Food as a Muse, Wayne Thiebaud turns 100 years old

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This month, on November 15, artist Wayne Thiebaud turns 100 years old. So, this month I have some related content if you should you opt to do a Wayne Thiebaud style project. Preparing the content made me reflect how, in my house, November is all about food. First, we enter November on Halloween’s heals, candy wrappers from candy being eaten on the sly littering our classrooms. Election night? Let’s have ice cream. I mean, whether you are celebrating a win or commiserating over a loss, ice cream is a pretty good food to do it with. So, Wednesday night in my house we watched our election results while eating bowls of ice cream. And Wednesday night, repeat. We still don’t know who the winner is as I write this but those pints are GONE. And then there is Thanksgiving. Thanks to my foodie family, the Thanksgiving issue of Bon Appétit magazine is here and being devoured, metaphorically and the menu is being planned.

We need to consider that our students, who have different cultures and social economic situations, may also have different experiences with food. Yet, I think I can broadly say working on the subject of food is generally fun and motivating for teens and tweens. Artists like Wayne Thieubaud have found food to be an excellent muse. Who else? Tom Wesselmann, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Robin AntarBeth Galton,  and Alison Anselot to name a few. Certainly, there are more.

Inspiration from food in the classroom is plentiful. I have seen a popular Teacher Pay Teachers lesson showing lush ice cream drawings with white pencil on black paper. I taught this pop art food sculpture lesson every year, adopted from a mentor teacher’s curriculum. I had a colleague who had her Advanced Placement students drawing drawing trash cans one year. Also adopted from a mentor teacher was this lesson involving drawing fruit I taught. The inspiration from food for lessons is abundant.

Check out these lessons:

Pop Art Food Scupture, here at My Art Lesson
Color Theory with Fruit, here at My Art Lesson
Wayne Thiebaud: Cakes! from the Institute for Arts Integration & STEAM
Why Donut Art? at Blog Fine Lines
Cakes inspired by Wayne Thiebaud at Arteascuola
How to Paint Photorealism at Art is Fun! 
Pop Art! Candy Paintings at Art at Becker Middle School
Time to make the donuts… at I just heart art
Candy Paintings at Art Rocks (As an art educator and a graphic designer I have to compliment this teacher on a fun lesson that also sneaks in font awareness. You are never too young for some letter form understanding and appreciation!).
Cake In the Style of Wayne Thiebaud and Claycrete at Art Room Blog (and while you are at it, we have a template you can use here at My Art Lesson)
Art Lesson Plan: Corobuff Cake Sculpture at School Specialty

Whatever you teach this November, I hope it is fulfilling (pun included).