Eyvind Earle

Original Christmas Card Painting


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Title: Magi
Medium: Acrylic on Board
Year: 1957
Image Size: 15" x 18"
Framed Size: 28" x 32"

This piece was used by Earle to make a Christmas card in 1957.

A designer, painter and illustrator, Eyvind Earle is noted for backgrounds he created for Disney classic films such as Sleeping Beauty and Lady and the Tramp.  He also designed popular greeting cards that utilized more than 500 of his paintings.  In 1961, he established his own animation company, and continuously painted landscapes in oil and acrylic, using acrylic before 1971 and oil after that.  His most famous paintings are of California mountains and valleys of western Canada.

He was born in New York City to parents who separated.  At age ten, he was kidnapped by his father, artist and movie director Ferdinand Earle, and for the next four years, they traveled and painted around the world including Mexico City, France, England, and Belgium.  When he was 14, Eyvind had his first one-person show, which was held in Ascain, France.  Shortly after he ran away to rejoin his mother, who was living in Hollywood, California, and who had been the fourth of five wives of Ferdinand.

It was the beginning of the Depression.  He took a job as sketch artist at United Artists Studio and studied briefly at the Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles with Lorser Feitelsen and Ferdinand Earle, his father.  Beyond that he had little formal study, and described his style as "designed realism" and "abstracted view" (Samuels) that reflected his admiration for Georgia O'Keeffe and Vincent Van Gogh.

In 1936, a sponsor gave him twenty-five dollars a month so he could paint in Mexico, and the following year he traveled the United States on a bicycle.  He had a one-man show in New York, which sold out at twenty-five dollars per painting.

Earle avoided World War II, asserting he was a conscientious objector.

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