Dream Job: Mary Blair
It was a beautiful weekend here in San Francisco. After a week of heavy fog, it finally lifted and warmed up. While downtown was celebrating pride, Jeremy and I spent saturday deep in the presidio at the Walt Disney Family Museum. I had wanted to see the special exhibit about the art of Mary Blair, a talented artist in the fifties that worked closely with Disney in the 1940s and 1950s to develop the concept art for many beloved disney classics such as Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and Cinderella.
It was wonderful to see her works up close, because many are smaller than I had realized. The lighting was dimmed, which wasn’t ideal, but considering they were original pieces that are now over 60 years old, it is easy to see why they would need to be kept under the least amount of light as possible.
I think what draws so many to Mary Blair is her use of whimsical color. I can’t deny that it is one of my favorites too, but I also really admire her for her sense of scale and perspective. She spent more time on her environments and less on the people in them, which I find fascinating.
One of my favorites is the Alice in Wonderland tea party table. Not only do I love the colors, but the long shadows that she paints coupled with the organic line work in the background makes this beautiful.
I started noticing it in other pieces too..
What I found really interesting was that Mary actually came from a more traditional background of painting. Her early works are much more realistic, both in color palette and subject matter.
It wasn’t until a trip she took with Disney and a group of artists called “el Grupo” to South American countries like peru that she started to embrace color.
One of my absolute favorites though isn’t even part of the disney years. It’s part of a Golden Book of Verses, and it’s a scene with children blowing bubbles.
I was very dissappointed that I couldn’t find this in a print at the gift shop, but instead I decided to buy one of the golden books she had illlustrated for. Equally cute and only $4.
Though Mary Blair has been deceased for over 25 years, artists around the world are still inspired by her charming work.
* All work posted was created by Mary Blair. I do not own the rights.