[Cups, cafetieres and spoons (c) Hannah Thompson, acrylic with metallic silver pen]
It’s no secret: I love coffee (and I love painting).
Coffee-wise, I’m not *too* addicted – my average is 2 cups a day, sometimes a bit more on a particularly tired day. But for me, coffee isn’t just the caffeine.
Although it’s often a quick Pret A Manger Americano, when the weekend rolls around, and you have time to do coffee properly, it’s a proper joy.
Grinding the beans; enjoying the glorious wafts of flavour; spooning it luxuriously into the cafetiere (whatever kind you have), and then either letting it heat on a hob, or pouring hot water over the grains, to let the concoction seep softly before it’s time to pour out the intense, smoky-smelling liquid into your hopefully-colourful, reassuringly large mug.
Even using the Nespresso machine at my parents’ house, once looked at with such suspicion, now proves that you’re treating coffee with the respect that it deserves – and for all the machine’s “sealed capsules”, the Nespresso system still emits a wondrous odour upon production.
I also love coffee cups themselves. Even before I started drinking coffee regularly, I would lust after dinky espresso cups and matching mug sets and painted cups in complementary colours and artfully clashing saucers. To drink from a colourful, enamelled, quality mug – whether it’s cheap and cheerful, part of a set, or a one-off classic with a slogan or a pattern that makes you smile – elevates coffee drinking from mere caffeine-inhaling exercise to gastronomic pleasure. On holiday in Istanbul a few years ago, I had to be physically restrained from filling my suitcase home with all manner of tea-and-coffee-drinking mugs in a variety of patterns and colours. If I could, I’d buy them all.
These paintings were firstly inspired by colourful crockery, which then mushroomed into a matching trio of coffee paraphernalia.
They’re a homage to the drink…and also gave me a really good chance to practice with my all-new, fairy bright Aladdin’s cave box of shiny acrylic paints (best Christmas present EVER).
For me, painting is therapeutic, satisfying, pleasingly-frustrating and best of all, it lets me faff around with colour to my heart’s delight. Things rarely look exactly how I’d imagined on the page, but that’s part of the fun.
Coffee, anyone? 🙂