GONE ARE THE DAYS . . .

GONE ARE THE DAYS . . .

Bunny Win 12x12" oil

Bunny Win 12×12″ oil-on-aluminum

Suspended . . . Coney Island painting project. The beach, Washington Baths, swimming, blackball, cool sand under the boardwalk, with friends, watching Tuesday night fireworks, Nathan’s hotdogs, French fries and steamed corn.

I didn’t get to choose between writing and painting until I decided to paint Bierstadt’s Domes of Yosemite in 2009. Captivated by how the painting came to life, Indigo Sky is an historic romantic adventure inspired by Bierstadt’s journey from the Catskills to Yosemite.

Indigo Sky Bookcover

Indigo Sky Bookcover

After extensive studies and writing workshops, among many was Carol Dannhauser’s Memoir writing and Michael Hauge’s, A Hero’s Journey. I realized that I could never get this book written while I was still painting. My writing hijacked me and held me prisoner until the ‘end.’ The time flew by, those several years. Consider, I could have acquired a PhD in writing!  Metaphors and similes, the tools serious writers need made a difference, I learned and I loved writing . . . Truly!!!

One day, I looked up—Soul Mate Publishing published my book—suddenly, I was a published author.

You see, I had been painting full time, everyday, three workshops every week, sketching, photographing, scanning, framing, it is a full time job. Writing is the same. I did a ton of research before I even began to write. Then I wrote everyday, researched when necessary. Writing is rewriting. First draft, second draft, edit, edit and more edit. Then when the publisher’s editor got hold of it, we did more editing. We deleted down from 86k to 82k. It was not scary or sad. It was good. I knew it needed more editing, always, especially when a professional looks at your work.

Domes of Yosemite (Ode to Bierstadt) Ingis Claus

Domes of Yosemite (Ode to Bierstadt) 24×36″ acrylic on canvas

 

Finally, when the book was published, I finished my painting project. I love to paint! Now, literally, with the show on the road, I am seriously thinking about writing my next historical romance, maybe in and around Coney Island. This blog sees the culmination of my Coney Island painting project, on view, until September 30 at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Norwalk, CT. Come party with us on Thursday, September 8, from 5:30 – 7:30pm. Clap along with us as we demo a swing dance (Lindy) just like in Coney Island way back when, to the big band mix of, ‘In the Mood, Sweet Sue, Rockin’ the Rock named “Jive Bunny.” See the invitation here:

Coney Island: Visions from the Boardwalk
Meet Artist-Writer Gail Ingis Claus at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum
Artist Reception and Book Signing Party, Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-7:30 pm Enjoy exotic aged cheeses, grapes, berries, and veggie crudites generously provided by Susan Kane, Catering

Cyclone, Oh What a Ride 12x24 OilConey Island’s Cyclone: Oh What a Ride 12×24 Oil-on-Anodized-Aluminum

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is pleased to present more than 25 paintings
from artist-writer Gail Ingis-Claus. The artist will be signing copies of her new
book entitled INDIGO SKY. During the reception, the Lockwood-Mathews
Mansion Museum will be offering the book at a special show price.
Unique Offer: Enter at the reception to Win A FREE Book and a Coney Island
print! Attendees of the Artist Reception and Book Signing Party on Thursday,
September 8, 2016, will be entered to win a complimentary copy of Gail’s novel in
paperback and a Coney Island print from her art collection. The drawing will take place
shortly before closing at 7:15 pm. The winning ticket holder must be present to
receive the free book, bookmark, and print of Coney Island.
Founding Patron
The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown
2016 Distinguished Benefactors:
The Maurice Goodman Foundation
Sponsor: www.investmarkfinancial.com
RSVP by Friday, Sept 2, 2016
203-838-9799 ext. 4 Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum
www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com
295 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850
203-838-9799

Free, win an Indigo Sky eBook download. Winner chosen from those who comment! Deadline, Wednesday, August 17th at midnight.

 

GONE ARE THE DAYS . . .

