It is a hot summer night in the hills above Hollywood. The scent of warm buttered popcorn and juicy hot dogs fill the air. The dialogue from the hottest new movie crackles the speakers. Friends, families, and lovers alike, gather on this clear evening to see the latest film of one of the biggest stars of the day: Marilyn Monroe. On the screen, she playfully looks over her shoulder and melts hearts with her smile.
This nostalgic scene takes place at a drive-in movie theater in the 1950s. The majestic “Moonlight Drive-in” overlooks the Hollywood hills and the city of Los Angeles. Cars from the era line up row after row to watch the latest release. Tonight’s feature stars the beautiful Marilyn Monroe. Her timeless beauty radiates off of the screen. In the distance the Hollywood sign casts a glow over the valley below. The neon lights on the billboard also glow in the night. The theater is perched high above the city. The lights of L.A. sparkle far below, while the stars flicker in the sky above. The silhouette of tall palm trees stretch above the screen. The light from the theater and the stars bounces and reflects off of the polished metal and chrome of classic cars. This images creates a sense of nostalgia for a simpler time. The shades of black white and grey that Mackey uses to model this scene help to take us back to this special moment.
This image is captured beautifully in paint by Mackey. The focal point of the painting is the high detail on-screen painting of Marilyn Monroe, which could almost be considered a painting within a painting. Other areas use looser brushwork to evoke the sparkle of the city lights, reflections on the cars, or the movement of palm trees blowing in the wind.
Moonlight Drive-in is painted with acrylic on a ¾” thick Canvas. The entire scene is captured on a panoramic canvas that measures 48” wide by 24” high. It is varnished to a rich gloss to bring out the full depth of the blacks, and the full range of greys.