A Special Lithographic Suite of Preliminary Paintings by Carl Barks
Carl Barks was a careful craftsman, who liked to work out details of composition and color as preliminary "idea sketches' - usually in oil on Masonite at about 25% the size of a planned oil painting - when he embarked on each lithograph project. Sometimes he abandoned them as unworkable or inappropriate, or perhaps occasionally just lost interest. In other cases, it might have taken him two or three tries just to get his concept close enough to what he wanted before he felt comfortable tackling the final painting.
In 1986 Another Rainbow released ten of these, reproduced as four-color offset prints, usually the exact size they were painted. We doubted then we would ever produce another, but we have, as enough art has been accumulated to justify such an edition. When we changed printers and started issuing continuous-tone lithos through the Black Box, we accepted the higher cost to achieve the quality we were looking for. Now we have done the same thing with our second Preliminary Suite: the 500 prints have been produced by Imperial Litho/Graphics of Phoenix, who did the superb job of printing Mickey Mouse in Color. We wish we could have done them in continuous-tone, but they would have had to have been retailed at four times the prices below! We would far prefer to make them affordable to more people. The reproductions shown here are for information only: the actual colors in the prints themselves are magnificent!
Each set comes in an attractive 17 ½"x 15 ¼" portfolio folder designed for this release. Enclosed is a "History of the Edition" that details pertinent information and Carl's own comments on the Preliminaries. Each print has been initialed and Barks' full signature is on the numbered Certificate of Authenticity. The individual prints and COA are suitable for framing. Another Rainbow's offices in Prescott had just such a display on the wall of our reception area. The quality and care Another Rainbow is famous for has gone into these suites. We are confident you will be pleased! Set II - $595 (Shipping in USA - $20 via Priority Mail) NOTE: We have a few low-numbered Publisher Proofs available for the same price!
The paintings reproduced in this suite were done between 1983-1988, in roughly the following chronological order:
1. Among His Souvenirs, oil on watercolor board, 10" x 8": First of two similar idea sketches, reworked because Scrooge did not figure prominently enough, and eventually abandoned because of the pose's similarity to the previously released lithograph, An Embarrassment of Riches.
2. Money Lake, oil on watercolor board, 7" x 8 ¾": Inspired by the cover to Uncle Scrooge Comics FC 386 (#1), this variation to a theme that Barks painted many times was never done for a lithograph.
3. In Uncle Walt's Collectery, opaque watercolors on paper, 9"x 9": Barks describes this as an "early concept of the 'collectery' subject, which was first conceived as a cover for a Disneyana book."
4. Trail of the Forty Thieves, canvas glued to Masonite, 12 ½" x 10": Second of two variations, in Barks' words, "begun in an effort to put the ducks in the mysterious Arabian desert. Somehow the mirage of ancient Baghdad never quite became the diaphanous, shimmering illusion I wanted to portray."
5. Sheriff of Bullet Valley, oil on Masonite, 11"x 8 ¾": Barks describes this revision of the original comic book cover to Donald Duck FC 199 from 1948: "The staging here is pure Hollywood horse opera with Donald walking toward the camera." Alternately titled The Law Comes to Bullet Valley, Barks suggests a version of this "might be restaged with the background showing a western cow town complete with a newly robbed bank that proprietor, Scrooge McDuck, is bewailing mightily."
6. Stamp Collectors' Bad Moment, oil on' Masonite, 12" x 9 ¾": "An idea that progressed no farther than this experimental sketch," Barks felt it was "obvious that only those viewers who had read the Gilded Man story of 1952 could understand what the ducks are doing and why. No title could quite explain all that."
7. First National Bank of Cibola, oil on Masonite, 13"x 10 ½": Finally released in 1987, Barks speaks of this preliminary study. "The lower third seemed a little overloaded. I adjusted the final version to let a bit of background blue show through below Uncle Scrooge's right arm."
8. Trespassers Will Be Ventilated, oil on Masonite, 9 5/8" x 12": A. preliminary that "fell together" on his first try, this composition possibly follows the final oil more closely than any other that Barks has attempted.
9. The Makings of a Fish Story, oil on Masonite, 13 3/8" x 10 ½": Barks says of this enormously popular effort, that "most of the subject's problems were worked out in this preliminary. The mermaid, however, is more fish-faced than in the final large painting."
10. Return to Plain Awful, oil on Masonite, 11 ¾" x 14 ¾": The first concept of "this seemingly simple composition" worked out the more difficult aspects of setting up Scrooge's return to the famous square-egg site of the Donald Duck adventure, "Lost in the Andes."