CONEY ISLAND & INDIGO SKY

Cyclone, Oh What a Ride 12x24 Oil

Cyclone, Oh, What a Ride 12×24 Oil-on-Dibond

I have so much going on, there’s barely time to breathe. My Coney Island art project, past and present, is finally installed, and can be viewed until September 30th. The reception, sponsored by Investmark, will include a book signing of my newly released novel, Indigo Sky, and a dance demonstration by a master ballroom dancing duo inspired by the 1960s music once performed at Coney Island. Appetizers generously provided by Susan Kane, Catering. Come to the shindig on Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-7:30 at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Ave. Norwalk, CT 203-838-9799.

Back Cover Blurb: In a whirlwind romance, a lovely New York socialite marries a fêted, debonair author. But beneath the charm is a cheating husband addicted to hasheesh. Her dream marriage turns sour and the simplicity of her life runs amok when a handsome stranger, her husband’s business partner, threatens her staunch loyalty to her wayward husband. When she faces the ugly truth about her marriage, her need to finalize her divorce sends her on a  chase across the wilds of nineteenth century America with a handsome stranger–she learns hard lessons of murder, kidnapping and more that almost destroy her.

indigoSky-Soulmate-805_805x1275-2Check out the 5-star reviews on Amazon, http://amzn.to/29Dy9CF, and Goodreads, http://bit.ly/29Pem1S for Indigo Sky!

Follow me . . .

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Are you coming to the shindig, Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-7:30pm? You can let me know here in comments, or on Facebook.

CONEY ISLAND: VISIONS FROM THE BOARDWALK

CONEY ISLAND: VISIONS FROM THE BOARDWALK

Boardwalk bench

Boardwalk bench

A visit to Coney Island in 2010 and hundreds of photos later, I began painting the Wonder Wheel while studying portraits with my friend, and portrait artist, Laurel Stern Boeck. Laurel said, “You grew up in Coney Island, you love it, why don’t you paint images as an art project?” I took her suggestion and ran with it. Half a hundred paintings later, Susan Gilgore, Director of Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, invited me to exhibit my work at the museum. My project will be installed on July 9, 2016. Art bash to be held on Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Crowded beach

Crowded beach

A sultry day in Brooklyn, you can see the heat rise up from the streets, you can smell the heat, it’s like dancing in a frying pan. Kids in my day didn’t open up fire hydrants, they gathered their friends and bathing suits and went to the beach. A walk across the street, climb the stairs and catch the train (BMT) to the beach. Coney Island, Surf Avenue—last stop.

Custard cone

Custard cone

On the walk from the train station, we stopped for nothing, the quest for sea and sand took precedent. Later, on our way home, came the fun foods, a bite of Nathan’s hot dogs, Chow Mein on a roll and sugary cotton candy that melted in your mouth. Custard with sprinkles; piled high on a cone, you couldn’t lick fast enough as it dripped down your arm.

Picture booth

Picture booth

We paid frequent visits to Coney Island, at first mostly to visit my grandma. I fell in love with this playland, this dreamland, a place of make-believe and fantasy, like imagining being Cinderella.

Cyclone ticket booth

Cyclone ticket booth

My friends loved the famous Cyclone, a ride I dared to take. The ride moved me to frightening frozen tears. Never again, twice in my lifetime was twice too many. We took pictures of ourselves in picture booths, went to the freak shows, the house of wax, the animal nursery, restaurants—like Child’s on the boardwalk—rifle ranges, push cart rides and parades.

Washington Baths pool

Washington Baths W. 21st big pool That’s me somewhere in there.

I swam in the briny Atlantic, bobbled floating over the waves, cooled off and played under the boardwalk, and watched the fireworks on Tuesday nights. I belonged to Washington Baths where I swam in a huge salt-water pool, dived from the low diving board. No one complained about stinging eyes from the chlorine, but mine were sure red after all those hand stands under water. I sunned myself on the private beach. When I got there in the mornings, I left my friends on the beach, donned my glove and played blackball on the Washington Baths handball courts. The experienced, intelligent men were super competitive. I did well, but I think those seniors went easy on me; they kept calling me pretty girl. Hmm, I wonder?

I will never forget the polio scare. Kids were dropping, and we all thought we were going to get sick. I didn’t, and none of my friends got sick. We were lucky. The Polio scare didn’t deter us, we kept on coming to Coney Island.

Finally in 1952, I got the Salk vaccine.

My Coney Island paintings can be viewed at www.gailingis.com.

Freak show

Freak show

I WRITE, and I PAINT!

