If we don't have a sense of humor, we lack a sense of perspective

— Wayne Thiebaud

The most impressive Wayne Thiebaud quotes to get the best of your day

Common objects become strangely uncommon when removed from their context and ordinary ways of being seen.


If you stare at an object, as you do when you paint, there is no point at which you stop learning things from it.


I think of myself as a beginner. Sometimes that's the whole joy. If you could just do it, there'd be no point in doing it.


I'm not just interested in the pictorial aspects of the landscape - see a pretty place and try to paint it - but in some way to manage it, manipulate it, or see what I can turn it into.


Art is not delivered like the morning paper; it has to be stolen from Mount Olympus.


Commonplace objects are constantly changing… The pies, for example, we now see, are not going to be around forever. We are merely used to the idea that things do not change.


Art means something very rare, an extraordinary achievement.


A conscious decision to eliminate certain details and include selective bits of personal experiences or perceptual nuances, gives the painting more of a multi-dimension than when it is done directly as a visual recording. This results in a kind of abstraction... and thus avoids the pitfalls of mere decoration.


We all need critical confrontation of the fullest and most extreme kind that we can get. You can unnecessarily limit yourself by choosing your criticism.


When you think of painting as painting it is rather absurd.

The real world is before us - glorious sunlight and activity and fresh air, and high speed motor cars and television, all the animation - a world apart from a little square of canvas that you smear paint on.


The Gold Rush and the Pony Express made Sacramento a substantial place in terms of enterprise.


Morandi suggests we are all single in this world, hoping for independent repose.

But our best opportunity for a community of excellence depends upon a collection of enlightened individuals.


About Wayne Thiebaud

Quotes 31 sayings
Profession Painter
Birthday November 15, 1920

A painter is always overjoyed when anybody pays any attention to him at all, puts him in any category, calls him anything - as long as they call him something.


Morandi gave an intimate view of his deepest thoughts.

We watched him inquiring after the devilish questions of essences and substances.


An artist needs the best studio instruction, the most rigorous demands, and the toughest criticism in order to tune up his sensibilities.


The figures... are not supposed to reveal anything... It's like seeing a stranger in some place like an air terminal for the first time. You look at him, you notice his shoes, his suit, the pin in his lapel, but you don't have any particular feeling about him.


Diebenkorn was a very good critic, a very tough critic, tough on himself, tough on others. He expected the finest.


Art is one of the dirtiest words in our language;

it's mucked up with all kinds of meanings. There's the art of plumbing; there's the art of almost anything that you can say.


I don't make a lot of distinctions between things like landscape or figure painting, because to me the problems are inherently the same - lighting, color, structure, and so on - certainly traditional and ordinary problems.


An artist has to train his responses more than other people do.

He has to be as disciplined as a mathematician. Discipline is not a restriction but an aid to freedom. It prepares an artist to choose his own limitations.


Discipline is not a restriction but an aid to freedom.


As far as I'm concerned, there is only one study and that is the way in which things relate to one another.


Painting is more important than art.


My sin as a painter is that I just want to paint anything I want to paint - and repaint.


I haven't the slightest idea what art is, but to be a painter is something of which you have to prove.


My subject matter was a genuine sort of experience that came out of my life, particularly the American world in which I was privileged to be . . . . I would really think of the bakery counters, of the way the counter was lit, where the pies were placed, but I wanted just a piece of the experience. From when I worked in restaurants . . . [it was] always poetic to me.


Every paint-stroke takes you farther and farther away from your initial concept.

And you have to be thankful for that.


If I don't have anything better to do that day, I'll copy paintings, generally by people who have some relationship to the work of the moment.


I'm a believer in the notion that artists who do good work believe in the ideas of extremes.


The most important thing is that the work has to be solid [in terms of its formal structure] and that the work accomplishes what it strives to achieve. It has to be genuine - not mannered or stylistically driven.