Monthly Archives: April 2009

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 9 Post: 

Tuesday, Sept 30, 1952

Dearest Linda,

Feast
or famine!  We feasted last night:  two Linda-letters at one time!  And
nice fat juicy ones, too.  We pored over them, read between the lines
and enjoyed them fully.

Well,
Hell, Linda, I can’t tell whether you’re enjoying yourself or not. No
matter how well a letter is written–and yours are superb–it’s a
little hard to set your soul down with an Underwood.  My opinion is
that you are going through the difficult and often painful readjustment
to a new environment and that some of it is fun and more of it is not. 
The unfamiliar is usually troublesome at first, until it becomes the
familiar.  What appears to be cliquishness at first, often resolves
itself into the veterans in a given group of people–like the
school–naturally banding together, for the same reason that people who
know each other always tend to band together in a crowd.  The newcomer
finds himself automatically alone; even another newcomer is not much
comfort, as he too is wondering how to break into the golden circle. 
I’m not dealing in high philosophy here, Linda, I’m just rattling along
about what has been my experience.

If
ever I can be of help in any way, please don’t hesitate to write and
ask.  Write to the studio if you want to discuss anything quiet and
mouse-like.  Great discretion guaranteed.

Interesting
sounding animal you have.  Are you partnered with him permanently or
can you graduate to something more horse like—say a giraffe?  If it
gets unbearable and you can’t get any action, we’ll see what can be
done.  We’ll talk about it when we come visiting.  Will it be all right
to do so, about the first of November?

Saw
two fires on Sunset Boulevard yesterday, one a large refuse truck that
apparently was burning from the bottom of its load because the firemen
were having one helluva time probing their fire fighting instruments to
the bottom without doing the obvious: scattering the stuff all over the
pavement and stamping it out.  One of the most useless looking
instruments there was a ladder truck. 

The
second fire was at Sunset and Gower, the haberdashery just south of
Sunset, next to Columbia studios.  I had gone to get a haircut from the
good Gus and arrived just in time to see the final embers polished
off.  That shop was really gutted.  I’d never known what the word meant
before.  It was black and charred inside, like an incinerator.  There
were singed sport jackets all over the pavement outside and piles of
sport shirts burned neatly up the side of the pile.  A melancholy
sight.  Water and sopping burnt clothing and charred wood and broken
glass.  What a truly frightful thing fire on the loose can be and what
a generous and lovely thing it is when under control.

I love you and enclose a large and slightly damp bundle of kisses….

Thine father,

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 9 Post: 

Tuesday, Sept 30, 1952

Dearest Linda,

Feast or famine!  We feasted last night:  two Linda-letters at one time!  And nice fat juicy ones, too.  We pored over them, read between the lines and enjoyed them fully.

Well, Hell, Linda, I can’t tell whether you’re enjoying yourself or not. No matter how well a letter is written–and yours are superb–it’s a little hard to set your soul down with an Underwood.  My opinion is that you are going through the difficult and often painful readjustment to a new environment and that some of it is fun and more of it is not.  The unfamiliar is usually troublesome at first, until it becomes the familiar.  What appears to be cliquishness at first, often resolves itself into the veterans in a given group of people–like the school–naturally banding together, for the same reason that people who know each other always tend to band together in a crowd.  The newcomer finds himself automatically alone; even another newcomer is not much comfort, as he too is wondering how to break into the golden circle.  I’m not dealing in high philosophy here, Linda, I’m just rattling along about what has been my experience.

If ever I can be of help in any way, please don’t hesitate to write and ask.  Write to the studio if you want to discuss anything quiet and mouse-like.  Great discretion guaranteed.

Interesting sounding animal you have.  Are you partnered with him permanently or can you graduate to something more horse like—say a giraffe?  If it gets unbearable and you can’t get any action, we’ll see what can be done.  We’ll talk about it when we come visiting.  Will it be all right to do so, about the first of November?

Saw two fires on Sunset Boulevard yesterday, one a large refuse truck that apparently was burning from the bottom of its load because the firemen were having one helluva time probing their fire fighting instruments to the bottom without doing the obvious: scattering the stuff all over the pavement and stamping it out.  One of the most useless looking instruments there was a ladder truck. 

The second fire was at Sunset and Gower, the haberdashery just south of Sunset, next to Columbia studios.  I had gone to get a haircut from the good Gus and arrived just in time to see the final embers polished off.  That shop was really gutted.  I’d never known what the word meant before.  It was black and charred inside, like an incinerator.  There were singed sport jackets all over the pavement outside and piles of sport shirts burned neatly up the side of the pile.  A melancholy sight.  Water and sopping burnt clothing and charred wood and broken glass.  What a truly frightful thing fire on the loose can be and what a generous and lovely thing it is when under control.

