Coffee or tea?

coffee & tea on background paper, image #1

In yesterday’s blog post I showed the process I used to create a background for a collage set.  Today I will show you the progression of another background paper that was used in a collage.  For fun I decided to start off experimenting with coffee & tea as my medium. I had used coffee & tea (as well as brightly colored kool-aid!) in staining photographs but had not used it directly on paper so I was curious to see how it would work.  When I stained the photos it seemed like the tea had the best results but on paper the coffee left a much deeper color.  I mixed up about an inch of boiling water with two spoonfuls of instant coffee in one cup and about an inch of water with four tea bags in another and left them to steep for a while.  Once they had cooled a bit I began adding details to the paper by painting the coffee or tea onto a foam stamp and then stamping on to the paper.  It wasn’t an exact stamping process but some of the design showed up and the paper was getting covered with the brown tones I was looking for.

coffee & tea on background paper, image #2

Eventually I moved on to splattering & dripping and, when I was almost finished, I began wiping coffee around the bottom of the cup and leaving cup rings on the paper too.  I gave up on the brush somewhere along the way and just dipped my fingers into the cups to drip, splatter and wipe.  I enjoy just letting go and getting my hands into a project, even messy ones that stain my fingers brown for a short time! After the coffee & tea finished drying on the paper I continued adding designs using acrylic paint.  First I used black paint and a couple of different stencils – one with narrow stripes and another with small stars.

background paper, image #3

After I was happy with the amount of black that had been added then I switched to white paint.  I rolled the white paint onto a texture plate and randomly applied it around the paper. Although it didn’t show up a great deal, it did make some interesting patterns when viewed close up.

background paper, image #4

When I was finished adding the pattern I used what paint was left on the roller and randomly wipe on some extra white across the paper.  It helped to lighten the paper and tone down the stark black.

background paper, image #5

I purposely avoided some of the large, round, dark drops of coffee because I loved the way they looked.  Be on the lookout for the finished collage images using yesterday & today’s background papers!

Creating background papers will be part of the one-day collage workshop I am presenting on Saturday, March 20th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. The cost is $60 and includes all the supplies & mats for framing your creations.  The class size is limited to four participants so be sure to sign up soon if you are interested in spending a Saturday having fun and getting creative!

Looking forward to a “play date” —


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