Tea Time

Skills: Painting


A few weeks ago I went to the flea market (yes, this is me, a little hoarder in search of serendipity) and I’ve found this lovely frame. Because it was autumn all around and most of the people were talking about death (#colectiv #paris #beirut), I felt like painting no one else than the Grim Reaper. I wanted him to be on a vacation, impressed by life and enjoying something worldly, like a tea. And what is life, if not a beautiful lemon tree that has flowers, small fruits and ripe fruits all at once! So I had the relaxed Grim Reaper, the beautiful lemon tree and than added the caterpillar and the butterflies for more livelihood and artistic impression.

But all in all, why should we think about death? Why should we draw and paint it and why should we keep representations  of death close to us? In my opinion we should do it because it gives potency to life. “Remember that you can die, reflect on your mortality and the mortality of of everything” said someone in the Middle Ages and he has launched a concept. Throughout all the next centuries we have listened to that and we have kept close, one way or another, the image of the Grim Reaper. He reminded us of the transient nature of things and, without doubt, he will do the same thing, in different ways, for the centuries to come if we allow him.
Now, at the end of 2015, I find myself in need of such a reminder too because life goes by very monotonous and, as most of us, with mostly the future in my mind, I sometimes forget to enjoy the present moment. Especially the one from a few days ago, when we have carried heavy wood for fire two floors up! But, oh boy, this is another story that definitely won’t make it to a painting!
 So, anyway, I will keep the Grim Reaper piece close, as a reminder because every time I will carry my eyesight over this tea-drinking guy (or gal) I will say (very seriously) to myself: “if you can’t be the caterpillar (we would all want that, wouldn’t we!?), than, at least, be the fat lemon, but… be alive and enjoy something because any moment now, the nasty Grim Reaper will finish it’s tea (plus, oh my, a whole pack of Crabtree & Evelyn biscuits) and he will definitely come for you!
Or I will think that “if you can’t be the caterpillar (we would all want that, wouldn’t we!?), than, at least, be the fat lemon and enjoy yourself because any moment now, the nasty Grim Reaper will find out that he needs some lemon juice for it’s tea and this is it for you”
Or maybe I will think at something else, but the conclusion will always be the same: even if it’s longer now, life is still short. Try not to waste it.
A friend showed me this video yesterday (that fits very well here) and if you want to see other Grim Reaper related art, I’ve gathered a small collection, here, on my pinterest page, with artworks from some of my favorite artists like Carson Ellis, Edward Gorey, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Charlie Immer and Saddo.
In a week or so, I will have in my shop some A4 and A3 giclèe prints available with this image. Drop me an e-mail at livia@illustration.ro if you would like a different size.
Once completed, the Tea Time piece looks better with a lot of white space around it, so I decided not to use the beautiful frame I bought at the flea market. :)