculptures ( Ceramics & Mixed Media )

                                      “Ripustus” Gallery, Hameenlinna, Finland.

1996 October                 Paintings & Sculptures

                                      UNESCO Commission centre of Lithuania, Vilnius

1996 May                       Paintings & Moving Sculptures

                                      Sanskriti Kendra, New Delhi

1993                              New Ceramics, Potsdam Gallery, Germany



2000 October                 Vaidas Zvirblis-Sculptures, Pirjo Heino  (Finland) Woodblock prints.

                                      Hauhota’o Gallery, Finland

1999 September            Vaidas Zvirblis Ceramics, Brigita La Works on paper

                                      CAS Space-Windows, Melbourne

1998 August                  Vaidas Zvirrblis Sculptures, Katri Heino (Finland) Drawings

                                      Rajatia Gallery, Tampere, Finland.

1998 January                Vaidas Zvirblis -Sculptures , Pirjo Heino (Finland) Woodblock Prints

                                      Baroti Gallery, Klaipeda, Lithuania.




2013 October-March     “All Creatures Great and Small” Sculpture 2013 
                                    Toyota Australia, Port Melbourne, Vic                

2013 August                 “Workshopped 13” Design Award (finalist),

Supa Centre Moore Park, Sydney 

2012 November             “Summer Sun & Fun” Bird’s Gallery, Kew

2012 May                      Art Melbourne, Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton

2012 February              ILIUSTRARIUM Contemporary Lithuanian Book Illustration.

            Vilnius Book Fair

2011 March                  ILLUSTRARIUM Contemporary Lithuanian Book Illustration
                                    Bologna International Children’s Illustration Award. Bologna, Italy

2009 May                      Prometheus Visual Arts Award (finalist) Merrimac. QLD

2009                              The 3rd Tallinn Illustrations Triennial. Tallinn, Estonia

2006, 2007                    Art Melbourne, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

2006 February              “Together” international exhibition of small size works

                                      Bird’s Gallery, Melbourne

2005 April                      Affordable Art Show, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

                                      Represented by Bird’s Gallery, Melbourne

2004 November            “White” international exhibition of small size works

                                      Bird’s Gallery, Melbourne.

2004 April                      Melbourne Affordable Art Show

                                      Represented by Bird’s Gallery, Melbourne

2003 February               Linden Postcard Show

                                      Linden Gallery, Melbourne

1999 December             “The Point” international mini size exhibition

                                      Ripustus Gallery, Hameenlinna, Finland

1999 August                  9’ x 12’ National Touring Exhibition of Contemporary Art

                                      Steps Gallery, Melbourne




2014                             ‘Illustrators of Eastern Europe’, dpi Taiwan’s Graphic Design Magazine

                                    VOL 178, pages 42-45

2011                             ILLUSTRARIUM Contemporary Lithuanian Book Illustration, Published by the International Cultural Programme Centre, Lithuania. Pg 192-196

2008                             Lithuanian Literature for Children and Youth ’08. Published by Books from Lithuania 2008, pages 46-50

2007                             Art Melbourne 07 catalog, page 45

2006                             Art Melbourne 06 catalog, page 33

1997 June 19                ‘Positive Insects and Happy Birds’

Hameen Sanomat newspaper, Hameenlinna, Finland

2000 October 19           ‘Pirjo Heino ja Vaidas Zvirblis yhteisnayttelyssa Hauhotalossa’ by Sari Musjoki, Torstaina newspaper, Finland (translation available)

1998 January 16           ‘Moving objects and graphics at Baroti gallery’ by Rita Bociulyte

                                    Klaipeda newspaper, Lithuania (translation available)





1996                             Sanskriti Kendra Art Residencies, New Delhi, India

1996-2014                    Private Collections in India, Finland, Lithuania, USA & Australia



The heavens smiled on us last week. July 29 2020

The heavens smiled on us last week. A friend of the studio arrived with a camera and was inspired to take these shots.  The winter sun, hugging the horizon, was streaming in the windows and door.




Sweet Sleep, Sweet Cinnamon (Necessity is the mother of invention, part 4) February 09 2020

As vivid as if it happened yesterday (1997). Finally, the crucible – the point of no return – in the early hours of a Sunday morning, dozing through the twilight zone - I was juggling two questions: ‘How are we going to provide for these daughters?’ and ‘What would be a good combination of essential oils to combat those silverfish in the wardrobe?... Perhaps if we used….’ and then, as though by Mother Nature herself another Malka baby was conceived, Sweet Cinnamon

The monkeys in the menagerie (Necessity is the mother of invention, part 3) February 09 2020

And while we're on the subject of not testing our products on animals...
It's the 1990s, the babies arrive and prompt more experimentation and development of the of the Malka Natural Skin Care range: bathed in chamomile tea bags or diluted cider vinegar; calendula cream was created to treat a little eczema; arnica cream for bruises and after-ballet massage; baby balm for that red rash around their lips when ‘run-down’; lip balm for, well…cracked & dry lips.


A Malka baby after braces

Rose & Beeswax Cream (Necessity is the mother of invention, part 1) February 09 2020

Recently we were required to ‘re-accredit’ ourselves with CCF. While we certainly do not 'test on animals' it is true that members of my family have not been spared the same treatment - but they don't exactly count as animals.

