Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Empty Coffee Cups

The caption to this photo of American illustrator John Gannam says: “Empty coffee cups bear witness to the artist’s insistence upon a clean cup for each fresh drink—of which there may be a half a dozen at one sitting.”

I drink coffee, and I agree with Gannam on this one. I definitely grab a new cup each time. How about you? Check out the poll at left.
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Photo from "Forty Illustrators and How The Work."
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Poll results added later from 334 voters:
37 New cup each time.
222 Reuse the same cup.
5 Use disposable cups.
67 Don't do coffee.
3 Other.

30 comments:

Alida Saxon said...

There should also be a follow up question on who has to wash those cups as well! I think that would be quite informative too. ;)

greyskyeyes said...

What, are you using them to clean your brushes? I don't have the space in my studio to get coffee cup happy. Besides, I like coffee backwash. It builds character.:)
To each his own, I suppose.

Steve said...

I reuse the same cup, but only after a quiet, meditative moment rinsing it.

To see one artist's profound integration of coffee into his work, check out:
http://niemann.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/02/coffee/?scp=3&sq=christoph%20neimann&st=cse

If that's an unclickable link, just google: christoph niemann, nyt, coffee blog.

It's worth the trouble.

Kurt Ankeny-Beauchamp said...

Funny I just bought and was reading this book. I thought it was odd that he would use a new cup for each drink, but I see he's not alone.

Dave H said...

There would be two opposing votes here if my wife was participating. If I leave a cup unattended for more than a minute it goes in the dishwasher. I, on the other hand, am attached to my cup with Hopper's "Nighthawks" on the side. I will rescue it from the dishwasher to keep using it all day.

Bombproof said...

I have about 3 empty cups on my table at the moment, and probably 3 more hiding/ missing in my studio, haha, great post.

r8r said...

coffee? ew.

Drew said...

Something tells me by the time I get around to throwing a cup in the dishwasher, I've taken my share of backwash. I tend to reuse the same cup for several days before I get around to rinsing it or cleaning it. Dunno if I should be proud of that...

Limely said...

Though there's nearly always tea in my cups, I use mine all day, rinsing it a bit before each refill... mostly because I don't have that many cups to use. c:

Daroo said...

" Right Ho Jeeves, If it wouldn't be ever so much the bother, could I trouble you to corral the assembled throng of soiled cups and saucers and vacate them from the immediate premises. They are in dire need of a vigorous suds and bubble, if you take my meaning..."

Naw -- I keep the same mug throughout the day (or if a big deadline is looming, possibly an I.V. drip).

I'll even rinse and reuse Starbucks cups -- They're great if you're going out on a PA painting session first thing in the A.M. After finishing you can crush it down for easy transport when you pack back out from your painting spot.

Technical warning: don't reuse the disposable cup more than once or twice because the seam will burst open at the most inconvenient of times...

twilightcat said...

It depends. I drink tea, so if I'm going from a tea that takes milk to a tea that doesn't, I use a fresh cup.

Old said...

I drink black or oolong tea. Brew a 6 cup pot each time. Use a camp-style enameled meatal cup. Rinse cup while next 6 cup pot of tea is steeping. Cup is very dark grey enamel with white flecks. I can no longer see the white flecks on the inside of the cup.

S. Weasel said...

I have several different cups for my exclusive studio-coffee (and occasionally tea) use, but I only use one per day. They're all cool for one reason or another. Fussing with the pot and the cup and saucer and my spoon gives me little fiddly things to do with my hands, as needed. I...ummm...may not wash them as much as the health authorities might recommend.

My current favorite is a place setting from the Concorde. The jet. It was a Christmas gift.

Andrew Wales said...

With seven of us in the house, we are only allowed one cup per day. Otherwise, we'd be running that dishwasher night and day. I guess my wife has me trained, because I try to follow the rule!

Tidah said...

I drink milk and water, and sometimes go for lemonade at restaurants. Umm, usually for milk I'll replace the cup after I forget about it and let it dry out, but water cups get reused for months on end.

Susan Adsett said...

I drink tea (coffee makes me hostile), but yeah, a new cup pretty much every time... I keep, erm... losing them in my studio.

AND I'm the one who washes them when I (eventually) find them again.

Shawn Escott said...

mmmmmm... coffee.... oh wait, what were we talking about! Oh yeah, cups, LOL. I'm a re-user. Depends on how many times I used it though.

JohnB said...

I have one cup for weekdays, which I might rinse out between days. And then I have my Saturday Cup, a favorite one which replaced my other favorite Saturday cup, which, alas, was broken when a painting fell on it. On Sunday, anything goes and I'll grab a clean one that is closest to me in the cupboard. On Sunday, they all go into the dishwasher.

Erik Bongers said...

I drink water.

But what I'm more interested in are those thumbnails behind the cups!...

Tracy said...

I drink from the same cup, get it half empty and the fill it.........that way there is a constant level of temperature, but have been know to use the same cup for several days in a row until my wife finds out. I hate a freshly washed coffee pot too.

Random York said...

I keep using the same cup (and increasing the number of teabags exponentially)and washing it over and over- maybe I should try the other method and my art would surge forward in quality

Andrew Wales said...

My question is, have you ever, if a spoon was not handy, used a pencil or brush to stir the coffee?

Michael Dooney said...

I don't drink while I'm working. I prefer to take my break away from the drawing board.
Gannam is one of my all time faves, sure would love to see a book on him, there is so little available even online.

Brine Blank said...

I hate coffee but I wear the sweet tea out and crunch ice like a mule eating coal when I'm drawing!!!

S. Weasel said...

I once absent-mindedly stirred my coffee with a pencil while showing drawings to a French client, Andrew. Realizing what I'd done, I blurted out that doing so was customary in the US. He then took the pencil and solemnly swirled it around in his coffee.

I felt bad. Coffee tastes of wood shavings when you do that.

Pat said...

I do the same thing but with glasses of water! How weird...

besu-besu said...

I drink tea instead of coffee--and maybe that influences my decision here, because I always just use the same cup. Like others, I don't have the studio space to have cups everywhere, and also, once I finish a cup of tea it's usually dry, so why bother wasting another clean cup when you're just going to put the same drink in it?

Andrew Wales said...

That's funny S. Weasel! I think it gives it a nice woodsy flavor. Ha, ha.

James Gurney said...

Fascinating comments, everyone. Coffee is a big topic. Erik, those sketches are for a poster design that I'll tell you more about in the future.

ricardo said...

I try to use the same cup time and time again, but sometimes I'm surprised by discovering other one(s) lying in the usual place.