I WRITE, and I PAINT!

I write, and I paint. Is it possible to do both? Really?

Wonder Woman 1942

Wonder Woman 1942 ( I used to own these, mom made me throw out all my comic books. Imagine?)

The Urban Sketching Handbook, Understanding Perspective by Stephanie Bower

The Urban Sketching Handbook, Understanding Perspective by Stephanie Bower

Comic book visuals that captured the hearts of America, mystified me. My pencil crossed the blank page pulling lines to create yesteryear’s super heroine, Wonder Woman. I don’t remember coloring the pictures. It would have had to be crayon, so I just used my pencil.

I sketch on location. Like my long time architect friend, Stephanie Bower. She takes groups all over Seattle, Italy, Hong Kong, Asia, and more. She teaches sketching and makes perspective easy. A great tool for drawing is her new book, Urban Sketching Handbook, Understanding Perspective: She says in her book,  How does perspective work? And where is that darn vanishing point? Understanding Perspective helps you bridge the theoretical world of Perspective concept with the real world of on site sketching. Stephanie shows you how in her book and online with her Crafty classes video.

Where is writing in this creative world of mine?

I didn’t get to choose between writing and painting until I decided to paint Bierstadt’s Domes of Yosemite. Captivated by how the painting came to life, although told as fiction, this true romance, Indigo Sky, is based on Bierstadt’s journey.

After extensive studies and writing workshops, I realized that I could never get this book written while I was still painting. My writing hijacked me, and held me prisoner until the ‘end.’ The time flew by.

Metaphors and similes, the tools serious writers need made a difference, I learned and I loved writing . . . Truly!!!

indigoSky-Soulmate-805_805x1275-2

Indigo Sky

Invitation to Gail's Art Bash and book signing-Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-7:30 PM

Invitation to Gail’s Art Bash and book signing-Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-7:30 PM

Suspended . . . Coney Island painting project. The beach, Washington Baths, swimming, blackball, cool sand under the boardwalk, with friends watching Tuesday night fireworks, Nathan’s hotdogs, French fries and steamed corn.

Today’s blog sees the culmination of my book and my Coney Island project. Indigo Sky is published as an Amazon eBook, and will be out in paperback and audiobook by August.

Coney Island project to be installed at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum on July 9, 2016. An art bash and book signing exhibition is forthcoming on Thursday, September 8, 2016. An invitation is at the left.

Knowing that I can’t write and paint simultaneously, my dilemma is to choose. Like notable American novelist Peter Selgin says, “It’s like choosing between two lovers.” One is like a water sprite leaping from rock to rock in a babbling brook—delightful, delicious and delectable. The other is serious, elusive with thoughts examining and imagining experiences and occasionally describing them.

Drawing a breath, is like drawing a line. My passion for painting and drawing is like breathing. My tools . . . pencil, paintbrush, and sketchbook are indispensable, like my morning coffee.

Choose writing, and I become a thinking machine. It’s difficult to raise up a world of words that express traits in my characters. My readers ask that I keep writing. I am torn, and still sketching and painting. My writing is waiting.

CONEY ISLAND PUMPING STATION UPDATE

CONEY ISLAND PUMPING STATION UPDATE

 Preservationists and Coney Island residents want the Coney Island Pumping Station to be landmarked, renovated and repurposed for the community's use. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan


Preservationists and Coney Island residents want the Coney Island Pumping Station to be landmarked, renovated and repurposed for the community’s use. Photos by Lore Croghan of Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Back in the day, the Coney Island Pumping Station saved many lives and properties by providing high-pressure water to firefighters.
Educator Merryl Kafka wanted to drive that point home visually — so she wore a firefighter’s helmet to testify at a city Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) hearing on October 8th.

“Coney has lost much of its architectural framework, but we can save this 1938 modern masterpiece preserved as public art … with a new purpose,” said Kafka, the co-founder of the Rachel Carson High School of Coastal Studies in Coney Island. “Let this building be the one.”

Preservationists from the Art Deco Society of New York and numerous other groups turned out to testify that they want the Coney Island Pumping Station to be landmarked, renovated and repurposed for the community’s use.
The pumping station at 2301 Neptune Ave. was one of seven Brooklyn historic sites that have been on the LPC’s calendar for consideration as landmarks for many years without a decision from the preservation agency.

