Behind the Cup
brush stroke  


Artist Statement
Behind the Cup is a series of portraits painted with Japanese brush and ink from life at various coffeehouses in Vancouver, BC, Canada and the San Francisco Bay Area.

I've always valued coffeehouses for the mix of solitude and society that they offer. I am endlessly fascinated by the ways in which individuals carve out private space in public places. Many hours of my life have been spent observing, drawing and conversing in coffeeshops. Experiencing the voyeuristic pleasure of the flâneur, one can sit back and watch stories unfold, view extremes of expression and gesture.

My love of illustration and observation of daily life has also been influenced by book illustrators such as Chiang Yee and Ben Shahn, American realists such as John Sloan, and Weimar artists such as George Grosz, among others.

All works are available for purchase, many including museum quality archival double matting and metal and glass exhibition frame. Images are also available for print or web work for a fee. Artist maintains rights to digitally reproduce works.

For more details, pricing, or to purchase a specific work, contact:

Paula Wirth

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All images copyright 2001-2004 by Paula Wirth.