Have you ever painted with coffee?
On Saturday, Oct. 19, several Hillsdale students gathered at Penny’s coffee shop in New Dorm to do just that.
The event, called “Watercolor with Jo and Caro,” went on for at least an hour on Saturday, prepared and set up by junior Caroline Hennekes and senior Joanna Dell as a way to relax.
“It’s a very relaxed time to kind of experiment,” Dell said. “Watercolor is very experimental. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it doesn’t, but that’s the beauty of it.”
Hennekes said watercolor is a perfect medium for having fun.
“It’s very messy, and I think life’s messy. We were talking even before coming here about how nice it is to do a medium that is so messy. It doesn’t have to be perfect,” she said. “Some other mediums are very precise, so sometimes it’s very stressful but it’s nice to feel more relaxed.”
Each student who reserved a spot for the event was given a sheet of sketch paper, paintbrushes, a watercolor palette, and three cups of espresso – light, medium, and dark roast. The goal was to paint something autumn-themed using the watercolors and the espresso.
Sophomore Ruth Moreno, who painted a road under autumn trees, said the espresso made things interesting because once it dried, its lines were darker and more defined than usual watercolor.
“It would almost leave lines,” she said. “So if you put a spot of the coffee down, it creates more of a line around the edges, which kind of was good and bad.”
Despite having to smudge out some coffee to downplay the strength, Moreno said it worked well.
“I was really happy with how the coffee turned out,” she said. “It basically looked exactly like the paint, which made it really cool because it just blends right in and instead of having to mix the color with the water, you have the color there already.”
Freshman Hallie Scott said she has never been an artist, but she loves creating art and went to the event to de-stress from her homework. She said she loved the idea of painting with coffee.
“They had one with a lot of grounds in it so it adds texture to the paint, so I think it’s fun,” Scott said. “And it’s weird how therapeutic it is. You wouldn’t think it would be therapeutic but I was really stressed before and now I’m really calm.”
Hennekes and Dell said they hope the event not only gave people a break but also encouraged them to look at the world in a different way for a while.
“It is when you have to start to look at something and actually look at it to paint it or draw it, that you start to see what it actually is and how intricate it is,” Hennekes said. “It just opens your eyes to things.”