Letter from United States Ambassador Peter W. Bodde
Coffee Art® Gidget
Coffee Art® on Estilo e Ponto
Coffee Art® onDuSu
July 15, 2009
We received word that our "Gidget" is doing well in Lilongwe, Malawi in Africa. Ambassador Bodde sent us this letter:
EMBASSY OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
June 30, 2009
Dear Mr. Saur & Mrs. Sarkela-Saur,
My wife Tanya and I would like to thank you for participating in the Arts in Embassies
program and lending us the coffee on paper painting "Gidget." We have a Boston Terrier dog named "Atlas" which makes this particular work of art very meaningful to us.
"Gidget" hangs in the front foyer of our residence. Our guests never fail to notice the painting and always give us a positive response to being greeted by "Gidget."
Peter W. Bodde
July 10, 2009
Our Coffee Art® was recently featured on the Estilo e Ponto website:
Um cafezinho tem tudo a ver com obras de arte, não tem?
Para o casal norte americano Andrew Saur e Angel Sarkela Saur, não existe coisa melhor do que pintar um quadro com café. Segundo o próprio casal: “O café é um produto especial que liga muitas pessoas, desde a sua produção à sua apreciação”.
Esse casal de artistas teve essa idéia de usar o café em suas tintas durante um verão, quando juntos, planejaram sua primeira exposição de arte em um café, localizado na cidade de Duluth, Minnesota.
A exposição de arte do casal começou a ganhar espaço na casa de café e eles sentiram que era o momento ideal para inovar. Com a intenção de chocar o público, apresentando algo novo, único e criativo, o casal passou a utilizar o café para pintar suas obras. No princípio, tentaram várias técnicas, como a utilização dos grãos de café como rascunhos e a elaboração de tons pastéis com as bases do café. Estas técnicas pareciam não surtir o efeito desejado pelo casal, então decidiram usar o café como aquarela, que foi a técnica mais aceita e a que melhor se adequou às expectativas dos artistas.
Depois do sucesso que tiveram no uso do café como aquarela, eles começaram a utilizar um café extremamente forte que é escuro e grosso. Para diluir um pouco o líquido e ganhar novos tons de cores, o casal passou a adicionar água, conseguindo tons e sub-tons marrons e sépia, que agregam às pinturas um aspecto nostálgico.
Sobre a inspiração para as pinturas, o casal elucida: “A inspiração para nossas pinturas vem de tudo que está à nossa volta, somos inspirados pelo cenário natural, nas proximidades da costa do Lake Superior, em Duluth, nossas viagens, a cultura e o café, por si só”.
Para dar um retoque final à pintura, é adicionada uma camada de acrílico que preserva a arte, resultando assim uma bela pintura. As pinturas do casal podem ser vistas no site: http://www.justcoffeeart.com
Veja abaixo uma entrevista com o casal (em inglês): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpMIfdkFjuU
July 3, 2009
Our Coffee Art® was recently featured on the DuSu website:
It seems almost scandalous sitting across from Coffee Art's Andy Saur and Angel Sarkela-Saur, watching them sip on steamy cups of hot chocolate piled with caps of whipped cream. The remnants of a sloppy spring blizzard slap and spray amidst the traffic outside, as the cocoa chuggers and I recline in our seats at Beaner's coffee shop, discussing the Coffee Artists™ unique artistic medium of choice: coffee. As it turns out, Andy doesn't even drink the stuff.
Angel and Andy are life-long northern Minnesotans. Angel grew up in Gilbert and Andy in Two Harbors. They met at UMD in their "Intro to Music" class.
"I didn't have a [text]book yet," said Angel, and Andy was all too happy to share his.
After college the two found jobs and settled in Duluth, an area that offered proximity to both of their families and an abundance of outdoor activities - something the Coffee Artists™ relish. Married for five years, Andy and Angel welcomed a contagiously gleeful, apple-cheeked daughter, Annika, in 2008.
You can't help but wonder what initially inspired the couple, both graphic artists by trade, to decide to paint with coffee.
"We wanted to do a show together," Angel explains.
The two young artists signed up for a showing at Beaner's, and with months to prepare work, decided to do something appropriate to the setting.
"We tried a lot of different methods," Angel chuckled. The artists attempted to color with coffee beans, and to suspend coffee in a mixture they likened to an oil pastel.
"We eventually started mixing coffee and painting with it," Andy concluded.
Uncertain how their first pieces would fare for sale, the Coffee Artists™ created about thirty paintings for their first showing, and priced them reasonably.
They sold out in the first week.
"We bought a fondue pot and a puppy," Angel grinned.
In the years since their first Coffee Art© show in 2000, word has spread about the duo's unique form of artistry. Their work has been featured on the Food Network show "Unwrapped," and the two presently have pieces on loan to the American Embassy in Malawi.
Working from their home studio in their spare time, the couple have created and sold hundreds of Coffee Art® pieces over the last decade.
"Do you have a favorite brand of coffee to work with?" I asked the couple.
"We like Alakef," says Angel, "but we often use whatever is on sale."
With the added dynamic of a new family member, the couple find having an established creative process is essential.
"We try to brainstorm ideas for pieces during the week, and paint on the weekends."
Expanding their reach, the Coffee Artists™ partnered with beverage behemoth Starbucks in 2007 for their National Coffee Break Day.The company flew the Coffee Artists™ to New York City.
"We did painting demonstrations in a Starbucks right on Broadway. " Andy shares.
Again in 2008, when Starbucks and Hersheys launched a new line of chocolate products, the Coffee Artists™ created a gallery of paintings for their grand opening of the new products.
The two also did a coffee portrait of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, which hangs in his office, and delivered a piece to the staff of David Letterman. A head writer for the Late Show contacted the Coffee Artists™have been contacted by the Letterman show for a possible special project.
As if all that weren't enough, as designers of the FinnFest logo (and some corresponding Coffee Art®), Angel and Andy- Finns, themselves- met the visiting president of Finland in 2008.
"She patted Angel's [then-pregnant] belly," said Andy.
"And I went into labor later that day!" Angel added.
"Have you ever considered using any other beverages to paint with?" I asked the couple.
"We thought about tea," said Angel, but they Coffee Artists™ confess to being coffee art purists. They prefer the challenge of finding new ways to work with their personally-traditional medium.
"Will you have Annika painting, too?" I asked the proud parents of the cooing, smiling, paintbrush-wielding infant sitting in her car seat.
Apparently, the young artist is already an accomplished scribbler, and created some hand-print works for family members.
A happy family, a creative business, and a fulfilling life: Angel & Andy of Coffee Art® have brewed up their own local masterpiece.
Besides our Coffee Art®, we are creating other art and involved in other activities. On this page you will find out more about our inspiration and other ways of creating art.
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