Many of you in the animation and illustration fields surely already know about her. For any of you who don't, I want to introduce you to Amanda Visell. Her work is utterly precious and often, at the same time, a bit curious (she has a penchant for robots who eat odd things like toast and little children.) However, all of Visell's paintings capture a thorough understanding of color and the play of dark against light, much in the same way Mary Blair's concept paintings do - a likeness you will no doubt see immediately.
Visell's paintings make it so easy to fall into the story being illustrated, or, without a story, to create your own imaginary circumstance for her silly paintings - like how on earth an elephant, giraffe, octopus, and aligator ended up in the bayou playing banjos and washbords together. Not surprisingly, the people at Disney plucked her up to contribute to their "Inspired by Disneyland" exhibit not long ago and much of her art has been featured there. Her work was also featured as part of the Pirates of the Caribbean 40th Anniversary collection at Disneyland as well. I've posted two of these paintings courtesy of MiceChat.com but I encourage you to look at the whole collection on their website.
Amanda Visell has teamed up with friend Michelle Valigura to create a fantastic website (they call themselves "The Girls") as well as a blog recently added to my noteworthy links (a more comprehensive collection of Visell's work can be seen there.) The other two paintings in this post are copyrighted by Amanda Visell and are courtesy of her blog which I strongly recommend you check out. Lastly, Visell has recently published a book entitled Popping Through Pictures which I'm eager to get my hands on.
All in all I'm a huge fan. Amanda has cited inspirations from Mary Blair (is it any surprise I'd like her work?) and the 60s style of illustration and cartooning. Her works are whimsical and utterly enchanting.