Wednesday, September 21, 2011

If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee. -Abraham Lincoln

Some people have "tea-time" and some have "coffee-time". So, I posed the question to my friends: what do you call it, if you don't want to call it "break-time" and yet you do not want to be exclusionary of either group?

One of the suggestions was "Recess". I loved it right away, and decided that it would be the title for my series of encaustic multi-media pieces I am currently working on.

Not being a coffee drinker, I had to have a friend send me some filters. Those travelled from out west in Calgary, to Toronto. Then the old wood had to be found and the frame created. This series was planned for a good couple of months before I could start the painting process

Here are the first two in the series.

Recess, 22 x 22 inches, encaustic multi-media.

With the background created entirely from mottled wax colours, you really have the  feeling of coffee or tea with a touch of milk added. I learned also not to get the coffee filter too wet with the wax, as it went completely transparent, and had to be "rescued" so that it could be seen. the sprinkles of "sugar" seem to come out of the painting, and they create a pile inside the frame, but out of the painting.

Recess Two, 22 x 22 inches, encaustic multi-media.

For this one, I wanted a very "kitchen type" look. I used the lining you can buy for shelves as my background, and painted over that with the beeswax to diffuse the pattern just a bit. Here, I only wet the center of the coffee filter, so it kept it's lovely stained look. At the top, I cut away a semi-circle, and made it look like sugar is falling down through the hole, cascading along the teabags and spoon, to create a small pile at the bottom.

This is turning out to be quite a fun series to work on. I have another two planned, and just need to create the frames in order to continue. I have been using the old "strapping" wood from inside our walls. We live in a house that is 106 years old, and when we pulled down a wall, this was the wood inside the walls. It's a perfect thickness to make the frame, and I love the old and weathered look to it. I sure hope I can find more like it to use in the rest of the series!


  1. These are very interesting and fun works!

  2. I think this is a very interesting couple of works - very original. In Australia when I was growing up - coffee drinkers were rare - everyone drank cups of tea. Now I think people drink tea more at home and have coffee at work or when they are out and about. Coffee is OK but nothing beats a good devonshire tea (there's an idea for another one - a devonshire tea - just think of the colours you could have in it (bright red strawberry jam or orange coloured apricot jam, fluffy white scones, yellow butter, and brown tea - sorry, I am sure you don't need ideas from me, it is just that I got all inspired looking at your work and went off into a flight of creative fancy!) Now I am very curious about what the other two will be - looking forward to seeing what else you are planning.

  3. Thank you Rachel and Heatherian!

    Heatherian, no problem with saying your ideas...I am glad I got you all inspired!

    I have one of the frames ready to go for the next, and hope to get to it this week. Then I need to go to a similar style, but a different theme...that one has been waiting to get out of me too! LOL