three coveted cups of coffee and a crisp croissant

“Why, yes, I could start my day without coffee. But I like being able to remember things like how to say words and put on pants.” ~ Nanea Hoffman

Good Morning. Let’s wake up and smell the coffee!

Happy to see you’re wearing your spiffy pants and speaking in full sentences. Do you owe it all to coffee?

Yes, I thought so. Sip, sip. Ah, arabica!

I must confess to being an anomaly when it comes to jump-starting the day with high octane java. Don’t know why, but I’ve never actually had a cup of coffee in my entire life (all 29 years). 😀

I mean, I LOVE the smell of freshly brewed coffee — walking into the kitchen with that divine aroma greeting me — but I’ve never  been tempted to pour myself a cup. Strange, no?

Guess I’m just a diehard teatotaler. English Breakfast, Darjeeling or Yorkshire Gold for me, if you please.

Still, I can appreciate coffee’s universal appeal and certainly enjoy seeing how it’s inspired poets and artists. 

Today we’re serving up a little sampler of coffee poems paired with Karen Eland’s amazing coffee art (yes, she painted these pieces with just espresso and water). And, because I can’t imagine having any hot beverage without a little something to nibble on, please enjoy a croissant.

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“Girl With a Pearl Earring” by Karen Eland (2006)
COFFEE FIRST
by Dory Hudspeth

The day begins with order
and quiet, broken
only by the small ringing
of the spoon against coffee mug.
If this small ritual goes well,
no spilling, no drips,
there is hope for the day.

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nine cool things on a tuesday

1. Hello, super shiny and awesome person! How about a little Allison Strine to propel your week into high gear?

Based in Roswell, Georgia, Allison creates color-filled images with quirky hand lettering for children’s books and products. Her art is inspired by bright minds in history, the miracles of nature, and unusual, educational tidbits of information.

As you can see, she’s all about communicating love and joy with each stroke. In fact, she signs each of her pieces, “Love, Allison Strine.” Love her positivity!

As a big fan of typography and hand lettering, I find Allison’s work irresistible. She’s like Jessie Hartland, Maira Kalman, and Linzie Hunter rolled into one. So fun!

Allison grew up in a 270-year-old farmhouse north of Boston, Massachusetts, and essentially considers herself a Bostonian, even though she’s lived in the Atlanta area for over two decades. She also did graduate studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

For more about Allison, visit her Official Website and Instagram.

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possessed by jaye schlesinger’s paintings

Go ahead, take a bite. You know you want to.

As soon as I spotted this sandwich created by Michigan artist Jaye Schlesinger I was a goner.

Those of you who nosh here regularly know I have a penchant for photorealistic paintings. Especially of food. It’s a good calorie-free, guilt-free way to indulge (my eyes are always happy to do the chewing). 🙂

What’s interesting about Jaye’s formal training is that she holds MFA’s in both Painting and Medical Illustration (both from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor). When I read that she worked as a medical illustrator for fifteen years, producing art for textbooks and journal articles, I thought, aha! — that accounts for her precision.

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nine cool things on a tuesday

Joan with her self portrait

l. In celebration of Women’s History Month, here are a few portraits by the one and only Joan Baez, who turned 80 in January. I didn’t realize she was such an accomplished painter till I began following her on FB last year — initially for the music videos she posted as the pandemic raged on. It was wonderful seeing her singing in her kitchen!

Malala Yousafzai

Then she began sharing pieces from her first solo exhibition, “Mischief Makers,” featuring “risk-taking visionaries who have brought about social change through nonviolent action.”

Her debut album in 1960 was basically my introduction to folk music and activism. I shouldn’t be surprised, but I always marvel at multi-talented creatives who thrive on a cross fertilization of genres.

Stacey Abrams
Alice Walker
Coretta Scott King

In addition to Joan, musicians I admire who also paint include Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, Patti Smith, Grace Slick, Ronnie Wood, Ringo Starr, Cat Stevens, Miles Davis, and John Mellencamp.

Kamala Harris

See more Mischief Makers as well as portraits of Friends and Icons at Joan Baez Art. I like all the little backstories for each painting. You can also purchase prints or catalogs there.

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nine cool things on a tuesday

1. Mr Cornelius selected this wonderful bear painting for our first Cool Things Roundup of 2021. It was created by UK artist Penny Gaj, who lives and works in one of my favorite places in England, the Cotswolds.

Penny loves to paint imaginary country scenes and trees with a story to tell, blending colors and textures for a dreamy, ethereal effect.

Her pictures are replete with the outlines of branches, twigs, stalks and leaves silhouetted against the sky, rising from rolling hills or lining peaceful woodland paths.

Hares, foxes, squirrels, deer and birds wander freely, with the occasional humans, cats and dogs. 🙂

You can purchase Penny’s art as signed prints, 5×7 cards, A5, and square cards through her official website.

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