When I was in my

When I was in my 20s I temped a lot, and had the good fortune to work in many offices. On the wall of one of those offices was the most amazing print. It was of a landscape painting. It used ice-cream colors and seemed to be tipped on it’s side, giving the impression of an aerial shot–though you could tell it wasn’t quite. I loved the print. I stared at it every chance I got. I even dreamed about it. But I never knew who painted it. Later, going through some of my then-husband’s art magazines, I saw pictures of pastry paintings. Cakes. Texture so rich you could see it even on the printed page. I’m sure I saw the artist’s name, but it didn’t stick with me.

Until now.

I was watching an artist profile on the News Hour and there was my landscape, followed by those edible cake paintings I remembered from the magazine. Both were by the same artist: Wayne Thiebaud. I know I sound like a drama queen, but my breath really did catch when I saw that landscape. Seeing it brought back those years with instant clarity, so deeply had it been ingrained in my subconscious. I think it’s my new mission to find a print of that landscape. I don’t actually have anywhere to hang it, but I’ll figure out something.

You can see 304 of his works at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco site, including many proofs so you can see how he arrived at the finished product. Right now there is a retrospective of his work in SF, and it will travel to about five cities after that–none of which I will be in.

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