Thursday, June 20, 2013

Surviving the dark months in UK

Working in artificial light was bit painful for my eyes and soul. I was unable to see the colours I wanted to see. Watercolour is something that requires patience, soft and caring brush work, playing with water and a mood for all that. After doing a few works in water colour, I realised that I wasn't enjoying it, yet I couldn't stop working. This is when I received an invitation from The Coffee Art Project, Allegra Foundation to submit a work for charity.
....."The Coffee Art Project is a high profile art competition and combines our passion for coffee and art. Emerging artists specialising in all media types have submitted unique pieces of artwork that connect to coffee or coffee shop experiences.The ultimate objective of this programme is to raise valuable funds for Project Waterfall, which supports clean water and sanitation initiatives, this year in Tanzania."
I did the two of the following paintings in coffee on water colour paper. In my earlier post, I have talked about using espresso coffee, freshly prepared at home. This time I tried out with instant coffee. I came to know from the website of Steven Mikel that dark shades could be obtained by saturating the solution of coffee in water through evaporation. In his site he has also mentioned about the durability of coffee as a medium. An experiment carried out by him has shown that water colour fades faster than coffee stain when exposed to direct sunlight. Below, is the work submitted to The Coffee Art Project along with the artist statement.
MEDIUM:  COFFEE[aq] ON WATER COLOUR PAPER [ Fabriano 300 gsm ]
SIZE : 40 cm x 50 cm, Frame included
Artist statement-
Why I chose coffee as the medium used for this artwork?
I have been painting with coffee for quite sometime. This purely organic medium is easily available all over the world and allows me to pursue my artistic activity anywhere and everywhere. A sheet of watercolour paper, some water and paintbrush is all that I need to create my artwork. I have worked with charcoal, watercolour and acrylic extensively but I must admit that I am getting increasingly addicted to this versatile and unique medium with its heavenly aroma and pigment that amazingly lends itself to create fascinating shades of brown and dramatic textures.
Why I chose this subject?
The movie Lincoln was fresh in my mind when I received the invitation from Project Coffee Art to participate in this art exhibition with a humanitarian objective. I began with a portrait of the Oscar winner, British born Daniel Day Lewis in the role of Abraham Lincoln and slowly got motivated tocreate something relevant to present day slavery. The   outcome is this artwork “Can you hear the cry?”This work was displayed at a pop-up exhibition at the Dray Walk Gallery, London,from 16th to 25th April,2013. It is now a property of The Coffee Art Project.
In March, I was invited by photographer Ross Hale to exhibit my coffee works at the Takeaway Gallery, Harris Arcade, Reading. I did the following works in coffee and along with some of my earlier works, these were exhibited in May,2013 for a month.

12th April- left for Boston to visit our children and grandchild.

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