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Joshua Meador Self Portrait at approximately age 43
Josh, a Self Portrait

(courtesy of the
Meador family)
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Joshua Meador 1911 - 1965

As Walt Disney Studio's Director of Special Animated Effects, Josh Meador participated in most of the famed Disney classics. Josh was grateful to Walt Disney for giving him an opportunity during the Great Depression. Josh found his "day job" at Disney artistically challenging and rewarding. But beyond the studio, Josh always throught of himself as a landscape painter, first and foremost.

In the late 1940's and early 1950's, he frequently visited Bodega Bay and created numerous canvases of Sonoma County scenes.

Browse our Joshua Meador Paintings by catagory


First and Foremost
provides a video sampling Joshua Meadors body of work.
Josh created over 2,000 canvases. He often explained to his admirers,
"First and foremost, I'm a painter, Disney is my day job."

Joshua Meador Coast Button
Coastal and Harbor
Joshua Meador Desert Button
Palm Springs and Desert

Joshua Meador Windbreak Button
Coastal Hills, Farms, & Towns
Joshua Meador Sierra Button
Eastern Sierra
Joshua Meador Disneyland Button
Josh and Disney Studios
Joshua Meador Southern California Button
S. California, Central America & Other
In 1955, Josh maintained studios and galleries in Carmel Highlands and in 1960 built his dream home and studio in Caspar, CA, just north of Mendocino. READ MORE

Joshua Meador Hand and Palette Knife
Here, Josh demonstrates his palette knife technique in the Walt Disney short film
4 Artists Paint 1 Tree, first broadcast on Disney's TV show in 1958.
He explains, "I don't thoroughly mix the colors on the palette, but let them mingle as I spread the paint onto the canvas." You may view 4 Artists Paint one Tree on YOUTUBE.com

Joshua Meador doing Animated Effects with Jack Boyd and Walt Disney looking on
ABOVE ... Joshua Meador (atop ladder) creating animation effects
with Walt Disney and Disney animator Jack Boyd looking on.
Photo is courtesy of Andrea Atkinson, daughter of Jack Boyd.
A sampling reel of some of Joshua Meador's innovative animation effects work,
and links to Meador articles from our Newsletter archives

Joshua Meador, Animation Effects Reel
"A Taste of what Joshua Meador brought to Disney Studios"


... including clips of Josh's work in
Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Pinoccio, Saludos Amigos,
and the Id Monster from MGM's Forbidden Planet
along with examples of his signature work with water and oscilloscope effects.

January 2017
Joshua Meador Photo
Joshua Meador, admirer
of Granville Redmond
& William Ritschel

October 2016
Joshua Meador
New Photos of Joshua Meador,
taken during a visit to his
Mississippi Hometown
September 2016
Joshua Meador Thumb 2
"First and Foremost ,"
the Impressionist Paintings

of Joshua Meador
December 2015
Joshua Meador animating Lava for Fantasia
Leonard Maltin ... "Walt Disney...
"Adult and Trippy,"
plus
a NEW Joshua Meador
Animation Highlights Reel
September 1015
Joshua Meador Wild is the Wind
Countess Elektra Rozanska,
writes, "Joshua Meador ...
Moods and Mediums
July 1015
Disney and Dali
Joshua Meador's
"The Last Symphony"
& Disney & Dali: Architects
of Imagination
, at SF's

Disney Family Museum
June 2015
Rufus Ward
Columbus, Mississippi's
Eloquent Historian Rufus Ward,
a Joshua Meador fan
Joshua Meador at Ben Sharpsteen's Retirement Dinner 1959 pictured here with Walt Disney
Joshua Meador pictured in
A panorama of Animation's
Pioneering Legends
June 2014
BODEGA BAY Hitchcock Festival Logo
Is there a Joshua Meador
painting in Hitchcock's 
"The Birds?"
January 2014
Tom Hanks as Walt Disney Thumbnail
Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in
"Saving Mr. Banks"

