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2009 In-N-Out Collector’s T-shirt Artist Story


It was an honor to have been selected to paint this year’s Collectors’ T-Shirt for In-N-Out Burger. We worked together to create a scene that captures the post World War II era, and celebrates America’s Military. 

Being the granddaughter of a Lt. Colonel in the Marines, I could not have been more honored. My grandfather served in the Marines over the course of three wars, earning the bronze star for his heroic efforts in World War II. I know he would be proud of In-N-Out Burger’s and my efforts to show our support for America’s troops today.

As a classic car artist, I loved re-creating this era. My husband and I are regular classic car show attendees. We own a 1934 Plymouth, which we take to many shows. This experience truly lent itself to creating this painting – allowing me to take in the current trends in restored cars and produce a scene heavily influenced by my own taste in classic cars.

As I painted, I listened to Big Band Swing music. I really wanted to step back in time. While I was not born during this era, I re-created this era from my own love of Big Band music, swing dancing, classic movies, and car shows.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my artwork with you. I truly hope you find yourself stepping back in time into this era as you view this painting.

Upcoming Shows Michelle LaRae will be at

May 9 8AM - 5PM: The ACES Car Show will coincide with an art exhibit of classic car paintings in the Santa Ana Arts District, Santa Ana, CA. More details to follow at: .

June 26 - Aug 30: I will have a booth at Art-A-Fair in Laguna Beach, CA. For information and directions, please see


Some of Michelle’s Paintings to escape into...

Cadi_1_HRHL   ModelTParts_HRHL

For more information go to......
landscape website ->
classic car website ->
email -> [email protected]
facebook ->


Here is an Interview with Michelle

2009 In-N-Out Burger T-Shirt Artist Interview

So, Michelle, how did In-N-Out Burger select you to be their latest Collector T-shirt Artist?

Before they even contacted me, they had researched several artists on the Internet. Then they narrowed it down to a couple of artists, and interviewed each of us. I think they were looking for a local artist who painted classic cars (In-N-Out Burger is based in LA).

Who did you interview with?

I interviewed directly with the owner of In-N-Out Burger! I really enjoyed meeting her. I was fascinated to find out she was really into drag racing. Ironically, my husband had taken me drag racing that previous summer. I told her the story of how he had been drag racing since he was old enough to drive. For my very first drag race I drove his 1934 Plymouth.  I beat his time from earlier that morning — driving the same car! Needless to say, he went back out there and beat my time. I still carry my time slip with me in my purse.

How was the painting's theme chosen?

The theme was their idea, but I was really excited when I heard about it. Supporting our troops is a really important cause for me. I know that things are really controversial with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we cannot forget how these young men and women are sacrificing so much to protect us and our country.

Where can we find these t-shirts?

The t-shirts are for sale at any In-N-Out Burger restaurant or from their website. They currently have restaurants in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. I don’t sell the t-shirts, but I would be happy to sign one if someone asks.

Do you accept private commissions, if someone wants their own classic car painting?

Definitely! For more information, please see my website at

I hear you attend a unique church…

Yes, we attend the Hot Rod Church for Sinners ( It’s a small church that meets at Santora’s Hot Wings on Marguerite Pkwy in Mission Viejo at 9:30. They play Christian Rockabilly music and give a message in an informal setting. Many bring their hot rods, but you do not have to own a hot rod to attend. 

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