Monday, 4 March 2013

Making Cards and Starting a New Painting

So good news everybody - I find I am able to squeeze a bit more painting into my hectic schedule now I have settled into the East a bit more. Production lines are definitely re-opening...  I have to admit the commute into work did grate on me a bit last week and I found myself getting rather tired at times, yet still I managed to make some cards and start a new painting. 

The cards are for some of our friends. The first is for Henry's colleague Max, who is embarking on a new line of work mid month and will no longer be working at the company. The second is for Henry's brother, who celebrates his birthday today. Happy Birthday Duncan! The third was for mum for mothering Sunday, but as she checks this blog all the time I have decided not to post a picture of that one. The last was for Henry.

And then I started a new painting...

I sat down at the drawing board yesterday to finish Three Times Over and Monstera problema, but you know those days when you are so sick of looking at a painting that progress becomes slow and the composition begins to loose its freshness? Well that's what happened on Sunday. I have so many ideas bubbling up in my mind, that there is a part of me that just wants to get on with them. However, I do realise that it is also equally important to try and get current projects finished. It's a tricky balancing act, but as I felt at the time that the Chelsea Tulips were complete I thought I'd start something new.  

Over where I am in Brick Lane there is something quite remarkable going on amongst the curry houses and mosques. I find it to be remarkable because I personally don't really understand it. Coffee is reaching dizzy heights. There are artisan coffee shops EVERYWHERE and the number of ways you can drink it is now beyond confusing. It's big business and you're socially ridiculed if you can't make a cracking cup of the stuff. There are barista competitions, late night tasting sessions, exclusive clubs, private roasteries and latte art galleries. There are special cups, special cakes and special chairs for taking your sip in. There are even water devices which make Thames River water taste like Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water. 

As an avid tea-drinker I don't really understand this coffee fuelled zeitgeist, but Henry reassures me that it is a good thing because London coffee was pretty poor beforehand. So with the London Coffee festival coming to my street in April, I was inspired to paint a really good coffee plant. It's big - to mirror the economic enormity of coffee and growing - literally.

I personally hope to use this piece to highlight the importance of plants and to show that useful plants are also very beautiful and should be admired in every way. I love ethnobotanical plants and hope that through my art I can make coffee drinkers think more about where their coffee has come from.


  1. Your friends will be delighted with their cards, I am sure. Although we are looking forward to some authentic English tea during our upcoming visit, its nice to know that good coffee will be an option too since that was our only concern about visiting England! ;-) I look forward to seeing your depiction of the coffee plant develop.

    1. Thanks Janene! I am looking forward to getting this little (or big?) one finished. I thought I'd scaled it up a bit, but upon reflection it is pretty much a life sized coffee plant now. Think I'll need to save up for a roll of paper so I can go even bigger. Happy coffee drinking to you... When you are in London definitely go to the small artisan coffee shops.