The Nonsense Society welcomes an artist whose unique medium is tea and ink.
Carne Griffiths is a rare and remarkable artist.
His work borders on magical, transporting us into a new world of characters and emotions. I feel that each portrait has its own unique voice and history. However, it’s difficult to settle on what the characters are saying. I imagine that it’s different for each viewer.
Griffiths uses the medium of tea and ink (sometimes graphite, vodka, whiskey, and others) to create these pieces. He lives on the fringe of normal and is constantly helping push the next generation of art forward. The pieces have drips and intentional imperfections that only add more character to the work. I find that each composition melts into the page and leaves me wanting more. Really, that’s what we want in art. We want to be hungry for whatever else is floating around in the artist’s imagination and he does just that.
Griffiths grew up in the UK outside Liverpool, emigrated to New Zealand for a few years during childhood, and returned with his family to the UK. Traveling was a big part of his childhood and something that likely influenced his creativity and overall perception of life. He confided in me that his childhood memories (both good and bad) have been extremely important and what make him unique as an artist/person.
“My most vivid memories are of exploring the creeks and woodlands in New Zealand.”
Art became a large part of Griffith’s life at the early age of four. He recalled to me that becoming an artist was his first and only professional aspiration in life. Now, no one can deny that he is indeed living his dream and inspiring tens of thousands of people. Griffiths can now proudly say that he lives and survives through his art (he has no other job). He’s a living example that art is alive, well, and can indeed support a comfortable lifestyle.
Tea and ink as a medium has become a trademark for Griffiths in the art world. While unique on its own, tea has helped him develop a palette of colors that he is comfortable with. It goes without saying that Griffith’s work has a distinct feel. The tea provides a delicate saturation and texture that draws viewers in.
“I enjoy automatic drawing, my work is a form of escapism. It’s necessary for me, I think if I didn’t do it now I’d be at a loss.”
Griffiths takes inspiration from the world around him, but mainly nature. He believes that humanity’s connection with nature is falling apart and will ultimately hurt us in the future. Therefore he spends a great deal of time hiking and cycling in the forest or countryside. Nature helps him reflect and (not unlike drawing) lose himself for hours. These experiences both consciously and subconsciously influence his art and in turn influence others.
I’m amazed, not only by the talent and beauty of his art, but also by his dedication and passion. When I asked Carne what his dreams and goals were, he just told me that he wants to draw more. He wants to push the boundaries of his art and create work that is even more inspiring. Simply put – Carne Griffiths refuses to waste a single moment of his life. That’s why he has and continues to create some of the most inspiring work I have ever seen.