A COMPANY CALLED MATTE EFFECTS -
The work of Ken Marschall & Bruce Block
Hello friends and fellow matte art enthusiasts. It is with great pleasure that I post this (hopefully
error free) concluding episode in the fascinating and hitherto untold story of the quite frankly
amazing motion picture matte magic produced by painter Ken Marschall and cameraman Bruce
Block. The previous two entries in the Matte Effects article were, unfortunately, plagued with
formatting and layout issues which if you are a frequent reader will know I've struggled with off and
on for a period of time now. I had pretty much vowed to scrap the whole blog enterprise as a
result of 'pulling my hair out' trying to make the Blogger system cooperate. I am most grateful to
the numerous readers who contacted me and offered to help. Thanks too to those 'techy' readers
who relayed much i.t 'gobbledegoop' with coding and binary to me as well - none of which I could
comprehend in the slightest, but thanks for making the effort anyway. Without question the person
I must acknowledge most of all in this endless process of ironing out the gremlins and making
some semblance of a decent finished product must be Ken Marschall himself. Ken has tirelessly
and without complaint worked and reworked the manuscript into various formats in an effort to
find one which would be compatible with Blogger and create the least number of hiccups along
the way. With the entire Part Three all laid out prior to me typing in this intro, and dare I say it,
without a single cyber 'gremlin' in the works, it seems a new horizon might just be upon us after all!
In assembling today's final part of the Matte Effects story I can honestly say that I have once again
been blown away by the extent, artistry and ever consistent high quality of the matte painted effects
that Ken has shared with me. I am ever grateful to Ken and Bruce for opening up their Aladdin's
cave of locked away magic - a tour de force of what the painter's brush and the cameraman's eye
can achieve without anyone being any the wiser that a trick was being played. I have been
constantly astounded at, not just the matte art but the utterly superb compositing and marriage of
real and fabricated elements. I've long been a fan of 'the matte blend', and the Marschall/Block
work is pretty much a benchmark as far as the technique goes. Clean, crisp, first generation work
for by far the vast majority of their shots, as the many images below will easily testify.
With today's entry we have pretty much covered probably 80 to 90% of the matte shots, as well as
the previously promised journey to the dark recesses of the Atlantic Ocean in search of the once
great and much storied luxury liner, the Titanic. We'll take a personal look at both the making of
James Cameron feature film as well as Ken's brave aquatic voyages where few have ventured.
Now, I know I've mentioned this before, but I plead with my readers and fellow aficionados to view
my blogs on something at least resembling a desktop or laptop sized screen and NOT those
damned handheld 'toy' devices that seem to have proliferated the market. A lot of effort goes
into each blog post, not to mention the enormous effort that interviewees such as Bruce and Ken
contribute on their part alone. It's simply an insult to such talented folk to view this important and
never before seen matte imagery on some gadget the size of a postage stamp! Come on guys,
if you love the artform as much as I do, do all those great matte exponents proud and treat it with
the respect it deserves.
I sincerely hope you enjoy today's blog... it really is something else!
From December 1984 to March 1985 we did several matte shots for the 1985 film MOVING VIOLATIONS. Among those, two
views of "Dana's Nursery" were needed one day
and one night. Here's my small proposal concept for the day scene,
simply done in black and white. Usually my matte concepts were approved
from very simple renderings like this or even quick sketches.|
original photography, or plate, before the matte was applied. The
location is El Segundo, California, looking west (Sepulveda Boulevard
crossing the frame in the foreground). The plate masked off, the matte painting and finally the finished composite.|
|Matte painting from MOVING VIOLATIONS|
|Close view with my hand giving a sense of scale against the artwork.|
Another of the several mattes for MOVING VIOLATIONS.
Here's one of a space control center, which we
called the "JPL" shot,
named after the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada, California, only
a few miles
from Fantasy II Film Effects in Burbank. I don't recall
if, in the movie, this was supposed to actually
represent JPL. The first image shows the set (or location) organized and dressed, with stage lighting
seen overhead. I honestly don't recall if it was shot on a stage or at a real technical facility.
painting, increasing the scale of the room and adding large overhead
monitors. These would be filled
with two sets of backlighted data
screens and details, filmed in two separate double-exposed passes.
artwork for some of the screens and monitors, which was made into
high-contrast film negatives at |
the exact required scale of the painting
at a facility called Stat Graphics in Studio City. (My note to the
Stat Graphics staff can be seen in red.) The film negatives were then
cut out and carefully taped in position
on a black card and tinted from
behind with various colored gels.
|Here's one of the finished cards used for the backlight passes. This one could be called the "background" pass.|
|This is the second backlight art with details that laid over the earlier backlight art, in contrasting colors.|
|A rear view of one of the backlight cards showing various colored gels taped in place.|
|Finished composite, dated Feb. 18, 1985.|
VIOLATIONS I did two mattes showing parade floats, both shot in Long
Beach, California. This one we called "Passing the Crowd." The skyline
needed to be changed. Extras were used in the foreground, and hundreds
more would be painted in the distance and animated with a backlight
|The matte in place (black camera tape applied to the glass on the matte box in front of the camera lens).|
rotoscoped tracing on the back of the card, which shows perspective
lines and the position of the soft matte line. The information would
then be transferred to the other (glossy black) side of the card for
|Here I'm touching the painting to show the scale of it.|
composite, dated Feb. 28, 1985. Parade floats come tearing around a
corner in the far distance and rush toward us, then around the
foreground corner, heading off to the right.|
overlay shows where the "animated" people are, double exposed over the
painting in a separate pass through the matte camera.|
of the "animated" people -- a bunch of "holes" in an opaque black card
with colored gels taped behind them and made to undulate in brightness
through the use of a moire behind the card. The "holes" were made by
painting black Cel-Vinyl onto Mylar, then scraping away the spots with a
pointed instrument. The resulting effect gives the look of an animated
|The backside of the "animation card" showing all the little pieces of colored gels taped in place.|
|Dana's Nursery at night from the film MOVING VIOLATIONS, here as original unmatted view.|
|Original plate masked off.|
|Rotoscope on the back of the painting, giving me perspectives, from which I laid out my new buildings. Bruce has added notes.|
|The finished composite, dated March 22, 1985, including backlit neon and other light elements burned in on a separate pass.|
|Close-up showing some of the artwork for the backlight pass (details scraped into black Cel-Vinyl and gelled from behind). |
|Back side of the nighttime lights burn-in artwork showing the various colored gels taped in place.|
and a close-up. Since the card stock we used wasn't opaque enough, for
double-exposure backlight passes like this I always added a layer of
Exeter paper which is completely lightproof and filled in other areas
with camera tape.|
a weekly TV series called GEORGE BURNS COMEDY WEEK, I was asked to take
a house built in our local California hills and turn it into an exotic
looking, snowy mountain retreat, both day and night. Here is the
original location photography, the matte in place, the painting as well as the final composite. |
I don't recall any action in the scene, which if true would be a waste, of course.
|The matte art.|
|Here's the same scene timed much darker and with a separate backlight pass to burn in the house lights and stars.|
|One of the mattes I did for the Civil War docudrama NORTH & SOUTH, BOOK II, was of the notorious Libby Prison. At top left is my little proposal rendering. Top right shows the live action, as filmed on the pavement |
in front of Fantasy II, masked off. The lower left image shows a test where the painting is nearly complete.
