Love to paint watercolors? Enjoy gouache? Have you
considered Original Blend?
Yes, coffee is a workable, wonderful medium to create art
that has the patina of fine sepia prints and the nuances of
fine watercolor. It is great for portraits, still lifes, and
landscapes. Minnesota artists Andrew Saur and Angel
Sarkela-Saur have refined the medium to, well, an art!
Angel and Andy have been painting with coffee for several
years, although they have been artists for much longer. When
asked to mount a show at a Duluth coffee house, they realized
this was an opportunity to do something really different, yet
perfect for the venue.
At first they tried using the coffee bean itself to sketch
a drawing, then making pastels out of coffee grounds, but
neither idea really worked. Then, they realized they could use
coffee as a watercolor and it was totally effective. Now, they
first sketch out an idea, brew up a pot of coffee thick and
dark, then add water as they go along to get the variety of
tones both subtle and pronounced, to achieve the effects they
When the painting is completed and fully dry, they cover it
with a clear coat of acrylic that preserves the shading and
delicacy of the work. They do caution, however, that direct
sunlight or very hot and humid conditions should be avoided.
You can actually have very slight differences in hue with
different roasts, they add, using stronger brews will have the
same effect as giving variations to shading. All you need are
your favorite brushes, watercolor paper and ultra-strong brew.
The artists at www.justcoffeeart.com won't reveal how they
brew it, but confess that experimenting with strong brews
should reveal everything you need to know.
So, next time you have leftover coffee, or brew a pot too
strong for your taste, don't toss it. Instead, let the coffee
cool, pour it in a shallow bowl, set another bowl of water on
the counter, and start painting!
For inspiration in creating conceptual art, art depicting
nature, portraits, and other ideas with coffee, visit http://www.justcoffeeart.com/.