Jan Heath teabag paintings on display at Norwich Art Shop

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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.


Jan Heath’s ‘Slouchy or Slinky’ tea bag artwork
– Credit: Jan Heath

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.


Jan Heath from Great Yarmouth painted on tea bags.

The Art of the Tea Bag by Jan Heath
– Credit: Jan Heath

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: “When 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.


Jan Heath is a retired teacher from Great Yarmouth who paints on tea bags.

Jan Heath, retired artist and teacher from Great Yarmouth
– Credit: Jan Heath

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.


Jan Heath

Jan Heath ‘Kitty’ Tea Bag Painting
– Credit: Jan Heath

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.


Great Yarmouth artist Jan Heath painted this for his daughter in Australia.

Jan Heath painted this for his daughter’s wedding in Australia
– Credit: Jan Heath

The ‘in the Windows’ exhibition is a new selection of works by 22 local artists at the Norwich Art Shop. For more information call 07748 303250 or email [email protected]

Ms Heath’s Facebook page can be found at http://www.facebook.com/justlovetopaint/


Jan Heath from Great Yarmouth painted for the Norwich Art Shop.

Artwork titled “Is It Safe to Go Outside Yet?”
– Credit: Jan Heath


Jan Heath from Great Yarmouth painted on tea bags for the Norwich Art Shop.

Jan Heath’s work titled “Now It’s a Bit of Gossip”
– Credit: Jan Heath


Great Yarmouth artist Jan Heath created this painting.

‘Photo Bomber’ tea bag painting
– Credit: Jan Heath


Jan Heath

Great Yarmouth Artist Jan Heath
– Credit: Submitted


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