Although Chuck Jones’ film credits identified him for
more than six decades as a director of Warner Bros. animated pictures, his
stature as a graphic artist is little recognized by the public. In addition to
the trying requirements of any director unifying story, layouts, animation,
music, dialogue, etc. into a finished film, he was also personally
instrumental in the graphic styling of his pictures.
"Manhattan Beach" original oil on canvas by Chuck Jones
Dedicated as he was to animation as the new graphic
medium of his time, Jones had never forgotten that drawing the land and people
around him was imperative to assure new ideas as to shape and color and design.
For many years, he drew and painted the human figure and the landscape in search
for new gesture and new expression. This study is reflected in the freshness of
his professional work.
"Pigtails & Red Ribbons" original watercolor by Chuck Jones
Steeped in an awareness of the importance of dramatics,
humor, action and rhythm in telling an animated story, he managed to instill
into his still drawings and paintings these same qualities.
"Bus Queue-London" original watercolor by Chuck Jones
Although many artists skilled in making still drawings
have enriched animation, seldom has an expert in animation contributed so much
to the great tradition of the still drawing. Here, caricature, an essential
factor in all great art, has been exploited on a high level. Penetrating
observation reveals new and daring aspects of ordinary people and their
actions. Each drawing is a statement of an experience and a venture into new
graphic structure. Here, content and form are balanced to insure the intrinsic
value of each drawing and painting as a work of art.