15.9.14

inspiration: mary blair


from The New Golden Song Book
Occasionally I am asked about artistic influences for my peg doll designs. Certainly I'm inspired by lovely traditional Waldorf designs and also by figures from Wendt und Kuehn; however I never felt those sources completely captured what has influenced me most.  I couldn't put my finger on where my inspiration was truly coming from until last March when I saw a newspaper article about a museum exhibit of work by Mary Blair.  Suddenly, it clicked, and I knew, on a deeper level, where much of my inspiration lies.

from The Golden Book of Little Verses

The answer was the art and work of Mary Blair. 


Mary Blair was one of the chief designers on the ride It's a Small World at Disneyland.  She also designed murals for the Disneyland Parks, illustrated children's books and created endless sketches which influenced the colors, tone and overall aesthetic of Disney's animated movies through the 1940's & 50's.


I grew up in Los Angeles, and so visits to Disneyland were an exciting part of my childhood.  My favorite ride has always been It's a Small World, and I remember, as a child, admiring the murals Mary Blair designed.  Sadly, those murals at Disneyland are now gone but Mary Blair's design influence remains). 


Even at home, I had books and albums of music with artwork by Mary Blair.

design sketch for Johnny Appleseed

If you'd like to read more about the design of It's a Small World you can have a look here.

design sketch for Cinderella

And to learn more about Mary Blair, this is a good place to start...

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