Monthly Archives: May 2009

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

#16 Post

Friday, Oct. 10, 52

Good morning, darling!

It almost isn’t morning anymore, because you see our alarm clock went away to school in Arizona and we occasionally oversleep.  If this seems to imply that I like it particularly, the answer is that I am sometimes grateful for the sleep, but that I have, over the years, grown inordinately fond of the alarm clock. 

So, how do you enjoy the long luxurious mornings, breakfast in bed every morning, the delicate chimes stirring you out of slumber at ten thirty?  Pretty soft life, hm?

What comes to mind this morning?  You know, if you go searching the mind for something to say because you feel you must, it usually comes out strained and pulled-out and awkward.  Isn’t that a lovely word: awkward.  I wonder how many people would know the answer if you asked them for a word with “wkw” in it?  Aren’t words exciting things?  “Exciting” for instance has a jumpy, jack-straw character to it, entirely beside its meaning.  Do you remember the words “tackety” and “goloomb”?  They’re not in the dictionary and they really aren’t words at all, but on the side there I’ve drawn two figures, which is a tackety and which a goloomb?  No question at all, is there? [editor's note:  I don't have the drawings, but one was spikes and points and the other was soft, round and marshmallow-y.]

People sometimes get into discussion of words in the sense of being beautiful in their own right, again disregarding their meaning.  Words like lagoon, sonata, lilting, ballerina, tenuous, thrilling seem to appeal to the ear in an almost musical way.  Then there are comic words like abracadabra, asterisk, pickle, banana, plutocratic and so on.  Then there are words that sound like what they are somehow like: ‘shoat’, a small pig; ‘porcupine’; ‘asterisk’ which is not only a funny word, but sounds like itself; ‘gloaming’ for the time after sundown but before dark, a word that is beautiful too; ‘rapids’; ‘convivial’ that somehow manages to have a note of laughter in it, or maybe just a chuckle; ‘spur’ of course and ‘purr’ which sounds like what it looks like.  For a word that does not sound like what it is take ‘palm’, the tree or ‘yacht’.  Look at the difference between the words ‘ship’ and ‘yacht’.  ‘Ship’ is a sweet, uncompromising straightforward statement.  ‘ship’…it slices through the water, you can hear the hiss of the foam along the cutwater, a very pure word, sweet, descriptive.  Now take ‘yacht’, in five letters it manages to be showily presumptive.  Why not ‘yot’?  That’s the way it’s pronounced.  And damn it, the word doesn’t sound like a boat, sounds like a vulgar laugh perhaps “a belly yacht” or a piece of machinery pronounced ‘yocket’.

Again, we had a wonderful [square] dance.  It was Arnie [Kronenberger calling]and the Rinkydinks last night.  About eleven squares of fine dancers, live music and Arnie really cutting the mustard and the rug.  We must live right, two superb dances in one week.

Ah loves my sweet golden child, ah does, indeed.

Yes’m

Thy honored and devoted servant

s/Mr. Jones

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

16 Post

Friday, Oct. 10, 52

Good morning, darling!

It
almost isn’t morning anymore, because you see our alarm clock went away
to school in Arizona and we occasionally oversleep.  If this seems to
imply that I like it particularly, the answer is that I am sometimes
grateful for the sleep, but that I have, over the years, grown
inordinately fond of the alarm clock. 

So,
how do you enjoy the long luxurious mornings, breakfast in bed every
morning, the delicate chimes stirring you out of slumber at ten
thirty?  Pretty soft life, hm?

What
comes to mind this morning?  You know, if you go searching the mind for
something to say because you feel you must, it usually comes out
strained and pulled-out and awkward.  Isn’t that a lovely word:
awkward.  I wonder how many people would know the answer if you asked
them for a word with “wkw” in it?  Aren’t words exciting things? 
“Exciting” for instance has a jumpy, jack-straw character to it,
entirely beside its meaning.  Do you remember the words “tackety” and
“goloomb”?  They’re not in the dictionary and they really aren’t words
at all, but on the side there I’ve drawn two figures, which is a
tackety and which a goloomb?  No question at all, is there?
[editor's note:  I don't have the drawings, but one was spikes and points and the other was soft, round and marshmallow-y.]

