This is the last of my planned favourite artist posts until I find/remember someone else to feature. It’s a double whammy with 2 artists I discovered while in Melbourne at the Disney Exhibition. Both worked on some of the studio’s most classic films including Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan and The Lady and the Tramp. So let’s get into looking at some of the fantastic work by these 2 artists.
Mary Blair has been honored as a Disney Legend for her contributions to the company. In fact, she was the first female concept artist at the studio; joining in 1940. With her she brought her wonderfully colourful and abstract imagery to some of the most well known Disney features. When I saw first saw her work I loved just how whimsical it looked. She knew how to put colours together without it looking clumsy. My favourites artworks of hers are the Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella concepts.
Mary Blair is also responsible for the styling of the It’s a Small World Ride at the Disney Theme Parks. I know a lot of people don’t like it because it’s slow and has that repetitive song but I have to admit that I love going on it. I think it’s just so lovely to look at with every room seeming bigger and better than the last.
Her artwork is definitively worth looking into if you love bold and colourful mid-20th Century illustrations. You can find more of her work at her website, or just do a google image search ^_^.
Eyvind Earle is known for his beautiful landscape paintings featuring striking colours and intricate details. He joined Disney in the 1950s as an assistant background painter, working on such films as Peter Pan and Lady and the Tramp. His most well known work with the company is Sleeping Beauty, where he was responsible for the colours, backgrounds and styling.
What makes Earle one of my favourites is his use of colour, the strong geometric shapes and the level of detail in his work. I remember the Disney Exhibition had a display illustrating how Earle painted; putting layer upon layer of colour, shading and detail to give the final paintings their realistic textures yet still have that distinctive style of his. I like how he worked with shadows as well – using strong shades of colour to distinguish foreground from background and emphasising shadows stemming from the bottoms of tree and plants in his landscape paintings.
I think the thing that I love most about his work is the feeling of ‘epic vastness’ to them. They seem to stretch on forever, aided by the fact that he often painted on long and wide canvases. I wish some of the places in his work were real, they look like great places to go exploring ^_^.
You can learn more about Eyvind Earle and see more of his artwork on his website.