The hearing was a first step in an intensive LPC campaign to clear up that calendar backlog. There are 95 properties citywide on the backlog list.
The lozenge-shaped Arte Moderne-style pumping station was the only public work designed by prominent architect Irwin Chanin. It boosted the water pressure available for firefighters in Coney Island, which was frequently stricken by devastating conflagrations.

Merryl Kafka

Merryl Kafka wears a firefighter’s helmet to the October 8th Landmarks Preservation commission hearing about the Coney Island Pumping Station. BEST HAT. EVER!

Decorative Art Deco-style limestone statues of winged horses were removed many years ago from the long-decommissioned pumping station and loaned to the Brooklyn Museum.
“The Elgin Marbles are waiting at the Brooklyn Museum for reassembly,” testified Sean Khorsandi, an alumnus of Cooper Union, like Chanin himself.
“The power lies with you,”  Khorsandi told commissioners.
“Give a landmark to a neighborhood that basically is NYCHA public housing,” Dick Zigun, known as the unofficial mayor of Coney Island, said at the hearing.

Does this interest you? What is your take on saving America’s history?

This blog is a repeat today with the Good news as of October 8, 2015. The Pumping Station has been saved.Original existing pumping station and my oil paintingTop: Original existing pumping station on Neptune Ave in Coney Island and below: Pumping Station Pink-my oil painting on aluminum 12×24″Pumping Station Pink 12x24" Oil/Aluminum

FANTASY OF FIREWORKS

FANTASY OF FIREWORKS

fwFireworks fwFireworks-History-Gear-Patrol-Lead- fwfourth-of-july-fireworks-statue-of-liberty fw1Fireworks fw4th_fireworks sofliberty fw0701_fire_crop fw1024px-Artilleryshells1 fw1024px-Hogmanay_Party fw1024px-Miamifireworks fw1280px-1_epcot_illuminations_2010 Inspired by the fireworks, and my painting project of Coney Island, I’m writing a few memories. Those fireworks bring back more than my youth at the beach. They bring up the history of our freedom and the celebration of it all.

Tuesday night is here again. The day and sunshine used up . . . riding, swimming, volleyball, handball. Time to cuddle on a beach blanket. Uh oh, wait a minute . . . did I say cuddle? I meant to say time to watch the fireworks. Didn’t you say that’s what you were doing Tuesday night after a day at the beach? Who watched the fireworks? Did I? Did you? The Coney Island sky is filled with fireworks color and the sounds of fireworks filled the air. No one knew where to find anyone. Maybe on the sand, maybe on blankets, maybe in the shadows under the boardwalk. That’s what Tuesday night was about. We all hung around so we could do our Tuesday night thing. Was it romantic? Was that what Tuesday night was, romance on the beach? Yeah!

What started this thing called fireworks? The earliest records of fireworks dates back to 7th century China where they were first used to frighten away evil spirits with their loud sound and to pray for happiness and prosperity.

America’s earliest settlers brought their enthusiasm for fireworks to the United States. Fireworks and black ash were used to celebrate important events long before the American Revolutionary War. The very first celebration of Independence Day was in 1777, six years before Americans knew whether the new nation would survive the war; fireworks were a part of all festivities. In 1789, George Washington‘s inauguration was also accompanied by a fireworks display. This early fascination with their noise and color continues today.

In 2004, Disneyland in Anaheim, California, pioneered the commercial use of aerial fireworks launched with compressed air rather than gunpowder. The display shell explodes in the air using an electronic timer. The advantages of compressed air launch are a reduction in fumes, and much greater accuracy in height and timing.

The Walt Disney Company is the largest consumer of fireworks in the United States.

Who doesn’t love to see and hear fireworks? What do you think of fireworks?

 

CONEY ISLAND PUMPING STATION UPDATE

CONEY ISLAND PUMPING STATION FATE

I wrote in an earlier blog, A Dreamland of Fun, Food and Folic, about saving the Coney Island Pumping Station. Here’s newsy news folks . . .

