Jan Heath teabag paintings on display at Norwich Art Shop
Something different is brewing in the art world of Norfolk.
Because a retired professor with a flair for painting has taken up what looks like a pot idea – art on tea bags.
Jan Heath, 69, of Great Yarmouth, first discovered this art form after reading the story of a woman who had done something similar in America.
She was running out of space for her work, with most galleries and exhibitions closed during the lockdown, so she decided she needed to paint smaller.
Ms Heath said: ‘At first it was trial and error and I had to buy smaller brushes and a magnifying glass.
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“The good news is that I have made over 50 tea bag paintings and they all fit in a small folder.”
She added: “There is a whole procedure for preparing the tea bags.”
To begin the process, Ms. Heath lets the tea bag dry completely, before opening the bag flat or opening one end to release the tea.
She then ironed the tea bag with a cold iron, followed by a layer of gesso to stop the bleeding of the paint and strengthen the bag.
Ms Heath continued: âWhen the tea bag is dry, the fun begins. I paint with acrylics and pen, but you can also use watercolor or gouache.
“Since the bag is so small and it is difficult to erase mistakes, it is best to draw your design on paper first. Then, pass it over with a thin black marker and put the bag on top. of tea on it to trace on it. “
After her retirement, Ms. Heath joined the Great Yarmouth Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, and more recently the Norfolk and Norwich Art Circle.
Ken Hurst, of Norfolk and Norwich Art Circle, said: “They are amazingly proficient with beautiful little tea bags.”
In addition to the original paintings on tea bags, Ms Heath experimented with printing photographs on the bags and then painting on the print.
She painted one for her daughter, who lives in Australia, on her wedding day and has since done a few commissions that have gone to Australia.
Ms Heath’s Facebook page can be found at http://www.facebook.com/justlovetopaint/