Sunday, September 21, 2014
For the last several months I have been working on a project for the Port Washington Public Library. I have been taking portraits of people holding objects from the library's collection of drawings and paintings that are meaningful to them. Some of the subjects are people from the community, some are library staff or directors of the library. There are text blocks for each of the subjects where they explain what the objects mean to them. The amazing part is that the finished portraits are 30 by 40 inches in size! I have never made prints this size before. This picture was taken on the day that all of the portraits were being hung for the exhibition. You can see how large the prints are in this photo in comparison to the people in the photograph.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:40 PM
Saturday, September 20, 2014
This was the TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport, an architectural icon designed by Eero Saarinen and completed in 1962. This is the back of the building. You may remember seeing it because of its curved, wing shaped roofs, as seen from the front. The building is now part of the new T5 complex of Jet Blue, and it thrills me that they have left up this iconic sign. Trans World Airlines was a major American airline from 1925 until 2001. Along with American, United, and Eastern, it was one of the "Big Four" domestic airlines in the United States. Carl Icahn acquired control of TWA and took the company private in a leveraged buyout in 1988. TWA became saddled with debt, sold its London routes, and underwent Chapter 11 restructuring, before finally being merged with American Airlines. American laid off many former TWA employees in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks and closed its St. Louis hub in 2003. Such a sad end to a once-great airline. Funny how seeing the TWA logo again brought this all back to me. In the background is the new modernistic control tower for JFK airport.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:34 PM
Friday, September 19, 2014
That golden sunlight that you saw in yesterday's post was not done with as the flight continued. We were circling around on approach to the airport, and then when we turned on to final approach, landing to the north, we could see this beautiful golden sunlight illuminating the Rockaways. It was absolutely stunning. I don't ever remember landing at any airport with such stunning light. Good to be away, and always good to be back home.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 6:57 PM
Thursday, September 18, 2014
When am I going to learn? I had the window seat outbound, and Kathy had it heading home. So I left my camera in the backpack under the seat in front of me. It was cloudy most of the way, so no need for the camera. UNTIL it was time to let down from cruise altitude. We were descending through a cloud deck, and suddenly there was the sun reflecting off the water! So I went to grab it and realized there was no time! So I quickly grabbed my iPhone and made this shot. This looks OK, and you might wonder why I am disappointed it wasn't done with a camera. It's just that the quality would be so much better, if I wanted to make a large print. A pretty amazing scene, isn't it?
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:24 PM
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Our alternate breakfast place in Venice is Cafe 50's on Lincoln Avenue. It is a different experience from the place on Abbot Kinney. As you can see, it has all the accoutrements from the diners we knew back in "the old days." My favorite, of course, is the juke box selection box in each booth. They don't work here - you have to get up and go to the juke box itself, but that does work. And of course our favorite choice for breakfast is two eggs scrambled, with bacon and whole wheat toast, and home fries. Makes me feel sixteen again!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:18 PM
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
This is Dave and I found him at work at our favorite funky coffee shop in Venice. I saw him drawing one day, and stopped to comment on his drawings. The next day I talked to him again, and asked if I could do a portrait of him. He draws in pencil, and then finishes the drawings in charcoal, which makes them deeply, richly black. Apparently he takes the drawings and prints tee-shirts from them. This coffee shop will be moving eventually to a brand new building under construction, and will loose all it's charm - it has been here forever. So this is not only a portrait of Dave, but a portrait of the coffee shop as well.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:24 PM
Monday, September 15, 2014
So this is a great story. I saw this young woman, wearing a blue jumper, and carrying a handbag over one shoulder, riding her skateboard in the bowls of the skateboard park on the beach in Venice. There are guys racing all around the park on their boards doing unbelievable tricks! This young woman is slowly learning to skate and would swoop down into one of the bowls and around through the other bowls. She was cautious, and when she got to a dicey spot, would just run off her board, pick it up, and walk back to where she started. All the skaters here are respectful of each other - I have seen children five or six years old, and the killer skaters stand respectfully by and watch them, as they did for this woman. The thing that I really love about this, is that if you didn't know the story, she appears lost in the canyons.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:47 PM