Art Progress: “Grandpa’s Tea”

For a few months now I have been wanting to put this piece in ink. It came out of love for my Grandfather who passed a few years ago. He was an honest and simple man who had lived through the World Wars. With that it was second nature to reuse something as much as possible.
   For him it was very evident with his tea. I remember visiting him and seeing the spent tea bags drying out so they may be used again latter on. He continued this practice with a single teabag for an unknown amount of times.
   Tea for my family was a normal way to greet guests or end a meal. I feel so blessed to have had such a man as my Grandfather and I miss him dearly.
  It was very satisfying to see this work start (finally). Once everything is inked out the real task will be to portray how reusing tea so many times will effect the colour and taste.

“Grandpa’s Tea” WIP
 Ink on paper
8 x 10 Inches

Tea-Shirt Shop Open

 With the holiday season getting closer, I wanted to give back to you for your years of following Tea Journey. My gift to you is designing a selection of  t-shirts. I have been wanting to do this all year and I am glad to finally have these available for you
     Right now I only have one design in two different colours, all are available on different colour t-shirts. In addition there is some other cute things in the shop right now such as cellphone cases, bandanas and totes.  I will be getting my own t-shirt soon as I love the design.
    The designs I have up right now is tea inspired but has a bit of a twist to the geeky side if you are a Dr.Who fan. “Bigger On the Inside” is just like the Tardis but is very much like all of our teapots. They hold so much tea and keep on giving.

All proceeds will help me continue to run this blog. The money will be used for art supplies, tea, tea shows etc. Everything that will provide me with the chance to write for you. As I come up with new ones I will let you all know.
                                                             Visit My Shop for TEA-shirts

What ideas do you have for TEA-Shirts?


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In the Studio: Tea Swatches!

         In case you are new to my humble little part of the web, My artistic practice is based on tea and it includes it as a medium at times. Over the past few weeks, while writing a grant, I decided I needed a guide for future works.
      Above is a start to this idea. I feel that I will need to get a small watercolor sketchbook to use just for this purpose. When I have notes like this in a larger sketchbook it gets lost when I no longer am working in that book. Pocket Moleskines are great for this kind of reference. They fit in your pocket, you can have them close at hand in the studio and they take up no space in a bag.
        So, why do I paint with tea? My main medium is Japanese Sumi ink, and it has a coldness to it. Tea warms it up and creates a balance. There are many different colours that can be achieved with all the varieties of tea out there. The only true problems I have run into is using berry/hibiscus based tea and matcha. Both change color after they dry and have been exposed to air for a while. Matcha changes to an odd brown and berry/hibiscus changes to  a blue/indigo.
   In this instance it makes sense why I should have this little reference on hand, especially when working into the wee hours of the morning.

Take pART 2013: Art Fundraiser and Tea

       Every year I make sure I submit work to Take pART here in Toronto. This fundraiser is organized by The Branksome Hall Alumnae Association. All the raised funds go to student financial aid at Branksome Hall, an IB World School for girls, which is located in the heart of Toronto. 
The past few years my work has been consistently following the themes from my undergrad thesis. This involved themes of the body, gender, women, femininity and identity. This year I decided to show newer themes namely my tea art.
      All of the works are 10″ x 10″, each piece is a mystery till it is purchased. This is the reason for me posting this so late today. As promised to each of the new owners of these works here is some background information for these pieces. So if you are one of these lucky few, brew your cup of Phoenix Mountain Almond tea that was attached to the back of the work and read on.

” Japan Vs. China”
    This work features chawan (matcha bowl) and yixing pots. The reason why I choose these two types of tea ware is due to how tea spread from China to Japan. The latter then developed their own way to present the whisked tea and China created the first tea pot.
    I adore both cultures and enjoy studying both extensively through tea.

“Song Dynasty Tea Tools”
  These historic tea wares were mentioned in Lu Yu’s Tea Classic when I first read it back in 2010. Upon reading it again I looked them up and felt the need to paint them in sumi-e style. Like the work above I like to mix the two cultures together in ways such as this.

       Being of Indonesian decent, I feel that I am looking back the past of cultures who influenced the development there. The first work pokes at these ideas I have, mixing the two together to get something singular and unified. I am planning to visit all of these countries before I have grandchildren, I personally have a weird tendency to plan far far in the future like this. I can not wait to see them.

  To the patrons who purchased these works,Thank you for supporting the arts! Please contact me as I would love to meet you. If you have time I would love to meet over tea (or coffee if you prefer, lol) to hear why you purchased my work and how it makes you feel. Thank you with all my heart.

Grant Writing: writing process thoughts and tea

It is often hard to write about my own work, art I mean. For over three years I have been playing with  in my work. Tea and art have been two parts of a whole for me since reading Kakuzo Okakura’s The Book of Tea. He has a whole chapter how one effected the other and in turn effected history itself. The Boston Tea Party in 1846 was due to the rise in taxes on tea, which was effected by the Opium War which was caused by a feud between the Chinese and British. Over Tea, to be specific they were selling Opium for gold, to then buy tea and …Tea ware.
    What I am getting at is that these two should be together in any way they can. These grants I am writing have provoked a mind block, which got resolved after a few sessions of  tea. While drinking my Feng Huang Shan Gan 2007,I was then stuck with the idea to look up gender equality in tea producing countries. They are almost on par, each one views women as lower than men. This got me thinking that I could work with this.
   My original work from OCAD worked with gender, bodies and identity. As I began to add tea I got further and further away from this. Till recently, my self-portrait is a good identification that I am ready to go back. Although not without some new ideas and skills with tea. 
   I mentioned many times over at Split/Gender (my former art only blog, which was all transferred here) I mentioned making notes on the hues achieved with tea. I started this process and it will be useful for my grant work. The “blue” or “indigo” on my self-portrait was made with berry/hibiscus based infusions. It started out purple and turned this colour. I hope to find a way to preserve this colour in the future but for now I need to work with it. Till next time, Keep Steepin’ on!