Saturday, May 6, 2017

Chet's becomes Jessie's

The assortment of food containers stored under the counter is finally finished. Organizing them and their colors in a way that enhanced the composition without being a distraction was a challenge. They originally had letters on the labels and images of tomatoes, chickens, oats, etc. That soon became very busy and precious; I scraped them all away, and restarted, making the containers more minimal and abstract, quieter and in harmony with the rest of the painting.

Jessie's Diner, detail of lower half
approx. 17" x 52"

I've also decided to change the title from Chet's Diner to Jessie's Diner. After my last blog post, a friend wrote to say that the original title was confusing since it is Jessica who owns and operates the diner and is in the painting, while there is no Chet to be seen. In fact, Chet had sold the place in the 1930s, leaving behind only his name printed in large block letters on the exterior. As I developed the idea in drawings, I always referred to the subject as Chet's Diner, but for the painting my friend is right. The original title makes no sense. Jessie's Diner now it is.

Jessie's Diner, in progress
35" x 65", oil on linen

Next will finish the upper wall and ceiling, and then turn my attention to the last challenge in this painting - figuring out what will be going on outside the windows. As with the items under the counter, will try to find a solution that is minimal and unobtrusive.

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"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