Howard "Kim" Weed worked on Disney's Fantasia, was beloved local artist
June 11, 2013Howard Kimball (Kim) Weed , formerly of Valley Center died in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico May 14, at the age of 92.
Born Jan. 30, 1921 in Holtville, Calif. to Helen (Trost) and Solon Kimball Weed, he graduated from San Diego High at 15 years old. His first and lifelong love was his artwork. His talent landed him a full scholarship to the prestigious Chouinard Art Academy in Los Angeles after sending in a sketch for a drawing contest. As busy as he was in life, he was never without a pencil drawing or painting in the works.
He proceeded to obtain employment at Walt Disney Studios, working on the iconic film Fantasia in the Rite of Spring segment. After Disney Studios went on strike, he worked various jobs out of necessity including set erector at Columbia Pictures and making a full scale model of the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas for Bugsy Siegel. He then started working at Vega Airlines, which became Lockheed. He was working his way up the aviation industry ladder when World War II started. He joined the Navy as an electrician and spent much time in the South Pacific.
After the war, he attended college on the GI Bill, working as a dance hall bouncer, an LAPD officer for a brief period and eventually getting his engineering degree from Cal Tech. After that, over his lifetime, he was a teacher, an aerospace engineer, a mercenary air force officer, and an intelligence agent He went back to Lockheed to work on the F104 Starfighter which led him to field service work in Germany for five years, as well as many other countries around the world. In his travels, he estimated having visited over 30 countries.
Mr. Weed and his wife, Uschi, moved to Valley Center in 1984, settling down happily on four acres of limes. They developed a garden, featuring many types of roses, worthy of Sunset magazine. He quickly became involved in the Valley Center Art Association and was a winner of many awards at their art competitions. In 1997, Kim was diagnosed with macular degeneration, which progressed rapidly but never slowed him down as far as creating art in every imaginable media. Many of his works were inspired by long walking tours of India and Mexico. Some were stark and brooding, but just as often with a great touch of wit and humor. Mr. Weed loved to draw fantastic creatures, desertscapes, abstracts, cubist, village scenes, nudes – his anatomy was beyond comparison. His work always told a story. As he said, "I never take myself too seriously, so I try to put a little of that in my work."
Mr. Weed was a featured artist at the Santa Ysabel Art Gallery, the Brandon Gallery, Gallery 451 and others.