The Golden Coffee

Recently I’ve been trying to figure out this Ampersand Aquabord I have.  It took me a few tries, but I think I got it.  Here’s a few tips for you.  Get your drawing on the board first, before you ever get it wet.  You need to flush the board before you start painting, but trying to use transfer paper when it’s even slightly wet, DOES NOT work.  If you’re going to do wet into wet painting, just make sure you use more water than you’re used to.  This surface is very absorbent and you may have to rewet areas.  Overall, I think this was pretty good considering I’m still getting used to the surface.

Those of you who’ve been following me lately know that I’ve been trying to get a new project started.  In order to do this, I need stories from people.  I haven’t had luck obtaining them, so I thought I’d do one myself and show you what my idea is.  I wrote this piece myself, and created this painting to go with it.  The painting is more of a still life representation of myself.  At least how I feel about myself.  I made this to help you understand all the little meanings.

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I’m currently trying to get this scanned so I can offer prints.  This piece that I wrote to go with it, would come with each print that is brought.  I also have an idea of making a calligraphy version of it to go with the original.  Then, once I get a book together, a photo of the painting, the explanation of it, and the story will all be together in that book.

 

My head covering makes it very obvious that I’m different.  I don’t mind being different.  I don’t have a problem meeting the standard of what society would consider “normal.”  However, what I do mind are the negative reactions I get sometimes.  Sometimes, they’re very subtle, like the nervous stare that I ignore, the pale stiff face during a job interview, and looking back and forth between me and my husband because I’m not talkative.  These things are a mild annoyance.  I roll my eyes and ignore them.  I don’t have the time or the energy to deal with it.  What bothers me more is when I have someone come up to me and spit in my face and say, “Go die you fucking kike!”  Or perhaps when a man who looks to be in his mid 30s walks off the back of the bus, takes one look at me, and then yells, “Stop religion!” as he walks by.  There’s also the Muslim couple that yells, “Death to Israel!” and something else in Arabic that I don’t understand.  When there’s a protest about the war in Israel, I do my best to avoid it because I get people yelling things at me like, “Hitler was right!  You need to go find an oven!”  Then they start chanting, “Nazi Jew!  Nazi Jew!” as I finally get to cross the street to my bus stop.

At least I don’t work downtown anymore and am spared this, but what did the others around me do you ask.  Nothing.  None of this was important to them.  What I want to say to these people full of hate, I can’t, because it doesn’t matter to them.  I love being Jewish, and I love covering my hair with scarves.  According to Orthodox Judaism, I could wear a wig, and there are many opinions that I don’t want to get into.  I only wish to discuss my feelings.  I wear scarves because of how they make me feel.  I feel like royalty, and they remind me of my commitment to my faith.  When I wrap a scarf around my head, I feel like I’m wrapping myself in beauty and glory.  It feels like putting on a crown.  I don’t get that feeling with a wig or a hat.

Instead of asking me this, they just hurl insults without even knowing what my scarves, and what my Judaism means to me.  To them, I’m different, something to be hated.  I do my best to be compassionate to other people, so I find it disturbing when others seem to feel the need to treat others with cruelty.  I find it strange that my life is so offensive when they obviously know nothing about me.

None of this has ever dissuaded me from wearing the scarves I love, because, at the end of day, they hold more value than these ignorant and hurtful things people have to say to me.  I can deal with the stares, comments, insults, difficulty with jobs, and ignorance.  What I can’t stand for, is apathy.  I can get over someone’s issues and box that away in my mind, but other’s silence as it happens in front of them, or the silence as I tell them, I can’t deal with.  Perhaps it’s not even silence, but minimization, like it’s not such a big deal because of “fill in the blank.”