I believe the optical guys at Fantasy II added some smoke to the chimneys. Lower right, the painting.
|The matte painting.|
|In the spring of 1988 I did four mattes for
THE NAKED GUN - FROM THE FILES OF POLICE SQUAD! Here are a pair of concept
renderings for a scene at a huge baseball stadium by an artist unknown to
me. The scene, dubbed "The Anthem" because the U.S. National Anthem
was to be sung here, called for massive crowd extension and repainting
of much of the stadium. The proposed matte line is indicated by the
dark line drawn above the color guard in the background.|
|The location plate and the matte
in position. Note small parts of filming equipment in the shot at the
right edge. Although this was apparently considered to be outside of
the projection area, it was later deemed potentially problematic, and I
tried to "fudge them out." The painting and the final comp are also shown.|
|THE NAKED GUN capacity crowded grandstand matte painting. The
painting represented some fictional stadium in the movie if I
recall. Although I recreated almost every detail of Dodger Stadium
itself, I did not include the distant palms. My attempt to minimize the
encroaching film equipment can be seen at right..|
isn't finished here, but it's a very late test clip, just before
"final." I don't seem to have a film clip showing the finished
composite. Note the small white dots around the equipment at the right
edge, which I put on the painting to check exact alignment while I was
trying to do my best to "fudge" those objects out. The dots were
removed before the final production footage was shot.|
set shown at top left, was built inside a sound stage at Paramount, if I remember, for a
short demonstration film on how sound is created, to be part of the
Disney-MGM Studios tour in Florida. I took the photo in October of
1988. At that time the working title of the film was MR. LUCKY. My
task was to paint the upper part of the Victorian "haunted house" for an
up-angle shot and add lightning effects. Shown here too are my first and second conceptual renderings.|
drawing was finalized on tracing paper, and then graphite was rubbed on
the backside for tracing onto the white side of a sheet of our
matte-painting card stock through the dry-transfer process.
|A film test showing the painting in progress, perhaps for a lightning test. The final painting is seen at top right.|
artwork for the house illuminated by the lightning and then
double-exposed on a separate pass through the matte camera. The
clouds, illuminated by lightning somewhere behind the house, also
filmed as a double exposure on yet a third pass. Finally, pouring rain
was added optically..
|The final painting.|
artwork for the house illuminated by the lightning was done on Mylar
while simply laid over the background painting of the house and then
double-exposed on a separate pass through the matte camera.|
later I tried to find any information I could on this "sound demo"
movie and finally came up with a few things. Here's a web page that
mentions it. The sequence can be found in this amateur home video found
on YouTube at 0:35, 4:02 and 6:41:|
Stephen King's PET SEMATARY I painted a small proposal on a
photographic print of the location. Only the foreground rocks are real. The proposal with notes by the art director written on a Mylar overlay..|
|Original photography before matte was added.|
|The matte in place.|
composite, completed May 25, 1989. I don't remember what "live action"
happens in the shot, if anything. I sure hope there was something
moving, or again, it's an awful waste of a matte shot. *Pete here; I don't recall there being any movement or 'live' action.|
an Isuzu commercial I had to remove forest trees and paint a distant
winding road and a storybook Frankenstein-like castle on a mountain
top. We called it "Isuzustein." Here's a Polaroid of the location. On
a piece of tracing paper laid over the Polaroid, the art director did a
very rough sketch of what he wanted, to be delivered to the "mat"
artist. It was not unusual to be provided very little information by a
director or art director and to be given a lot of latitude. And
sometimes it was literally an "I don't really know what I want, show me
something" sort of thing. Another
Polaroid was given to me, shot off a monitor, showing an "evil" castle
from some old movie, to provide an idea of what the director wanted. A
few windows had been added in with "White Out." As the painting and testing progressed I noted several corrections given to me over the phone..
|Final composite, completed Feb. 1989.|
mid-July of '89 I completed a vast library interior for some TV
commercial, the product or company not recorded. Because of the
vertical format it must have been an optical, with a long tilt-up or
tilt-down. I have no film tests for it at all, nor a final clip. Wish I
could see how it turned out.|
did a matte painting for an Anita Baker music video in September of
1990. Here's the rough concept drawing, done by Bruce, to show me what
the director had in mind.|
painting. I believe we added DX'd sparkles to the river down in the
gorge. I have searched online for this video and can find no mention of
it anywhere. I have no clip showing the final composite.|
a ShoWest Convention in Las Vegas (now called CinemaCon) we were asked
to do a matte shot inside a huge movie prop warehouse. I believe the
foreground location was in one of the Fox stages. I have no film
showing the original unmatted location or the finished composite, only
the painting itself. I wish I did, as I recall the scene was quite
successful. Here is the roto of the shot, on the backside of the actual
painting, as was our usual practice. Here too is the finished painting.
|Close-up of part of the ShoWest painting, as rendered in 1990.|
|Showing the scale of the ShoWest artwork.|
MY BOYFRIEND'S BACK (working title JOHNNY ZOMBIE) there are two fantasy
matte shots showing a "Heavenly judgement," a courtroom in the sky.
Here's the first of the two scenes as shot on the stage before the matte
was added, the matte, painting and final comp, dated Spring 1993.|
|The other matte shot from MY BOYFRIEND'S BACK, reverse angle, without matte.|
third painting was done for MY BOYFRIEND'S BACK showing a railroad
track and old water tower with a story-book sort of sunset (or dawn, I
don't remember) that had to match an adjacent scene of two friends on
top of the tower. At top left is the scene I was supposed to match to.|
|I have no film clip showing the original location without the matte, but here's the matte in place.|
---------- Q & A with Ken...
