From Animator to Sculptor
Ellen Woodbury is a one-of-a-kind stone sculptor who carves stylized animals from a variety of colored and white marbles.
Ellen is a Signature member of Artists For Conservation, a Signature member of The Society of Animal Artists, and an Associate member of the National Sculpture Society. Her sculpture is juried into national and international shows. She is an invited exhibitor at Sculpture in the Park, the largest outdoor juried sculpture show in the US. Ellen's outdoor sculpture "See Through Other Eyes: Spotted Owl" won the 2011 People's Choice Award in Loveland, CO, as part of the Arts Advocacy Project. Her work has won several national awards and is held in private collections throughout the U.S.
Ellen is now carving a series of stone sculptures of endangered species and has six finished pieces: a spotted owl, a frog, a tiger, a leatherback sea turtle, a red panda, and a St. Andrew Beach Mouse. She has drawings and maquettes for many more sculptures in this series. Woodbury explains, "I am at a point in my life where I need for my actions and my art to express my values and beliefs. I want to help stop the destruction of our world and to help all living things to survive and thrive."
Ellen was a Directing Animator and Character Animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation for 20 years and brought to life many well-known characters, including Zazu the bird in "The Lion King," and Pegasus the flying horse in "Hercules." She was a significant artist during Disney's second Golden Age of Animation and animated on all the contemporary classics from "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Aladdin" to "Chicken Little."
Woodbury resigned her position at Disney and moved to Loveland, CO, to pursue a career as an independent sculptor, working primarily in stone. She sculpts with both hand tools and power tools and finds the process of carving exhilarating. Ellen exclaims, "Sculpting in stone is like walking a fine line between creation and destruction--one false move with a tool and you could suddenly have two stones!" Woodbury was well-known in the Animation Industry for her ability to animate animals, and loves carving animals in stone--stylized and with a bit of whimsy.
Ellen grew up in Corning, New York. She attended the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University where she earned her BFA in Film and Art. She then went on to California Institute of the Arts where she earned her MFA in Experimental Animation. Her student films won national and international awards, which led to a long career as a Disney Animator. Ellen applies many animation principles to both her design and sculpting processes. She says, "I find stone sculpture to be a logical extension for much of what I learned as an animator. One medium is the illusion of three dimensions and the other is the reality of three dimensions."
Ellen Woodbury Stone Sculptor
826 S. Buckeye Drive Phone (970)669-0627 Loveland, CO 80537 E-mail: Ellenwoodbury@aol.com
Solo Show “From Magic Dust to Marble Dust: Hollywood Animator Ellen
Woodbury’s Creative Journey.” February 27 through April 10, 2010.
Included 2-lecture series by artist. Loveland Museum Gallery, Loveland, CO.
Art and the Animal, 52nd Exhibition of the Society of Animal Artists.
Hiram Blauveldt Art Museum,, Oradell, New Jersey. Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, 2012.
Juror One of five artists on jury to select sculpture for Sculpture in the
Park 2013 and 2012 Shows. February, 2013 and February, 2012.
24th International Exhibition on Animals in Art. LSU
School of Veterinary Medicine, Baton Rouge, LA. March 24 through April 24, 2011.
National Sculpture Society Annual Awards Exhibition.
Brookgreen Gardens, Pawley’s Island, SC. August 7 through October 31, 2010.
The Art of Conservation 2010. Artists For Conservation
on-line show, www.natureartists.com. September through December, 2010.
Ex Arte Equinus III. Art Horse Magazine on-line show.
“A Kiss to the Wind.” January, 2010 throughout the year.
Colorado Art Open 2009. Foothills Art Center, Golden,
Co. “One Handsome Frog.“ April 4-May 31, 2009. Jurors Michael
Chavez and Christoph Heinrich.
18th National Art Exhibition and Sale. Lincoln Center,
Fort Collins, CO. April 4-May 8, 2009. Juror Arleta Pech.
Sculpture in the Park. Benson Park Sculpture Garden,
Loveland, CO. August 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, invited exhibitor;
August, 2007, juried exhibitor.
Featured Artist Artist of the Month, February, 2008, Sarasvati Fine Arts Gallery
Two-person Show “Two Women Who Rock.” April, 2007. Colorado Coalition
of Artists. Fort Collins, CO.
Peoples’ Choice Award May, 2011, for “See Through Other Eyes: Spotted Owl.
The Art Advocacy Project. Awarded by popular vote by the citizens of
Industry Awards Sculptural Pursuit Magazine’s Sculpture-Only Competitions:
March, 2008, “Whisper on the Wind” stone sculpture.
February, 2007, “Spiral Bunny” stone sculpture.
"See Through Other Eyes: Spotted Owl." Installed Highlands Ranch, CO, June 2012
through June, 2013. Douglas County Art Encounters.
“See Through Other Eyes: Spotted Owl.” Installed Evergreen, CO, June 2011
through June, 2012. Art in the Mountain Community.
“See Through Other Eyes: Spotted Owl.” Installed downtown Loveland, CO,
May 2010 through May 2011. The Art Advocacy Project, Art in Public Places.
