Thursday, December 03, 2009

Purple Procession, by Ralph Hulett

Purple Procession
The color of royalty is used almost exclusively in this dramatic candle-lit procession honoring The King of Kings.

Add On: Christmas Card Q & A ...

When did Hulett start doing Christmas cards?

He started in the early 1950s, with a royalty deal with a card compnay named California Artists, which was bought out by a company named Designers Showcase in the 1960s. Designers Showcase was bought out in the early seventies. Hulett painted cards almost up to his death.

How many designs would he do per year?

Twenty-five to thirty designs would be published in a fat catalog each year. The books would be set up on large tables at upscale stationary stores, department stores, etc. Customers would pore through the catalogs and select the cards they wanted to order. Hulett would usually paint an extra four or five designs each season, and the company would select the ones it most liked.

Some years Hulett would go on cross-country junkets to various department stores in different cities, promoting the cards. He would give painting demonstrations in stores, garnering publicity.

Were there other Disney artists who did Christmas cards?

I can think of two. Eyvind Earle (another background painter, remembered today as the stylist for Sleeping Beauty) and Josh Meador, who was the head of visual effects at Walt Diwsney Productions for many years. Meador worked primarily in oils.

Are you going to publish these designs in a book?

Maybe. Eventually. When I get some free time. We put the card designs up at TAG blog so they are out there. This is far better than having them sit in a storage vault gathering dust.

© 1961 by the Estate Of Ralph Hulett. Click on the thumbnail to see a full-sized image. See Ralph Hulett Christmas card designs at TAG's art gallery, open weekdays 8:30 am-5 pm. Here are more Ralph Hulett Christmas cards.


Anonymous said...

What "king" is this? I don't remember Disney animating this particular Fairy Tale.

And why are those people on fire?

Anonymous said...

What "king" is this? I don't remember Disney animating this particular Fairy Tale.

Sure they did.

And why are those people on fire?

Unpaid OT causes spontaneous combustion. Pass it on.

Steve Hulett said...

What "king" is this? I don't remember Disney animating this particular Fairy Tale.

Jesus. Maybe you've heard of Him.

Related side story:

In 1961, Padre wrote, painted and financed a short film on the birth of Christ titled "A Light Shines in the Darkness." It was painted in a style similar to some of the card art displayed here.

He got a composer to score the film, hired a small orchestra to play the score. He get a Disney cameraman to moonlight and shoot the film, using the tails of 35 mm reels (he was trying to save money, since the project cost him a bundle.)

When the whole thing was done, he showed the film to Walt Disney, hoping he'd maybe buy it (although this went unsaid.)

Disney's reaction was, "It's nice, what're you going to do with it?"

Dad was a little let down, but the picture was too religious for the studio, and they passed.

A Light Shines In the Darkness was ultimately distributed by a small company called Cathedral Films.

Anonymous said...

It sounds very interesting...was there much animation(and if so, who by)? Or did he dissolve static artwork to achieve some scene-changing etc?

I have to admit that while reading your description of his work on it I too wondered "but-what would he do with it?" Disney's passing on it isn't too surprising since he was never overtly religious with his own releases.

I could see selling it to TV perhaps, in '61. Where can WE see it?

Steve Hulett said...

It was camera moves, some sliding cels, artwork dissolving on through other artwork, etc.

In short, the illusion of movement without there actually being much movement.

Steve Hulett said...

As to where to see it, I could probably put it up on YouTube, assuming I can get around to it.

Maybe. Eventually.

Anonymous said...

Is that the one shown n the Ernie Ford TV Holiday Special? That's on DVD.

Jeff Massie said...

It's not on YouTube, or at least not under that title.

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