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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"Country Cousin" (1936) [Series] - Monty Cel and Pencil Background

As I wind up posting our holding of "Country Cousin"...

Here is a trimmed (kind of) cel of Monty on top of a background sketch (with color direction) from the same sequence. Initially, those selling animation art would simply sell the cel. Then people started to put Pantone gradients behind the cel to provide some additional color. At that time, there was little interest in the backgrounds -- both the water colors and the pencils. Typically, the sellers of animation art would pick up all of the artwork from an animator's estate -- the good and the bad. Often the backgrounds were seen as "noise" with little commercial value. So, to move the "product," the sellers would start to combine cels with the pencils. Initially, these combination efforts were not well received -- probably because someone took scissors to a cel.

Frankly, I was attracted to some of these "mixed media" creations because they created a "teachable moment" to those interested in looking at the art. But I'm weird that way...

What I don't like about this set up is (1) the crude cutout of the cel and (2) that a portion of the color direction is covered up. I'll probably get around to re-framing the piece at some point and will trip the cel more closely and off-set it so that the notes on the pencil background can be read.

Monty Cel and Pencil Background [click to enlarge]

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Country Cousin” (1936). Cel of Monty on original pencil background. Academy Award Silly Symphony cartoon. [Image: 9-3/8"W x 7-7/8"H; Frame: 15-3/4"W x 14.25"H] Acquired 1998. SeqID-0321 8/3/2005

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