Saturday, December 17, 2016

Chet's Diner

Chet's is a diner in my neighborhood, built by the Worcester Lunch Car Company and assembled in its present location in 1931. It's had several owners over the years and is currently run by Jessica Fidrych, daughter of the late Mark Fidrych, a well-known pitcher for the Detroit Tigers and a 1976 All-Star. Before his accidental death in 2009, he often worked the tables.

Chet's is only open for breakfast, and Laura and I go there fairly often. I've wanted to do a painting inspired by the place for a long time, and have accumulated numerous sketches, trying out different compositions and different points of view. Three months ago the composition finally came together. Here's a photo of that drawing, surrounded with some of the sketches that led up to it: 

on the drawing wall

A few of the sketches:

A.)  pencil on paper, 6" x 7 1/4", 2004
B.)  ink on paper, 4 1/4" x 4 1/4", 2 July 2008
C.) ink on paper,  7" x 5 1/2", 2009
D.)  pencil on paper, 3 1/4" x 4 1/4", 25 November 2010

E.)  ink on paper, 4 3/4" x 4 1/4", 29 January 2015
F.)  pencil on paper, 4 1/2" x 7 1/2", 6 September 2016 

I made a large version (35" x 65") of the drawing below to work out the size for the painting, now in progress. There was no change to the composition.

Chet's, pencil on paper, 21 1/2" x 40", 23 - 24 September 2016 

I'm planning to paint the three figures who are cooking, serving, and opening a window as the same person: Jessica, the owner and cook. In some Renaissance paintings a narrative is told this way within a single image, such as in the panel by Sano di Pietro below - one of my favorite paintings in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. - telling the story of St. Anthony traveling to meet St. Paul and getting directions along the way from a centaur.

The Meeting of Saint Anthony and Saint Paul
Master of the Osservanza (Sano di Pietro)
c. 1430/1435, tempera on panel, 18
1/4" x 13"
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


canvas on the easel with drawing transferred, 11 October 2016

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing the rest of the backstory on your new painting, Andrew. Fascinating. So interesting to learn about the repeating figures in some Renaissance paintings. Somehow Professor Anne Harris didn't share any of those paintings with us back in the day!



"There is more power in telling little than in telling all."
- Mark Rothko

“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meanings are unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.”
- Magritte

"Now, the idea is to get everything right -- it's not just color or form or space or line -- it's everything all at once."
- Richard Diebenkorn

“What I am seeking is not the real and not the unreal but rather the unconscious,
the mystery of the instinctive in the human race.”
- Amedeo Modigliani