I love you and enclose a large and slightly damp bundle of kisses….

Thine father,

The Gathering: The Artist’s Perspective

Over the past week or so, we have seen quite a bit of attention brought to the Glen Tarnowski painting entitled 'The Gathering.'  I am including the image here again even though it is posted below with the original Tribune article.

What the article did not state as clearly or in as much detail as I would have like is the real inspiration that Glen Tarnowski had when he chose to paint this work of art.

Knowing the true deeper meaning of what Glen intended with
the painting along with his passion for Chuck and his work, I know it’s even
more important to communicate the intention of the artist.  He did not reconsider his aim after
controversy. Instead, he was incredibly thoughtful before he decided to
approach this rendition.

Glen is one of the most devout Christians I’ve ever
met.  He communicates that his entire
purpose for creating his artwork is to raise the human spirit and to inspire
the human heart. 

His short answer about his motivation, as stated in the
article, is that if we all lived in a world of cartoon characters, God would
find a way to communicate to us, to Gather us to Him,” hence, the name of the work,
‘The Gathering”. He added, “God loves us that much, that he would find a way to
bring us to Him no matter what or who we are.”

He went on to say:

“God wants to have a relationship
with us and wants to Gather us to him.”

“It is so important to recognize
that the whole of faith cannot be wrapped up in a painting.  It is so important
to realize again what the symbols in a painting are pointing
to.”

“We often get so conditioned to see
a painting over and over and lose its original meaning.  Perhaps this is an
opportunity to revisit what the meaning beyond a painting
is.”

“Chuck Jones was the absolute master
in using cartoon characters to communicate the issues we deal with in life.  We
all resonate with these characters.”

I can guarantee that Chuck
would be thrilled with the quality and respect that Glen provides these
characters.  Additionally, Glen can, as
Chuck would say, “paint his ass off.”  A
very tough combination to find: someone who loves Chuck and his cartoons and
who can paint that masterfully.

And I’ve been asked why have anyone attempt painting the
characters.  Because Chuck is gone from
this earth, but his characters are as alive as they’ve ever been.  If I could ask Da Vinci to paint the
characters, I would. And I guess that he would have fun doing it.

Just yesterday Glen sent me a note, part of which I am including here. 

Hello
Craig:

I hope that all can
recognize the eternal Love message of : Philippians 2:5 Let this mind
be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who,
being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a
bondservant, and coming in the
likeness of men (why not a cartoon if necessary). 8
And being found in appearance as a man (or in this instance a cartoon
character), He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the
cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him
and given Him the name which is above every name, 10
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of
those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and
that every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the
glory of God the Father. 

This message of Love
is for all with NO STRINGS ATTACHED!

I am both proud to
have done the work and proud to be associated with a class organization such as
yourself!

Sincerely,

Glen Tarnowski

Glen's short self defined bio:

 

Age

47

 

 

Gender

Male

 

 

Status

Married

 

 

Children

2

 

 

Religion

Walking with
Jesus

 

 

Education

Graduate
Work

 

 

Hobbies
/ Interests

Faith, Family and
Friends.

 

 

Favorite
Artistic Medium

Painting Oil

 

 

Favorite
Arthistory Movement

Baroque – (1600 –
1750)

 

 

Favorite
Visual Artist

Rembrandt, Rubens,
Dali & Margritte

 

 

Favorite
Work of Art

Each painting I am
currently working on

 

 

Biggest
Artistic Inspiration

Creation

 

 

Why
Did You Become An Artist

To create art that
encourages, motivates, uplifts, makes one smile, brings purpose, and fills one
heart with faith.

LastSupper.lo res

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 8 Post:

Monday, Sept 29, 1952

Hi!

Pretty
bright greeting for a Monday morning, isn’t it?  I feel very – well —
peppy this morning.  For one thing, the diet has begun to take hold. 
After losing six pounds the first few days, there was a kind of dormant
period in which nothing seemed to happen.  It lowered my spirit to go
without so many nice things to eat and then seemingly not get results. 
But this morning the scales registered 184 ½, just ten pounds from what
it said one week ago.  I suppose the body has to readjust itself to the
new condition.  Anyway, I am high this morning, both mentally and
physically.

