Entry into the NYC Coffee Festival

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve written an update, so maybe a new painting is a good place to start!

I’m really excited to share with you my entry for the 2015 Coffee Art Project. This summer I got an email asking if I’d like to participate in this year’s Coffee Art Project which is to be hosted in New York City. Organizers were looking for entries of artwork with the theme of coffee to raise money in support of Project Waterfall, bringing clean water to communities which grow our coffee. After my time backpacking through countries like Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Colombia and touring coffee farms, this is a mission I can get behind- so of course I wanted to participate!

Salento Colombia
Doesn’t this place look like paradise?! Salento, Colombia

The first thing that came to my mind was the time Scott and I toured Don Elias’ coffee farm in one of my favorite places on Earth: Salento, which is located in the coffee region of Colombia. Salento is so beautiful, with its wax palms (the tallest palms in the world!) and amazing landscapes.

We were able to tour an organic coffee farm run by a man named Don Elias. There we learned about the entire coffee growing process from start to finish. What struck me is how sweet and warm Don Elias is. His passion for his farm and the coffee industry shines through with everything he does. I wanted to capture his warmth and gentle enthusiasm in the painting.

Salento Cocora Valley Colombia
Scott posing in the Cocora Valley in Salento, Colombia- where you can find the tallest palm trees in the world!
Don Elias organic coffee farm
Touring Don Elias’ organic coffee farm.
Don Elias coffee farm Salento Colombia
Scott and I enjoying some freshly ground coffee on Don Elias’ farm.

In addition to capturing this beautiful experience, I also wanted to challenge myself with this piece. I’ve never painted a portrait before and I wanted to give it a whirl. This painting ended up being a really wonderful learning experience for me- it was challenging at times but I worked through it.

Coffee Art Project entry
The progression of painting Don Elias.
Coffee Art Project entry
The final product: ParaÍso en El Valley de Cocora (Paradise in the Cocora Valley); Acrylic paint on 12×24 inch canvas
Details of Don Elias.


This painting will be on exhibit and will be auctioned off at the New York Coffee Festival from September 25-27th, 2015. I’ll also be in NYC this weekend to see the painting and partake in the festivities, so if you’re in the NYC area and want to stop by, please let me know! What do you think of the painting? Questions? Comments? Leave me a message below or send me an email. 🙂




2 thoughts on “Entry into the NYC Coffee Festival”

  1. Hello i’m Alejandro., the tourist guide at Don Elias Coffee Tour. Since I’m running the social media for him, I’m trying to get some amazing photos and experiences that people have lived in the farm and I’d like to add yours on Instagram and and on Facebook as well. If want to share this, just let me know. Thank you very much.

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