Although known mostly for his sumptuous cakes and desserts (of which I’ve certainly admired), American artist Wayne Thiebaud also made a variety of simple, quiet images of everyday objects. These works in particular are interesting me at the moment.
Wayne Thiebaud- Bow Ties 1990
Wayne Thiebaud, Lipsticks 1964
Wayne Thiebaud- Yellow Dress 1974
I like these simple still lives that depict classically feminine, everyday items. The bow, lipstick, and dress are such blatant signals of gendered femininity- but Thiebaud’s works remind me that they’re just simple, everyday consumer items. I love Thiebaud’s ability to find great beauty in the everyday object, in the homogeneity of mass produced items. He handles them similarly to the way he handles his cakes and desserts. Usually displayed in orderly rows in such a way as to be very deliberately presented to the viewer, these still lives remind us of their existence as mass produced, consumer items. Regardless, Thiebaud’s use of bold brushstrokes, delicious color and eye for design make the resulting images more that the sum of their parts.
Thiebaud’s work, much like his cakes, are endlessly rich with inspiration for me.
Being a college student often means having a tight wallet. For me, this means that I do a lot of window shopping and daydreaming if I’m out and about. Partly because I want to gather ideas on things I can make myself (although, I have to admit, I rarely ever actually do.) However! Recently I did craft a little something. Well, rather made a “modification.” I was browsing anthropologie, and came across these bags (ipad cases? Envelope clutches?):
Being resourceful, and self aware enough to realize “hey! I can paint things too!” I thought “I ain’t buying no damn $300 bag! I’ll make one myself!” Unfortunately, I didn’t have any thick canvas/muslin of my own to make the envelope clutch-base to paint on. And so the project went unfulfilled, but stewed in my mind for a few weeks. Then, as I was looking through my closet for things to purge, I found an old Liz Claiborne bag that I’d never used and likely got for $5.00 at Marshalls. It was then that I realized “woah! I could, like, paint on this!” It’s a cheap purse so it’s made out of plastic anyway (perfect for acrylic.) Here is the fruit of my labor:
I’m pretty proud of it. What’s also great is that whenever I get sick of this image, I can always paint another scene over it. All I used were the acrylic paints that I use for my artwork. I also put a thin layer of soft gel gloss over the top to protect it a bit. That’s it! No sewing, measuring, or (for me) buying any new supplies. Just go out to Goodwill, find a cheap bag (shouldn’t be hard), preferably made out of vinyl or some kind of plastic-like material (I wouldn’t use leather), and channel your inner art-eest!