& the Making of
"Mary Poppins"
October 2013
Joshua Meador The Carmel Years Thumbnail
Joshua Meador,
The Carmel Years
1955-1960
Jul 2013
Joshua Meador Waiting for Noyo Thumb
Joshua Meador & the
Meredith Fish Company
Jun 2013
Joe Cosgrove at 29 years old
A Disneyland Visit with
Joe Cosgrove, 1950's LA - DJ
and Joshua Meador's Friend
Nov 2012
Poster Art for Forbidden Planet Thumbnail
Joshua Meador, loaned to
MGM for their 1956 Sci-Fi
Thriller, Forbidden Planet
Jul 2012
Joshua Meador Self Portrait Thumbnail
Sonoma County
as painted by Joshua Meador,

1940's and 50's
Mar 2012
Bambi National Film Registry
The Walt Disney Family
Museum Celebrates Bambi's
Selection by the
National Film Registry
Sep 2011
Joshua Meador working on effects for Fantasia
Joshua Meador
from Walt Disney's
Sunday Evening TV show
"4 Artists Paint 1 Tree, (1958)"
& "Tricks of our Trade (1954)
May 2011
Joshua Meador Bubbles Fantasia Rite of Spring
The "Bubbles" in Walt Disney's
Cinderella, the amazing animation
career of Joshua Meador
Mar 2011
Phillip Meador at Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery 2009

In Memoriam
A Dear Friend of our Gallery
Philip Meador 1939-2011
Jan 2011
Joshua Meador Self Portrait Thumbnail
New tidbits of historic info
Joshua Meador &
Jimmy Swinnerton,
the California Art Club
Apr 2010
Disney Family Museum
Walt Disney loved artists.
The Walt Disney Family Museum
Displays Paintings from
the family Collection
Nov 2009
Philip Meador
"Joshua Meador Day"
in Columbus Mississippi,
Artist's family attends honors
Oct 2009
Philip and Hildur Meador Thumbnail
Hildur and Philip Meador
Visit Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery
Sep 2009
Philip Meador son of artist Joshua Meador
A Busy Time
for an Artist's Son,
Philip Meador


Joshua Meador with his ever present sketch pad
Josh with his ever present sketch pad

In 1959, the prestigious California Art Club introduced Josh in their newsletter in anticipation of an art talk and demonstration ... "highly individualistic and his technique definitely his own. ... He is able to produce a feeling of boldness with restraint, and create in the beholder the mood which the artist is endeavoring to express! We are in for an artistic treat through the visit and demonstration of Joshua Meador."

His works were exhibited in museums and galleries throughout California and were included in collections of Walt Disney, Fred Macmurray, President Lyndon Johnson, and many others. Currently, a painting of Walt Disney's Smoke Tree Ranch in Palm Springs is on display at the Walt Disney Family Musuem in San Francisco.

During his time away from the Disney Studios, Josh would pack up the family station wagon, and together with his wife Libby and son Philip, pulled a teardrop trailer throughout California, painting as they went.

Joshua Meador Photo at Garrapata State Park near Carmel California
Josh painting at Garrapata State Beach
south of Carmel

Joshua's favorite painting tool was the palette knife. His son Philip smiled as he recalled that his father "kept some brushes around just to sign his work." Toward the end of his career, Josh remained under contract with Disney while he maintained studios and galleries in Carmel Highlands and later in Caspar just north of Mendocino.

Joshua can be seen explaining his painting technique on film. Josh participated in two short features created for Walt Disney's television show in 1954 and 1958. The first one entitled Tricks of our Trade features Josh animating lava bubbles for Fantasia. The second is entitled Four Artists Paint One Tree. Walt Disney introduces and narrates as four of the Disney Studio artists Eyvind Earle, Marc Davis, Walt Paragoy and Joshua Meador paint a California live oak tree using four different artistic styles. See the links above to view 4 Artists Paint 1 Tree.

