Friday, May 16, 2008

It's a small world after all

I went to see the show of Mary Blair's work at the Comic Art Museum in San Francisco. I was blown away by her use of color and of course her wonderful concept art for the Disney Movies. I had heard her concept work was great and of course been on It's a Small World too many times to count. Seeing her work in person gave me a renewed appreciation for gouache. I've started doing more work with gouache and wanted to see how she approached it. I bought "The Art and Flair of Mary Blair" so I could look at her work whenever I wanted!

This is probably my favorite piece. I lost some of the color when scanning this but I really love the pale green sky against the vibrant blue of the water, the composition is great and these mermaids the plumpest little tails. They are just so funny.

This piece is great because it just looks so effortless. At first you just see the skull and the dark greys but then when you notice the glowing green of the water reflecting on the rocks and the subtle red grey in the sky... and then the little tiny captain hook with the feather in his hat.

I just like how dramatic and menacing this tea party is. It manages to be both whimsical and creepy.

The shapes in this see like they are cut out of paper. This piece is definitely flat but it manages to have such vitality and texture with a limited palette.

Another view of the tea party. I enjoy how shes able to integrate these blue lines with the other colors so that all the objects feel solid. The exaggerated perspective is really fun too.

I believe these birds were inspired by her trip to South America. Mary went on a trip early on in her career with her husband, Walt Disney and several of the other studio artists. (I wish I could get a job where they sent me on inspirational trips) This trip served as major inspiration to her work and allowed her to impress Walt with her work. Its really a shame that her work wasn't directly translated into the movies she worked on but you can see her influence.

Through reading my book I learned quite a few things about her technique. I was also really surprised to read that Mary worked with colors straight out of the tube! She must have owned quite a collection of paint. This is a piece from one of her children's books. I just really enjoy these bugs and the fact that we are seeing into their home underground.

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