It's no secret that I love vintage. I have a lot of vintage items in my home, and I love visiting flea markets and antique shops. But I also have a limited amount of space, particularly cupboard space. I live in a small house and for the past year I’ve been trying to live with less clutter and less stuff. It hasn’t always been an easy process, but I have made significant progress on getting rid of things I don’t use or that don’t mean something to me. I’ve also tried to be more mindful regarding my purchases and spending habits. As a result, I’ve been trying to limit my purchases — vintage or new — and love feeling less weighted down by stuff. That said, I’m not switching to a totally minimalist lifestyle because the fact remains that I still love collecting and adding interesting, meaningful things to my home. I’m just trying to be more careful and thoughtful about it.
So what does this have to with vintage coffee cups? Well, while I’d love to have a cupboard full of amazing coffee cups, I don’t have the cupboard space and I also don’t need them, as I already have my own little, eclectic collection of handmade and souvenir coffee cups. The cups I do have mean something to me — the coffee cup from the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, or the chipped mug with Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks painting from the Art Institute of Chicago, or the wood fired cup I bought last weekend from a potter at her (amazing) country studio. Those are the ones I want to pull out of the cupboard and use every day, so I will continue to try to keep myself from buying the ones that I fall in love with in vintage shops.
I started painting this collection of vintage coffee cups back in July, and added on 8 more this week. I think I could fill up several pages full of nothing but these tiny coffee cups. I decided to adopt the same philosophy as when I painted a collection of vintage radios: If I can't have my own collection, I'll paint myself a collection instead.