Q: Your Titanic fine art and illustrations are
remarkable, and I assume rightly or wrongly that this is what brought
you to the attention of one James Cameron (himself a former matte
artist and effects man) in the mid 90’s.
KM: After TERMINATOR, I didn’t bump into Cameron again
until an April 1992 screening in Burbank of a TV documentary about the
filming of the Imax movie TITANICA, narrated by Walter Cronkite. An
Imax camera had been taken down in a submarine a few months earlier
with oceanographer/photographer Al Giddings. After the screening, to
my surprise, I noticed Cameron there, deep in serious conversation with
Giddings and perhaps a small group. I wanted to just say hello, so I
stood and waited for a break to get his attention and then briefly
greeted him. I explained that I was the guy who did the matte for his
TERMINATOR eight years earlier. It didn’t seem to quite register who I
was, and it was an awkward encounter. But I had interrupted an intense
discussion, so it’s understandable. Driving home down the 405 freeway
that evening was memorable; the Rodney King verdict had come down that
day, and L.A. was on fire.
In retrospect, Cameron attending that Titanic
documentary screening showed his early interest in the subject, and it
was no doubt one of the inspirations that spurred him on to want to
dive the wreck himself.
In September of ‘95 I caught wind of a report that
Cameron had just returned from an expedition to film Titanic’s wreckage
and was planning a theatrical feature about the subject. As you can
imagine, having had personal experience with the guy’s perfectionist
tendencies and intense focus on detail, I was terribly excited by the
prospect of this man producing a major motion picture about Titanic
with the visual effects that his films were known for. I phoned
Lightstorm Entertainment in Santa Monica and spoke with John Bruno who
was then slated to be in charge of effects, if I recall. I told him a
little of my background, mentioning the large book Titanic: An
Illustrated History for which I had recently done a lot of paintings.
To my surprise and delight, John told me that Cameron had the book,
that he referred to it often and that he would like to set up a meeting
with the author, Don Lynch, and me as soon as possible.
That meeting took place shortly after in Cameron’s office at
Lightstorm. He didn’t appear to recognize me, and this time I thought
I’d stay away from the subject of the TERMINATOR matte. We stuck to
Titanic business. He told us how he had pitched the film concept to
the Fox executives as being, in simple terms, “Romeo and Juliet on the
Titanic” and using our book, pointing to various paintings I’d done and
saying, “I can do this. I want to bring this to life.”
The book Titanic: An Illustrated History, authored by Don Lynch,
was inspirational to Cameron in the conception of his 1997 epic movie
Don and I were each given a copy of his “scriptment” to read,
and other meetings followed. I was hired on to assist the art
department with research and set design, opening my archives and
providing reference material to enable the sets to be as accurate as
possible, something that was a high priority from the outset. Many
other films had been made on the subject through the decades, but all
had cut corners in the accuracy department, some to an inexcusable
extent. Jim, as Cameron preferred to be called, wanted none of that.
“If there’s any way we can do it, that’s what I want to do. This has
to be right.” At times I kind of thought I’d died and gone to Heaven.
We were well into set design when the project was
finally greenlighted by Fox. I guess it took a while to work out some
kinks, but with Jim’s successful history with Fox I don’t think it was
ever in serious doubt that we would get the go-ahead. It was many
weeks into my employment there when, one day, Jim suddenly appeared in
a doorway looking at me quizzically. Pointing to me, as I recall, he
said slowly and in a slightly unsure tone, “You painted the matte for
the final scene in TERMINATOR.”
The jig was up. He remembered me.
“Guilty,” I responded, sheepishly.
Doing all those tests and making changes to that matte had
been a headache for both of us, and I had feared that he held it
against me all this time. But he assured me that he harbored no hard
feelings whatsoever, and I had worried for naught.
Following several months at Lightstorm, after the sets had
largely been drafted, I transferred over to a huge old airplane hangar
at the former Hughes Aircraft facility in Playa Vista where Digital
Domain was busy getting ready to start on the miniatures. There, as I
had done on RAISE THE TITANIC almost two decades earlier, I circulated
among the crew, trying to make sure that they had all the reference
material they needed at their fingertips and that any questions were
quickly answered. With several Titanic miniatures being built in
varying scales, two Southampton tugs, a Cherbourg ferry named Nomadic,
and a bunch of interiors, it was a daunting task for one man who simply
couldn’t be standing at everyone’s side at once. But despite a few
flubs, inevitable with such a gargantuan project, amazing results were
achieved. The largest of the miniatures was the 1/20th-scale (44-foot
/ 13.5-meter) model of the whole Titanic, while parts of the ship were
modeled in various larger scales. They were immense and breathtaking
to behold, every rivet meticulously applied.
Several of my paintings from the book (on the left), paired with
corresponding scenes from the film.
Then it was down to the just-completed Fox Studios Baja, a few
miles south of Rosarito, Mexico, about a 3 1/2-hour drive from my home
in Southern California, where the numerous virtually full-sized sets
were already under construction. At that point the crew was like a
small army, the sets had long since been designed up north, so there
was little I could do but watch history slowly rise and reappear before
my eyes. I don’t even know how many times I went down there between
October ’96 and March ’97 when the final sinking scenes were filmed. I
visited maybe every two weeks or so, on average. I could bring a few
others with me, but often when people, even longtime Titanic buffs,
heard that the studio was about 40 minutes south of the border, they
balked. I tried to persuade several that if they didn’t experience
these sets they’d regret it the rest of their lives. I would tell
them, “Think TEN COMMANDMENTS meets TITANIC,” but sometimes it was to
no avail. Mexico is a third-world country or, according to some, a
“developing country;” parts of it can be dangerous, particularly
Tijuana at that time, and the route took us briefly through that city.
Posing next to various miniatures built by Digital Domain for TITANIC.
Just a small selection of the many images of Stage 1 that I
either took myself or have collected since the filming. We start with a
few construction shots (fall 1996), a snap I took on “sailing day,” and
self-explanatory views, including one of my favorites which I took at
dusk showing the massive stage in its sinking configuration, with a
“night sun” balloon floating nearby in preparation for the night
filming. The group photo was taken by staff photographer Merie W.