People
sometimes get into discussion of words in the sense of being beautiful
in their own right, again disregarding their meaning.  Words like
lagoon, sonata, lilting, ballerina, tenuous, thrilling seem to appeal
to the ear in an almost musical way.  Then there are comic words like
abracadabra, asterisk, pickle, banana, plutocratic and so on.  Then
there are words that sound like what they are somehow like: ‘shoat’, a
small pig; ‘porcupine’; ‘asterisk’ which is not only a funny word, but
sounds like itself; ‘gloaming’ for the time after sundown but before
dark, a word that is beautiful too; ‘rapids’; ‘convivial’ that somehow
manages to have a note of laughter in it, or maybe just a chuckle;
‘spur’ of course and ‘purr’ which sounds like what it looks like.  For
a word that does not sound like what it is take ‘palm’, the tree or
‘yacht’.  Look at the difference between the words ‘ship’ and ‘yacht’. 
‘Ship’ is a sweet, uncompromising straightforward statement.  ‘ship’…it
slices through the water, you can hear the hiss of the foam along the
cutwater, a very pure word, sweet, descriptive.  Now take ‘yacht’, in
five letters it manages to be showily presumptive.  Why not ‘yot’? 
That’s the way it’s pronounced.  And damn it, the word doesn’t sound
like a boat, sounds like a vulgar laugh perhaps “a belly yacht” or a
piece of machinery pronounced ‘yocket’.

Again,
we had a wonderful [square] dance.  It was Arnie [Kronenberger
calling]and the Rinkydinks last night.  About eleven squares of fine
dancers, live music and Arnie really cutting the mustard and the rug. 
We must live right, two superb dances in one week.

Ah loves my sweet golden child, ah does, indeed.

Yes’m

Thy honored and devoted servant

s/Mr. Jones

Chuck Jones: June Groom

Here Comes the Groom

Twenty
years after the release of “Bugs & Bride ”, this Chuck Jones limited edition hand-painted 82542 animation cel is the fifth image he created celebrating the institution of marriage.  This time around, Bugs’ beloved has swept our
intrepid rabbit off his feet as they begin their new life together in the 21st
century.  Celebrate with them as they
head for their honeymoon suite at the Coachella Valley Carrot Festival Resort
and Spa!

The
line drawing for this limited edition was created by Chuck Jones and has been
serigraphically transferred to an acetate sheet.  Meticulously hand-painted by expert cel
painters, each of these cels are authenticated by the official Chuck
Jones signature-mark.  As was true of the
very first “Bugs & Bride”, this cel is accompanied by a hand-cut,
brocade wallpaper background.*

*In
1977, with the release of the very first limited edition hand-painted animation
cel, “Duck Dodgers Group”, by Chuck Jones, Linda Jones Clough began
to create the backgrounds which accompanied them.  These backgrounds, many collaged and
hand-painted, reinforced the essence of Chuck Jones’ character drawings.

Sometimes
using pantone paper and wallpaper at other times, Linda cut, glued, heat-sealed
and painted each of the backgrounds for every example in an edition for nearly
eight years.  Her backgrounds were the
perfect stages for the antics of the drawings created by her father.  The release of “Here Comes the Groom” and   “Carrot Cake” heralds the return of these special
backgrounds. 

Chuck Jones & Cats (not the musical…)

THE CAT PORTFOLIO

GC99I01 The cat has been domesticated
since ancient times.  Of the genus Felis, the common (and as we’ll
discover, uncommon) house cat, Felix
Sylvestri
(wherever did those cat names come from?), has been the visual
inspiration for untold centuries of artists, from the tombs of the Pharaohs to
contemporary society.   For Chuck Jones
it began with one cat.   

