The first time I drove past the Fleetwood Diner in a non-descript part of town my head would’ve flown off had it not been attached by my neck. It stands out like a full moon in a clear night sky. Hence the immediate U-turn.
It’s everything you’d want in a diner including great food, especially their popular dish—Hippie Hash!
After my first painting, a 5×7″ acrylic, I knew I had to go back—AT NIGHT— to take more pictures to really get that shine through the glass bricks and that glow of the neon lights—not an easy task.
My second painting, 12×24″ acrylic, I worked to capture the neon and the mystery of the Fleetwood in the late summer evening.
If I painted abstracts I might be able to paint several paintings a day out of my head. If I were still painting landscapes it wouldn’t matter if the tree was straight or how long the limb was, I’d be concerned with the horizon line.
But I’m painting a building with straight lines, proportions, perspective, etc. I’m trying to stay loose and not get caught up in the details as I used to when I painted in a photorealistic style. There are cameras and Photoshop for that and I want my painting to look like paint.
I like to listen to the radio when I paint, often NPR. On the weekends they repeat programs, and if they talk about war or beheadings or other ugly topics it is not conducive to the joy of painting. This weekend I was playing a meditative CD with wonderful upbeat music and soothing narration. After painting a window for the 3rd or 4th time I said out loud, “Why do I paint buildings?” The voice on the CD immediately responded, “Because that’s who you are.”
OK then! I’ll just keep painting.
This iconic diner, the Fleetwood Diner, in Lansing, Michigan, is famous for their “Hippie Hash”. Seems like a good name for this painting of the diner.