Friday, October 7, 2011


Hot tea suddenly becomes very enticing at about this time of year! I figured I might as well paint with the dregs.

Concentrated Earl Grey with white gouache & touches of Raspberry Zinger on found paper, ~4¾ x 3¾". The book this page came from is Consumer Goods/ How to Know & Use Them by Reich & Siegler, ©1937.

How useless to the novice is that "method" at the bottom!? :-D Especially considering that the book was aimed at "young people," according to the editor's introduction. Not even a hint about brewing time, &c. I suppose it was understood that one could always ask Mother.


  1. I still have trouble with a "suitable amount" of loose tea, even though I do own a teaspoon. I always want to put more than I need, because a cup's worth of dried tea is such a small amount.

  2. Fabulous ode to Tea! I've not painted with the dregs ever - can't imagine it'd turn out anywhere near how great your illustration did! Funny re: the book..yes, asking mom is always the first step at "how do you..boil an egg, properly prepare a pot o' tea"..etc. Great post!

  3. Well, in the old days, many writers already assumed you knew a few things. Not like today, when it is believed that everyone is incompetent, and half an owners manual is filled with lengthy disclaimers and warnings to protect the manufacturer from frivolous lawsuits.

    I like antique motorcycles, and their manuals from the past say things like 'remove the part and wash liberally with gasoline'. No warnings, no disclaimers. That's sooooo refreshing to read. I find calming peace in its simplicity :)

  4. Thanks, all-- I greatly enjoy these philosophical field notes!

    I agree there's an artful balance between too little information & too much, & these days publishers definitely err on the side of cover-your-@$$itude.

    Still, I can just picture poor little Mabel, standing at the stove with her textbook, a pot of boiling water & a tin of tea, sadly pondering "How much? How long?"

    On the other hand, I suppose such vagueness does encourage experimentation. :-) And maybe there is a certain zen to brewing by instinct.

    Isaac, perhaps some day you will brew the perfect cup without even trying,& enlightenment will be yours!

    And if all else fails, there's always Mom, right, Shirley?

    Ted, just don't try brewing tea with that gasoline. You might find eternal calming peace that way.