Sunday, 17 November 2013

The art of refreshment

A poem, to Tea.

Green tea
Weak black tea
Er... can I have coffee? With sugar...?

Such are the requests at tea time around my table. It used to be that a cup of tea was a cup of tea. Sometimes with sugar, sometimes without milk. But over the years, the herbal and fruity teas have become more popular, and in most of my classes, its rarer to have 'normal' tea. In this part of the woods, a good strong cup of tea is known as Builders Tea - you'd nearly have to mash the bag. For the builder-tea drinker, the notion of leaving the bag IN is beyond imagination..! And it's got that some of the coffee drinkers feel embarrassed to ask for coffee..

Refreshment, whatever the preference, is an important part of the drawing process. A regular break gives time for the eye to look away from the board, meaning you can look at things more freshly when you return. The walk to the kettle is good for stretching the body. My students don't get to put the kettle on (I do it for them!) so they indulge in some shoulder-rolling instead. The tea arrives and a slight break from the work arrives with it - and even though most people don't actually stop working, the cup sitting there is a small comfort, as well as a time-guide as to how far into the session we are. 

On water colour sessions, someone usually dips their brush in the cup in leau of the water jar (it's a little known fact that a tea cup is actually a MAGNET for brushes). 

After all sessions, there are those who haven't remembered to actually drink the tea as they were so absorbed in their work. Fortunately, no one has been tempted to drink from their water jar, even when the water has become temptingly fruity-coloured.. 

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