Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting the Paul Thiebaud Gallery (http://www.paulthiebaudgallery.com/) and seeing an exhibit of Wayne Thiebaud's paintings called "Memory Mountains." It was the last day of this wonderful show. There were over 40 images spanning fifty years of his career, all thematically connected by his interest in mountain landscapes. The painting pictured here, "Cloud Ridge", is an oil on canvas painted in 1967, and was on loan from a private collection. It is representative of this body of work in several ways: Thiebaud's engagement with the tactility of oil paint, his very personal palette of fluorescent-tinged color, and his strong sense of whimsy. In this painting, the trees and structures threaten to slide off of the vertiginous mountaintop. They are halted only by a large cloud, hovering like a comic exclamation point in the sky, commanding them to stop. The sun shines from the left, out of the picture plane, and highlights the edges of everything, casting three dark shadows on the side of the mountain.This is a picture that shows Thiebaud at the beginning of this series, and he stays strong and inventive throughout its long span. Very few painters are still painting when they are 93 years of age, and fewer yet are improving as they go. Thiebaud, in this regard, is like Hokusai (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hokusai), the great Japanese painter and printmaker who described himself as the "old man mad about art". Each were living for a very long time, had a great sense of humor, and were artistic masters completely committed to their craft.
I am a San Francisco artist who enjoys making art and visiting art exhibits.