We spent
yesterday at the [friends’] mountain cabin at Idyllwild, a mountain
resort some forty miles beyond Riverside in a branch of the coast range
I’ve never encountered before.  It is interesting and beautiful
country, a large six or eight mile valley, bowl-shaped, heavily wooded
with pine and spruce, no undergrowth to speak of, a good place to ride
horse-back.  Very little water in the valley, something I miss after
Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.  About five thousand feet, clean sweet air
and blue, blue sky, I miss that, too, but I sure don’t know what to do
about it.  Send me a small vial of it, will you?

The
cabin is just that: a mountain cabin.  No furbelows.  It is rough
shakes outside and plywood inside.  Two rooms really, plus kitchen and
bath.  The living room has the usual big fireplace complete with
moth-eaten, sad-faced deer head.  Lots of old comfortable chairs and
sofas, sort of cast-offish.  Skis, bows and arrows, a bunch of
paperback mysteries, ski posters from Switzerland around the walls; old
beat up rugs on the floors.  Very comfortable, very pleasant, not a bit
swank or pretentious, a place to sit in any old clothes, a happy
informal gently rundown mountain cabin.  We thought it was swell.

Three
of us went for a short ride, got horses from the local stable.  They
know the proprietress so we got pretty good horses.  Mine was an odd
animal in away because he had a dual personality.  He was a white horse
on one side and a pinto horse on the other. CJ horse001
None of his markings passed across from his left to his right side. 
It’s really true, Linda, if two people approached this animal from
opposite sides each could truthfully sign a statement that would drive
a district attorney mad.  “The bank robber was riding a white horse.” 
“The man who robbed the bank was riding a pinto horse, dark head, huge
brown spot extending up his front leg, from fetlock to withers, dappled
tan spots on his flanks.”  Even his tail had some dark hairs on his
right side.  Otherwise he was a nice animal with a gentle jog and a
lovely canter.  [Our friends] thought I was a pretty good rider, and I
knew they were.   He is really a fine horseman.  A good all around
athlete, I guess.  Won his letter at USC in water polo, is president of
the California Ski Association and also played football.  Versatile,
hm? 

 

Doesn’t
look like I have much more room on this sheet or much more time before
noon.  Dottie is going to try quitting smoking again.  I hope to hell
she makes it.

I love you and miss you.  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 8 Post: 
Monday, Sept 29, 1952

Hi!

Pretty bright greeting for a Monday morning, isn’t it?  I feel very – well — peppy this morning.  For one thing, the diet has begun to take hold.  After losing six pounds the first few days, there was a kind of dormant period in which nothing seemed to happen.  It lowered my spirit to go without so many nice things to eat and then seemingly not get results.  But this morning the scales registered 184 ½, just ten pounds from what it said one week ago.  I suppose the body has to readjust itself to the new condition.  Anyway, I am high this morning, both mentally and physically.

We spent yesterday at the [friends’] mountain cabin at Idyllwild, a mountain resort some forty miles beyond Riverside in a branch of the coast range I’ve never encountered before.  It is interesting and beautiful country, a large six or eight mile valley, bowl-shaped, heavily wooded with pine and spruce, no undergrowth to speak of, a good place to ride horse-back.  Very little water in the valley, something I miss after Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.  About five thousand feet, clean sweet air and blue, blue sky, I miss that, too, but I sure don’t know what to do about it.  Send me a small vial of it, will you?

The cabin is just that: a mountain cabin.  No furbelows.  It is rough shakes outside and plywood inside.  Two rooms really, plus kitchen and bath.  The living room has the usual big fireplace complete with moth-eaten, sad-faced deer head.  Lots of old comfortable chairs and sofas, sort of cast-offish.  Skis, bows and arrows, a bunch of paperback mysteries, ski posters from Switzerland around the walls; old beat up rugs on the floors.  Very comfortable, very pleasant, not a bit swank or pretentious, a place to sit in any old clothes, a happy informal gently rundown mountain cabin.  We thought it was swell.

Three of us went for a short ride, got horses from the local stable.  They know the proprietress so we got pretty good horses.  Mine was an odd animal in away because he had a dual personality.  He was a white horse on one side and a pinto horse on the other. CJ horse001
None of his markings passed across from his left to his right side.  It’s really true, Linda, if two people approached this animal from opposite sides each could truthfully sign a statement that would drive a district attorney mad.  “The bank robber was riding a white horse.”  “The man who robbed the bank was riding a pinto horse, dark head, huge brown spot extending up his front leg, from fetlock to withers, dappled tan spots on his flanks.”  Even his tail had some dark hairs on his right side.  Otherwise he was a nice animal with a gentle jog and a lovely canter.  [Our friends] thought I was a pretty good rider, and I knew they were.   He is really a fine horseman.  A good all around athlete, I guess.  Won his letter at USC in water polo, is president of the California Ski Association and also played football.  Versatile, hm? 

