Mural by St. Louis illustrators of the tea party from Alice in Wonderland

Posted: February 8, 2012 in A tea party from Alice in Wonderland
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Tea party from Alice in Wonderland by 16 St.Louis illustrators

In 1986 I was the chair of a committee to create a mural depicting the tea party from the book Alice in Wonderland. The idea that the mural would be painted as individual panels came from a parlor game illustrators from a painting class would play at a Christmas gathering in St. Louis. Lee Brubaker, an illustrator that lived in St. Louis, would create a line drawing on illustration board, draw a grid over the drawing and then turn it up-side down. Illustrators at the party would take a square and create a painting by following the outline of the drawing in this square. After all the squares were painted the painting would be turned right side up. Lee would show the image from which the line drawing drawn. This was the concept of how the mural would be created.

Mike Foley,a illustrator friend of mine, created a line drawing of the tea party scene and a grid was drawn over his drawing. A copy of the drawing was cut apart into individual grid panels and one grid was sent to each artist. Each artist would paint a 30″ wide x 40″ high color panel which became a part of the mural.

Drawing of Mural and artists' names


one panel from Mike Foley Sketch

This is the panel I illustrated. Below is my instruction to each artist.

John Dyess instructions to illustrators

John Dyess in front of Alice Mural 1986



  1. jim trotter says:

    cool artwork, jimtrotter

  2. Glenn Myers says:

    What happened to the mural? Was a composite print made of it?

    • johndyess says:

      That’s an interesting question Glenn. I may talk about this in a latter post. Four of the panels disappeared after the closing of the event. There was an article in the Post Dispatch about the loss of these paintings. I don’t know if I got mine back and threw it away at a later time ,but I don’t have it anymore. I only have the low quality photos I posted. I hope there exist somewhere a good photo of the mural.

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