 Preservationists and Coney Island residents want the Coney Island Pumping Station to be landmarked, renovated and repurposed for the community's use. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan


Preservationists and Coney Island residents want the Coney Island Pumping Station to be landmarked, renovated and repurposed for the community’s use. Photos by Lore Croghan of Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Back in the day, the Coney Island Pumping Station saved many lives and properties by providing high-pressure water to firefighters.
Educator Merryl Kafka wanted to drive that point home visually — so she wore a firefighter’s helmet to testify at a city Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) hearing on October 8th.

“Coney has lost much of its architectural framework, but we can save this 1938 modern masterpiece preserved as public art … with a new purpose,” said Kafka, the co-founder of the Rachel Carson High School of Coastal Studies in Coney Island. “Let this building be the one.”

Preservationists from the Art Deco Society of New York and numerous other groups turned out to testify that they want the Coney Island Pumping Station to be landmarked, renovated and repurposed for the community’s use.
The pumping station at 2301 Neptune Ave. was one of seven Brooklyn historic sites that have been on the LPC’s calendar for consideration as landmarks for many years without a decision from the preservation agency.

The hearing was a first step in an intensive LPC campaign to clear up that calendar backlog. There are 95 properties citywide on the backlog list.
The lozenge-shaped Arte Moderne-style pumping station was the only public work designed by prominent architect Irwin Chanin. It boosted the water pressure available for firefighters in Coney Island, which was frequently stricken by devastating conflagrations.

Merryl Kafka

Merryl Kafka wears a firefighter’s helmet to the October 8th Landmarks Preservation commission hearing about the Coney Island Pumping Station. BEST HAT. EVER!

Decorative Art Deco-style limestone statues of winged horses were removed many years ago from the long-decommissioned pumping station and loaned to the Brooklyn Museum.
“The Elgin Marbles are waiting at the Brooklyn Museum for reassembly,” testified Sean Khorsandi, an alumnus of Cooper Union, like Chanin himself.
“The power lies with you,”  Khorsandi told commissioners.
“Give a landmark to a neighborhood that basically is NYCHA public housing,” Dick Zigun, known as the unofficial mayor of Coney Island, said at the hearing.

Does this interest you? What is your take on saving America’s history?

Coney Island Pumping Station’s fans muster at Landmarks hearing

This is a repeat of this blog today 6/8/16, with the Good news as of October 8, 2015. The Pumping Station has been saved. Here’s the building now, and my oil painting of the site.

Original existing pumping station and my oil painting

Top: Original existing pumping station on Neptune Ave in Coney Island and below: my oil painting on anodized aluminum 12×24″

ConeyIslandPumpStationweb12x24oil-on-anodized-alum122015

A Dreamland of Fun, Food and Frolic

A Dreamland of Fun, Food and Frolic

Coney-Island-Pumping-Station_1-1024x768Did you ever sign a petition to save a building? It sometimes seems futile, especially here in the states. We are a country that forgets about architectural history. Someday, we too can be like our European neighbors, who treasure antiquity, if we save these works of historical art.

Landmark this: The Coney Island Pumping Station is a 1930s Art Landmark this: The Coney Island Pumping Station is a 1930s Art Deco structure that could receive landmark status after an Oct. 8 hearing.

Landmark this: The Coney Island Pumping Station is a 1930s Art Deco structure that could receive landmark status after an Oct. 8 hearing.

This time, I have been asked to sign for the Coney Island Pumping Station. This gorgeous landmark was designed and built in 1938. It fits the Art Deco style perfectly, and is one of the few places left in Coney Island after storm Sandy. Would you please consider saving this building?

Here is a sample letter for your perusal. To send the letter, please see the address at the end of this post. Do it now, the deadline is coming up when the commission will vote on October 8th. Copy this letter, paste in Word, sign and send to the address below.

Dear Commissioner Srinivasan,

Please accept this letter in support of the designation of the Coney Island Pumping Station as a New York City Landmark.

The architect for the 1938 Coney Island Pumping Station was New York City architect, Irwin S. Chanin. Chanin graduated from Cooper Union in 1915 with degrees in both architecture and engineering. In 1926 he attended the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts. He returned to the U.S. with a new architectural and ornamental style that was known as Art Deco. By 1930, Chanin had established himself as a major designer-developed in New York City, having built theaters, hotels and office buildings. His most compelling works include the Century and Majestic apartment houses of Central Park West and the Art Deco Chanin Building located on 42nd Street, where he maintained his own office. The Coney Island Pumping Station exists as Chanin’s only public building and marked the change in his style from large Art Deco skyscrapers to low rise Art Moderne functional buildings. The pumping station remains a testament to the work of a Chanin, documents a turniing point in his career as an architect as well as the changing attitude toward public architecture, to design for the common good of all and to celebrate progress and innovation.

