Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Coffee Grounds

I think I mentioned in a couple of posts back that I am taking Mystele's "Gut Art" class at

I have to tell you about an experience that took place this morning that relates to a painting I am starting for Mystele's class. I already wrote the experience down in her Ning class room, so I just copied it and put it here. Before you read it, though, I need to find a picture of coffee or something to put here, because I can't stand a pictureless blog post!

My Dearest Mystele,

Although I have found the last few months of our acquaintance to be both stimulating and enlightening, I'm afraid I have no choice but to make this a Dear John letter. Your teaching me to reach from my gut has opened a world that was perhaps better left closed. Let me explain.

I am home from work again after having another night of my crazy attacks. I didn't get up until 11:00 am. The first thing on my mind was a cup of coffee. Nothing strange there. I proceeded to make the coffee. The beans we had previously ground were gone, so I had to get out the grinder and grind some more beans. (Man. It sounds like we're coffee snubs!) I emptied the used filter from the coffee maker, and put in a new one. I then dumped in the newly ground coffee. I went to hit the "on" switch, and remembered it might help if I poured some water in first. I measured out four cups of water, and poured it in. Once again, that's a completely normal thing to do. Except, there were now 8 cups of water in the maker instead of 4. I had already poured water in when I started the whole process. Oh well. I lifted the new coffee filter with ground coffee out so I could dump out four cups of water. Mission accomplished, I put the coffee filter back in and turned the coffee maker back on. I had my laptop on the kitchen table, so I opened it up to see what the latest adventure would be in our group. I heard the coffee dripping merrily away behind me.

A few minutes later, it dawned on me that the coffee had stopped dripping. I got up to pour myself a wonderful first cup. The aroma was wafting through the entire kitchen. When I turned around, I was very happy I wasn't holding my laptop. Coffee was all over the counter top, dripping down the cupboards, and puddling on the floor. Yes, I had forgotten to put the pot back in the coffee maker. After a few sighs, I grabbed the paper towels and started wiping up.

"So what does any of this have to do with me?" you ask. The next part is where I cross over to the "art maniac zone," a place I don't believe I have ever been until I met you. My wife had purchased paper towels that would allow you to use half a normal size sheet if that was all you needed. I didn't know that, and had grabbed a full sheet. The sheet was so wet, and so full of coffee grounds, that it separated into two half sizes. The first thought to race into my mind was, "Oh my word! This looks just like a building. Think of the texture! It would be perfect for my painting!" Dropping coffee grounds along the way, I raced upstairs and placed the wet, coffee stained towel right where I wanted a building. That's when it hit me. I had become a total art, multi-media maniac! Well, I'd have to consider that more fully later. I had a lot more coffee to wipe up. I ran back downstairs and finished cleaning up the mess. I had two fully saturarated paper towels in my hand, and opened the cupboard door to through them in the garbage. It then hit me. These would make excellent texture for the road I wanted in my painting. I ran back upstairs with the towels dripping, and added them to the bottom of the painting. I stood there and looked at my creation. I smiled, but then shook my head. What had become of me? What had Mystele done to me? How would I ever explain this to my wife?

Oh my word! How am I going to explain this to my wife?! I'm going to have to finish this Dear John letter at another time. I have to figure out how to hide my mess before my wife gets home! Wait a minute. What did I do with the filter? It's round. That would make a perfect sun!

So, yes, whoever may be reading this blog post, I have totally lost it! Here's a picture of the canvas so far:


  1. I'm laughing...........can you hear me???? It's that hysterical cackling from afar! Yep, you struck a cord, Bill.

    You are perfectly NORMAL in your coffee stained paper towel reasoning. We mixed media people have been staining paper/lace/fabric for years with that wonderful brown liquid!!!! And here's a little secret for you: add INSTANT COFFEE CRYSTALS (why crystals is beyond me) to the already wet substrate. Watch it bleed and form lovely patterns. It's magic!

    Is your wife speaking to you???????

    Smiling Jan

  2. Bill you are a loon! I love this story! I can't wait to see how it all comes together as a work of art!
    BTW ~ Your imagination is a work of art!

  3. I don't know whether to laugh or cry!!
    I'm so glad you were able to keep rushing upstairs. Did you leave coffee drips on every stair?
    You must have a very amenable wife. Anyone else might not have let you live long enough to tell the story!!
    Hugs xx

  4. Bill, thank you!!! Your post here made me laugh so hard and brightend a gloomy day. I can totally picture you running around. Wonderful results btw!!

    ps maybe buy some flowers for you wife?