Wallace and shows me (at left), Vern Shrock, Don Lynch and Darrell
Rooney. I harvested the last pic from an aerial video photographed at
dawn after a long night of shooting. I don’t think I ever failed to
gasp when I rounded a corner and stood in the presence of this mighty
To this day I’m not really all that clear on what matte
paintings were done for the film. I don’t think too many, mostly patch
jobs, I think –– fixing/blending seams between live action, sets and
miniatures. There were several painted backgrounds portraying
Southampton during the ship’s departure and one showing the rescue ship
Carpathia, but I can’t really think of too many others. I was never a
serious candidate for doing any matte work, having my hands full with
the other tasks. Jim did kindly set me up with an in-depth tour of
Digital Domain which was slated to do mattes for the film, and I spent
a few hours watching a guy work at his station as he explained his
process, but it never developed into anything. I dropped the ball. It
was all too technical and scary to me.
My artwork does appear in the movie, though. The large
painting that hangs over the first-class smoking room fireplace is a
copy of the original, titled Plymouth Harbor, painted in oil by the
legendary British artist Norman Wilkinson. No photograph of the
original painting was known to historians when the film was first being
planned, and we knew we’d have to concoct some imaginary composition.
Just as the art department was about to face that challenge, a small,
halftoned (screened) black-and-white reproduction turned up, a yellowed
page from an old publication if I remember, apparently recently found
among the late artist’s effects. Using only a photocopy of that, a
staff artist at Lightstorm did an acrylic version of the full-sized
painting for Jim’s approval. Jim thought it looked unfinished, and he
and I could see several missed details and discrepancies between the
painting and the old photograph. He offered me the challenge of adding
more detail, augmenting the sky and water and going over the entire
thing to give it a more finished look.
I believe it was about then that a color photocopy was
received. In a bit of fortuitous luck, Mr. Wilkinson’s son Rodney, who
was also an artist, had recently recreated the painting in the style of
his father, to be displayed at the Southampton Maritime Museum, using
notes his dad kept while working on the original. Although I only had
the two relatively small photocopies, with this added color reference I
went into the prop painting, making numerous changes and improvements
to bring it into line with the long-lost original, adding many details,
and then gave the surface a thick, glossy, brush-strokey finish that
would appear on film to be oils.
|Former ILM artist Christopher Evans at Matte World outside of San Francisco rendered this |
traditionally painted, though digitally completed matte shot for the final act of the epic film.
But with no close-up photos of either the original or the
son’s reproduction, I knew that our prop painting was just a decent
approximation, good enough for the camera at a distance but in no way
definitive. At one point Jim asked me if I wanted the painting after
the filming. But it just didn’t meet my exacting standards. I
At that early stage of production, still working in
Lightstorm’s art department, I simply had no idea what this total
TITANIC movie experience would become, what a life-changing, memorable
time it would be for me. It gave birth to a longstanding working
relationship and friendship with Jim and others that continues to this
day, leading to his asking me to come along and dive with him to the
wreck on two additional expeditions undertaken to further document the
site, and participation with him in television documentaries and
books. It’s been an amazing ride, and I owe a lot to him. For all
those reasons, and that TITANIC quickly became history’s most popular
and profitable movie, not to mention tying BEN-HUR for the most Oscar®
wins of any film up till that time, I deeply regret not accepting Jim’s
offer of that painting when I had the chance. Oh, how I kick myself.
Q: Of course you played a key behind the scenes role
not only in the Cameron motion picture but also in some major real life
exploration and documentation of the actual wreck itself. Now as
someone not entirely happy in a confined space myself, I’m mortified by
the prospect of being in a submersible, as you did on several occasions
I believe, let alone diving to the actual Titanic wreck miles down on
the Atlantic ocean floor. I simply must hear your first timer
impressions and recollections of that event.
KM: My first dive to Titanic wasn’t my first submarine
experience. I know this is all off topic, but if your readers want to
indulge me, I can give you some background:
Aside from the diving bell that they used to have in the late
‘50s at Avalon, on Catalina Island; the submarine rides at Disneyland
and Disney World; and a brief climb down into the submersible Alvin in
1987 (high and dry on the deck of a ship), my first real sub dive came
in the summer of 1993. After doing many paintings for Bob Ballard’s
various books on his discoveries and explorations of Titanic and
Bismarck, his publisher had enlisted me to illustrate the book about
his next project –– a National Geographic sponsored expedition to
document Lusitania which sank in 1915 just off the coast of southern
Ireland after being torpedoed by a German submarine.
My copy of British artist Norman Wilkinson’s Plymouth Harbor upon
completion in November 1996 and the painting as seen in TITANIC, framed
on the set of the first-class smoking room.
I was to be given a dive to the wreck in the two-man
mini-submersible Delta, operated by Delta Oceanographics. The wreck
lies at a shallow depth of only 300 feet, so the commute from the
support vessel Northern Horizon only took a couple of minutes. The sub
was really tiny, like an oversized torpedo, but quite efficient and
maneuverable. It had a pressure depth of 1500 feet or so, so we were
well within the safe zone with nothing to worry about.
But still, I’m with you, Peter, on the
claustrophobia thing. I was none too thrilled about crawling into this
tube and lying down prone in the front of it, looking out its viewports
while the pilot sat on a stool behind me and drove it. But I wasn’t
going to pass up the opportunity. The sub had been on over two
thousand successful dives in its career. What could happen? In the
unlikely event that the single propeller got tangled in debris or
something, the pilot could actually detach the tail from inside and we
would pop back up to the surface. But there had never been an incident
that called for that.
As it happened, Lusitania historian Eric Sauder and I had
traveled to Ireland together to participate in this expedition, and as
we didn’t know if we’d get more than the one dive (anything could
happen preventing Eric from going later), rather than try to pick who
should go –– the artist or the historian –– on what might be our only
opportunity, we decided that it would be ideal if we could dive
together and be able to communicate with each other, in effect covering
twice the ground. The Delta guys said that two adult observers had
never tried to squeeze into it at once, only kids had. So it would be
a first. It was determined that by taking out a little ballast the
added weight was no problem to lowering, hoisting or navigation, so off
I think the scariest part was lowering myself through that
narrow hatch at the top and committing myself to this highly
claustrophobic experience. That’s when the feeling of being trapped,
the fear of drowning, hit me. But it’s like roller coasters: Watching
them flying around precariously, if it were the first coaster ever made
and the first time you’d ever seen one, you’d never get on the thing.
It’s obviously far too dangerous; it’ll fly off the tracks at any
moment. But when you know that a coaster has been operating safely for
years and that not a single soul has ever been injured, it makes a huge
psychological difference. You recognize the potential for danger, but
you also know it hasn’t happened. What are the odds that I, the five
millionth rider on this particular coaster, will die on this thing,
Two paintings of mine depicting R.M.S. Lusitania –– early in
her career and the horrifically swift sinking on May 7, 1915. Her
Cunard Line orange-red funnels had been painted all black during
wartime. A mere 18 minutes after being struck she was on the sea floor
300 feet below. Nearly 1200 passengers and crew lost their lives.