Perhaps you feel like you don’t know what to say, because you relate.  The wonderful thing is that you don’t have to relate to have compassion.  I live in a very liberal state, which has worked well for me in certain jobs I’ve had.  When I’ve explained some of my experiences, the best responses I’ve received were usually surprise and disbelief, followed by a phrase along the lines of, “I’m so sorry.  I guess some people just have problems.  Does that happen often?”  I understand the inexperience with what I deal with, and I don’t mind explaining.  I also tell them about all the times when people stop me to tell me how beautiful I am and ask I tied them.

What I wish I could say to all the people who every said something hateful to me, or fired me (for something else that we all know isn’t the reason), is imagine if you were me.  Imagine if you walking along the street and someone came and spat in your face and yelled, “Go die you fucking scum bag!” or having someone tell you that you should go kill yourself because of your ethnicity.  I’m pretty sure you would feel threatened.  As children we were taught to treat others as we would want to be treated, but somehow as adults that seemed to have gotten lost.  No matter your religion, race, gender, country of origin, that is something that should be universal.  Remember to keep that and perhaps we can make this world better.

If you think you might have a story that I could for this project, please message me and we’ll see what we can come up with together.  My dream for this project is to have art pieces and books that can carry stories that evoke compassion in others.  If this something you believe in and want to support me in, I set up a page for you to do that.  I do need certain supplies to accomplish everything, but if you can’t, please don’t worry.  I would be happy to just have you be a part of this journey.

The Coffee Scarf

coffee-scarf
11×14 coffee on 300lbs Fabriano Artistico soft press watercolor paper

I’ve been trying to get to this blog for a while.  I was really pleased with how this turned out.  It was an experiment.  I can’t help it.  🙂  I used acrylic gloss gel medium as the binder for it.  This didn’t work so well on canvas, but it worked wonderfully on watercolor paper.  I ended up with some grittiness in some of the more concentrated darker areas, which I’m not sure if I like or not.  It’s just from the coffee not dissolving completely, and I think it’s just a personal preference.

I wasn’t going for complete realism, but I also didn’t want it to be too abstract like the paintings I’ve done recently.  This seemed like a happy medium, and I was much happier with the results.  I focused more on getting a high contrast since I only had one color to work with, which is actually very freeing since I only have to think about lights and darks without the added aspect of color.

I also did more planning for this one than I did for my last two.  I did a concept sketch, then sketched it on tracing paper, and then transferred the image onto the paper.  The nice thing about having my image on tracing paper, is that I can recreate it as many times as I want, and I’m currently working on a watercolor version of this piece.  So make sure to check out my social media pages for updates on those.

As always, this one will be up for auction until Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 12 noon PST.  Leave a comment below with your offer.  The starting bid is $10 plus shipping, and any amount I get from this painting I will use for business needs, such as supplies, social media advertising, website fees, etc.

Confession, I just made an Instagram  account and I think it might be my favorite.  If you have one,  you should find me.  What are your favorite social media site and why?  I’d love to know.  Just leave a comment below.

Seattle Coffee [Coffee Painting]

Seattle Coffee (c)
5×7 coffee painting of Ampersand Gessoboard.

This was my first experiment using coffee and acrylic mediums.  I think it came out decently enough for the first try.  I didn’t like the gloss medium as much as I thought I would.  I may try mixing both the gel and the gloss next time to see if I get more of what I was looking for.  I’m also not sure if I like the gessoboard or not.  It’s a very smooth surface with was nice for the first layer, but I found it difficult to work with for the top layers.  I’ll have to try it again and see.  I may need a canvas with more texture.

Anyway,  I wanted this to be a little bit more of a looser painting and have something to do with Seattle.  So, I thought of a cup spilling out into a cityscape of Seattle.  My first wash wash really watery, and when the drips happened I kind of went with it.  Seems to have added a nice little touch to it.  Some of them went a little longer than I wanted, but oh well.  It was a fun little practice piece, and I have some ideas for next time!

