Khartoum (Sudanow)- Millions around the World fancy having a cup of delicious coffee and getting a sniff of its refreshing smell. But artists, who can always see what we cannot see, have seen another source of beauty and joy in coffee: To paint pictures using coffee, coffee stain and even coffee grounds.
Youthful Painter Sami Najmeddin Mohammad says his passion for drinking coffee had led him into the world of painting with coffee, an art he never claims to have invented but he rightly could say he was the first to introduce in the Sudan.
I like coffee too much. One day in 2005 when I wasآ in my first
year in the Fine Arts College (Sudan University For Science And Technology) and after finishing my coffee cup, I started to disperse the coffee grounds on one of the drawing papers I had with me. I was so absorbed in this and to my surprise, I obtained a marvelous gradation of colors from pitch black to clear white, Sami told Sudanow in an interview.
"There I drew the conclusion that coffee is in fact a mine of colors.
I drew a picture of a girl playing the violin. That was my
first experience with painting with coffee. I had no prior knowledge about painting with neither coffee nor whether there are other painters who use coffee in drawing. I had never seen a picture like that before. It was a fantastic experiment form. After some search, I realized that there were painters who use coffee to draw pictures. But there aren't too many such painters in or outside Sudan.
Sami had finished College in 2009. Ever since he says he had improved his drawing styles too much, enhancing his drawing techniques. And became more liberal in using coffee as a color. I became more selective in the type of paper that suits this kind of drawing, he says.
Sami says after he finishes his coffee, he adds some more sugar to what remains in the cup. Sugar gives more cohesion to the coffee color. I also use a color fixer and any spray that can help with color cohesion. This guards the colors against the changing natural conditions around the picture. As such, the portrait can maintain its color for tens of years, he said.
Sami says inspiration for a new portrait can come at daytime or at night, no matter. A picture can take a day, a week or a month to draw.
He says he had inherited the talent for drawing from his father who inherited it from his mother. Earlyin my childhood, I came to recognize a life-size picture of a knight on horseback carved on one of our home walls in Dim al-Grrai village of Shendi District, Nahr al-Neel State, he says.
He says his father had told him the picture was the making of his grandmother Aisha Mohammadain, who although a simple uneducated woman was a crafty artist, carving in particular. It seems we have all of us inherited this talent from my grandma. Ever since my childhood I was surrounded with artists in the family: my father, my uncle and my brother who also graduated from the College of Fine Arts and who is now a professional painter, are all of them good painters, he argues.
As a young boy I used to draw pictures of animals on paper or with mud, Says Sami.
As an adult Sami started to use his brother's paper and colors to draw pictures. He found drawing very easy and that induced him to opt for fine arts at an early stage. At College he majored in design and printing that boosted his talent too much.
Women pictures loom large among Sami collection of drawings. I have a bias for women, who despite their big role in the society, do not receive due care, he says.
Sami has special interest in the rural environment. He has a picture he called Rural Girl that portrays the daily duties of rural girls of bringing water and helping others dispense household duties, in what is known in Sudan as Faza The picture's flowing and slanting lines show a rural girl fully enjoying her work.
Sami's gallery includes a picture of a girl he chose to call the
one loved by Allah who though very pensive, enjoys seeing the public full of love for her as she plays the guitar. This public love helps the girl forgets about her worries.
Another picture in Sami's gallery portrays a number of
Southern Sudanese women on their way to Northern Sudan, which he called the season for migration from the South.