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If you”ve ever spilled anything before, you probably reacted like most of us: you groan, roll your eyes, and reach for the mop. If you”re unlucky, you might have to break out the stain removal supplies, too. Yet for artist Giulia Bernardelli, a spill is a perfect opportunity to create something unexpected.

The Mantua, Italy-based artist uses everyday food items like coffee, tea, wine, and fruit to create her paintings.

The Mantua, Italy-based artist uses everyday food items like coffee, tea, wine, and fruit to create her paintings.

Instead of using traditional paints, Bernardelli decided to focus on more accessible materials for her art. “Everything that I needed was around me, if I looked carefully,” she says. “I decided to replace the paint brush with what nature offered, such as leaves, fruit skins, [and] food. All these elements feature different colors and textures.”

Bernardelli began painting with coffee by chance almost a year ago. It started with an accident — she knocked over a cup of coffee, but instead of seeing the mess, she saw the many rich shades of brown and the possibility to use them to create something new. Even now that she”s developed a system to create these paintings, she still loves the spontaneity of the spill. “In my photos, I try to catch the magic of a moment, as if the coffee created a story by toppling,” she explains.

Today, Bernardelli uses many ingredients in her art.

Today, Bernardelli uses many ingredients in her art.

Bernardelli says that the secret to her art is imagining the potential of the materials. Things like coffee, jam, wine, or Nutella can become artists” media if imagined outside of their everyday roles as food and drink. She also never plans out her work, letting the inspiration come to her, trusting her instincts to tell her when a smear of honey or a spilled drop of liqueur will make a good composition. “When I drink coffee, I reflect on the nuances that I could create if I flipped it on the table,” Bernardelli explains. “At breakfast, I can imagine the footprints left by a cat who walked into the jam.”

She”s also branched out from just using spills as her starting point.

She

And if she has any advice for aspiring artists, it would be this:

And if she has any advice for aspiring artists, it would be this:

You can see much more of Bernardelli”s work, including traditional drawings, photos, and lots of mouthwatering food, on her Instagram.

Plenty of artists use food to create amazing pieces. Check out some fellow coffee painters and precise sculptors below:

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