coffee cup paintings

Coffee gets me. Watercolor a Day Month of May #21

Posted by on May 21, 2016 in coffee cup paintings, hand lettering, watercolor, watercolor a day | 0 comments

Coffee gets me Watercolor #21 Keetha

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Coffee cups #5

Posted by on Apr 2, 2016 in birthday, coffee cup paintings | 0 comments

Keetha birthday mug

The mug stays at Mom and Dad’s. It’s been around for years and when we get together to celebrate a birthday, we get down the birthday mug for the birthday boy or girl to use. It’s the only time anyone drinks from it.

It’s a “magic” mug because it appears to have a cake with candles on it. Then! When it’s filled with hot coffee the candles light up!

I love how something as simple as a coffee mug (even a magical one) can become part of a tradition, how it adds a little something more – something personal, something familiar, something ours – to a birthday get-together.

Also. I realized at some point that I hadn’t finished painting the handle on the coffee mug. I didn’t notice that until after I’d taken the photos and downloaded them.

The coffee cup posts:


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Coffee cups #4

Posted by on Apr 1, 2016 in coffee cup paintings, watercolor | 0 comments

Keetha Dean & Deluca

I probably first heard about Dean & Deluca about the same time I picked up The Silver Palate Cookbook. It was the 90s and these two things were basically the last word in sophistication: in Manhattan and gourmet, which was all I needed to know.

Dean & Deluca carried exotic, fancy foods.  Things that the Sunflower Food Store in Belzoni, Mississippi had never even heard of. Even the big Kroger in Jackson didn’t carry these things, not in the 90s when I discovered the upscale food markets via the Internet.

I got the Dean & Deluca catalog and pored over it, just like I did the Williams-Sonoma catalog. It didn’t matter if half the stuff I didn’t know how to pronounce (charcuterie) or even what it was. I was captivated.

I could have been a profiler for the FBI, so detailed was my picture of the people who shopped at Dean & Deluca. They had fascinating careers and went to gallery openings. They picked up fresh flowers from the flower cart vendor on their way home from work. They lived in charming brownstones, just like the Cosbys did. There was nothing banal in their lives. They hosted dinner parties with ingredients purchased from the Dean & Deluca, which they carried home in cute string bags. At these dinner parties, there was sparkling conversation, witty repartee, and of course, sophisticated food.

Getting the catalog in my mailbox made me feel like I was a part of that. Sort of.


I’m 90% certain I ordered the coffee mug because I had just moved. I needed to order something – anything – to stay on the mailing list. The coffee mug was one of the least expensive items in the catalog and it had the logo so that was a win-win. For months afterward I displayed that coffee mug on the kitchen counter. I shop at Dean & Deluca! 

I’m glad I still have it. The mug has outlasted my need for validation from yuppie brands.

The rest of the coffee cup series:

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Coffee cups #3

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in coffee cup paintings, watercolor | 2 comments

The first daily painting project I heard of was when Jolie Guillebeau was interviewed on this podcast. She talked about her painting a day project, where she committed to making a piece of art every day for 100 days.

Keetha Jolie G mug

Every morning, Jolie sent out her newsletter with a photo of her artwork along with a story about it. Each piece was available for sale. The first day, that piece of art was $1. The second day, that artwork was $2. The third day, the next piece of art was $3, and on and on for 100 days.

Keetha mug set up

On the podcast interview, she mentioned she was doing another daily art project, this time with pottery. I signed up for her newsletter and one morning, I acted fast enough to get this coffee mug. The colors are so pretty – soft blues and greens that flow together. I love its graceful lines.

Later, I got to talk to Jolie on the phone when she interviewed creatives for a study she was working on as part of her graduate work in art therapy and counseling.

We discovered we had read several of the same books, and that she is also from the south.

The mug she made that’s now on my bookshelf makes me think of Jolie. It’s like a sweet little nudge to try things, to do something different, and to reach out.

More about Jolie:


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Coffee cups #2

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in coffee cup paintings, watercolor | 0 comments

I bought it at T.J. Maxx. It was during my first year at a job, right out of college. It was probably on a Friday, pay day.

It looked sophisticated. The cloisonné-esque look reminded me of the living room of friends of my parents we’d visit when I was a kid, all navy blue and rust orange.

Keetha navy mug

The cup and saucer was for Saturday morning, the only time I drank out of it. As was my unnamed ritual, I fixed a cup of coffee, maybe two, then leave home and make the round of gift shops in the small town where I lived. I’m not sure what I was looking for – something fun, something unexpected, something surprising to make me feel good – but I never found it. Inevitably, I returned home feeling wistful and not knowing why.


Keetha navy cup and saucer

I don’t drink out of this cup; it’s too shallow and is probably meant for tea. It’s an actual cup, one-half the cup-and-saucer duo, while I prefer a diner-style coffee mug.

Still I keep it. The colors, everything about it that spelled sophistication to my 22-year-old self – it’s a sweet recollection of that time, of my 22-year-old self. I want to tell her, “You buy that cup and saucer set for yourself. Yes.”


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Coffee cups #1

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in coffee cup paintings, watercolor | 0 comments

Last year, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I Marie Kondo’d my closet (not a big deal) and my books (very big deal).

It freed up shelf space around the house, and also changed the way I thought about things, products, merchandise. When I’m at Target or Anthropologie, I stop and think; Is this something I really want? A lot of times the answer is, “Nah.”

Keetha mug


Sometimes the answer is, “Oh, heck yeah.” I bought a white coffee cup at a secondhand shop. I can’t remember where or when but I know I bought it simply because I liked it.

I bought it to have in my office – to put stuff in, maybe or to display on a shelf.

I don’t drink out of it, I don’t store things in it. It’s just there to be there.

Keetha shelves white coffee mug


The week before last, I painted a coffee cup each day. This week, I’ll share those paintings and the story behind each cup. 


I sketched this cup super fast after I got frustrated trying to exactly draw the lines of the coffee mug I was looking at. After I did the painting, I still like this one.

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