Written by Michael Ashman
Tea parties have definitely had their share of fantastical stories. The Mad Hatter and his crazy tea party in “Alice in Wonderland” and Mary Poppins’ implausible tea party on the ceiling are two examples of whimsical parties that could never happen in real life. Adding to fantastical nature of tea parties, “Tea for Two” by Pamela Jaeger, a collaboration with Celene Petrulak, is about two wildly-stylish ladies enjoying tea with their cats in an odd and dreamy setting. Perhaps it is a dream, as peculiar elements in this artwork add to its wondrous nature.
“Tea for Two” looks like a normal tea party, but where exactly is it? The night adds mystery to the location of the two ladies seated with their cute cats. The dark sky comes forth with wavy borders around a pitch black background. All we can see is their immediate surroundings with pink, fuzzy bushes in the background. Those bushes are nothing like anything found in the real world, except for maybe ones found in the world of Dr. Seuss. The strange outdoor setting with nothing but the moon and the stars feels like an eerie place for a tea party, but the ladies look to be good friends and enjoy their tea as if it were any other night.
The ladies themselves have odd, stylish characteristics about them. The lady on the left in purple has wild hair and so does the lady on the right. Their hair unnaturally floats up and intertwines together as it wisps up and away. Nothing is odd about their fashionable clothing style, but the interesting choice to wear the cats around their necks adds a bit of humor and weirdness to the art piece. They also go along with their owners’ style. The grey cat, around the lady on the left, shares similar flowing lines of fur with that of the ladies flowing pink hair. Similarly with the black cat around the lady on the right, its color matches the lady’s black-striped dress. The cats do not seem to mind that they are a part of the ladies’ fashion—the sleepy look on the grey cat says it all.
Pamela and Celene both painted a part of this artwork. The table is divided by each artist, Pamela painted the lady and cat on the left side, while Celene painted the lady and cats on the right side. Looking closely at the yellow trim on the table, one can find the names of each artist on their respected side. The background is composed of a starry night by Celene and pink bushes by Pamela. There is definitely a harmonic intertwining of the two sides where their hair meets in the middle—just above the centrally placed moon. The cats and their owners also represent another harmony between humans and nature. The perfect balance between these two artists speaks true of the title of the painting.
“Tea for Two” by Pamela Jaeger, with Celene Petrulak, is a tea party for dreamers. Its surreal setting and relaxing atmosphere would be great for a dream shared by two friends. It is on view at Thumbprint Gallery as a part of the “Solus Voices” group art show along with other artworks by Brian Dombrowsky and Paul Brogden. Thumbprint Gallery is open to the public Wednesdays and Thursdays, and Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 4pm, and the show runs until March 3.