Peggy Van Pelt – In Memoriam (Part II)

Continuing with my tribute to Peggy Van Pelt, who brought us so many valuable guest speakers and resources while we worked together at WDI, I thought I’d make a list of some of them for you (in no particular order).

Jean-Philippe Lenclos, expert colorist from France, who discussed how to apply color based on what is found in Nature, particularly in various regions of the world, during different seasons. He also taught that certain color combinations (i.e., red, white & blue) impart a specific meaning to different cultures. I’m grateful to learn he has written a book: Colors of the World, The Geography of Color.

Peggy Van Pelt also brought in (the late) Judith Crook, who also taught Color Theory at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Judy always arrived with several trays of color slides, providing us with a tremendous assortment of photos of buildings from all over the world. Photographed at various times of day, she showed us how the reflection of the sun, and the color of the sky, dramatically affected color on the surface of buildings. She also showed us, by using color gels in spotlights, how the opposite color (from the model) is reflected in the background. An artist, a scientist … and a great teacher.

Peggy Van Pelt organized yet more art classes, bringing the perfect teacher, Ron Pekar, to coach artists to grow “from where they were.” The hands-on class included those of us who were just beginning to familarize ourselves with art tools, all the way to those who were already exceptionally talented, experienced artists. Ron challenged us see just how far we could go. Ron taught us to see with an educated eye.

Peggy brought in a wonderful program for building team skills. Leader Effectiveness Training designed for managers, had several artists participating as well. These workshops taught us how to observe differences in our work styles, and to maximize those qualities when working in a group.

Peggy’s colleague and dear friend, Lucia Capacchione, provided multiple training sessions … and changed many lives with her classes and her now-classic book, The Power of Your Other Hand. [Lucia has developed complete training programs, for artists, for healers, etc. Check out her books, including Putting Your Talent to Work, co-authored with Peggy, and CDs.]

Peggy Van Pelt introduced us to Dr. Valerie Hunt. I could go on, telling you much more, about this enlightened teacher and New Age Scientist … but will let you explore on your own. Valerie’s work in the area of energy bio-fields and healing with color vibrations is (and has been) waaay ahead of her time. You can start with her ground-breaking book: Infinite Mind.

It was Peggy Van Pelt who brought in (the late) Betty Bethards. Betty was a seer, a gracious, fun lady, who reminded us of the universe beyond, and one who inspired us to explore all that we can do while we’re still here. Her fine organization and teachings are still available.

A good friend of Peggy’s, Will McWhinney, from Enthusion, Inc., Venice, California, came to teach us about Career Path Patterns and continued to develop his many writings throughout the years. One of his valuable lessons was to acknowledge how artists’ careers do not typically follow the “corporate ladder” model established back in the 1950s. He identified several other motivators for artists and those who feel they have a creative leaning.

Kurt Wenner was invited by Peggy to speak to us about painting on a large scale, in murals, and sidewalks … using the ability to see in “3-D.” Kurt taught us how to make our own crayon-chalks!

Peggy brought in another good friend, Arthur Joseph, expert vocal coach … who guided artists in how to present themselves and their artwork. We observed employees as they blossomed before our eyes, growing from ‘hardly able to speak’ to being perfectly comfortable, explaining and demonstrating complicated projects to an audience. Vocal

The list goes on and on … as you can see … including many others like Theo Wells, who taught us that it’s healthy for creative people to have a ‘down’ cycle, that one can not possibly be 100% productive every day. In fact, Theo taught us to value that time when we can rest. Peggy Van Pelt brought us information about The Inner Child (and the all-important Inner Critic). She exposed us to the workings of Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) simply to clarify how some of us are more visually-oriented, and others are more auditory or kinesthetic. It was back in those days, she inspired us to study Joseph Campbell‘s classic The Power of Myth).

Of course, Peggy Van Pelt provided many classes and training sessions about the corporate culture, the inner-workings of Disney and its history — not just who’s who (she organized several in-house art shows of some of Disney’s Nine Old Men) — and co-authored a book with the late John Hench, Designing Disney and the Art of the Show.

Thanks to you, Peggy Van Pelt, for all the good times. You will be missed!

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