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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rockwell Kent and the Denison Museum Collection

Above: Khari Saffo ’15 with “The Noble Approach” and Rockwell Kent’s “Twilight of Man.”

The folks at Denison Museum of Granville OH were a huge help in putting "The Noble Approach" together. They kindly allowed me to include Rockwell Kent prints from their collection in the book. Khari Saffo of Denison has written a lovely article about the experience which can be found HERE! Originally I had intended on including more Kent images, but unfortunately because of space issues I was only able to include one.

Rockwell Kent was one of the most famous American print-makers of the early 20th century. Kent's use of light and dark pattern, and the way he stacked values had a huge influence on a young Maurice. Years later, while training at Chuck Jones Film Productions, Maurice taught us that... "good use of light and dark is the first important step in learning to use color." He cited Rockwell Kent as a great example of how to use value. 

Many have asked... "What exactly does stacking value mean?" In simple terms, it describes the method of putting an element in a picture against something darker or lighter than itself so that it "reads" easily. In these Kent examples, every single element in his picture can be seen clearly in spite of using a limited value range.

To see more... please check out page 91 of The Noble Approach.

Images courtesy of Denison Museum.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Maurice and the McKean Hospital & Leper Colony Chiang Mai

Above: A quick tour of The McKean Hospital via scooter.

Chiang Mai was always a special place to Maurice. In 1908, Maurice's uncle, missionary Dr. James McKean, and Pauliang (Guardian Father) Chantah Indravude set up a leper colony after asking the King of Thailand for a parcel of land. The McKean Hospital still exists there today. Gifts from Dr. McKean, such as Thai and Indonesian batiks, made a huge impression on young Maurice, who in turn created his own batiks at home. For the rest of his life he would foster a love of Asian arts and crafts. Maurice's uncle had such a strong influence that for a time Maurice considered becoming a missionary. In later life Maurice had serious plans to build an animation studio in Thailand. Our first project was to be "The Pumpkin of Nyefar," but Maurice passed on before we could start production. 

The Noble Approach first five day workshop 2012
To see a list of artists that attended, please visit HERE

Originally "The Noble Approach" was to be published in the spring of 2012. To celebrate we arranged a five day workshop in Chiang Mai based on a few of Maurice's basic teachings. Because of circumstances beyond our control the book wasn't published until late 2013. Now that the book is out we are planning more "Noble Approach" workshops in the very near future.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Maurice never gave much praise to many non-Disney, non-Warner's cartoons. But one of his favorites was the 1961 Oscar winner "Surogat" by Dusan Vukotic. Maurice felt that the film was a great example of what the animated medium is best at; "graphic imagination."  It's not too far of a stretch to see how this film could have helped influence Maurice's own Oscar winning effort, "The Dot and the Line." (1965)