It was indeed cramped inside, as expected, and I could
basically only look out the front and one side port while Eric could
only do the opposite, but we managed. Within two minutes we had
reached the gravelly bottom and were heading toward the wreck. The
deep, deep intense green of the water outside will always remain vivid
in my memory. It wasn’t very clear; with the sub’s exterior lights on
we could see maybe 25 feet or so, at most. We asked our pilot, Chris
Ijames, if he could turn off the lights so I could get a sense of the
ambient lighting for my upcoming artwork. Interestingly, we could see
a lot farther with the lights off, a supremely eerie scene, but it was
so dim and “hazy” that the lights were definitely an advantage for
close exploring and examination.
I could go on for pages describing the experience, but this
isn’t the forum. I’ll cut to the chase: After maybe 45 minutes
probing Lusitania’s stern area, we were moving forward over the
collapsed port side of the hull when the propeller sucked up a fine
Nylon strand of an old fishing line, one of many caught on the wreck,
which quickly wound up into a heavier entanglement. The propeller
seized. Chris tried reversing the prop, everything he could think of,
to no avail. We were trapped. After all the dives this sub had done
without incident, it had finally happened. Sure enough, on our dive.
Long story short, after much discussion with the surface via underwater
acoustic “radio,” Chris did what he was trained to do, crawled back in
the small hull and somehow released the whole rudder/prop section
without flooding the sub itself, freeing us to float back up to the
surface at a significantly bow-down angle.
Two shots I took that illustrate the small size of Delta. The
pilot sits upright with his head in the raised “dome” with viewports
all around. Observers lie down in the space forward of that.
Q: Were you ever frightened during any of this.
KM: Amazingly enough, not really. Our pilot’s reassuring calmness
and good humor made it seem oddly routine, something we just had to
wait out while, we imagined, discussions no doubt ensued on the surface
about how National Geographic could get this on video for the show, and
so on. If you let yourself go there, sure, you could work yourself up
into a terror. There were times when I just had to keep my mind on the
mission, not think about where I was. It was more disappointing than
anything. “Just our luck,” we said to ourselves. “What are the odds?
Our one dive to Lusitania, and we had barely begun.”
Fortunately we were given a second chance a few days later and
were able to explore and study more of the wreck, this time without
My painting shows us trapped in the net just above Lusitania’s
collapsed port hull, an open doorway just below, on August 4, 1993.
Chris Ijames, our Delta pilot; Eric Sauder, Lusitania historian;
and I immediately following our first, unlucky dive. Chris holds a
spare tail section, since we had left ours entangled on the wreck. I’m
still in my socks. The lost tail section was recovered by divers a few
Roy Disney and his wife came out and visited our ship during
that expedition. I don’t remember if they were vacationing in Ireland
at the time or what, but somebody knew somebody, and they were invited
aboard for an afternoon while Ballard gave them the tour and they
watched the goings-on. I was stunned by Disney’s resemblance to his
famous uncle. I never met Walt, but at age 15 I did take a decent
picture of him as he, the Grand Marshal of the 1966 Rose Parade, was
slowly driven by. He turned and looked right in my direction as I
snapped the pic with my Brownie Starmite camera.
In a painting I did for the book Exploring the Lusitania, the
mini-sub Delta examines the port side of Lusitania’s bow in 1993.
Two years later Ballard again had me along, this
time on an expedition to explore and document the wreck of Britannic,
the second of Titanic’s two sisters, which had struck a German mine in
the Aegean Sea in 1916 while serving as a hospital ship. Fortunately
no patients were aboard as the vessel was on its way to pick up injured
in Moúdros, on the island of Limnos. I would be doing paintings of the
ship for an upcoming book called Lost Liners. The wreck, the largest
passenger ship on the sea floor in the world, lies on its starboard
side in 400 feet of beautifully clear water and is in remarkably intact
condition. On this trip the U.S. Navy’s nuclear research sub NR-1 was
used, and I went down one day for a good study session. Unlike at
Lusitania where the water had a deep, saturated green color, here it
was turquoise blue and much brighter. The visibility was so good that
when the sub had only begun to descend I could already begin to make
out the fuzzy shape of the dark hulk far below against the snow white
My Brownie snapshot of Walt Disney, Grand Marshal of the 1966
Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California, taken New Year’s Day 1966.
What a thrill it was to see him in person!
Two paintings of mine showing Britannic serving as a hospital
ship during World War I. The first is at sea during better times, the
second in the midst of sinking –– in less than an hour –– off the
island of Kea on the morning of November 21, 1916. 30 men lost their
The U.S. Navy nuclear research sub NR-1.
NR-1 is the largest sub I’ve experienced, with a
12-man crew, as I recall. So in this case I suffered little or no
anxiety, with a team of very experienced Navy crew and several officers
at the ready in case of any emergency. The small viewing area is up
forward under the control center, or bridge, accessible through a hatch
in the floor. I spent many hours down in that little observation area,
sketching and photographing. While touring around we found all four of
the ship’s funnels scattered about, all but one some distance from the
hull, each having been witnessed to topple over and break away as the
ship rolled during the last stage of the sinking. The funnels were in
amazing condition, each in one piece, with their ladders and whistles
still attached, although a bit flattened. The dive was to be maybe six
hours or so, but the weather deteriorated up top, got rough, and it was
decided to remain underwater throughout the night. I was fed along
with the crew, in shifts, at a small table, and given a “rack” to sleep
in. The next morning the wind and waves were just as bad, and in the
end we stayed down throughout that second day, as well. By the time we
surfaced we had been hovering over and around Britannic for just under
48 hours straight. A lot of study and documentation, including
detailed side-scan sonar mapping, were accomplished during that time.
And then, Titanic. In 2000 I was invited along on a segment
of what would be the last major Titanic artifact recovery effort, using
the twin Russian submersibles Mir-1 and Mir-2 and the support/research
ship Akademik Mstislav Keldysh. I was there with notebooks full of
archival photographs to assist with identification of objects and so
forth, not really knowing or expecting that I might actually dive. But
one day I was told I could go the next day if I wanted.
This artwork shows the wreck of Titanic’s sister ship Britannic
resting at a relatively shallow 400 feet, just off Greece. It is the
largest passenger shipwreck in the world.