Necessity is the mother of invention (Plato)

Malka Rose & Beeswax Cream – Spunky Dory (evil genius, inventor, guitarist The Melody Lords 1990’s +) the original Malka guinea pig


After a hard night’s stomping & guitar grinding Spunky D was complaining about the arduous task of removing make up. So Mrs Dory (AKA Malka) went down to the lab with a few ancient texts and explored Galens’s (another Greek, b 129 AD) cold cream recipe who prescribed the balance of an oil water & wax emulsion so simply that even I could make it. And there we have it: rose water, sweet almond oil and organic leatherwood beeswax. Maestro Dory was instructed: pat small dabs of cream on to his face and gently wipe with damp cotton wool the make-up away from the eyes in outward motion and then rinse with tepid water to remove grime, sweat and thick theatrical makeup.

Purposeful Pot Pourri (Necessity is the mother of invention, part 2) December 23 2018

Celebrating Mothers

My mother-in-law in her element, an actress in UK Rep theatre in 1950s. No, she didn't use Malka Rose & Beeswax Cream to take off her her make-up but you can bet she wishes she did.

Purposeful Pot Pourri
Her diversion is to dry out aromatic flowers, mix with spices and sachet-up in William Morris fabric for fragrant drawers or display in the odd antique dish. One of her first gifts to me: a silver lidded Stuart Crystal bowl filled with dried renunculi, poppies & coriander seeds, spawning a new Malka obsession.

Lesley is altruistic from head to toe. Among many things she has recorded readings for the blind, volunteered her time with PLAN Australia & Oxfam, boxed and hand stitched sachets of pot pourri diverting all sales' proceeds to The Mental Illness Fellowship

Vale Lesley, always grateful.

10 December 1928 - 17 December 2018 

By Request - organic avocado cream, no fragrance added October 17 2018

Recently I was asked about the labels I choose for trialling new products. My flippant response “I was bored”.  But this is not really true. Making this new cream by request : Organic Avocado Nourishing Cream, I realise that these products and processes by which I make them, are a reflection, a  continuum of that which has come before.

Spring Skin August 28 2018

“Life is easier when you are comfortable in your own skin” – Amy Dickinson

Spring is the time of renewal, rejuvenation and revitalization as blossoms appear on bare wooded trees, colourful spring flowers bloom, baby birds a-chirping and the warmth of spring sunshine transforms the soul.  Love all your skin and start preparing it for the pending warmth of the change in season, by saying goodbye to dry winter skin.

 Skin care routines require change, like swapping out your heavier moisturizing products for lightweight natural options.  Try Malka’s easy three steps to fabulous skin by using our all natural skin care products for cleansing, exfoliating / mask and moisturizing. 

Skin revitalization begins with the first step of cleansing with Malka Watermelon Organic Jojoba Cleanser featuring watermelon peel, organic jojoba oil, orgainic shea butter & coconut oil, apply a small amount to the face and remove with damp cotton wool.

Exfoliating your skin is essential coming into spring, not only does it help rid the skin of dead skin cells it benefits the stimulation of cellular renewal, meaning your skin will become smoother and healthier.

Try Malka Matcha Honey Mask featuring organic raw honey infused with powdered matcha, organic rosehip & jojoba oils. By using small circular motions, it becomes a gentle facial scrub. For a deeper cleanse Malka Honey Clay Deep Cleansing Mask infused with pink Argiletz clay, organic rosehip & organic jojoba oils with parsley & organic chamomile essential oils.  Apply avoiding eye area, leave for 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly. 

After rinsing and drying skin your new feel skin will be ready to absorb Malka Orange Flower Jojoba Facial Cream, a distillate of orange blossom combined with organic jojoba oil and organic shea butter. This delicate day cream is suitable for all skin types, with a potent fragrance evocative of the Orient. 

It’s not just your face that needs attention at this time of year…don’t forget the rest of your body, which even means your feet! There is a Malka natural skin care product for every part of your body. 

Spring is the perfect time to pamper your skin…why not start today? 

Click here for Spring Ready Skin




Queen of the Night August 20 2018

‘Jasmine…elegance is the beauty that never fades’ – Audrey Hepburn

Malka’s Jasmine Organic Jojoba Hand & Body Cream is an extraordinary product that we only make once a year in anticipation of Spring. There's something about August in the Southern Hemisphere when a deep-seated urge prompts us to make this truly decadent cream.

Jasmine is a delicate flowering plant originally native to Persia & Kashmir known for its heavenly and exotic scent and evokes memories of balmy evenings, which helps to lift the spirits to relax the body and encourages romance.  Considered an aphrodisiac and admired as ‘the perfume of love’ in Hindu traditions.

It can take 50,000 petals to create just 30ml bottle of Jasmine Absolute (jasminum officinale), which equates to over 7,500 individual jasmine flowers. Known as ‘Queen of the Night’ because the delicate Jasmine flowers are picked at night before the morning sun drives the scent from the flower, highly valued for its rarity and high price.

Organic jojoba oil (phonetically pronounced - ho-ho-ba) is a unique liquid wax obtained by cold pressing the seeds from the jojoba shrub, native to Sonoran Desert, the hottest desert in Northwest Mexico.  Jojoba is known for its antibacterial & anti-inflammatory properties, whilst mimicking our skin’s natural oils, which acts as an intense moisturiser for skin and hair.

We hand stir these two exceptional ingredients to create an intense and dramatically fragrant cream.  Malka Jasmine Organic Jojoba Hand & Body Cream is exceptionally good for dry or aggravated skin. 

Available for a limited time only at Malka Studio Healesville, 206 Maroondah Highway and online.