From cup to canvas | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

We’ve all seen how much of a craze coffee has become, and we’ve seen people guzzle it early in the morning (and patiently queue for it come the holiday/planner season).

But for young artists Kathleen Lei Limayo, Adrian Bautista and Daniel Leonardo Jacinto, there’s more to the aromatic drink than, well, drinking it. They paint with it.

The three were participants of a two-week art workshop and an on-the-spot coffee-painting activity by Victorinox Travel Gear in collaboration with Alamid Café Xpress. Their works were then showcased at the recent Coffee Art Exhibit, held at ROX Bonifacio High Street, Taguig.

Limayo, 20, a film and audio visual communication major at the University of the Philippines Diliman, showcased her abstract pieces, a style, she says, which allowed her to be more flexible with the texture. It was her first time to have coffee as her medium. She usually works with acrylic.

“I mixed the coffee with water or clear glue,” says Limayo. “The pieces you see with the thickest consistency have less water.”

“I didn’t expect it would be easy to work with coffee,” she adds. “It’s flexible, you can experiment with it. It comes out monochromatic, of course, but you can still play with it.”

Limayo, who comes from a family of artists—“we were born seeing paintings”—has been in the visual arts for around five years. Her main interest is filmmaking; she also designs clothes.

A spontaneous medium

Being the creative person she is, Limayo also utilized tools like cookie cutters, barbecue sticks, and different brushes to enhance her coffee artworks. She calls coffee a “spontaneous” medium. “You never know exactly how it’s going to look,” she says.

Jacinto, 19, and Bautista, 18, on the other hand, are more adept at realism. The two are Visual Graphics and 3D Animation students of the Dr. Filemon C. Aguilar Information Technology and Training Institute, and they started painting about a year ago.

They are also members of the Art Association of the Philippines, and have exhibited with FA:RM (Filipino Artists: Realists Movement). Both have used their talents for charitable causes, as well, being volunteer artists at the Tahan-Tahanan halfway home for kids with cancer at the East Avenue Medical Center, Quezon City.

As participants at the Coffee Art Exhibit, Jacinto and Bautista helped create the canvases used for the show, and had one artwork each on display.

“I didn’t think of it any more as coffee, because the application was just like watercolor,” says Jacinto. “When you find the right balance of light and shade of the subject, you get something beautiful.”

All three, inspired by their first time to work with such an unconventional medium, are excited to see where else their dabbling in coffee might take them.

“I’m very comfortable with coffee as a medium for painting,” says Limayo. “And it’s cheaper than acrylic, too!”

“If you are really interested in something, you won’t think twice about investing your time and effort in it,” adds Jacinto.

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