Monday, February 2, 2015

Mary Blair

Cori Dantini is teaching week for on Mary Blair.

Mary Blair grew up painting and showed such talent that her parents always made sure she had what she needed to paint. She dreamed of being an illustrator but that wasn't something woman did back then.

She went to college, continued her art, and received a scholarship to an art program in Los Angeles where she was taught by many successful artists and where she also met her husband, Lee Blair, a fellow artist.

Lee and Mary both worked for the Walt Disney company and were invited by Walt Disney  on a trip to South America to research for films, Salludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros. From there, Mary became the creative director on these movies.

After that she worked on several animated Disney movies including the full color concept styling of Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan.

After Peter Pan, Mary stopped working for Disney and began work as a freelance artist creating illustrations for Golden Books and many advertising campaign of large companies.

Walt Disney requested that she work on a new project "Its a Small World" for the New York Worlda Fair that moved toDisneyland and is still in multiple Disney parks.


-   Mary worked primarily in watercolor and goauche. She built up patterns and shapes on top of each other without using lines.

What I learned:

- I didn't know who Mary Blair was at the beginning but as I learned her story i I was blown away, everyone knows Disney movies.

- Her work is bright and fun.  It looks like her paintings are really simple but I was surprised. They are deceptively hard. Without sketched lines, I had to rely on shapes like she did. Simple shapes are easy to misplace and not make them to scale. She also layered her patterns making it easy to mess up if you don't fully plan out what you're doing.

Mary's work is so whimsical. It's  fun that it helps to just loosen up and see the Disney side of things, even when my piece is nothing like hers!

A lot of her art seemed to be outside so I made a cute girl on a path and decorated it in patterns and a bright style like she would.

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