I recently returned from an amazing trip to San Francisco with my boyfriend and friends! It was a beautiful trip…and the added bonus was taking in “The Art & Flair of Mary Blair” show at San Fran’s Cartoon Art Museum. Above is a close-up of the main piece in the exhibition showcasing Mary Blair’s work. If you’re not familiar with who Mary Blair is, check her out: Disney Legends, Mary Blair Flickr set, Yesterland, & The Art & Flair of Mary Blair the book.
This brilliant painter, concept artist, and stylist was one of the first women to reach great heights of influence within the Disney canon, in the 1940’s and 50’s amazingly. Her paintings distilled mood and emotion into deceptively simple design compositions, therefore they were used as a loose guide for the animators when creating scenes for the films. Her expressive use of colors and forms can be seen in several Disney films, and her work continues to inspire artists and animators to this day. Her work is most evident in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and DisneyWorld’s It’s a Small World attraction. Beyond Disney, you can see her work in several Little Golden Books from the period.
Here’s another close-up of one of Mary Blair’s pieces. I love these colorful and whimsical parrots! This piece was inspired by a trip Mary Blair made to South America, and it was later used to inform the style of a Disney short.
Here’s my friend Keiko, a very talented animator who met us at the exhibit! Check out Keiko’s work, it’s great!