Wayne Thiebaud’s Coloma Ridge is a landscape painting that was created in 1967-68, depicting the mountains near Sacramento. Although Thiebaud is mainly associated with the Pop Art movement because of his works featuring objects from mass culture such as food and cosmetics, this painting stands apart. Coloma Ridge is part of a series of views of these same mountains painted by Thiebaud during this period.
The painting portrays the mountains in bright, vibrant colors and thick textures while playing with their massive scale. Thick impasto adds depth to the peaks and shadowy valleys. The result creates an almost tangible tactile experience where the viewer can feel how the paint has been applied to give shape to each element on the canvas. It’s fascinating how he uses color to create contrast; yellows, greens, blues and oranges are found throughout this artwork and they work together in a harmonious way despite being so different.
Wayne Thiebaud’s body of work includes depictions of everyday consumer goods but his oeuvre expands beyond just those subjects; In Coloma Ridge we see beautiful nature depicted through his signature style – somewhat unusual for him. The power behind this piece lies in its ability to transport us into nature’s breathtaking beauty through texture and color; it achieves exactly what art should aim: enriching our emotional lives through visual stimulation.