Johnson entered the Jones
household one foggy morning in 1918, carefully picking his way throughGC99I02 the sand
at Balboa, to stand looking up at their home requesting admission.  “He moved into our house that morning, bag
and baggage.  The bag was that cat bag
all cats live in, one of the few characteristics he shared with other
cats.  He sat fat and walked thin like
other cats, but the resemblance to other cats stopped there,” reminisces Chuck
Jones in his autobiography, Chuck Amuck.  “His baggage was what appeared to be a very
old, very used tongue depressor, fastened securely about his neck…bearing the
crude inscription…Johnson.”

Chuck Jones recalls that
morning because he realized that it marked a turning point in his perception  GC99I10 of
character and one of the most important lessons of animation:
individuality.  Johnson demonstrated for
Jones that it is the individual, the oddity and peculiarity of character that
counts.  In response to the question,
“Why do animated cartoonists use animals?” Jones has said that it is easier and
more believable to humanize animals than to humanize humans. 

“The Cat Portfolio” is a limited edition collection of 9 cats drawn by
Chuck Jones over a 50-year period.  The
ten fine art reproductions on paper (one cat is seen in x-ray as well) that comprise the portfolio are
led off by a drawing of Johnson, jauntily wearing three-quarters of a
grapefruit rind on his head like a space helmet.  “On such occasions he seemed to enjoy this
raffish adornment and would saunter out onto the sand, often with only one eye
visible under the overhang, a curious sight to many people, a delight to our
family, and a source of sheer terror to small dogs and old ladies,” Jones
continues in his autobiography.  And if
that weren’t enough, Johnson liked to swim in the ocean too.  

GICLEE-99

Donate without spending a dime: Use eBay Giving Works

You can support classes that allow children to explore their imaginations, or give people of all ages the chance to see original Chuck Jones oil paintings–without pulling out your credit card. 

Sounds like a late-night infomercial or an e-mail scam, doesn't it?

Remember that old Barbie collection…those dusty paperback books…the Nintendo games that your children no longer play?  You can sell them on eBay and have the proceeds donated directly to the Center for Creativity.

EBay sponsors a program called "Giving Works" that allows people to sell things to benefit certified nonprofit organizations like ours.  Google it if you like; it's genuine.

Here's the link to the Center's page on eBay.  Click the "Sell" tab, follow the simple directions, and you're set!

EBay will send your donation to us after payment is received from the buyer.  That's it.

But wait–there's more!  Take a look at this young artist's face and the work he created in an hour using craft foil and colored markers, then walk directly to that closet stuffed with mystery boxes from 1999.  Find something and let it go.  It's time.

Metal Art

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 15 Post:

Thursday, Oct 9, 1952

Dearest Linda;

Well, now I’ve heard everything.  A call just came over the loudspeaker in the hall, “All personnel owning television sets, please report to the projection room.”  Boy, what a distinction!  Dick Thompson was here in my room when the clarion call came.  I told him to go, since he had a set and would probably never again be singled out in such a distinctive manner.  Do you suppose that Jack Warner has ordered all television owners in his employ to be summarily executed?  Here they come back…now for the revelation.

All right, get this:  Mrs. Harry Warner said to Mr. Harry Warner that she had seen on television last Sunday night a Krazy Kat cartoon with Leon Schlesinger’s name on it.  Krazy Kat, holy cow!  So Mr. Warner told Mr. Selzer [producer] about it and asked him to run it down. 

It should, of course, have stopped right there, since Leon didn’t make Krazy Kat.  (Oh, I’d better remind you that the Warners have expressly forbidden any of their products to be used on television and, of course, this includes all of the old cartoons that went with the deal when Leon sold out). 

And, also, we know that a short [film] that plugged [war] bonds was made for the U.S. Treasury Department in 1942, I believe, and given to the Treasury Department, without strings attached. 

With a new interest in sales of Treasury bonds, the Treasury has released this short to television.  Everybody knows this, Eddie included, and this was undoubtedly what Mrs. Warner saw. 

It’s sort of a distorted viewpoint to confuse Bugs with Krazy Kat, but it’s happened before. 

