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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Painting in Progress Times Two



I didn't get to paint much last week, but when I did, the sessions were fruitful.

The photograph of Sweet Choices is accurate, but the photograph of Fall is not. The darks played up blue when they are actually violet. The ground is actually a pale pink. And there's quite a bit of pale yellow going on. It was a good start though for a painting I was avoiding and that has to be more intense, more detailed, to hold it's own with its sister paintings. Right now, it looks like something you'd see hanging slightly crooked in an inexpensive motel room.

My pastries don't come close to Wayne Thiebaud's, but my philosophy does: I like art that makes people smile--that has a sense of humor--and above all: looks like and was fun to paint.

Take a look at the maestro's work. The simplicity of his abstract compositions-- the lushness of cakes and pies played against a flat, plain ground surrounded with plenty of "air," albeit negative space, to allow the subjects to breathe--is what attracted me to his work and moved me to experiment with this subject. Sweet Choices #1 and #2 are fun sketches, me familiarizing myself with the subject. This man's work are serious masterpieces--selling for serious amounts that are far from humorous much to the amazement of the modest artist with a twinkle in his eye.


  1. Your cakes looks really's just as well I'm on a diet! Thank you for posting a video of Wayne Thiebaud, well worth watching and what a nice guy.

  2. Your cakes are still delicious. I hadn't thought of the comparison in subject matter to Thiebaud. But it is still unique enough a subject that there is room for you to make your mark. I have seen some paintings by Thiebaud in person & they have blown me away.

  3. Linda
    I love your piece - it's looking really delicious. And I love the video - what a humble man.


  4. I'm putting on weight looking at these desserts! Nicely done...the reds are especially unexpected and welcome! I'm a big Thiebaud fan

  5. As fun to paint as they are Ann,the paintings aren't about luscious pastries, (although pastries are luscious so they tell me. I am on a lifetime diet). They are about the many beautiful choices we have to choose from at the market where our display cases are crammed full of enticing goodies.

  6. Dan, I didn't recall Thiebaud's cakes till this segment was on CBS Sunday morning a few months after I had started painting pastries. When I watched this segment is when I ordered a retrospective of his work where his unique landscapes blew me away. I too had seen his cakes in person at the museum; the landscapes I had never seen, but fell in love since they speak my language of bird's eye view.

    As for my choice to paint pastries, that came about when I ran into them in a case at a Greek bakery and photographed them and again at an ice cream store and photographed them. I had just finished painting "Out of The Closet" a painting comprised of six separate panels spaced three inches apart on the wall stacked floor to ceiling. The effect was exciting. It was architectural. I was looking for other subjects that could be handled the same way. Pastries was it. Next is liquor bottles. --Notice my choices; clothes, sweets and alcohol, all items people like to overindulges themselves with. Hmmm?

  7. Thanks Evelyn. I only hope when I actually get down to painting panels two and three of the Chocolate Mice triptych, I will have learned something from these sketches to make painting the panels easier.

  8. I became a bigger fan of Thiebaud after I saw this segment on Sunday Morning and ordered his book. I had seen his cake paintings; I had never seen his landscapes which spoke directly to me, as a professional architectural space planner. My pastries and Thiebaud's are coincidental. Pastries lined up in display cases fit in with my multiple panel, stacked painting idea that sprang from my "Out of The Closet" painting. Red is the connective in these sketches and probably will be in the finished panels pastry panels, although yellow plays a strong part. Blue and black was the connective in "Closet." --But I do love red. My front foyer is painted a lovely, warm Chinese Red to match the fringed Pakistani area carpet. The color warms hearts on cold winter days.

  9. He is so passionate! What a nice person!

  10. Thiebaud, the man, didn't strike me as particularly passionate,Agnes. He struck me as matter-of-fact in his belief that art should make people smile. The size of his work reveals the passion behind his belief. His cake and pie paintings are not cute paintings for the kitchen. They belong in the great room with their great message.

  11. Hi Linda.
    Beautiful colours again, and they look Perfect to me, so please don`t do anymore to the painting. Regarding Mr Thiebaud, He seems a very nice person, but I believe your cake paintings leaves his standing. he is a marvellous Artist though and I love his Portraits. All the best Linda.
    P.S. Looking forward to your Landscape.

  12. Thiebaud's portraits are knockout aren't they Vic. What's consistant in his cakes and pie paintings and his portraits is his use of space. In his portraits, you can't miss his focal point; his backgrounds are devoid of detail. I like his use of painted fields in his pies and cakes paintings too. That's what give them abstract and contemporary. Please note, I am not following in the footsteps of Thiebaud. I'm just exploring a subject matter he happens to be associated with. My next post will illustrate where I'm going with the pastries.