A Fat Tuesday Treat from Wayne Thiebaud

Happy Mardis Gras, all! Today is a special day in the Christian faith, referring to the practice of eating many many tasty, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season (which begins tomorrow).

In honor of this delightful day of feasting, I have rustled up some delicious food paintings by Wayne Thiebaud. And I peppered in a few of his wise words to satiate your intellectual appetites. Enjoy!

"Cakes" (1963), Wayne Thiebaud

“Cakes” (1963), Wayne Thiebaud

A conscious decision to eliminate certain details and include selective bits of personal experiences or perceptual nuances, gives the painting more of a multi-dimension than when it is done directly as a visual recording. This results in a kind of abstraction… and thus avoids the pitfalls of mere decoration. -Wayne Thiebaud

"Cut Cakes" (1961), Wayne Thiebaud

“Cut Cakes” (1961), Wayne Thiebaud

Art means something very rare, an extraordinary achievement. -Wayne Thiebaud

Commonplace objects are constantly changing… The pies, for example, we now see, are not going to be around forever. We are merely used to the idea that things do not change. -Wayne Thiebaud

"Confections" (1962), Wayne Thiebaud

“Confections” (1962), Wayne Thiebaud

An artist has to train his responses more than other people do. He has to be as disciplined as a mathematician. Discipline is not a restriction but an aid to freedom. It prepares an artist to choose his own limitations… -Wayne Thiebaud

"Around the Cake" (1962), Wayne Thiebaud

“Around the Cake” (1962), Wayne Thiebaud

As far as I’m concerned, there is only one study and that is the way in which things relate to one another. -Wayne Thiebaud

The figures… are not supposed to reveal anything… It’s like seeing a stranger in some place like an air terminal for the first time. You look at him, you notice his shoes, his suit, the pin in his lapel, but you don’t have any particular feeling about him. -Wayne Thiebaud

"Five Hot Dogs" (1961), Wayne Thiebaud

“Five Hot Dogs” (1961), Wayne Thiebaud

If you stare at an object, as you do when you paint, there is no point at which you stop learning things from it. -Wayne Thiebaud

I don’t make a lot of distinctions between things like landscape or figure painting, because to me the problems are inherently the same – lighting, color, structure, and so on – certainly traditional and ordinary problems. -Wayne Thiebaud


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