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This blog has been retired. I won't respond to any inquiries but have retained it in case it is still of interest to anyone passing by.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ron Embleton and Disney

Ron Embleton and Disney probably seem a strange combination but they represent the two greatest artistic influences of my childhood

Ron Embleton

When as an adult I re-visited the artwork that had the ability to transport me to other worlds as a child, I was startled to realise that many of my favourites were produced by a single person.  Ron Embleton was a British artist who created an incredible body of work (not just as a childrens' illustrator) before his untimely death at the age of 58.

The power of the Internet has made examples of his art instantly accessible and the most definitive collection is probably to be found at the Look and Learn website.
(they hold the copyright to much of his art.)

As my intention in this blog is to try to include images not readily found anywhere else I am including five illustrations that can be counted amongst my favourites but which I have not yet come across online.

Ron Embleton - Golden Goose

I've always loved the play of light and shade in this painting from the Golden Goose although the comic characters in the foreground are slightly jarring.  The grandeur of the buildings, the sunlight literally gilding everything it touches makes this a fairytale illustration that is not easily forgotten.

Ron Embleton - Aladdin

Ron Embleton - Aladdin
These two illustrations from Aladdin contain a wonderful theatrical atmosphere.  It is amazing to think that paint alone can produce such a combination of light and magic.

Ron Embleton - Goldilocks
An illustration of Goldilocks arriving at the house of the Three Bears.  As a teenager studying art as one of my major subjects in high school, I spent many hours drawing and painting trees and landscapes.  My technique was unashamedly influenced by the style Embleton produced here.

Ron Embleton - Goose Girl

This painting from the story of The Goose Girl encapsulates everything that constitutes a fairy tale.  It has an epic quality, reminiscent of a body of literature that stretches from Beowulf to the Lord of the Rings.     

Illustrations from 'Fairy Tales Around the World, retold by Edward Holmes, illustrated by Ronald Embleton 

For more Ron Embleton art click on the links for  More Ron Embleton Magic , Handsome Heroes , Perfect Princesses , Wonderful Weddings , Homage to Embleton and Here be Dragons 


There can't be many children in the western world whose lives have not been shaped to some extent by Disney.  I was certainly no exception.  When deciding what images to include here I could have opted for many from the years of my childhood.  I finally chose to post these from Cinderella.  The quirky eccentricity of this interpretation has always appealed to me, combined with the fact that this version never came from an actual movie (at least not that I am aware of).  Although the story is traditionally supposed to be set in France, something about the characters and architecture comes across as being curiously American and this strange unreality is part of its appeal,

The final painting is marvellous, not the least because of the characterisation of the prince.  He looks as though he has wandered off the set of the Thunderbirds, more Nutcracker than Prince Charming.

Illustrations taken from 'Fantasyland' part of a collection of books called 'The Wonderful Worlds of Walt Disney', illustrated by The Walt Disney Studio

Photos from Home

Despite the fact that it is such a well trodden part of the tourist trail, if there is anywhere in Ireland that gives the impression fairies are hiding at the bottom of the garden it has to be the grounds of Blarney Castle (County Cork.)  Linger a while and you can swear you hear their tinkling laughter:


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