Friday, August 9, 2019

Mickey Mouse D23 90th Tribute

Mark Henn and his official 90th piece
During lunch at the Disney Studio commissary not long ago I was asked by a well known and important member of the Disney company if I would be interested in doing Mickey Mouse’s 90th portrait. I couldn’t answer quick enough, “YES!!” Who wouldn’t be excited for such an honor. I went home and against Patty’s advice, did research, thumbnail sketches, color studies and created an original oil painting over 3 feet tall! Patty scolded me to wait until I had a contract but I ignored her (that can get a husband in trouble!).

3 weeks later I met the same wonderful person and was about to show them the image on my phone of the finished painting when they shared that they had hired “a well known animator” to do the piece. I was shocked and beyond disappointed.
The animator who got the honor, Mark Henn, is an extremely talented fellow and a long time friend so as sorry as I was for me, I was truly thrilled for him. His wonderful and inventive painting was unveiled last year during Mickey's birthday celebration. I went home and wrapped my painting in a ventilated box and stored it into my studio closet.

My tribute to a special little fellow
Fast forward to earlier this year. While attending a group of Disney historians, I was sharing a few photos of what I had been up to. One of the top D23 people (and a very nice guy!) saw the photo. To make a long story short, my Mickey Mouse painting is now out of the bag and will be into D23 EXPO this month!

My painting featured Mickey sitting on one of the old Hyperion era director's chairs on a mockup set from the old Mickey Mouse Club. He's holding an iphone as a nod to his bridging decades of innovation right up to the current class of electronics. It may not be the official 90th portrait of the mouse but it at least will be seen in public. The original painting and limited edition prints will be available for purchase! I’m beyond thrilled, Mickey has been and continues to be a large part of my life! Thank you Mickey and D23!

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