Other Paintings You Might Enjoy:

Piano Rose [Inktense]

Snowy Squirrel [Coffee]

Frozen Lady [Coffee, Tea, & Wine]

Pansies [Tea]

Clock and Daisies [Coffee]

Sip of Coffee [Coffee]

New Coffee Painting Plans

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Apparently, I forgot my blog post yesterday.  Oops.  Anyway, I’m here to tell you about my new coffee painting plans since what I’m currently doing isn’t working out so well.  I do spray my paintings with a UV archival spray varnish by Golden, which does help, but they still fade.  The coffee lasts longer than the tea.  It’s because the acid in the coffee and tea reacts with the paper.  So I changed my current paintings in my store to $2 and $5.  That way you’re just paying for some of the supplies and shipping.

My next experiment will be using an acrylic binder and acrylic mediums on canvas and see what that does for the fading.  I’ll still continue with the inktense, but I also miss the texture from oil painting.  So maybe I can get it this way.  I probably won’t sell any until I know how the fading issue turns out, but I’ll share the finished photos with you.

Other Topics You Might Enjoy:

Excuses

Adult Coloring Books

Donating Art to Charity

How to Get You Drawing on Your Paper

Inktense Review and Tutorial

Mixed vs Layered Paint

Right Side vs Wrong Side of the Paper

Fun With Coffee on GooglePlus

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I made a community on GooglePlus.  If you aren’t there, you’re missing out.  It’s just for coffee, tea, and wine painting.  I decided to do something fun and it was supposed to be for October, but this month didn’t quite work out for me.  So, we’re going to do it for November.  November will be coffee painting month, and at the end of the month, I will take everyone’s art pieces and put them together on a slideshow for you guys to enjoy.  During the month, you post in progress photos and ask for advice if you want.  Now this is only for my GooglePlus Community.  If you want in on the fun, you gotta go there.

Now here’s some tips on how to get started if you’ve never done it:

WATERCOLOR STYLE:  All you need is some strongly brewed coffee, the darkest roast you can find, and you can get different tones by adding more water.  The more water, the lighter the tone.  If you don’t want to use your precious coffee grounds, then use instant.  Again, the more water you have to your instant coffee grounds the lighter the tone will be.

ACRYLIC STYLE:  This one may require some experimentation.  You will need a very strongly brewed cup of coffee.  Boiling out some of the water may help as well.  Bring it to a simmer and then stir in small amounts of cold coffee and flour mixtures until you get it to the thickness you want.  Adding the flour will lighten the color some, which is why you need a very dark coffee to start with.  You’ll want different tones.  So different roasts and different strengths may give you the variety you want.  Such as using an espresso, a French, and an Italian at different strengths.

VARNISHING:  Whether you’re doing watercolor or acrylic, you’ll need to varnish it.  Even if you’re using acid free or archival paper or canvas, there is acid in the coffee and contact with air is what’s going to cause it to fade, not just contact to light.  For acrylic, you can use whatever matte spray you want to seal it and then use an archival liquid varnish over it.  For watercolor.  I recommend using the archival matte spray by Golden.  It’s the one I use on all my watercolors.  It’s archival and offers UV protection.  It will still need to be framed behind glass to protect it from water damage.

BONUS TIPS:  If you’re not going to finish within a day or two, put your coffee in little jars or containers and put them in the refrigerator to prevent mold.  Also, coffee dries slower than regular water based paint, so allow for that.  If you’re doing watercolor, lifting techniques don’t work as well since coffee is staining.

So head over there to get in on all the fun!  I look forward to seeing all your paintings!

Sleepy Kitty

I finished up this one this morning.  I may be a little slow on things for a while right now because of all the Jewish holidays, but I’ll get out what I can.  I wanted to do another mixed coffee and tea painting.  I think I need a heavier weight paper.  Hopefully once I figure out which paper I like from the samples Blick sent me, I can get some 300 lbs paper.  Maybe that will work better for my initial washes.  The 140 seems to work fine for watercolor, but not so much for doing washes in coffee and tea.

This one is now available here, and the full length video is available on my Patreon page.

