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New! April Walters' 20x200 Donut Debut

We're sweet on April Walters and it's easy to see why. Her bright, ebullient donut paintings are downright voluptuous. As diehard donut lovers ourselves, we can't get enough of the way her work raises that humble fried confectionery to the status of stunning piece of art. Of course, we had to reach out to devoted donut aficionado and bicoastal builder of networks, Rena Tom, to welcome April to the 20x200 artist roster and give her two new editions the intro they deserve. 

A Pile of Twisted by April Walters
8"x10" ($24) | 11"x14" ($60) | 16"x20" ($240) | 24"x30" ($1,200) 

"Eat like a local" is great advice for a food lover. New York has legendary bagels, of course, but California has donuts. I grew up in Sacramento, and I ate old-fashioneds, French cruellers and apple fritters at every opportunity. To this day, donuts are an abiding obsession of mine. My Twitter avatar is a cartoon of me eating a donut. Last year, I gave an entire Creative Mornings talk using crowdsourced slides of donut art. I really, really love donuts.

April Walters also loves donuts. While she does create other art and illustration, her watercolors of donuts she has met, loved, and eaten in shops around the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond are her calling card. Not since Wayne Thiebaud have you wanted to lick artwork so badly! April started painting donuts two and a half years ago after taking Emily Proud's watercolor class at Makeshift Society, the coworking space I run in San Francisco. I am so proud to be a small part of her sugary sweet origin story.

The two editions she’s created for 20x200, Bob’s Giant Donut and A Pile of Twisted, represent treats from a San Francisco institution on Polk Street plus a new shop in the Sunset District.


Bob's Giant Donut by April Walters
8"x8" ($24) | 11"x11" ($60) | 16"x16" ($240) | 24"x24" ($1,200)

Bob’s Donuts is a classic 1950’s donut shop, with a long narrow counter and pots of coffee always brewing. It is my favorite donut shop in SF. It never closes and they turn out fresh donuts at all hours, so it’s both a popular place during the day for the locals, and a late-night stop for those on the way to the bars. Here, April presents Bob’s Giant Donut, the monolithic pride and joy that takes up an entire pink pastry box and is free to any poor soul who tries to eat it at one sitting. The cheery rainbow sprinkles make this donut look so innocent but the size says it means business.

A Pile of Twisted features some of the varieties found at Twisted Donuts & Coffee. The shop has only been open a year but the owner’s father ran a donut shop for 20 years, so there’s a family legacy to the business that we don’t see often anymore. You can still get a buttermilk bar or a glazed raised here but they also do some avant-garde donuts, for fun. Pumpkin seasonal donuts? Sure. Gummy bear toppings? Uh, ok. And is that a bacon maple donut on the top of the pile? I think so. I love how April gets the sprinkle of sugar, the sheen of the glaze just right. The deliciousness is in the details.

I’ve opened four brick and mortar spaces and I proudly support local businesses. April, by highlighting food made with love by independent operators, does too. A box of donuts is what you bring to a meeting, to Saturday soccer games or a friend’s birthday brunch. April's paintings honor small businesses that nevertheless make a big impact within their community. If you can’t eat a donut every day, hanging one on your wall is a good way to feed your own obsession, calorie-free.

With art for everyone,
Rena Tom

P.S. Still craving more? Scoop up April's Donuts of the Bay Area calendar, and don't blame us for the sugar high.


April Walters

April V. Walters is a Floridian who always knew she’d end up in California. She is now a San Francisco-based artist, illustrator, and writer, but that wasn’t always the case. She tried music school, took a detour through the marketing department, and is grateful to now have a paintbrush in her hand. Her artwork is hanging in the homes of donut-lovers across the United States thanks to her three years running magnum opus, the Donuts of the Bay Area calendar.