The beauty of the architecture as art and its purpose make the Coney Island Pumping Station significant and irreplaceable as one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in Brooklyn, NY and one of Irwin Chanin’s most evolved and streamline Art Deco designs. I commend the Commission for holding a public hearing to include this building and urge  you to designate the Coney Island Pumping Station as a New York City Landmark.

Sincerely,

Your name here

Send to:

Commissioner Meenakshi Srinivasan, Chair
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
Municipal Building
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor, North
New York, NY 10007

Save this one . . . another piece of American History facing the bulldozer. It will take money to restore this, but this is Coney Island after all, a dreamland of fun, food and frolic and most important, American history. Let’s collect those letters and send them to Commissioner Meenakshi Srinivasan.

This has already been designated a landmark, preserve it! Thank you for taking this into consideration. Let’s preserve Coney Island. They lost so much in storm sandy and are rebuilding. Would you consider saving this beautiful part of American history? Then copy, sign and seal this letter and mail to the above address. Do it quickly, it’s a battle keeping those bulldozers

Coney Island Pumping Station Neptune Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Coney Island Pumping Station Neptune Avenue and W.23rd Street, Brooklyn, NY

Coney-Island-Pumping-Station_1-1024x768 away.

Not sure where the pumping station is in this photo, it must be behind that cyclone fence somewhere. If you can catch a sunset in Coney Island, they are breathtaking.

10/2/15 Just got this additional information:

“We encourage all stakeholders to submit written testimony in advance of the hearing by email to backlog95@lpc.nyc.gov.
All statements and materials received in advance of the hearing on October 8th will be distributed to the Commissioners and entered into the record. The record will remain open until October 22.”

Romancing Coney Island

Romancing Coney Island

Horse & cart

Horse & cart

My romance with Coney Island, when I was about five years-old or so, began at grandma’s house when the iceman delivered ice on his cart, pulled by a horse. He drove down the street hollering, “Ice for sale, ice for sale.” Looked like to me, those huge tongs could almost pick up a dog. He used them to bring the block of ice into the house, and put it in grandma’s icebox. Some of us had refrigerators, but grandma only had an icebox. The iceman always showed up before the ice was all gone. That’s all I remember about that piece of history. Finally, we moved grandma to a place that had a refrigerator. No one had a TV,  people played card games, and listened to the radio. Grandma’s radio was a floor model that would constantly lose reception. When I visited her, and it lost reception, she said, “Bang it hard here, on the side.” That always fixed it.

Childs in its day

Childs in its day

My romance grew. Ever have a Chow Mein sandwich? I thought it was a Nathan’s of Coney Island specialty, but I found this in Google: Originating in Fall River, Massachusetts, in the 1930s or 1940s, the chow mein sandwich is a hot sandwich, which typically consists of a brown gravy-based chow mein mixture placed between halves of a hamburger-style bun, popular on Chinese-American restaurant menus throughout southeastern Massachusetts and parts of neighboring Rhode Island. This sandwich is not well known outside of this relatively small area of New England. Really? What are they talking about? The chow mein sandwich was mega popular in Coney Island at Nathan’s, and a favorite of mine. So . . . did Nathan’s steal the idea, or were they the originator?

Childs interior

Childs interior

The teen years are fun to save for another blog, but a foodery I loved, was Childs Restaurant.

Coney Island institutions have a way of disappearing without leaving anything on the boardwalk to remember them by. That’s so with Childs Restaurant, the seaside outpost of a popular early 20th Century lunchroom chain, that was built in 1923 and whose frame still stands today. If you’ve ever taken a stroll on the boardwalk, west of the parachute jump and Keyspan Park, you’ve probably noticed its massive facade, leftovers once adorned with flamboyant nautical details.

