Sunday, May 24, 2009

Snow White & the Artists and Others

A family friend of ours, and famous author (we're not name dropping though!), is always going on about "artists and others"; meaning that all humans are divided into these two groupings. Being an artist himself he often sees the difficulties in gaining the understanding of "the others"and experiences their frequent inability to see innovation and comprehend the vast creativity of an artist. I guess it's true in many ways. I know can rattle off several examples of my own, but I find one of the best examples of this theory is Walt Disney; mainly in his two would-be "follies"- Snow White and Disneyland.

I was thinking of this theory and reminded of this article from a Photoplay dated April 1938. In my opinion, it is probably the best vintage spread done on the film in that it is so detailed it actually makes you feel as though you were one of the many artists, so hard at work, creating and dreaming at the Walt Disney Studios. Maybe it escapes many of us now, but at that time, Snow White was really something! A major feat. Any artist would know, especially any who have tried their hand at any of the many complex skills involved in making an animated film.

The theory might very well be true, as all things in life need balance. For all intents and purposes, Walt was the artist, and Roy, the "other". In this case a beautiful balance that produced the things which we all love so dearly. If only we could always find this perfect balance, the world would be quite a different place.

So, for all you "others", (and God bless you, for we definitely couldn't do without you, too!) read on, and I am certain, for just a moment, you'll feel a bit of what it is to be an artist.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Get your sketch books out, everyone!

Hello all! I'm back! (And was finally able to upload!) For the moment, anyway. I seem to have a little problem with saying no to any creative venture I'm presented with, and have now found myself animating... something I haven't done since high school, and it's taking up all of my time! But, wow! I'd forgotten how much fun it was... and back then the best result I had was seeing it in flip book style. Now, I just drop those frames into Flash and see it all come to life. It's easy to get hooked!

In honor of my venture, here's just a little something in the same genre from a couple different issues of Mickey Mouse Club Magazine from the 50s. A nice little how-to I would have loved to have when I was a kid. One for Chip and Dale and another for Goofy. So, everyone get those pencils out and start sketching! :)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Must Checko El Groupo.

A happy recommendation today to check out the El Groupo photos of Walt's goodwill trip to South America on Google's Life photos search here. There are four pages of photos to sift through, all of which are wonderful.
The collection highlights a lot of work by Mary & Lee Blair as well as some really nice Herb Ryman paintings.
As an artist, the greatest thing for me (being such huge fans of these remarkable artists) is that a lot of the photos capture the subject in which you see painted by one or more of the artists. A great compare and contrast to learn more about their style, how they saw objects, and their composition. Just a fascinating tour all around. How lucky to be able to roam around new places with a sketchbook, watercolors, and some fantastic artists in your company. Don't miss it!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Melody Time For Pecos Bill

That title is what Wheel of Fortune would call the "Before and After" topic. Perhaps not a very good one, but I do my best around here! ;)

Here's a nice little layout on Pecos Bill from the Disney classic "Melody Time". I like things like this because it's just not something you'd ever see in a movie/celebrity magazine anymore. Pecos Bill in prose, with cut out photos. Simplicity and sweetness.

Some people aren't big fans of the compilation style Disney feature, but I often find myself watching them. There's something sweet and also quite relaxing about them. I've enjoyed them since I was a kid, and I know I always will. Entertainment and art is wonderful no matter how you slice it.

For a little something extra, just because I really like to showcase how relevant Disney films were back in the day, here is one of Photoplay's many write ups on what to see (and in some cases what is not so bad to miss) in theatres. This Platter Patter encourages you to not miss Melody Time. My only curiosity with this is that The Andrews Sisters are not mentioned regarding "Little Toot" but instead The Starlighters with Don Wilson (of The Jack Benny Show fame) narrating. Why is this? In doing a bit of research I found a YouTube file that plays an old record from 1948 of "Little Toot" completely narrated by Wilson with the backing vocals by The Starlighters. (Incidentally, this is really quite charming and you shouldn't miss it!)

So, to the experts out there, was "Little Toot" originally to be a narrated piece in Melody Time? And if so, what occurred to make it entirely musical and how were The Andrews Sisters brought in on the project? I'd love to find out.

Have a great week, everyone! :)