Throughout the entire history of Walt Disney Studios, few artists have contributed to the visual aesthetic on par with Lisa Keene. From the early days of her career painting backgrounds for The Black Cauldron and The Little Mermaid, to her character designs for The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the creative mind of this extraordinary artist has helped weave the tapestry of so many classic Disney films,
Throughout the entire history of Walt Disney Studios, few artists have contributed to the visual aesthetic on par with Lisa Keene. From the early days of her career painting backgrounds for The Black Cauldron and The Little Mermaid, to her character designs for The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the creative mind of this extraordinary artist has helped weave the tapestry of so many classic Disney films, her conceptual art and design work having left an indelible mark on the storied history of Disney animation. For nearly thirty years, this extraordinary artist's work has appeared on the big screen around the world, adding to Disney's eminent role in creating and shaping the landscape of animation in film. Contributing as a visual development artist and background supervisor, the Disney artist has been a major artistic influence in some of the most beloved animated classic movies of all time including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Tangled, and, of course, Frozen, which won Best Animated Feature among many other honors.
As a contributing artist for Disney Fine Art's "Disney Storytellers" Collection—a special portfolio of Disney Fine Art showcasing fine art interpretations of Disney classic scenes and characters by today's most talented visual artists from Walt Disney Animation Studios—Keene demonstrates her full palate of talents, seamlessly switching from pixels to the paint brush, and returning to the art form that started her storied career—oil painting. Described as having, "the ability to blend her deep understanding of the physical laws of nature with the more elusive qualities of the fairytale world," Keene's prodigious talents are well-represented by her artwork. In her first paintings created for this special portfolio, she depicted a more modern take on the classic Disney princess, intending at creating fresh interpretations of Disney's royal heroines that would appeal to a modern audience. In two exquisite works inspired by Frozen, titled "Well Now They Know" and "One With the Wind and Sky," Keene drew from her first-hand experience as a designer on the film. These stunning creations both pay tribute to the Academy-Award winning film beloved by millions of people around the world and function as stand-alone art pieces that celebrate the pageantry of fantasy and adventure. Beyond her Disney art, Keene has also developed a collection of paintings honoring and capturing the spirit and origin of the dog. She brings a keen creative eye to the heart, soul, play, heartbreak, joy, pleasure and profundity of man's best friend, her work having been inspired by visionary encounters with "(wo)man's best friend" that drive her mission to represent dogs as they truly are.
Educated at the University of Southern California and the Art Center College of Design, Keene filled a wide range of roles for Disney. Her first role with the studio was as a background artist, with her career as a background painter, stylist, character designer, a visual development artist, background supervisor, and art director spanning four decades. Her resume also includes such films as The Rescuers Down Under, Princess and the Frog, Hercules, The Great Mouse Detective, Oliver and Company, Treasure Planet and many others. She also served as the Animation Art Director for Disney's modern fairytale Enchanted. Of course, she is most well-known for her contributions to Frozen. Keene is credited as the film's assistant art director and handled some of the key art production in the film. Her challenge with Frozen, she said, was to convey a full emotional range of color and light within an icy, white winter setting. However, as the final product demonstrated so gorgeously, ice and snow are not uniformly white. Light refracts and reflects allowing for a wide range of possibilities. Add in blizzards and the Northern Lights, and a rich, complex landscape emerged out of the frosty environment. In fact, they did such a creative job, Keene, along with fellow production designers Michael Giaimo and David Womersley, won the 2013 Annie Award for Production Design in an Animated Feature Production, having created some of the most memorable environments from the film, including (among many others) Elsa's "Magical Landscape", where Anna, Kristoff and Sven meet Olaf for the first time. Keene also contributed directly to the lighting design for the entire film, influencing how the audience would feel in the "cool, jeweled" environs of Arendelle and its surrounding wilderness. Keene explains - "Snow is an opportunity, because it's a white canvas. It's a lighter's dream, in that the lighting is the color. The local color is minimal at best in all these snowscapes, so it's all about the lighting. We consider it a blank canvas that allows us to actually paint with light." In preparation for the challenges of translating winter into an on-screen winter wonderland, Keene was among a handful of artists who traveled to Norway and Quebec during the early stages of the film's visual development to research the architectural designs of the regions, as well as to study how snow physically behaves in the natural world, and how it appears under different lighting conditions. In discussing the art design for Frozen, Keen said, "It's so striking and beautiful, like a roomful of diamonds; as an audience you're going to want to look at it. We have to control it so it's always directing your eye the way we want you to look... We consider it a blank canvas that allows us to actually paint with light. We're having a lot of fun with that."
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited edition prints by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Lisa Keene. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.