Biography of the Artist

 

 

Maryann Thomas was born in New York and grew up in California.  Her artistic abilities were inherent; her grandmother was a watercolorist and had studied at the prestigious Art Students League in New York City.  During high school Maryann completed the advanced placement program in art and also received summer scholarships from both Cal State Northridge and Art Center College of Design.  She returned to Art Center to complete her formal art education and graduated with honors in illustration in 1984.

After graduation, Maryann enjoyed ten years as a successful freelance illustrator, specializing in advertising, editorial, and publishing commissions.  In 1994 she joined the Walt Disney Studios as a background painter in the Feature Animation Division.  Her credits now include "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Mulan," "Fantasia 2000," and more recently "Atlantis."    Currently, Maryann is Art Director for the sequel of "Lilo & Stitch", which is a thoroughly enjoyable all-watercolor style feature by Disney.  Like the acclaimed California scene painters Phil Dike and Charles Payzant, who were also Disney artists, Maryann continues a tradition of combining a distinguished career in film, along with increasing popularity as a fine artist.

"My art has many influences," she says "in particular are the early 20th century American painters John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, and Georgia O'Keeffe.

Combining her love of travel and painting, with both on site studies and more complex studio works, she pursues a variety of subjects and strives to find fresh ways of approaching familiar ones. 

Maryann makes her home and studio in Bishop, California.