"The Tea Cup Collection" emphasises the importance of drinking tea in company. Yet, the artist has ascribed individual identities to each participant in the scene. This is one of the Action Painter's more colourful pieces and the use of varying shades helps to add depth to the entire scene.
While Pollock is known as the originator of Action Painting, this piece actually shows more of his Cubist roots. Most of the figures are created with the use of a brush and there is evidence of different strokes all across the composition.
Unlike later works which relied heavily on the artist dripping paint onto the canvas, this shows more angular lines and less curves.
Pollock pays less attention to creating rhythm by building up layers of paint. His preference for bright colours is evident and will help to make this piece recognisable to those who are familiar with his work.
This painting was completed in 1946. Pollock had married shortly before in 1945 and his marriage and personal life influenced the work he put out after. This may have inspired introspection, a desire to look more closely at human relationships.
The social activity in this theme contrasts sharply with the greater focus he places on nature in paintings like "Croaking Movement".
His wife, the artist Lee Krasner, played an influential role in his work. She developed the technique known as "All-Over".
This is turn led to the development of Pollock's Drip Painting method. "The Tea Cup Collection" marks a pivotal time in his career, as it is one of the last pieces he did before moving fully into drip painting, with the encouragement of his wife.