Friday, June 24, 2011

zip-a-dee-duo: part I

"Zip-a-dee-duo" is the name of the exhibit featuring the fine art of legendary artists Frank Armitage and Walt Peregoy that opened yesterday here in Paso Robles. The show (in the Showroom Gallery) is sponsored by the Paso Robles Art Association.

What a great show! Even though Frank and Walt are good friends and have similar backgrounds, they both worked at Disney Studios and they both studied with Mexican muralists, their styles are very different.

Today I'm going to focus on the work of Walt Peregoy. Walt was not present at the artists talk before the opening due to health concerns. He lives in Encino, California and celebrated his 85th birthday last fall.

He is most noted for his career in animation with Walt Disney Productions. The backgrounds he created for "101 Dalmations" in particular have stayed with me ever since I first saw the movie as a child.

"The Rooster"

One of the first pieces you see when you walk into the gallery is "The Rooster", mixed media on paper. Walt was the lead background artist on Sleeping Beauty and I think this piece is reminiscent of that history. The patterns and the fabrics remind me of the regal banners in the film. A fellow guest summed it up by saying "How could you be sad when you look at this rooster!? He just makes you happy!"

detail of "The Rooster"

"Japanese Halloween"

Another piece that stood out to me was this one named "Japanese Halloween", mixed media on paper. I like the movement in this. One of the many things I admire in Walt's work is his use of color. The palettes are clean and bright, no muddy color anywhere.

"Horse's Ass"

His sense of humor is evident in much of his work. This one, "Horse's Ass", mixed media on paper features energetic line work that's enhanced by the vibration of the blue and gold against each other. Masterful!

"Black Conscious"

It was really hard to get good photos of the artwork with my phone. But I did my best because I really wanted to share this experience with you! (The photos were taken with permission by the way.)

This was the best shot I could get of the show stopper "Black Conscious". This is a jaw dropping awesome piece. The way the bird figure is spreading it's glorious color drenched wings over the scene below is just gorgeous. It was hard to tear myself away from this one. I love studying all of the beautiful detail Walt incorporates into his work. Even with all of the detail, the scenes are always dramatic and not bogged down with minutia.

You can read more about this show and the artists on the Studios on the Park website.

Click here to listen to a fabulous interview on the Animation Guild's website with Walt Peregoy about his amazing career (foul language included!). Part II of the interview is here (even more foul language!). Walt really tells it like it is!

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