Coffee Talk

Writings by Edward Patrick Kranz (Ezju) about fine art created with coffee. You will find detailed information on Ezju’s works created at No Such Animal Studios and information about other artists who use coffee as a medium.

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

I'll have to think about this one a minute or two. Check back.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Menu: Edible Elements of Art - Updated Info!

The show is now called "Menu: Edible Elements of Art"

The 2006 artist list is:

Josephine Balakrishnan--prints/paper
Patty Cokus--jewelry
Dee Fontans--edible wearables
Edward Patrick Kranz (Ezju)--painting
Theresa Lovering-Brown--jewelry
Tom Muller--ceramics
Toi Sennhauser--installation/performance
Carmen Z. Valdes--sculpture

The show still takes place at the Kirkland Arts Center from May 12th through June 3rd, 2006. Opening Reception is Thursday, May 11, 6:00pm - 9:00pm. I hope to see you there!

Thank you for the update Leslie!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

8' x 8' En Caustic and Coffee Representation of the Barista Foam Art

For the Kirkland Arts Center’s Menu: Invitational Edible Elements of Art I was inspired to create an eight foot by eight foot en caustic and coffee representation of the barista foam art also known as latte art. This painting is to be in two pieces 4’ x 8’ each. After working construction for over a decade you would think I’d have a strong grasp on just how large that is.

It wasn’t until I had purchased the birch panels and materials to build the support for the encaustics and got them into the studio that it sunk in just how big this piece was going to be. I would like to take a moment to point out that most of my work averages about eighteen by twenty four inches.

The supports are now built and primed with initial wax layer. Coffee has been applied as well as some blue wax to start the painting off. Now that it is finally underway and I can see the image starting to take shape I’m more excited than ever and the size has moved from being intimidating to impressively saturating visually.

I’ve done some work emulating barista foam art with coffee and wax on a much smaller scale but to have it so much more larger than life has added something I had not anticipated to the subject matter. It is definitely definitive of the American culture that coffee art, latte art, coffee culture and ridiculously large beverages have grown out of.

I hope you are able to make the opening reception on May 11th, 2006 at the Kirkland Arts Center at 6pm – 9pm. The show will run from May 12th - June 3rd, 2006.

My intention was to post pictures of the different stages of this painting from the raw materials to finished work but unfortunately the early pictures have been lost. I’ll post updated ones here as they are available.

Friday, March 24, 2006

What the heck is coffee paste?

On occasion I have considered different recopies for my coffee paint. When I first started out painting with coffee I knew it would stain permanently from experiences just before marketing meetings. I tried using acrylic mediums and linseed oil. What I eventually concluded is that coffee makes a fine medium on its own not so different than watercolor.

I take large amounts of coffee 10 – 20 pots at a time and condense it down until the oils and suspension reach a viscosity that I like to work with. The final result is quite close to very used motor oil. This process takes a solid 8 hours to boil down the coffee to a quick past like paint. The reason I take this long is I don’t want the coffee to caramelize. Heating it too fast will do that especially near the end of the process.

In the near future I plan to try Turkish coffee. If I understand it well enough, its ground so fine you just mix the powder into your hot water and drink it. The powder dissolves. I tried grinding my own coffee this fine with a mortar and pestle but couldn’t get it fine enough. I just need to find someone with a Turkish grinder or buy it that fine. This experiment is for another day.

What prompted this entry was the mention of coffee past in a recent entry, 3/15/2006 about Art Knowledge News Web site article about Amita & Mira Chudasama. In the article it quotes Chudasama “During final stage of an odyssey of coffee painting, fat coffee paste is to be used in the areas to be marked out with dark tone.” It was the fat coffee paste that caught my attention. What the heck is coffee past?

Google to the rescue! I find that it is a culinary paste that can be purchased sweet or unsweetened or even with hazelnut added.

