NAKUPENDO (Swahili for I LOVE YOU)
“What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn.” – African proverb
This morning in my studio, coffee cup in hand, I found myself staring at large blank sheet of paper. This moment for me is always both exhilarating and terrifying. Fear often tinges my creative thoughts and tries to erode my confidence. I remind myself that I am not under any pressure to create anything. I could stand up, walk away, and find something else to occupy my mind and my time. As a busy wife and mother, there is always laundry, cleaning, bill paying and dishes that are waiting for me. But not today. I re-focus my mind and look at the beautiful white watercolor paper. It’s interesting and beautiful, sitting naked on the easel, with its irregular valleys and curves of white.
This morning, I let my mind wander back to my childhood in Africa. Back to a world that I remember vaguely and fondly. Back to safari’s with my family. A combination of memories fill my mind and I can see elephants, zebra and giraffe on the savannah. The elephant females always traveling together in a protective and loving herd. I dip my brush in my coffee and begin to swirl the coffee over the dips in the paper.
Something small and innocent emerges. Something large protects. It is an elephant mother and her calf. This is what I will paint today. I am excited to see what I can do. I am excited to see where this adventure will lead me.
I started painting with coffee last year and really enjoy the simplicity of the medium. Layering the coffee brings enhanced depth to a piece, but sometimes I use pen to increase the contrast. To see more of my CoffeeART, check out the CoffeeART section under paintings.