Perhaps it’s the influence of my British mother, or that it is inherently so ingrained in me, I’ve noticed a reoccurring theme of “tea” in my creative process. You might ask yourself, “What does tea have to do with painting?”, allow me to explain.
When I am alone in my studio, working on a project, the steps are complicated. My technique often involves many layers of pigment, sealing with varnish/acrylic spray, and collaging with various found objects and handmade paper. It takes patience and thoughtful contemplation. Between each layer or step, its vital to stop, step back, and think. Observation, critique, and analysis are crucial to a successful outcome.
One of my methods in achieving this, is to take a break with a cup of tea, stand back and observe my work. It rejuvenates me, and clears the cobwebs that come with “brain overload”, something that happens when I get too absorbed.
When I teach, I always have tea and homemade cookies available to my students. It nurtures them, as well as forces them to stop and analyze what they are doing. By doing this they are learning the art of observation. I find it to be a good cure for the impatient overworking that often comes with novice painters. We live in such a fast paced society, with instant gratification and constant stimulation becoming the norm. A cup of tea brings with it the gift of slowing down, and simply enjoying the moment.