This paste offers a rich coffee flavor and deep coffee color. It blends homogeneously with all types of dessert creams and can be used as a liquid flavoring. Add to buttercreams, whipped cream, ganaches, batters, sauces, shakes, parfaits, ice creams, praline fillings and pastry cream.”

Quote taken from Albert Uster Imports where you can buy coffee paste at $31.51 for 2.1 lbs / 0.9 kg.

“Very fine coffee paste from Agrimontana. Strong flavor of coffee beans. A very fine coffee paste with none of the chemical flavors of coffee extracts. A great product for coffee ice cream with a longing aroma. Used as a filler for chocolates truffles and in cake recipes.”

Ingredients: coffee, sugar, hazelnuts.

Quote taken from L’Epicerie where you can get an 8 oz container for $11.75. I don’t know if I’d use this one with the sugar and hazelnuts but maybe . . . I’ve recently discovered someone who uses chocolate to paint with so why not hazelnuts in my coffee paint? That will be another entry . . .

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Who will be participating in Menu: Invitational Edible Elements of Art?

What is art? I’ve had people ask me that question humorously and with a very serious tone. I’ve had folks say that West Coast artists don’t have a clue; East Coast is where the art scene is. I’ve had others tell me Europe is still the only place where real art is made. I live on the West Coast. The Pacific North West to be exact. What does that mean? Nothing, just where I live. There is good art and bad are here too. Just like Europe and the East Coast.

Coming up in May is an invitational that draws together artists from both coasts and the world. You may not know what art is. You may not know what good art vs. bad art is. You may be an art connoisseur extraordinaire! Regardless of whom you are or what you know about art; let me tell you that this show will be fun! You may learn a bit about art and our culture too!

I’ve mentioned this show in a previous entry in more detail. I just wanted to post some Web site of the very talented artists who will be participating in this invitational. Enjoy browsing and I hope to see you at the show!

Menu: Invitational Edible Elements of Art

Where: Kirkland Arts Center in Kirkland Washington

When: May 11th 2006


Josephine Balakrishnan – prints/paper

Patty Cokus – jewelry

Jason Huff – ceramics

Dee Fontans – edible wearables

Edward Patrick Kranz (Ezju) – coffee painting

Theresa Lovering-Brown – jewelry

Tom Muller – ceramics

Leslie M. Riches – jewelry

Carmen Z. Valdes – sculpture

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Coffee Painting ? ... A New Art Medium

Article originally published on Art Knowledge News Web site

Skillful use of the endless resources offered by coffee brown offers plethora of possibilities for a painting. Few minor precautions need to be ascertained to utilize the potential of coffee painting. The ground rule advocates shunning the practice of filling entire coverage with light tone. Similarly no nearest part of outline should be a light tone. Rather leaving it as original white background offers magical solution. The uncolored white portion will emphasize the object with the contrast effect. Once the foundation work of highlighting objects with the light tone completes, middle tone comes across as a handy tool. Process of repeatedly applying the brush with added coffee color will help the middle portion emerge bit darker to differentiate it from light tone on outlines. During final stage of an odyssey of coffee painting, fat coffee paste is to be used in the areas to be marked out with dark tone. Blend water with coffee in different extent to create variety of shades of brown. This will enhance layer development in the painting.

Opposite to the conventional painting style, coffee-painting requests not to place a canvas in standing position to avoid the spreading of shades, due to tendency of water flowing downward, in undesired areas. A painting made with coffee will hold an extra glaze once it gets dried, which is natural. So do not raise an eyebrow about it.

No doubts, impression & aroma of coffee painting holds breathe of art, artist and art lovers on single canvas.

Artist & Author
Amita & Mira Chudasama

Art Knowledge News posts new articles about exhibits and recent art news daily. They are a non-profit, and free to their 147,800 subscribers worldwide.

I would like to thank Lloyd S. Rubin, Editor, for permission to re-post this article.

Thank you.

