I Am A Civil War Artist This Memorial Day Weekend!
Imagine my delight at being out among hundreds of costumed actors; the solders in dark blue uniforms and the ladies in hooped skirt outfits. I am getting some great sketches, and did one plein air pastel session today. I get very few opportunities at drawing people, so it is an artist's heaven. Please look for some images to be posted in the next few days. The Civil War is remembered for having started 152 years ago this past April.
This early TV episode gives you the old "studio-president-sits-at-his-desk-and-pontificates" treatment. But, given it's Walt Disney, and given that he is reading from The Art Spirit, by Robert Henri, I think you will profit by watching this. The premise of this film short is the contrast between the regimented studio production, where everything must fit animation cells like a glove, versus the natural inclination of the artist to do his own thing. And, if you haven't read Henri's 1923 master book on American art sensibilities, you will be surprised at his stance of grasping your own independent ideas and style. Robert Henri wrote of Thomas Eakins, "His vision was not touched by fashion." I like the description from the negative. There is a counter-movement to the artist's way; he doesn't swim up stream to cooperate, but to counter the school. It seems to me that Disney knew he had a studio of artists, and if they were going to be good at all, they needed to be let off the leash occasionally.