1954 Pontiac Star Chief
You're My Star, Chief - 12"x 16" - Oil
Nineteen-fifty-four was the year Pontiac first introduced the Star Chief. It was promoted as their prestige model, a new standard of value...the new, big, beautiful Pontiac for 1954.
The car is a massive 214" long, almost 18 feet. It is a full 11 inches longer than the former top model, the Chieftain. It's also eight inches longer than the 2010 Ford Expedition. It has a gargantuan trunk, large enough for a family of four.
As optional equipment, a proud owner could have power steering and brakes...and for the first time, an in-dash air conditioner.
When I was a youngster, I enthusiastically awaited September when the car manufacturers would release their new models. I built lots of plastic model cars, even modified some and entered them in local hobby shop competitions. I could identify every American manufacturer's automobiles. I kept charts to determine the most popular models.
It's not unusual that I enjoy integrating cars/trucks into my paintings. Occasionally, the car itself becomes the subject.
"You're My Star, Chief" is such a painting. The painting began as a refined monochromatic painting using burnt umber (no white). I selected an isosceles triad as my palette (violet, yellow orange, yellow, yellow green). These were premixed from the three primaries: ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson and cadmium yellow pale. In addition to the triad palette, I added titanium white and ivory black.
The painting sold rather quickly and I was asked to do another just like it. Not wanting to do that, I produced the one seen below.