I knew I couldn’t pass up the once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity, and I immediately accepted. After all, I was a seasoned
submariner now, right? But a low-level panic gripped me. This
wouldn’t be a relatively shallow 300 or 400 feet. This was 2 1/2
miles, straight down. You can imagine the thoughts racing in my head:
I’d be irreversibly trapped in a six-foot sphere with two other adults
for as long as 10 hours or more (sometimes a lot more)… descending to
the bottom of the Atlantic… and once there, the risk exists that at any
time we could snag on some debris and be stuck… or worse, that while
next to the towering hull some large debris might fall away from the
rusting hulk and pin us to the bottom… that because of the immense
outside pressure a sudden leak no more than a pinhole in size would
shoot water into the sphere with such force that it could, they said,
cut a man in two…not to mention worry about how stress or excitement
might affect my bladder and bowels, with no toilet available. And
there’s just the one pilot. What if he has a stroke or a heart
attack? Neither of us passengers had a clue of how to get us safely
back to the surface or even how to use the UQC communication equipment
(underwater acoustic radio). It was a dizzying array of fears and
hesitation. But I had to do it. I’d never live it down if I didn’t.
I wasn’t as nervous about it as some, though. I
was told that a few had gotten as far as the hatch on top of the sub
and changed their minds, and I know people who say they wouldn’t do it
for a million dollars.
On August 5, 2000, after donning the Nomex
fireproof diving suit issued to all Mir divers, I climbed down into
Mir-1. It wasn’t nearly as scary as I’d feared. The other passenger
and I were given a very brief tutorial on how to operate the UQC if the
pilot became disabled, and that’s all we really needed to know. Turns
out it was always on and connected, and all we had to do was press the
mic switch and we’d be heard by the other sub, where someone would
always be able to speak English and could relay to us what to do via
the other pilot. The two Mirs always dived together for safety
reasons, and that was reassuring.
The nickel-steel sphere is something like 6.5 feet (about 2
meters) in interior diameter, but there are all kinds of instruments,
video recorders, communication equipment, an air scrubber, etc., fixed
to the sides and impinging on our elbow, leg and head room, and our
various camera bags were hung from above. Despite this, I became
quickly used to the confined space and felt more or less comfortable.
It is what it is, and you just can’t worry about it. The Russian
pilots are extremely experienced with their subs, and watching them
operate with such confidence is comforting.
The Russian scientific research ship Akademik Mstislav Keldysh is
owned by the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of
Sciences in Moscow. The twin submersibles Mir-1 and Mir-2 are housed
under two large “garage doors” on deck. The cutaway shows the
three-person pressure sphere.
It takes about two hours forty minutes to free-fall, at about
1 mph, to the bottom where Titanic rests at about 12,500 feet. The air
pressure inside the sphere remains at “one atmosphere” throughout the
dive, the same as it on the surface when the hatch is closed, so there
are no potential ear aches to worry about. I’d been told it gets very
cold inside (the outside water temperature is just above freezing at
depth, with only the heat of our bodies and the various electrical
equipment to heat the space), and I don’t like to be cold, but I never,
in all my Titanic dives, really felt too uncomfortable. I don’t recall
ever needing more than a light sweatshirt. There are dark blue padded
vinyl mats for the two observers to lie on on either side of the pilot
who sits in the center, and each observer has a viewport about four or
five inches in diameter, while the pilot’s port is about eight inches.
Q: It sounds like the existence of a gunner in the dome on
the underbelly of one of those B52’s – prone, uncomfortable and
KM: There were many distractions outside that took my mind away
from any discomfort. A real highlight of descending through the
pitch-black water column and ascending again later is passing through
the region of bioluminescent creatures. With the outside lights turned
off to conserve battery power, it was astonishing, simply awesome, to
peer out of the port while we slowly moved vertically through the
water, our turbulence disturbing thousands of myriad living things and
causing them to light up in their varying hues of greenish yellow,
lavender and white. There were individual bursts and rippling,
undulating chains of light. Sometimes I could see the bluish glow from
a larger creature far off in the black, mysterious distance. It was
creepy and utterly wondrous at the same time, the ultimate “immersive”
experience, absolutely magical and almost as interesting as exploring
the wreck and debris field itself. It proved to be a fascinating study
in how different we humans are, as well. While I was glued to my
viewport oohhing and ahhing over the glowing wonders drifting past
outside, one fellow observer across from me on a later dive (his first)
couldn’t have been less interested in the spectacle on display outside
our sub. Go figure.
My reaction to first seeing Titanic with my own
eyes was rather anticlimactic, I’m afraid. I had already studied
thousands of photos and dozens of hours of video of the wreck while
illustrating books about Bob Ballard’s 1985 discovery and exploration
in ’86, so I knew almost every nook and cranny of the thing by then.
If anything, it was like meeting an old friend. Not too many
surprises. I will say that I was struck by the sheer size of the ship,
seeing it with my own eyes. It seemed absolutely huge. Another thing
that stuck with me was the ghostly stillness down there, in the utter
blackness, enlivened only rarely by a slow-moving rattail fish or
occasionally by other creatures, from shrimps to small jellyfish, and
on the sediment were starfish (called “brittle stars”) and large,
purplish slug-like things.
There is weather down there. Big time. On one
dive there might be virtually no current, and you could see 80 feet or
more with the sub’s lights. The very next day there could be a
significant current running, with light fluffy debris “blowing” along
the sediment like tumbleweeds in the desert, and you could hardly see
The rivet counter that I am, my most excited
moments moving around the wreck were when I spotted small structural
details I hadn’t known about before. I remember almost having my
breath taken away when I noticed, hidden behind a cargo crane in the
forward well deck, a bulkhead lamp fixture with an intact wire guard
over it. It was the first time, to my knowledge, that any living
Titanic historian or model builder had known of this fixture, tucked
away behind the large crane base and virtually never visible in
archival photographs. I felt I was the first to see this lamp since
the night of April 15, 1912, and know what it was, and I was
awestruck. After decades of studying the ship and her every detail,
this was a private, personal and meaningful moment. It felt like
Titanic was speaking to me. “Hello, Ken. You didn’t know this about
me, did you?”
Q: I can imagine the thrill of the moment and that sudden
sharp intake of breath you must have experienced.
KM: The air in the sphere is kept clean and fresh by
the scrubber, the filters for which have to be changed once or twice
during a dive. The UQC volume has to be kept on in case the other sub
might communicate with us, and its constant static noise can become
mind numbing if you don’t use earplugs. Late in the dive, usually
shortly before ascent, we take a break in our work, rest on the wreck
or the mud bottom for a while, and the pilot opens a compartment under
his perch and brings out edibles, a thermos with a hot beverage and a
large chocolate bar for each of us.
