Wayne Thiebaud’s interest in investigating the properties of each medium lead him to create a series of works of the same subject using different techniques. In the pictured watercolor of Nine Jelly Apples (1964) he used a wide range of pink and purple hues to suggest the luminous surface of the confection. In the black ink version, he relied instead on the vivid dark and light contrast to emphasize shininess. In the pencil version, however, the exacting precision suggests the brittle surface of hardened sugar.
Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920) is an American painter widely known for his colorful works depicting commonplace objects — pies, lipsticks, paint cans, ice cream cones, pastries, and hot dogs — as well as for his landscapes and figure paintings. In his defense of common objects as being suitable for painting, as seen with Candy Ball Machine (1977), Thiebaud often mentions the gumball machine. “A gumball machine can be a kind of icon, with its simple beauty, its colors, its relationship, its magic — we put in a penny and out comes a brightly colored gumball or prize. It is a glorious toy which we adults miss the wonder of.”
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Wayne Thiebaud, Draftsman, Which is on View at The Morgan Library in NYC Through September 23rd, 2018.