 

Doesn’t look like I have much more room on this sheet or much more time before noon.  Dottie is going to try quitting smoking again.  I hope to hell she makes it.

I love you and miss you.  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

“The Last Supper” parody turning heads in Old Town San Diego

The following article by
Diane Bell appeared in today's San Diego Union-Tribune.  You can see it online at the paper's website by clicking here.  

April 2, 2009



Dallas artist Glen Tarnowski substituted Bugs Bunny for Jesus and other
cartoon characters for disciples in his parody of "The Last Supper,"
which he called "The Gathering." (Chuck Jones Gallery) –

 

Never has a painting in the Chuck Jones Gallery window attracted so much attention.

It has stopped Old Town pedestrians midstep, eliciting smiles and
thoughtful looks from some; frowns, angry telephone calls and
unfriendly notes demanding its removal from others.

Two weeks ago, the gallery put on display an oil painting
parody of Leonardo da Vinci's “The Last Supper.” Named “The Gathering,”
it substitutes Looney Tunes and other cartoon characters for disciples
and Bugs Bunny for Jesus.

“We never intended to offend anyone,” said Mike Dicken,
national sales director for the gallery at 2501 San Diego Ave. “Most
people think it's fun and amusing, but 5 percent are pulling their hair
out.”

The anonymous complaints came in – 10 to 12 a day by
phone – and a few notes, unsigned or signed “A concerned citizen.” So
the gallery added a biography of Dallas artist Glen Tarnowski,
explaining his intent and his background as a devout Christian and an
alumnus of California Lutheran University.

Craig Kausen, the Irvine-based gallery chain's CEO and
grandson of late Warner Bros. cartoonist and artist Chuck Jones, said
he even consulted a local priest who, while he hadn't seen the artwork,
was not upset by the concept.

“There is nothing irreverent about it whatsoever,” Kausen said.

Tarnowski defends portraying Wile E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd,
Porky Pig, Pepe Le Pew, the Road Runner and other characters as
disciples, saying God loves people so much that even if we all were
cartoon characters, he would have come to us, perhaps in the form of
Bugs Bunny.

“Chuck Jones was the absolute master in using cartoon
characters to communicate the issues we deal with in life,” Tarnowski
said. “We all resonate with these characters.”

Two customers expressed interest in buying the artwork
but, at $20,000, it's not in the average budget, Dicken said. So, for
now, it is still in the window, and employees are happy to let Dicken
answer the phone.

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 7 Post:

Friday, Sept. 26, 1952

Dear Linda;

Five
days on this blasted diet!  I’m not thin yet, but I’m haggard.  The
rangers in the early French-American wars used to say that there was
less nourishment in one moose than one porcupine because the moose was
made up of lean meant, while ole porky was just a tub of oil and
grease.  This diet keeps you as full as you want, but it’s like being
stuffed with feathers.  I hope I don’t get irritable.  (Can’t remember
having had occasion to spell “irritable” before.  I didn’t even know
what to look up.  Seemed like it sprang from ‘irate’ but there ain’t no
‘irateable’.  “Irascible” is the closest thing to ‘irate’.  Irritable
of course comes from irritate.  Still looks silly.)  Well, anyway, I
hope I don’t get irritable.

The
letter you wrote Sunday finally reached us yesterday.  Very happy to
receive it.  A good letter because it conveyed that lost, lonely,
unsure first-day feeling that everybody has at the beginning of a new
experience.  Rain, early morning, strangers, what a bleak combination
that is.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been new on a job, but that
is the precise feeling one has.  Write more of the same, just let it
roll.

Linda003
Old Benny just rolled into the room for his morning benediction.  More
I see of Washam, the more convinced I am that he belongs in “Pogo”. 
He’d be right at home in Pogofenoke Swamp with Churché la Femme and the
noble dog.  Ben is essentially a very sweet human being, sort of like
noble dog, unquestionably man’s best friend, especially this man.  He
sends his greetings and his high regards to you, as do the others, Abe,
Ken, and so on.  They are all a fine bunch of artists, devoted and
talented.  I’m lucky to have had them with me so long.

