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Coffee Art

Don't throw that coffee down the drain! If you don't have any paint, your cold coffee can become beautiful art. Your only color might be brown. But artist Eleanora Gibson Houston (1883-1942) demonstrates the beauty of a limited color palette.

Eleanora Gibson Houston, “First Communion”, circa 1930. Oil on canvas. Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia

Houston was a painter, women's rights advocate, and suffragist. Her artwork included portraits, landscapes of the Virginia countryside, African American neighborhoods and daily life, and early Virginia Catholic martyrs. As part of her work with the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia, Houston would set up her easel in downtown Richmond. As people gathered to observe her painting and drawing she would discuss women's suffrage. During one speech, a suffrage opponent threw rocks at her. Houston kept one of the rocks until her death.

Painting with coffee is similar to painting with watercolor. It requires layering in order to build up the shades or tones. The whole painting does not have to be brown, you can use the white of the paper to create highlights or a focal point. Remember to use thick paper, so that it will hold up to the liquid.

Share your painting with us at #morrismuseumoart


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