Thankfully my bowel concerns have always been unwarranted, but
I had no shame when it came to peeing. While one fellow diver, Ralph
White, light-heartedly boasted about his “mind over bladder,” I didn’t
want to be uncomfortable and soon learned that, hey, it ain’t so bad to
just turn your back and use the large plastic pee bottle. That’s what
it’s there for.
On that first dive in 2000 selecting and
recovering artifacts from the vast debris field, I was busy, on a
mission, observing intently and trying to recognize interesting or
important objects among the tangled wreckage for potential recovery.
For my five subsequent Titanic dives on Jim Cameron’s explorations in
2001 and 2005, also using Keldysh and the faithful Mirs, my job was
equally busy but a different task –– to direct the pilot in my sub to
light shots for Jim who was in the other sub or to otherwise scout out
areas for investigation or photography. So, in GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS or
LAST MYSTERIES OF THE TITANIC, when you see what appears to be sunlight
streaming in through windows or portholes as Jim explores the ghostly
interior with one of his ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), or “bots,”
that’s usually me out there, guiding the pilot so our sub could act as
a lighting source for Jim.
Two shots taken during Mir dives between 2000 and 2005. Between
expeditions their orange tops were repainted red.
Planning sessions aboard Keldysh in 2001. In the first image we
are plotting out rendezvous spots for the Mirs as well as camera and
lighting angles using a large model of the wreck that Jim Cameron
commissioned for this purpose. The second photo shows Jim pointing to a
target on a Titanic interior deck plan, while his brother Mike (left)
and I are suited up and ready to launch. On this day the Mir that Mike
and I were in would be launched first, and Jim would follow about 30
With pilot Genya Chernayev and Mike Cameron in front of a Mir,
and Genya and I inside on the way to the bottom, both taken in ‘01.
Actually, the interior pic was shot on the morning of Sept. 11. Little
did we know that the world above was plunging into chaos at that very
In another wreck scene of mine we see the two Mir subs and a
lighting platform used in Jim Cameron’s 2001 Titanic exploration. The
original painting lacks these vehicles. I added them digitally later
for the children’s book Titanic: Ghosts of the Abyss.
The most worrisome time of a dive for me
eventually became my concern over the sea condition when we surfaced in
the evening or at night. It always seemed to be rougher during
recoveries than during morning launches. I don’t like to be seasick
(I’d rather break an arm, seriously), so the thought of being in this
small tub and tossing and rolling around incessantly for up to half an
hour or more before being lifted back onto the deck of Keldysh was very
unsettling. Fortunately I never was sick. I just lay down on my mat,
on my back, and closed my eyes, breathed deeply and imagined I was on
some fun ride at Disneyland, and tried to relax.
So there you are, a few of my “impressions and
recollections” of diving in submarines to famous wrecks.
One of my jobs was to help guide the pilot of one sub to light
the proper windows and portholes so that Jim Cameron had evocative and
useful light streaming in while he was exploring inside the wreck. Here
are two views inside Titanic showing such light pouring in. The imagery
was shot in standard definition with one of Jim’s several compact bots.
I then blended numerous adjacent video frames to increase resolution
for use in the book Ghosts of the Abyss, published in 2003.
Q: So Ken, your life has clearly been a series of
exciting, satisfying and memorable events and opportunities where it
seems to me that all of your professional wishes had been granted… and
then some. What more could one ask for.
KM: For two decades, when asked what I did for a living, I would
proudly say, “I’m a matte artist in the film industry.” It’s taken
many years to really come to grips with the fact that I can’t say that
anymore. My matte-painting days are over. It’s history. I’m not a
person who likes change. I adapt slowly. Too slowly, probably, to
master the vastly complex machinations of 21st century digital
effects. The learning curve would be a bit too steep, I suspect, for
an older guy like me, and the pace of work and demands to which digital
artists are subjected are suited to others with far higher energy
levels than I possess. So I have returned to my roots, as it were,
painting maritime commissions for clients, advising on various
Titanic-related projects and doing occasional Photoshop work. I’ve
thought of teaching art, as well, passing my experience and knowledge
along to younger generations. Bruce has been encouraging in that
regard. Who knows... maybe that will be the next chapter in my life.
Assembling these old, faded film test clips and scanning,
color-correcting (I’m stunned by how magenta some of them have become,
despite being kept in complete darkness), cleaning and otherwise
restoring the imagery for posting in this blog has been a cathartic
journey. Our traditional original-negative matte-painting work just
slowly died, killed off by digital, leaving me with a sense of loss.
I've missed it. And this blog project, something that’s taken over six
months to pull together, has allowed me to finally tie it all up with a
bow. It’s closure. And I needed that.
|Magenta faded 35mm of some 30 years in storage clip now restored.|
Although Bruce and I kept our heads low and never sought the
limelight, when Mark Cotta Vaz and Craig Barron published their seminal
work The Invisible Art, it caught us completely by surprise. We had no
idea someone was putting together such a massive and detailed volume,
flattering matte artists known and unknown, and it stung that we were
never approached and our decades of work never mentioned. We had kept
such a low profile, I guess, that the authors didn’t even know of us.
So, to finally have some of our efforts recognized here in this
endlessly fascinating blog, interviewed along with so many other
legendary and stellar names in the world of matte art, is an honor and,
frankly, a healing experience for us.
On behalf of Bruce and myself, thank you, Peter, for
contacting us and offering us this opportunity. And thank you for all
your work in continuing to bring the traditional art of matte painting
to light and keeping the flame burning.
|A substantial matte from the film NOTHING BUT TROUBLE|
Q: It's been a true pleasure Ken, and I wish to thank you and Bruce for your
enthusiam, generosity and patience with this endeavour. I'm sure my readers
all feel likewise.
Many of these and other original matte paintings by Ken Marschall
are available for purchase. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Serious
inquiries only, please. To see more of Ken’s Titanic artwork, check
Both of Bruce Block’s books are available at Amazon.com.
I see there were in fact 2 or 3 glitches in the captions after all. I did go back in 3 times and attempted to rectify those oddities, but for some tech reason they remain 'unfixable'.ReplyDelete
Anyway, terrific interview and imagery abound.
Aw! Can't wait to read! I'm saving this for Sunday, though! Feet up, hot cup of coffee and some matte painting goodness!ReplyDelete
Not sure if my comment posted, but here goes again. If this is a reprise, please delete!ReplyDelete
Fantastic artwork. Thanks for posting this. Got the link from Instapundit.com...so you should have a rush of incoming people. Grats on the instalanche.