Weather
here remains essentially the same.  It is now Friday, but it’s still
muggy.  Sort of a pall hanging over the city dominated by
thunderclouds.  We had rumbles of thunder last night and some tricky
little cracks of lightning, but no rain.  By George, there’s some
thunder now…distant, but definitely rumbly.  Remember that strange day
we crossed Colorado and Utah on the way home?  The strange suspended
rainstorms all around us and the long crooked lightning streaks like
neon blood-veins?  That is odd, forbidding country in such weather, but
exciting.

How goes the Latin?  If it goes sluggishly, please remember to send up a rocket.  Help is always available.

Sunday
we are going to the mountains.  The Fergusons invited us up to their
place in Idyllwild for the weekend, but Sunday was the best we could
do.  ‘Tis wonderful to be a social butterfly, so many demands on ones
time!  So mad, the whirl of receptions, cotillions, tea dansantes,
balls, pageants, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.  I
think they have a two-room lean-to up there, built of uncured
scrub-pine boughs layered over with sod.

Check
on the time it takes these notes to reach you.  I don’t know whether it
pays Warner Bros. to supply airmail stamps or not.  Maybe mail reaches
the ranch just as fast through regular channels.   Check, will you? 
(Two ‘checks’ enclosed in the previous paragraph.)

Is
there anything you need?  Anything we can supply that was forgotten? 
Let us know.  We thought we would drift over toward the first of
November, visit the Merkley’s and Browns and bring the saddle up to
you.  Would it be all right to do this, or can you tell yet?  If not,
just say so, no big fat explanation necessary.

Love, and since you mention it: xs.

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 7 Post:

Friday, Sept. 26, 1952

Dear Linda;

Five days on this blasted diet!  I’m not thin yet, but I’m haggard.  The rangers in the early French-American wars used to say that there was less nourishment in one moose than one porcupine because the moose was made up of lean meant, while ole porky was just a tub of oil and grease.  This diet keeps you as full as you want, but it’s like being stuffed with feathers.  I hope I don’t get irritable.  (Can’t remember having had occasion to spell “irritable” before.  I didn’t even know what to look up.  Seemed like it sprang from ‘irate’ but there ain’t no ‘irateable’.  “Irascible” is the closest thing to ‘irate’.  Irritable of course comes from irritate.  Still looks silly.)  Well, anyway, I hope I don’t get irritable.

The letter you wrote Sunday finally reached us yesterday.  Very happy to receive it.  A good letter because it conveyed that lost, lonely, unsure first-day feeling that everybody has at the beginning of a new experience.  Rain, early morning, strangers, what a bleak combination that is.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been new on a job, but that is the precise feeling one has.  Write more of the same, just let it roll.

Linda003
Old Benny just rolled into the room for his morning benediction.  More I see of Washam, the more convinced I am that he belongs in “Pogo”.  He’d be right at home in Pogofenoke Swamp with Churché la Femme and the noble dog.  Ben is essentially a very sweet human being, sort of like noble dog, unquestionably man’s best friend, especially this man.  He sends his greetings and his high regards to you, as do the others, Abe, Ken, and so on.  They are all a fine bunch of artists, devoted and talented.  I’m lucky to have had them with me so long.

Weather here remains essentially the same.  It is now Friday, but it’s still muggy.  Sort of a pall hanging over the city dominated by thunderclouds.  We had rumbles of thunder last night and some tricky little cracks of lightning, but no rain.  By George, there’s some thunder now…distant, but definitely rumbly.  Remember that strange day we crossed Colorado and Utah on the way home?  The strange suspended rainstorms all around us and the long crooked lightning streaks like neon blood-veins?  That is odd, forbidding country in such weather, but exciting.

How goes the Latin?  If it goes sluggishly, please remember to send up a rocket.  Help is always available.

Sunday we are going to the mountains.  The Fergusons invited us up to their place in Idyllwild for the weekend, but Sunday was the best we could do.  ‘Tis wonderful to be a social butterfly, so many demands on ones time!  So mad, the whirl of receptions, cotillions, tea dansantes, balls, pageants, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.  I think they have a two-room lean-to up there, built of uncured scrub-pine boughs layered over with sod.

Check on the time it takes these notes to reach you.  I don’t know whether it pays Warner Bros. to supply airmail stamps or not.  Maybe mail reaches the ranch just as fast through regular channels.   Check, will you?  (Two ‘checks’ enclosed in the previous paragraph.)

Is there anything you need?  Anything we can supply that was forgotten?  Let us know.  We thought we would drift over toward the first of November, visit the Merkley’s and Browns and bring the saddle up to you.  Would it be all right to do this, or can you tell yet?  If not, just say so, no big fat explanation necessary.

Love, and since you mention it: xs.