I finally made it to visit the new and improved Crocker Art Museum and see the Wayne Thiebaud exhibit just before Thanksgiving.
WOW!!!!!!!!! The museum is fabulous, any city of any size would be proud to have such a marvelous art museum! The café is great too!
I am a fortunate artist in that my favorite artist is not only alive, but I actually got to take a class from him 40 years ago, and have had the opportunity to visit with him recently at Elliott Fouts Gallery.
When I was an art major at Chico State I learned about a trip Wayne and Betty Thiebaud were planning to his opening at the Stone Gallery in New York City. They were making it possible for students to go with them, and spend a week in the city visiting museums and galleries and receiving a unit of credit through Sacramento State. I jumped at the chance, and the trip was memorable.
From shows I have attended in New York and San Francisco, and from reproductions in books and calendars I recognized many of the paintings hanging in the Crocker exhibition. There were some that I had not seen before, like his paintings of the seaside resorts done in 2007. The ice cream sherbet colors, the tall resort hotel on a sandy peninsula, loads of texture absolutely yummy! And the composition, only Wayne would think of that!
Having my share of unfinished paintings sitting around the studio I was heartened to see paintings like “Estate” dated 1969 – 1996! It shows buildings on top of an enormous hill with really rich colors, another one of his brilliant compositions. This too was a painting I had not seen. One of my favorites, also new to me, is dated 2003-2008 and is titled “The Speaker”. Wayne’s humor shines through this painting just like the speaker’s bald head!
Two portraits of Betty Jean hang together, one from 1965 that looks just as I remember her then and one done in 1985. Both are beautiful.
Thank you Wayne for all that you have giving the art world, our community, and all that you have taught your students over the years. Keep on painting!
I do hope everyone reading this can make it to the Crocker even though the Thiebaud show is over, the collection at the Crocker and the museum itself is worth many visits.