"Male Quail." California Quail. Dolomitic Limestone and Mongolian Imperial Black Marble.
14 x 10 x 6 inches. January, 2012.
“Master of Disguise.” Cuttlefish. Rosso Verona Marble. 12 x 12 x 10 inches.
“All Tucked In.” Colt. Silverdale Limestone. 10 ˝ x 14 x 7 inches.
“Nature’s Paradox.” Platypus. Mongolian Imperial Black Marble.
21 x 16 x 13 inches. May, 2009.
“Magic Lesson.” Dragon. Red travertine and White Alabaster.
17 x 15 x 15 inches. February, 2008.
The Society of Animal Artists Signature Member.
Artists For Conservation Signature Member.
National Sculpture Society Associate Member.
“From Magic Dust to Marble Dust” Power point presentation given for
solo show at Loveland Museum Gallery. March 12, 2010.
“Issues Facing One-of-a-Kind Artists” Power point presentation for
Business seminars at Sculpture in the Park, Loveland High Plains
Arts Council. August 6, 2010.
“From Magic Dust to Marble Dust” Power point presentation given for
Northern Colorado Pan-Hellenic Society. May 7, 2011.
Character Animation Studio. On-going college class for Art Institute of
Colorado, Denver. January, 2010 to present.
WALT DISNEY FEATURE ANIMATION--character animation
2003-2005 “Chicken Little.” Computer animation on Fish-Out-of-Water.
2001-2003 Computer animation training program studying Maya.
1999-2001 “Treasure Planet.” Designed, developed, animated crew of
alien pirates. Supervised crew of 3 animators.
1995-1997 “Hercules.” Designed, created personality, animated flying
horse Pegasus. Supervised crew of 7 animators.
1992-1994 “The Lion King.” Designed and animated the bird Zazu.
Supervised crew of 3 animators.
1998-1999 “Rhapsody in Blue” segment of “Fantasia 2000,” “Tarzan.”
1994-1995 “Pocahontas,” “Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
1988-1992 “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Rescuers Down
Under,” “The Little Mermaid.”
1986-1988 “Oliver and Company.” Apprentice animator.
1985-1986 “The Great Mouse Detective.” Assistant animator.
Marble/marble Stone Sculpture Symposium. Marble, CO. July, 2009,
July, 2008, July 2007, July 2006.
California Institute of the Arts. MFA, Experimental Animation. 1984.
Syracuse University, College of Visual and Performing Arts. BFA,
Film/Art. Graduated magna cum laude, 1982.
E-mail: Ellenwoodbury@aol.com Web sites: www.ellenwoodbury.blogspot.com
Support for Conservation:
Ellen Woodbury is currently carving a series of stone sculptures on endangered species. It is her hope that these sculptures will contribute to people's awareness that we are losing creatures with whom we share this world through environmental degradation, over-hunting and over-fishing, and climate change. She donated 10% of the purchase price of "Save the Tiger" to Panthera, an organization working with other tiger organizations to create a tiger corridor through parts of Asia. She donated 10% of the purchase price of "The Last Dinosaur" to help protect leatherback sea turtle nesting beaches and nests in Nicaragua.
- 2011 - Peoples' Choice Award, The Art Advocacy Project, Loveland, CO
Awarded for Yule marble sculpture, "See Through Other Eyes: Spotted Owl" by the citizens of Loveland, CO.
- 2008 - Industry Award, 2008 Sculpture-Only Competition, Sculptural Pursuit Magazine
Awarded for Yule Marble sculpture, "A Kiss to the Wind." (Marble horse.)
- 2007 - Industry Award, 2007 Sculpture-only Competition, Sculptural Pursuit Magazine
Awarded for Yule Marble sculpture, "Spiral Bunny."
Ellen Woodbury's stone sculpture is held in private collections throughout the US, including New York, California, Colorado, North Dakota, Montana, Arizona, and Maryland.
- 50 Most Influential Disney Animators (2011)
More about 50 Most Influential Disney Animators
Countdown of the 50 Most Influential Animators in Disney Studio History
31. Ellen Woodbury
The job of an animator is, by many, regarded as a job unappealing towards women. It’s probably a combination of sexism, tradition, and lack of history that makes people feel this way. Hopefully this is changing as many animation schools around the country are starting to have tons of women students. A hero that’s a good role model for them is a woman who works just as hard (if not harder) on her work than most male animators, and feels completely confident as well as equal to them. If anyone meets the description of this hero it’s Ellen Woodbury.
The entire article (with pictures!) may be accessed at the above web address.
Author: Grayson Ponti
- New Sculpture
More about New Sculpture
Creator and Writer - I publish each new sculpture to my blog with a photo, and a lengthy essay about the piece and the adventures encountered in making it. These essays are written for information and enjoyment and function as my newsletter to family and friends. The posted sculptures are carved from many different kinds of colored stone, and were made in 2008 through 2012.
Author: Ellen Woodbury
Published by: (self)