Monday, July 19, 2010

After Wayne Theibaud

Dreaming of Pie, 11"x14", acrylic, $400, © B. Sistak Baur
It may not surprise you to learn that when people see my art, they often compare it to the work of Wayne Thiebaud (pronounced "tee-bo").  He begain his career in the art world in the 1950's with paintings of … cakes!  And pies and delicatessens and ice cream and gumball machines, etc. Sound familiar? No, I didn't see his work and decide to try it for myself. It was after I started my own pastry series that I thought I should take a closer look at Thiebaud.  Here is what I found: strong, cool shadows; repetition of strong shapes; thick paint; receding images; simple backgrounds. So I thought I might inject a little bit more of "Thiebaud-ism" into a piece of work and see what happens. The result is "Deaming of Pie." Of course, there are  obvious differences: mine is more abstract, the background is undulating and the pies seem to be the floating. The similarities include the repeated items, the strong texture, shadows and the perspective gained by diminishing size. Okay, so what do you think? Does it remind you more of Thiebaud?  By the way, Wayne Thiebaud continues to work in San Fransciso today. Here is a recent video from YouTube.

Geneva (IL) Arts Fair July 24, 25

Geneva, IL, is one of those towns when I say, "I have to come back here and really explore."  It is a beautiful little town on the Fox River, far west of Chicago. The older streets are lined with lovely little shops converted from Victorian homes that you just can't resist entering and discovering.  This is the setting for this weekend's Chicago area art fair.  It is located on S. Third Street and runs from 10 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday.  Here's an article about its in the local paper.


Monday, July 5, 2010

3 Little Cakes Explore New Combinations

Painters have favorite subjects that they return to time and time again. Georgia O'Keefe painted a mountain in New Mexico dozens of times. Wayne Thiebaud painted delicatessens over and over. For me, it has been these three cakes. I have executed paintings of these cakes on several occasions. These are among the smallest, just 8"x7" each (the frames add a couple of inches on each side). Does that mean they are copies of previous paintings? Absolutely not. Each is it own original with its specific aspects. These cakes may look chocolaty-brown, but they come from a red base. The background is high contrast with much white. The suggestion of a rack is impasto (very thick paint) like the cakes. Their size, diminutive. This combination of traits is unique to this group.

Why are painters drawn to subjects over and over? I think it is because they sense the depth of possibilities and are not finished exploring them. Is there another new color combination to try? Is the light different this time? How far can the lights and darks be pushed? Eventually, I will be done. I think I might be now.  --Barb
From top, 
Small Swirl Cake,
Small White Cake,
Small Chocolate Cake,
7"x8" each,
plus frames,
$169 each,
©2010 Barbara Sistak Baur,
All rights reserved.

The Sketchbook Project at Brooklyn Art Library (Video)

Update:  I just discovered that there was fire involving the sketchbooks in the Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook Project in February, 2022 --...