But Eddie was not satisfied.  He had a bone in his teeth and he’s going to worry it to splinters.  Trouble is, he doesn’t have enough to do and here was a big fat issue, a dragon to slay for his beloved Mr. Warner.  So off we go, jousting windmills.  But can you imagine calling all the studio people who own sets and asking them if they saw this terrible thing?  Mike [Maltese] returned looking dazed, very dazed indeed.

And… 

Oh, we had a lovely [square] dance last night.  It was one of those nights when Ed [Gilmore, the caller] was hotter than a pistol, when the dancers were good and in happy spirits, when the musicians were high and when the floor (just sanded) was in magnificent condition.  I don’t know when dancing has been so good, so exciting and such fun.  Good old square dancing.  I owe it a great debt indeed.

Did Dottie tell you that we heard from both Norma and Harland?  Very nice, polite, self-conscious letters.  They suffer from the dame sort of mental constipation that most people become afflicted with when they sit down to write.  THANK GOD YOU DON’T!!  Poor chickens, they couldn’t quite get down a natural sentence.  I felt sorry for them.

Speak up, I say.  Speak forth or be done with it.  Resign from the human race; join the cauliflower clan, a very quiet, reserved group.  We have the gift of speech and we speak not; we have the gift of thought and we think not; we have the marvelous gift of creativeness denied to other animals, and do we use it?  It is to laugh.  We have, for that matter, the gift of laughter, and do we use it?  It is to cry.

And…

Seems to me you’re getting prettier by the day.  I know you’re getting more wonderful.

Kisses then from you admirer….

Daddy

 

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 15 Post:

Thursday, Oct 9, 1952

Dearest Linda;

Well, now I’ve heard everything.  A call just came over the loudspeaker in the hall, “All personnel owning television sets, please report to the projection room.”  Boy, what a distinction!  Dick Thompson was here in my room when the clarion call came.  I told him to go, since he had a set and would probably never again be singled out in such a distinctive manner.  Do you suppose that Jack Warner has ordered all television owners in his employ to be summarily executed?  Here they come back…now for the revelation.

All right, get this:  Mrs. Harry Warner said to Mr. Harry Warner that she had seen on television last Sunday night a Krazy Kat cartoon with Leon Schlesinger’s name on it.  Krazy Kat, holy cow!  So Mr. Warner told Mr. Selzer [producer] about it and asked him to run it down. 

It should, of course, have stopped right there, since Leon didn’t make Krazy Kat.  (Oh, I’d better remind you that the Warners have expressly forbidden any of their products to be used on television and, of course, this includes all of the old cartoons that went with the deal when Leon sold out). 

And, also, we know that a short that plugged bonds was made for the U.S. Treasury Department in 1942, I believe, and given to the Treasury Department, without strings attached. 

With a new interest in sales of Treasury bonds, the Treasury has released this short to television.  Everybody knows this, Eddie [Selzer] included, and this was undoubtedly what Mrs. Warner saw. 

It’s sort of a distorted viewpoint to confuse Bugs with Krazy Kat, but it’s happened before. 

But Eddie was not satisfied.  He had a bone in his teeth and he’s going to worry it to splinters.  Trouble is, he doesn’t have enough to do and here was a big fat issue, a dragon to slay for his beloved Mr. Warner.  So off we go, jousting windmills.  But can you imagine calling all the studio people who own sets and asking them if they saw this terrible thing?  Mike [Maltese] returned looking dazed, very dazed indeed.

Oh, we had a lovely [square] dance last night.  It was one of those nights when Ed [Gilmore, the caller] was hotter than a pistol, when the dancers were good and in happy spirits, when the musicians were high and when the floor (just sanded) was in magnificent condition.  I don’t know when dancing has been so good, so exciting and such fun.  Good old square dancing.  I owe it a great debt indeed.

Did Dottie tell you that we heard from both Norma and Harland?  Very nice, polite, self-conscious letters.  They suffer from the dame sort of mental constipation that most people become afflicted with when they sit down to write. THANK GOD YOU DON’T!!  Poor chickens, they couldn’t quite get down a natural sentence.  I felt sorry for them.