Childs now . . . sad

Childs now . . .  Designed by Dennison & Hirons,

The building is now  vacant and boarded up. Story of this great restaurant is that it has stuck around for so long  because it’s kept a steady number of tenants over the years, including a chocolate factory and then a glitzy roller rink.

Roller rink inside the defunct Childs

Roller rink inside the defunct Childs

Terra cotta details

Terra cotta details once on Childs facade by Atlantic Terra Cotta Co.

On a visit to Coney in 2010 I found the building derelict. So sad. I took lots of photos and have been painting from my camera shots.

After the destruction from hurricane Sandy in 2012, Coney Island has been restructured, rebuilt and re-energized. It’s a wonderful place to play, have Nathan’s hot, buttered corn, people watch, and walk in the sand, fish from the pier and ride water scooters over the waves. Fireworks used to be every Tuesday night. Hmm, I wonder . . .

What do you think?

 

 

WHY PHOTOGRAPHY?

WHY PHOTOGRAPHY?

Gallery270 Michael Massaia

Gallery270 Michael Massaia

Last week my visit to Gallery270 in Englewood, NJ proved to be magical, once again. Tom Gramegna, owner of the gallery sure knows how to pick the images to interest us viewers. Today’s blog though is not about that show, you’ll have to wait until another blog time.

On the left, here’s a tease . . .

Why photography? Goes back to my own stint as a photographer for my design and architectural work, then on to experimentation in the art of photography. Working with photo images led me to full-time painting those images. My work as an artist led me to Hudson River artist, Albert Bierstadt. His brothers were into photography in 1859. They traveled to Yosemite with Albert and took many of the images that Albert painted. In those years, cameras were big and bulky and travel was less than convenient. Only way to California then was by coach, the one with horses.

Coney Island parachute jump

Coney Island parachute jump 1950’s

The 1990’s saw an explosion of the craft with digital photography. Today, everyone is a photographer with the smart phone. It’s always easy and convenient to turn the phone into a camera. No more do I have to lug along my camera, unless I have a special project that needs professional work. I still use my Nikon D200 to take photos of images to paint. Like my Coney Island project, I have photos from 1986-2013 of Coney Island before restoration and after restoration. This one is the 50’s when I played in Coney Island.

I have a heart for the venue of photography and thought I would share some pieces of history and processes.

 

Site: Half Dome, Yosemite

Site: Half Dome, Yosemite by Ansel Adams

Group f/64 was a small group of 20th-century San Francisco photographers, like Cunningham and Adams, who shared a common photographic style characterized by sharp-focused and carefully framed images seen through a particularly Western (U.S.) viewpoint. In part, they formed in opposition to the Pictorialist photographic style that had dominated much of the early 20th century, but moreover they wanted to promote a new Modernist aesthetic that was based on precisely exposed images of natural forms and found objects.

Succulent by Imogen Cunningham 1920

Succulent by Imogen Cunningham 1920

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams

The term f/64 refers to a small aperture setting on a large format camera, which secures great depth of field, rendering a photograph evenly sharp from foreground to background. Such a small aperture sometimes implies a long exposure and therefore a selection of relatively slow moving or motionless subject matter, such as landscapes and still life, but in the typically bright California light this is less a factor in the subject matter chosen than the sheer size and clumsiness of the cameras, compared to the smaller cameras increasingly used in action and reportage photography in the 1930s.

Digital photography has come a long way since it started to catch on in the 1990s. While even your high-end smartphone may take pictures that look like crap, a real digital camera can make even the stodgiest photographer forget about film.

The Hasselblad H4D-60 is probably the most expensive digital camera in the world. This DSLR camera has an astonishing 60 megapixel 40 x 54 mm sensor. Aided by the Absolute Position Lock processor, Hasselblad’s True Focus system allows the photographer to focus on the composition without constantly fiddling with the focus. The camera has a capture rate of 1.4 seconds per capture and shutter speed ranges from an 800th of a second to 32 seconds.

This pro digital camera costs in excess of $40,000, but that price will also get you membership in the Hasselblad Owners’ Club. The exclusive club promises to hook you up with a considerable network of professional photographers to increase your exposure and expand your client base.

Do you take photographs,  and with what, camera or phone? What kind of camera? Do you have one of those $40,000 digital cameras? No kidding . . .

 

 

 

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