Kenneth (Ken) Marschall

Profile Updated: May 24, 2015
Residing In: Redondo Beach, CA USA
Occupation: Illustrator/artist
Comments:

Easier to just link to bio at www.KenMarschall.com

Here's an in-depth look at my 20-year career in movie special effects, specifically matte painting (and other projects): http://nzpetesmatteshot.blogspot.com/

The interview will get pushed down as others are posted to the blog, so if you don't see it, just search my name.

School Story:

I did a 16x20-inch painting of the Titanic and entered it in the '68 PHS art show (I've posted two pics of it here). It was rejected. I say this because it's funny -- I went on to literally make a career out of painting that ship and still get commissioned to do so today.

In the late summer of '69 I gifted that first "primitive" painting to astronaut Neil Armstrong following his Apollo 11 experience, and he kindly wrote me a letter of thanks and autographed a photo to me. I was "over the moon," beyond thrilled. It was a rather ridiculous and inappropriate thing to give him, and I apologized for that, but the artwork was something I had created and meant a lot to me, and I wanted to demonstrate my support at a time when critics were showing up at the astronauts' appearances and ridiculing the U.S. space program as being pointless and wasteful.

Another photo shows a later and distinctly more sophisticated work.

The PHS pep rallies were so impressive. What a great band and drill team!! The precision of all those young women, their white gloves snapping this way and that in perfect unison. Stunning.

A few influential teachers I will always remember -- Rollie Younger (art), Mrs. Kearney and Ms. LaRue (both English). Learned so much from them. A family member tracked down Rollie in 2000, and he actually came to the surprise 50th birthday party that my partner threw for me that year. Couldn't believe it. So great to see him again. As of a couple of years ago he was still with us, living up in Cambria.

(If anyone's interested in seeing what Rollie's been up to lately:
https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1574985280
... and go to page 17.)

I think about the pride we had in excellence, the embarrassment and humiliation we felt if we got a bad grade and disappointed our parents; the courtesy and respect that was instilled in us; the excitement and promise of a grand and better future. How shockingly different it is today, with so many kids perfectly happy not being able to write a coherent sentence (and yet they're still graduated), knowledge of history at an all-time low (I read that 46% of U.S. grads today can't tell you in what decade Lincoln was assassinated -- European students know more about our history than we do), and so on. I often feel that our graduating class was the last hurrah, the last year that students had such pride in themselves, a sense of responsibility and respect for others.

I remember graduation in the Rose Bowl and Grad Night at Disneyland like it was last week.

Best friend in high school was Chris Bragdon, a snare drummer in the band, and we've remained in touch ever since. He's alive and well and has been living happily overseas for the past decade or so.

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