Wow... there have been (as of just18 hours) some 3277 hits on this one article thus far.Delete
If wasn't for Ken Marschall's incredible paintings, James Cameron wouldn't have had an amazing reference to his work in "Titanic". Still one of the most beautiful movies ever made and one of my all-time favorites.ReplyDelete
Without question Jim Cameron's epic would not have been half the film it was without Ken's incredible paintings, much as George Lucas' STAR WARS benefitted enormously by the wonderfully evocative pre-production paintings of the late Ralph McQuarrie.
"Without question Jim Cameron's epic would not have been half the film it was without Ken's incredible paintings"ReplyDelete
As the artist under discussion here, I do greatly appreciate the compliments, but as a colleague and friend of Cameron's -- and in case he ever has the time to peruse this blog -- I want to make it clear that the above comment does not reflect my view. My artwork inspired a few of the scenes in the film, and the director of photography was instructed to try to match the lighting seen in some of my paintings, but Jim is more than capable of creating evocative footage on his own, I assure you. ;-)
Thanks for clarifying my overly 'all encompassing' statement.
Hi, Pete there are some nice but small mattes at the very beginning - any chance of showing them larger ? Also, as good as Craig's book is, I don't think it would have been editorially possible to present such a stunning illustrated overview as Pete was able to do - this is a fabulous article !ReplyDelete
Thanks for that Steve. Even with the obvious Blogger issues that are evident, at least I can go as far as I wish with these articles, images, interviews and obscure old material as my heart desires. It is indeed reassuring when readers such as yourself respond and tell me my efforts are after all, worthwhile and vital. I'm free to do pretty much as I wish with the site as I'm not obliged to fulfill any publisher's restrictive framework nor chief editor's whims. I know that Craig was unable to include all that he had prepared and submitted for The Invisible Art due to the publisher's demands. I'm very hopeful of a possible Invisible Art Redux in the future....... 'Watch this space' as they say.Delete
Those 'small' Ken Marschall images you refer to will indeed appear again in glorious full screen versions in future NZPete Matte Shot blog posts as the subject or theme allows. Watch out for 'The Concrete Jungle - Matte Painting the Urban Landscape' as one such example.
I just couldn't include all of Ken and Bruce's phenomenal work in even a 3 part blog. As it was, Ken and Bruce contributed an enormous amount of time and energy with this mammoth article - not just with photographing all the paintings, pulling out, cleaning up and restoring faded negs and 35mm clips, going through old camera reports, not to mention just recalling the film and the circumstances surrounding the shot - we just had to draw the line somewhere so that they could 'move on'. I can't speak highly enough of their 100% commitment, though I am somewhat saddened that all their hard work doesn't come through as well as it should due to my technical headaches encountered. :(
Master effects artist Harrison Ellenshaw dropped me this email and said I could post it here:ReplyDelete
"OMG --- this is the most amazing blog yet! Ken is so self effacing, made all the more significant that he's one of the best artists I've never known about. Kudos to you Pete, for bringing this to light. I am truly blown away!"
British effects man Leigh Took of Mattes & Miniatures wrote me too:ReplyDelete
"Thanks Peter, Another great piece. And fantastic work from Matte Effects.
And they painted so small! Brilliant skills indeed.
Cheers for now
Thank you, Harrison, so much, for your generous words. I am truly taken aback. It means a lot to me coming from someone like you.ReplyDelete
Pete, I hope I didn't come off sounding snippy in my earlier comment. I recently told Jim Cameron of your blog feature on Bruce and me, and I just didn't want him to read the comments and think that I in any way influenced your enthusiastic sentiment about my contribution to his TITANIC.
Best to all,
This was a great blog post! Ken's recounting of his dive experiences had me on the edge of my seat. I felt like I was right there on the sub(s) experiencing the sights and sounds of the trip! Thanks Pete, for this trio of excellent posts! I'm so glad that Ken and Bruce's huge body of work and contribution to the art form is finally getting the recognition it deserves.ReplyDelete
I worked on "Titanic" with Bob and Dennis Skotak at 4-Ward Productions, and I can attest that we did indeed use Don and Ken's book as our "bible" for the look of our work on that film. As far as I know, we (along with Chris Evans at Matte World) did the only traditional matte painting effects in the movie. (There are other matte shots in the film, but they were executed digitally.) 4-Ward's came at the beginning of the movie, with the view of the ship and dockside seen out the window of the pub where Jack and his friend win their tickets on the doomed voyage in a card game.
I joke that "Titanic" was the most specific, detailed direction I've ever had on a shot- "It's precisely 11:54 AM in Southampton on the morning of April 10, 1912. Here are the exact lighting and weather conditions on that day".
"Titanic" was my last job in traditional visual effects. After that, I started working digitally full time. As a huge fan of shipwreck movies, I'm pleased to have worked on it. Others might attempt a shipwreck movie, but "Titanic" will never, ever be topped.
It's good to hear from you again. So glad you enjoyed the 'trilogy'. Ken was of two minds as to whether his undersea adventures would belong in a special fx blog but I expressly asked Ken to spell it all out for us, as it's about as compelling (and dangerous?) 'past time one could engage in. I agree with your sentiments on that submariner sideline, though you'd not get me down there for all the tea in China......and my Grandfather was a submariner in WWI on some ghastly, sweaty, fume laden tub in The Dardenelles.
BTW- We never did sort out those 'HEXED' mattes and their providance.
All the best
Ken Marschall is a god to me.ReplyDelete
And a genius of art.
A they are waiting to recognize their merit, to ken is dead.
I tell you now in life eternal thanks ken. You art you are sacred to me. A treasure, a jewel that gladdens my life. And I will always remember.
Your biggest fan Jose. A from Europe.
You could be eligible to receive a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.ReplyDelete
This blog is just beautiful, Ken Marschall's story and his artwork are wonderful.ReplyDelete
Thank you very much for these articles on this very good blog.
I would have a question about the "Titanic & plymouth"?
I heard that Ken Marschall would have painted his own "Titanic & Plymouth"!
Is it true or is it a mistake, I even read on an article that he would have burned his canvas, because his reproduction of the "Titanic & Plymouth" was not in this expectation?
Is it true?
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Glad you enjoyed my blog on the extremely talented Ken Marschall and Bruce Block.
Sorry, I have no idea about the painting you refer to. You'd have to ask Ken directly.