Tea in the Afternoon

mary-byrom_teawlemonIf you start drinking tea in childhood,  you are always a tea drinker. When I drank coffee for the first time I was in high school. I tasted it, then thought it was too harsh and bitter. Later in college everyone drank coffee when meeting with friends so I picked up the habit and developed a taste for it. But it was not my first love. It did not have the mellow vibe of afternoon tea.

When I drink tea I remember my friend Amy , my mom and I having a cup of tea together in the afternoon.  It’s usually a spring or fall day and the late afternoon light shines golden through the kitchen windows.

Tea with Lemon, 6×6,oil. Sold.

Tea with Lemon

Teacup w:lemonI was five years old the first time I drank a cup of tea. I was at a tea party with my mother. Tea was poured into a fancy china cup for me. I was offered cream and sugar. Cream?  Sugar?  You bet…I’ll have both!  I put a heaping teaspoon of sugar in the cup, then poured in so much cream it looked like ivory.

While the adults talked I happily sipped away on this warm, sweet concoction. Now I drink hot tea in a number of different ways, usually with out sugar.

A slice of Lemon, Waiting for Tea, 6×6. Oil, Sold.

A Cup of Tea

teacup & spoonIt all started with a tea cup. Back in 2004 when I left the studio to paint outdoors, I never looked back.

Last year I started painting really large paintings outdoors. They took too long to finish on location and I had to finish them in the studio. Then I thought about painting in the studio again.  Slowing down….  No more fast moving light to deal with!

I began with a subject that has always been a part of my life. Tea.  In the afternoon, tea with my mother, tea with my best friend,  tea at the kitchen table, tea on the porch.  The memories of these rituals filled my mind.

A Cup, a Saucer and a Spoon, 6×6, oil, Sold.

Cherry Cake Downtown

Cherry Cake

Most of you know that I spend a lot of time painting outdoors. This new food painting series has taken me indoors. It’s exciting and so much fun!

I’m accustomed to people stopping by to see what I’m doing at the easel outdoors. But sitting next to me having dinner while I paint?

Music is playing and the room hums with conversations.  I’m standing there in the midst of it all making a painting. Concentration. Focus. Mental acuity.  I start the painting, I build it, I finish it, I pack up and walk outside… then I exhale.

Made in Maine ~ York River Dusk

River EveningYork River Dusk, 24×36, oil $8650. Available.

York Harbor is a quiet spot created where the York River meets the sea. The village is small and the walk along the rivers edge is a great place to visit. This is one of my favorite painting locations. In the warmer seasons the sun sets over the river as is flows from the west.

Made in Maine ~ Windy Marsh

Windy Marsh DayWindy Marsh Clouds, 12×12 oil. $1,440.  Available

A fresh breeze was blowing from the west when I set up on the edge of the marsh to paint the trees and clouds. It was beautiful as the clouds raced overhead. I was sheltered from the wind in a perfect spot. The brilliant blue sky showed through holes in the clouds. Then the wind changed direction …I think it had to do with the high tide coming in.   A fabulous day!

Made in Maine ~ Moody Marsh

Fog in the MarshFog in the Marsh, 8×16, oil. $1,280. Available.

In early summer there are foggy mornings along the coast . The chilly sea air mixes with the warm, land mass to create moody cool mornings.  On this morning I was out in the marshes early, as the cold sea air moved across the land. It was gorgeous and peaceful as the gulls winged over the marsh grass and the sun warmed up the air.

Made in Maine ~ Ogunquit~ Clouds Over the Dune

Clouds over DuneClouds Over the Dune, 28×32, oil $8,960. Available.

I love this kind of weather!  It was a sunny day with big, puffy clouds sailing across the sky.  A storm earlier in the day had blown out to sea. I parked near the footbridge on the Ogunquit River.  The gulls were spiraling up into the air riding the thermal currents high over the dunes. Heavenly!