Frequently Asked Questions about painting with coffee


When I exhibit my coffee paintings in a show I enjoy taking a SUBTLE  place on the sidelines where I can watch people look at coffee paintings for the first time. It continues to surprise me when I see how often people are shocked when they realize I use real coffee and not paint. It's an AHAH moment and then the curiosity and the questions start. And you thought it was just a delicious beverage!

  • How did I get started?
    I was the barista in a coffee house many years ago and wanted to paint with my espresso.

  • How is coffee different from watercolor?
    Coffee has a certain organic texture not found in watercolor paints. Blending pencil lead with coffee produces an unexpected metallic look.

  • How to save unused coffee?
    For best results both dried and liquid coffee should be stored in the refrigerator. It will keep indefinitely when refrigerated.

  • Will coffee paintings fade in time?
    Not much, if at all. I have some coffee paintings that are 25 years old and have not faded. I do recommend keeping your art out of direct sunlight.

  • Is there a special coffee? What about painting with Instant coffee? What about painting with coffee grounds?
    I use single shots of espresso. Liquid form for washes and sun-dried for darkening. House coffee will work but it requires more layers because it is not concentrated. Instant coffee is good for a back up but I prefer espresso. Grounds don’t seem to work when painting with coffee.

  • What else besides coffee?

  • I also paint with wine and turmeric. There are similarities but coffee offers a lot more possibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions to the Coffee Artist regarding painting with coffee

  • How long have you been a coffee painter?
    I started dabbling in coffee many years ago but only pursued it in the last five years

  • How did you discover painting with coffee?
    Working as the Barista in Fairfax in the late seventies.

  • Did you invent painting with coffee?
    No, it is not my original idea. People have been painting with coffee for many years. (see the list below)