Teatime with Artist Teresa Cash Yields Beautiful Art on the Teabags!
Updated: Mar 20
It’s always teatime at Teresa Cash’s Naperville, IL home. Why? Because she paints on Lipton teabags! She steeps, dries, empties and ‘Gesso’s’ the 4.25” x 5.25” sized teabags before painting them with figurative art including entire families – each face on a separate teabag for framing together.
Teresa's preferred teabag size in the Lipton brand. Scroll down to see more of Teresa's art.
“It’s a unique approach when doing a family portrait,” Teresa says. “I use teabags because I like the distressed look of the paper after it’s been brewed and prepped. Teabag art is not unique, but it’s often done on the smaller ones.”
A quick online search shows that teabag art seems to be a popular choice. It’s affordable, offers dual use – brew the drink and then reuse the bag. If the artist makes a mistake, it’s not expensive to toss into the recycle container and simply start again.
Teresa adds that when it comes to art, she’s actually a late bloomer. “I honestly didn’t know I could paint or draw until I was age 58 in 2011.”
At that time, Teresa was asking herself if there wasn’t more to life than just cooking, cleaning, getting up and going to bed. She offered up a prayer saying, “Show me what I’m supposed to be doing and I’ll do it.”
A few days later she felt an incredible urge to be creative and drew her first face. She began following these creative prompts by simply putting one foot in front of the other-- step-by-step – as her new path came into focus.
Since 2014, Teresa has painted almost 300 teabags. What’s nice about teabags, she adds, is that they’re receptive to any medium. She prefers using acrylic paint and especially likes drawing female faces.
“I find women’s faces to be extremely expressive. It's almost as if their faces are telling a story.” she says.
As Teresa’s art journey became the driving force in her life, she has expanded her online presence into social media including YouTube videos demonstrating her teabag art – link below. She also works in a variety of other mediums (see below), and not limiting herself. She enjoys all kinds of mixed media, abstract and custom drawing. On any given day, she can be found simply having fun in her home studio and following wherever that creative muse takes her.
Now, every week is "Tea Bag Art Tuesday" where Teresa demonstrates another tea bag art project. These are added to her website and on Instagram.
Additionally, she teaches, sells her artwork in various local stores such as The Collective in downtown Lisle, IL and remains open to trying new things and seeing where she’s led next.
An encouraging sign on her easel reads: “Be invested in the process and not the outcome.”
Teresa sums up: “Remove your fear of trying. It’s all about stepping out of your comfort zone, enjoying the process, and seeing where it goes.”
Here are all her links:
Late Bloomer Blog: http://www.imalatebloomer.com
STAND YOUR GROUND; 20 x 20; acrylic on canvas
LOST IN THE STORY; 24 x 18, acrylic/mixed media on canvas
INNER SANCTUM; 21 x 17; acrylic on canvas
Artist Teresa Cash in her home studio.