Wayne Thiebaud at the John Berggruen Gallery

There should be a reality show called Vendors Behaving Badly. It couldn’t be any worse than the reality TV shows on channels today. When copious amounts of caffeine and chocolate didn’t work, I took myself off to the John Berggruen Gallery to look at the Wayne Thiebaud exhibit they have on display.

I love Wayne Thiebaud’s work.

I love the way his brushstrokes look. I love the way he paints regular things. The cakes and pies and other desserts are kind of special, but they are also normal. I strive to be a bit influenced by his work in my own drawings for the Creative Prompt Project.

Letter Tray
Letter Tray

One of the things I like about his painting of the out tray or letter tray (don’t know the real title) is the writing. The way he painted the writing really makes it look real, if a bit blurred. I am interested in his technique, because of my recent attempts at including writing in my Creative Prompt Responses, e.g. #141.

I tried to notice things about his work and not do just a “drive by” viewing. This was an interesting selection of his works. I had seen similar paintings, but I am not sure if I have seen these exacts images.

I prefer his cakes and desserts to his landscapes, so I made myself really look at the landscapes this time. I think of Mr. Thiebaud as using very thick paint. I didn’t see that as much in this exhibit in general, but also didn’t see it in the landscapes. I wonder if he uses a flatter painting technique with his landscapes? I was able to still see the brush strokes when I looked at the paintings at an angle. I couldn’t see 3 dimensionality, however, looking at the painting straight on. The strokes on the backgrounds were very vertical, which I think added to the sense of extreme hills.

The landscapes were almost a caricature of the City. He used subtle colors and different colors that one would expect for a landscape – blues in the trees, turquoise and yellow. The colors add interest and are effective.

There were a few paintings from the 1960s and some from 2004, 2007, etc. It was very interesting to see the evolution in his work, not only in technique, but also in the changes to his series.

Hats and Shoes
Hats and Shoes

One thing I noticed in the Hats and Shoes painting was the pink ceiling was a slightly lighter pink than the wall. Very effective.

I am pleased that I went. I would love to have the space as a studio!

26 Projects – June Update

This list is really funny. I want to scratch items off of it, but I don’t want to rush through them either. I find that, now, I pick up a project and intensely work on it until it is finished. Any projects on this list are projects I have decided I want to work on. At least I want to work on them at the moment. If I decide I don’t want to work on them anymore, I will abandon them.

Here is the list, again, still in no particular order, except that I have put some of the “mostly finished” projects at the end. This time, like last, I have moved the finished pieces off. Still 23 WIPs left, because I added the Wonky 9 patch. Darn you inspiration!

  1. Original Bullseye: needs border, backing, quilting and binding, which are all hard to do if you can’t find the project. It is lost. I know it is in there somewhere. As I mentioned, I did a test and found that my original idea didn’t work. I think a plain border will set off the blocks fine IF I ever find the top. Bleah!
  2. Corner Store:  All blocks are made (an additional 11 were made on 6/17). I have now sewn all the blocks together in groups of 4. On 6/17, I also started sewing the groups of 4 to each other.
  3. Spin Wheel: really not started, but supplies gathered. Cutting fabrics as I go
  4. Infinity blocks: Am starting to think this would make a good nephew quilt.
  5. A-B-C (A-Z) BAMQG Challenge – I am actually not sure if this should be considered a WIP (Please say no!), because I just barely have enough blocks with which to make something. I am making good progress. I have S and T blocks on my mind. I am really thinking about just making all the blocks, putting sashing around them and then trimming the sashing a bit so the blocks are all a uniform size. They are not wildly off, but they are a bit off… I could bring them to BAMQG as the blocks are due. We’ll see.
  6. Aqua-Red Sampler – steady progress has stopped and the class more than the quilt is really weighing on my mind. As far as I know Frances has finished her Dresden Plate, so perhaps we will start up again soon. The next class was going to be fusible machine applique’, but I haven’t gotten past cutting out the templates. Perhaps I should skip to machine piecing curves?
  7. The Tarts Come to Tea: I haven’t quilted on this since April 2011. I need to work on the quilting. I was making good progress and then got sidetracked. I have been quilting another quilt and that is getting me back in the swing of quilting. Now that my machine is happier, perhaps it is a good time to take this piece out again? I would like to finish it.
  8. Garden: I started this piece in a class with Pamela Allen in 2006. As mentioned, I used this piece for my beading demo for the 2012 EBHQ Voices in Cloth show (March 17), which means that I added some beads. I started on the machine quilting late in April and am almost finished with the background. I was kind of stuck on the flower petals, but may FMQ them now that my machine is feeling better.
  9. Flower Garden: I still find the ‘flowers’ too spiky. I think I need to soften them up a bit.
  10. Moon and Stars: need to finish hand quilting. This quilt is not interesting. This is month 2 that I have thought this is a candidate for abandonment.
  11. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. Good leaders and enders project. I wonder if I cut the squares accurately?
  12. See: needs satin stitching.
  13. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. I like the piece, but don’t know where to go from where I am. Mouth? Hair?
  14. Spiderweb: need to make sure that I have the right number of blocks for the size quilt I want to make. Need to make sure I have the border pattern and start sewing border blocks.
  15. Under the Sea: class project; like the design, but not the colors much.
  16. Flower Sugar Hexagon: sewed more hexagons together. Sewing Y seams is a bit of a chore, so I get tired of doing it after awhile.
  17. Young Man’s t-shirt quilt: have cut up the t-shirts and am still in the process of applying fusible. He cleaned out his drawers and found some more t-shirts to add to the quilt. Oh Yay! <– just a bit of sarcasm
  18. New: Super Secret Project: top, back and binding made. Ready to go to the quilter. Stayed tuned. ;-)
  19. FOTY 2011: at the quilter, needs binding.
  20. Flowering Snowball: Top and back finished 5/13/2012; ready to go to the quilter
  21. Stepping Stones: at the quilter, made binding, which she will sew on for me and then I need to hand sew.
  22. Jelly Roll Race: at the quilter. Needs binding, quilting, sleeve.
  23. Wonky 9 Patch: needs quilting and binding.

Finished or Abandoned projects that were on the list:

  1. Stars for San Bruno #2: Finished! YAY!
  2. Pavers. Finished! YAY!
  3. Kissy Fish: Finished! Yay!
  4. Pineapple: Abandoned; will remake blocks at a later time with more care.
  5.  Stars for San Bruno #3: Finished! YAY!
  6. Food Quilt: Finished 5/24/2012. YAY!!!!