The process of painting with wine and coffee instead of paint is a slow finicky process which Amy has developed over the past 3 years, with lots of experimenting and failures. She keeps her techniques a trade secret. While the finished artworks occasionally look similar to watercolour paintings, this is only one of the many techniques used and often the mediums are closer to gouache than to watercolour.
Wine paintings are usually a mixture of several different wines, having been opened anywhere from that day to 2 years prior. A shiraz will give a very different colour to a cabernet merlot. As is the nature of wine, Amy’s wine paintings gradually change with age bringing out different tones in the wine such as tobacco, lavender and blue; much like decanting a bottle will bring forward a wine’s different notes and cellaring wine will change the structure, notes and tannins.
Amy’s coffee painting process is slightly more straightforward, however she has learnt to substitute some of her own coffees throughout the day with decaf to prevent the caffeine shakes from affecting her work. Again she will use several different ‘cups’ of coffee, although not as old as the wine she uses. Rather than utilising different coffee types, Amy instead employs different techniques to apply the coffee to paper or canvas. This develops different colours, textures and tones. One such technique is to bring out the coffee’s golden crema and quickly apply it, as the crema changes back to a darker brown if not used within a couple of minutes.
Her works in coffee and wine are inspired by myriad of things, including visiting wineries and coffee plantations. Her coffee birds aim to capture the sense of freedom and elation felt with the first cup of coffee in the morning while commenting on the beauty of the local native birds and how much coffee is a part of Melbourne’s culture. Her wine instruments are inspired by her love of wine, music, dancing and the sense of exhilaration felt while drinking wine and hanging out with close friends.