MENU: Invitational Edible Elements of Art

Ezju has been asked to participate in the MENU: Invitational Edible Elements of Art at the Kirkland Arts Center in May of 2006! The MENU: Invitational opens May 11th, 2006.

What: Food is an explosive subject. Our society has such a food surfeit that eating choices have come to involve politics, morals, and popular trends over simply what is available. social and economic factors have resulted in a population of overweight poor - junk food being cheaper and more readily available in urban centers than nutritious foods. Religious factors influence food choices and preparation. Even what is accepted as a food item differs from culture to culture.

There are many parts of the world where food destitution makes the use of edibles in artworks impossible, if not unthinkable.

At the same time, food is beautiful, colorful - pleasant to the eye and sensual to experience.

Why: What can we learn from the use of edible elements in art? What can the artist show us about these volatile issues: about immediacy, progression, and beauty?

Where: Kirkland Arts Center in Kirkland Washington

When: May 11th 2006

Who: Josephine Balakrishnan - prints/paper
Patty Cokus - jewelry
Jason Huff - ceramics
Dee Fontans - edible wearables
Edward Patrick kranz (Ezju) - coffee painting
Theresa Lovering-Brown - jewelry
Tom Muller - ceramics Leslie
M. Riches - Jewelry
Carmen Z. Valdes – sculpture

Menu: Invitational Edible Elements of Art curated by Leslie M. Riches and runs from May 12th through June 3rd, 2006.

Opening reception is Thursday, May 11, 6:00 – 9:00 PM

Ezju will be displaying an 8' x 8' En Caustic coffee painting on birch; emulating the barista foam art known as latte art.

En Caustic is an ancient wax medium that pre-dates most other known art mediums including oils. This painting is built up of several layers of bee's wax, pigments and coffee to give a beautifully transparent effect with stunning depth and interplay between the elements.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Help Contact Peigna!

Mr. Peigna’s web site is back up and running but alas his e-mail is broken. I went to invite Peigna to the International Multi-Coffee-Artist shows in Erie, PA (2006) and Seattle, WA (2007) but received fatal delivery errors from his account.

If anyone knows of an alternative e-mail account for him please let me know. This mans work over the past 2 decades is very powerful and visually stunning. I don’t want to image this show without work representing him.

Pretty Face of Serendipity!

After contacting the first 4 of the 6 coffee artists that I’m aware of serendipity showed her pretty face! Karen Eland of 100% Coffee Art happened to be coming to Seattle to install a mural at a new Espresso Vivace! As soon as the café opens up I’ll take a trip down to see it. Most likely it will be here in the blog very soon.

I had the pleasure of Karen’s company on March 6th. She came to my studio in downtown Seattle for a short spell to see some of my work, discuss the pending multi-coffee artist shows in Erie and Seattle, and the work of other coffee artists.

It occurred to me during our conversation that the other coffee artist may not be aware of the others. I had found Karen, Angel and Andy, Mira and a few others with a Google search. This was prompted by a frequent question. “This is highly original. Is there anyone else painting with coffee?” I didn’t know the answer to this question so I Google.

Karen was aware of Angel and Andy while more recently me because I contacted her about the shows. The others she was not familiar with. Artists like Peigna who have been using coffee as an artistic medium since 1980 and Saul Bolanz who uses coffee extracts to make a photographic emulsion were news to her. Not surprising, Peigna site was down for quite a while and doesn’t come up near the top of the searches either. If you haven’t seen his work before please take a minute to view it. Very unique and full of energy.

Karen is a very down to earth and unassuming person. Her personality is definitely reflected in her work. She is extremely talented but has a light hearted approach to her work. This was clear from our conversation. It will be a pleasure to participate in a show with her. I think Seattlites will appreciate her subtle humor and thoughtful brush work.

After talking to Karen about the very diverse and distinct styles that all the different coffee artists are able to achieve with this uncommon medium I became more determined to help promote this medium. I’m more than excited about the prospect of an international multi-coffee artist show in Seattle bringing together the talents of many fine artists.