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City by the Bay

For me the romance of San Francisco begins at Fisherman’s Wharf. The Golden Gate Bridge stands as a welcoming sentinel, while the sunset bathes the fog shrouded air and glistens on the moist pavement.

Aficionados of San Francisco will note my many romantic touches: replacing the contemporary wharf electric trolleys with the more colorful and nostalgic cable cars, clearing away some of the fisherman’s shacks along Scoma’s Pier to allow a less interrupted view of the famous Golden Gate, dressing the scene with an uninterrupted flow of vintage vehicles. On the top floor of famous Castagnola’s restaurant, I even included a depiction of myself as a little boy looking out in awe at the distant bay as a fog shrouded ship departs for points unknown. Perhaps the romance of the City by the Bay, at least for me, began in childhood with such whimsical daydreams.

  • City by the Bay, Sunset on Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco is the first painting in Thom’s new San Francisco series – City by the Bay – because for Thom, the romance of San Francisco begins at Fisherman’s Wharf.
  • May romantic touches, such as replacing contemporary electric trolleys with nostalgic cable cars, clearing away some of the fisherman’s shacks along Scoma’s Pier to allow a clearer view of the famous Golden Gate Bridge, and dressing the scene with a flow of vintage vehicles makes this view of the wharf a golden childhood memory from Thom’s life.
  • Thom set this painting in the late fifties, perhaps even 1958, the year of Thom’s birth.
  • Landmark restaurants such as Castagnola’s, Tarantino’s, and DiMaggio’s – the latter long since departed from the wharf – make a nostalgic appearance in this idyllic portrayal of City by the Bay circa 1958.
  • There is a special romantic heart to this city. It’s what Tony Bennett sings about in his hit song, and it is also what Thom is trying to capture in his new City by the Bay Collection.
  • Look closely at the top floor of famous Castagnola’s restaurant and you will see a depiction of Thom as a little boy looking out in awe at the distant bay as a fog-shrouded ship departs for points unknown, but also there are the names of all of Thom’s and Nanette’s daughters – Merritt, Chandler, Winsor and Everett – on license plates and other signs in the painting.
  • Thom also included Bible references such as Matthew 5:16, Philippians 5:13, and 2 Timothy 17 – all messages conveying the strength of God.
Title City by the Bay, Sunset on Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco
Published November 2003
Subject Location Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, California
Collection City by the Bay

Image Sizes

18" x 27"
24" x 36"
28" x 42"
40" x 60"

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