Food Imitating Art. ♡ Wayne Thiebaud

This is for everyone has ever looked at Wayne Thiebaud's paintings of cakes, mouth watering, longing for the paint to be icing, and for the icing to be eaten...
(and really how could you not?)

We made some of the cakes, from one of his paintings, out of, well... cake! and icing! (And then, we ate it too.)

(above) the baked Cakes, photographed by Gail Albert Halaban.
Eggs & flour & sugar & butter & chocolate on boards.

(above) The Painting: Cake Window (Seven Cakes) 1970-76
Oil on Canvas. 48 X 59 3/8. Signed and dated bottom canter: ❤ Thiebaud '70-'76
Private collection, New York
(You 'gotta love a man who signs a painting with a heart.)

Its funny. Everyone seemed to want a piece of the cake they could see the inside of all night long. Even though it wasn't the only chocolate cake on the display, and even though I tried to explain it might not taste as fresh because it had been cut open for hours.

When it came to painting the wooden board that the cake stands would be attached to, I started painting on the blue "shadows" with food color, because that's what I always paint with. My friend Erin thought that was hysterical, it hadn't even occurred to me to use actual paint. Its a little difficult and expensive to paint on wood with food color... and in the end the acrylic paint did prove to be a much better way to go.

My friend, Gail Albert Halaban (above, getting ready to photograph cakes), is an amazing photographer. Gail has been exploring the world of kids and food through photography for years. She's also a very enthusiastic ally, and her encouragement and willingness to photograph the cakes is a key reason they were made.

Wayne Thiebaud's (pronounced Tee-bow) work is a natural to introduce kids to art.
I love these children's books: “Delicious: The Life and Art of Wayne Thiebaud,” and Counting with Wayne Thiebaud text by author Susan Goldman Rubin

The National Gallery of Art even uses Thiebaud's work to help teach kids math: Counting on Art, Frosted Fractions


  1. Love this! question though - how did those little rods hold up the cakes? I imagine they were quite heavy by the time they were filled and frosted


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