Coffee vs. Paint Water vs. Artist

 

I’m what you might call “caffeine dependant”. Really, two cups is the minimum most days, and a sludge cup with cream is ideal to be properly caffeinated. I will forever be grateful for the baristas who remember that for me, because there are mornings when I seriously forget how words work.

I drink paint water lapel pin.jpg

Like any well adjusted artist, coffee fuels my practice. I rarely start any project without a dark roast in hand,  clouds of creamer dancing through each sip (I don’t bother to stir). I set my coffee down on my left side, away from my paint water, but still within easy reach.   

Something curious happens when these things are in close proximity to one another. No matter how hard I try, or go out of my way to put my precious beverage as far away from harm’s reach as possible (while keeping it close enough to be comforting) I manage to mistake my coffee and paint water. Just last week, I was working on a series of coffee- inspired paintings for a First Friday art show, and caught myself constantly reaching across my body to dip my paintbrush into my drinking cup.

Now, my paint water, where the brushes SHOULD be going, is normally housed in a spiky vase, which is distinctly different in look and feel from my collection of snarky mugs. You might think that’s enough to deter me, but invariably I pick it up, and have the paint water to my lips before I realize what I’m doing. Let’s all be grateful I use non- toxic materials!