Joshua Meador painting in the film Four Artists Paint One Tree
Josh beginning his painting in the
film Four Artists Paint One Tree
Joshua was a native of Columbus, Mississippi. He was honored recently in Columbus as one of the town's favorite sons, along with fellow Columbus native, famed playwright Tennessee Williams.
Four Artists Paint One Tree Joshua Meador, Marc Davis, Eyvind Earle, and Walt Paragoy
The artists and their paintings for "Four Artists Paint One Tree,"
from left, Joshua Meador, Marc Davis, Eyvind Earle, and Wa
lt Paragoy

Josh is but one of the many skilled and talented painters attracted to California by the film industry. Fortunately for California, theses artists have left an artistic legacy well beyond their work in film. Beginning in 1936, he participated in a long list of Disney productions. He was most proud of the water effects in Cinderella, Bambi, and the fire and bubbling mud scenes in the "Rite of Spring" in Fantasia.

Joshua Meador at work at Disney Studios
Josh at Disney observing mud bubbles
as he creates animated lava effects for Fantasia

At Disney, he also was part of a team winning a special effects Oscar for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Josh's wife Libby Meador reports that Josh loved working for Disney.


Joshua Meador and an effects team feeding leaves to wind, photo courtesy of Andrea Atchinson,
daughter of Disney artist, Jack Boyd

Once, the Disney Studios loaned Josh and his talents to MGM Studios to do special animation effects for what would later become the highly regarded sci-fi classic, Forbidden Planet.

But for Josh, Disney was his day job, painting was his passion. Today he is known primarily for his striking landscapes. When the work week at Disney was done, weekends were often spent with the family station wagon pulling a teardrop trailer. Josh's son Philip reports that he and Libby would take long walks while Josh and the family dog would find an interesting locale and paint. Besides providing companionship, the dog protected Josh from being startled by passers by.

Joshua Meador Brochure Photo
Josh relaxing at his northern California
coastal home in Caspar.

His favored painting tool was the palette knife. He first sketched in his subject in the broadest sense with a large brush with black paint mixed with lighter fluid on a stretched linen canvas. Then would switch to the palette knife to complete the painting.

Later, in his La Crescenta studio, he would finalize and sign his work. Josh and Libby lived in La Crescenta and were good friends of other nearby artists, Conrad and Mary Buff and Stephen Seymour Thomas.

Later in Josh's career, he did some notable commision pieces, a group of paintings for Walt Disney's Smoke Tree Ranch near Palm Springs, one for Vandenburg Air Force Base at the beginning of the space race, a painting for President Lyndon Johnson now on exhibit at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, TX. A few months before Josh died, he received a high honor. He was commissioned by NASA to go aboard an aircraft carrier and paint returning Apollo astronauts, an honor he did not live to fulfill.

Joshua Meador I Dreamt I Was Painting
... an excerpted self-caricature of Josh from his
"I Dreamt I Was Painting." -- private collection


Josh and Libby were high school sweethearts in Columbus, Mississippi. Both were quite bright. Josh received a nomination to attend the Naval Academy at Annapolis, but turned it down. He wanted to follow his passion and paint.

In 1931, Josh and his father took a train trip, first visiting New York and Pittsburg before choosing the Art Institute of Chicago. That same year, Josh and Libby were marrried. He studied illustration, painting, portraits, and etching. After graduation in 1935, Josh and Libby came to California where Josh applied and went to work for Walt Disney. Four years later, Philip was born, Josh continued working for Disney until 1960, making an agreement with Walt Disney that Josh would return from his studio for special projects. Back to top of the page.

Source: Conversation with Libby, Philip and Hildur Meador on the occasion of their visit to Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery, July 6, 2006 and subsequent visits. Other sources include AskArt, Edan Hughes, Artists in California 1786 - 1940, 3d ed.; www.laughingplace.com/News-ID10019010.asp