Happy Birthday Mr. Thiebaud on your 90th birthday! You have influenced my work since I dunked my first paintbrush into a glob of oil paint. Seeing the beauty in everyday things drives me to paint and your work was the catalyst for me to begin to paint common objects. Thank you for sharing your incredible sense of color and painterly texture with the world.

We share the same sense of painting with an art director’s eye. NYT – Mr. Thiebaud’s original aim was to be a commercial artist, a field he deeply respects. (“I still paint as if an art director is looking over my shoulder,” he said.) Over the years, he has worked a sign painter, a theatrical production designer, an art director, a poster designer, a fashion typographer and illustrator (his subjects included lipstick and shoes), a comic strip artist and a cartoonist for the Rexall Drug Company in Los Angeles.

Thank you for setting the example that an artist can work productively in both commercial art and fine art. My work as a creative director informs my work as a fine artist and of course the other way around. Above, Wayne Thiebaud-‘Big Suckers’, 1971. Below, me-‘Bocce Balls’, 2006. My work pales in comparison to his, but I include it here as a sign of respect.

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