8x10 coffee and tea on 140lbs watercolor paper.
8×10 coffee and tea on 140lbs watercolor paper.

Other Paintings You Might Enjoy:

Frozen Lady

Pansies

Clock and Daisies

Handful of Tea

Sip of Coffee

Clock and Daisies Finished!

Clock and Daisies (c)

Well, it’s finished.  I’m not sure I like how the baby powder works with the coffee.  I have an idea for something else, but that requires other supplies and I’m having a hard time finding them.  In the meantime, I think I’ll be experimenting with tea this week.  I don’t really have time to try them one at a time, so I think I’ll just mix up all of them and paint with them all at once and see what happens.  Should be interesting.  I’ll let you know how it goes next week.

This painting is now available on my my storenvy page.

Other Blogs That Might Interest You:

New Paintings

Mother’s Day Cards

Handful of Tea

Sip of Coffee

Coffee Dessert

Clock And Daisies

Clock and Daisies 3

Well, I haven’t finished it, but I’ve made decent progress.  Baby’s demand lots of attention, but we love them anyway!  So someone suggested adding baby powder to my coffee to help in layering.  I haven’t noticed much of a difference and I hate the smell.  I probable won’t do it again.

I need to get some more depth going, because right now it’s looking a little flat, and I also need to work on the flowers.  Then I’ll be fine tuning some of the details, and hopefully if all goes well, I’ll have it done by next week.

I also found a way to have prints made of a digital piece a made a few years ago.  Since people ask for it all the time, I thought I’d put it up here for you guys.  So you can go check that out on my storenvy page.  (shalevbasya.storenvy.com)

The Blue Scarf Lady (c)

Now I have a question for you!  What kind of things do you want me to paint?  You can look through my gallery to see what I’ve already done to get ideas and leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Iced Mocha Fusion

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Sometimes on a hot day, hot coffee just doesn’t work.  That’s when you have to go to something like an iced mocha.  Chocolate, coffee, and ice make for nice combination.  This quick and easy recipe is one I have amongst all my drink and smoothie recipes.  Hopefully you enjoy it as much as I do!

ICED MOCHA FUSION

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons mocha flavored instant coffee mix
1 cup crushed ice

DIRECTIONS

In a blender or food processor, combine milk, vanilla, sugar, coffee powder and crushed ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte

So, while I enjoy painting with coffee and tea, I also enjoy drinking it.  Pumpkin spice lattes are one of my favorite coffee drinks.  I found this Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup recipe and I thought I’d share it with you guys.  I found it online somewhere.  Since there’s not many places to get kosher lattes where I live, this recipe is very helpful.

MAKES: 4 cups syrup (32 to 64 lattes)

FOR THE SYRUP:

• 2 cups granulated sugar

• 2 cinnamon sticks

• 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (1/2 tsp cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg)

• 1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin  *I added an extra spoonful.

FOR THE LATTE:

• 8 ounces whole milk

• 4 ounces strong brewed coffee or espresso

• Whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice, for garnish (optional)

1. Prepare the syrup: Bring the sugar and 2 cups water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking, until the sugar dissolves. Add the cinnamon sticks, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin. Simmer, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Set aside 5 minutes, then strain twice through a fine-mesh strainer into an airtight container. Refrigerate until cool. Store in the refrigerator for about 1 month. You’ll end up with about 4 cups total.

2. For each latte: Microwave the milk on High about 1 minute or until very hot. (Transfer to a blender and blend 20 seconds for extra frothy milk, if desired.) Put 1 to 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice syrup in the bottom of a mug. Top with the coffee and warm milk. Garnish with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice, if desired.

Mom's Card 2 (c)

Since I don’t have a way to make an espresso shot, I just use instant coffee.  Put the amount you would normally use to make a cup of coffee, and then use just enough water to dissolve the crystals.  It’s obviously not as wonderful as an actually espresso shot, but it works.  Then I can have a pumpkin spice latte while painting with coffee.  It makes for a wonderful time!