25 April 2021

Snoopy Sees The Earth From Sunrise To Sunset


In Snoopy Sees The World Wrapped In Sunset  the world, in the shape and color of the sun, is surrounded by its own color.  The yellow stripes represent the color that we associate with the sun while the reds and oranges represent the heat that emanates from it. Like several other paintings from this time, Snoopy Sees The World Wrapped In Sunset shares some visual similarities with pointillism but not its enervated reliance on a color formula that 19th century European artists mistook for science.

Awed by the Apollo landing on the moon in 1969, Thomas conceived a series of "Space' paintings.  Her take on space also had a light-hearted side. "When Apollo was put into orbit, Peanuts' Charlie Brown left Snoopy spinning around to enjoy the unbelievable," she said in 1972. Snoopy got his own series of seven pictures.   

Then, in Snoopy Sees A Sunrise, the sun is shown in the cool colors -  blue, purple, and mauve,  - that characterize the Earth Shadow that appears above the pink anti-twilight, visible in the eastern sky at sunset. Stretching for nearly 180 degrees it curves, showing us the shadow we cannot see, an astronomical iteration of the parable of Plato's cave. 

Alma Thomas (1891-1978) was African-American artist who began painting in a representational style but, under the influence of Lois Maillou Jones, her style became more abstract. Although she painted throughout her life, Thomas did n ot become a full-time artist until she was sixty-nine. At the age of eighty in 1972 Thomas became the first female African-American artist to receive a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum. "Who would ever have dreamed that somebody like me would make it to the Whitney in New York?" Thomas said at the time.  But some activist groups accused the museum of tkenism, of using a few token black artists to camouflage a general lack of progress. Although she taught junior high school art for thirty-five years, Thomas was active in the local art scene and pushed back against discrimination wherever she encumbered it. 

Something else to know about Thomas is that she liked to give fanciful and suggestive titles to her abstraction such as Winds Dancing With Spring Flowers and Breeze Rustling Through Fall Flowers.

For more about Alma Thomas go here.


1. Alma Thomas - Snoopy Sees The Earth Wrapped In Sunset, 1970,  acrylic on canvas, Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC.

2, Alma Thomas - Snoopy Sees A Sunrise, 1970, acrylic on canvas, Smithsinian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC.


Tania said...

I love these color games! It changes us from the blue planet and brings us closer to Mars ;-).

Jane said...

Tania, speaking of planets. As astronomers built more powerful telescopes and discovered other planets, they named them after Roman gods - but not Earth. They thought that we were something different and named Earth for the dirt under our feet. They also believed that the other planets orbited the Earth.

Tania said...

Ha ha, well observed !