Speak up, I say.  Speak forth or be done with it.  Resign from the human race; join the cauliflower clan, a very quiet, reserved group.  We have the gift of speech and we speak not; we have the gift of thought and we think not; we have the marvelous gift of creativeness denied to other animals, and do we use it?  It is to laugh.  We have, for that matter, the gift of laughter, and do we use it?  It is to cry.

Seems to me you’re getting prettier by the day.  I know you’re getting more wonderful.

Kisses then from you admirer….

Daddy

 

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 14 Post:

Wed. Oct 8, 1952

Dear Linda;

Four weeks from yesterday until elections.  I wish it were over now.  The period between the national conventions and Election Day is far, far too long—five months.  This probably made reasonable sense in the days of more primitive communication, when candidates could only reach the voters by going to them or by the written word, which took a long time to reach outlying districts.  Perhaps they needed the time then, perhaps…but today! 

With radio, television, with high speed railroads and airlines probing every corner of the country it is supposed to be a dangerous and tiring thing to try to hold the interest of the people for that long a time on terms of simple logic—you might lose (horrors).  What usually happens, what I’m afraid is going to happen again this time, is that the contest turns dirty, unable to maintain the high level of interest supposedly necessary to victory.  The two teams start gouging and biting, clawing and cursing.  Truth is avoided or deliberately hurried.  The scum of the party is dredged to the surface as the most skillful purveyors of filth and allowed to run rampant.  The McCarthys and McCarrans are given free rein and full sway.  It is a sick and a sad thing, with two really fine men, Eisenhower and Stevenson, both clean, able and courageous, it seems terrible that this campaign must resolve itself into slinging of offal and vicious casting aspersions.

We finally caught up with “High Noon” last night.  A magnificent, truly magnificent film.  I thought the direction, music and mood was the best I have ever seen in a picture of this kind.  Better, even, than “The Gun-Fighter” and I can tell you right now that our vote for the Academy Award next spring for photography will certainly be “High Noon.”  Dottie sat through it completely enthralled, just as if she’d never seen it before.  I wonder if she thought it would end differently.

How did the bareback test work out, or have you already told us in one of our overlapping letters?

Treg_Brown Treg Brown just tripped in, looking his usual haggard self.     He seems to  get thinner every day.  He still has that volcanic energy and drive, however, so I guess he’s not too unhealthy.

The next three nights are square dance nights, thank God.  We have only danced once in the last seven nights.  We’re getting very stale.  Tonight we’re going to Arcadia and dance with Ed Gilmore, tomorrow Arnie [Kronenberger] and Rinkydinks, Friday, Wayne Warga at Buckaroo town hall.  All excellent dances.

Have I mentioned to you or any of your acquaintances lately that I love you?  If not, I do so now.

X marks my kiss….

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 14 Post:

Wed. Oct 8, 1952

Dear Linda;

Four weeks from yesterday until elections.  I wish it were over now.  The period between the national conventions and Election Day is far, far too long—five months.  This probably made reasonable sense in the days of more primitive communication, when candidates could only reach the voters by going to them or by the written word, which took a long time to reach outlying districts.  Perhaps they needed the time then, perhaps…but today! 

With radio, television, with high speed railroads and airlines probing every corner of the country it is supposed to be a dangerous and tiring thing to try to hold the interest of the people for that long a time on terms of simple logic—you might lose (horrors).  What usually happens, what I’m afraid is going to happen again this time, is that the contest turns dirty, unable to maintain the high level of interest supposedly necessary to victory.  The two teams start gouging and biting, clawing and cursing.  Truth is avoided or deliberately hurried.  The scum of the party is dredged to the surface as the most skillful purveyors of filth and allowed to run rampant.  The McCarthys and McCarrans are given free rein and full sway.  It is a sick and a sad thing, with two really fine men, Eisenhower and Stevenson, both clean, able and courageous, it seems terrible that this campaign must resolve itself into slinging of offal and vicious casting aspersions.

We finally caught up with “High Noon” last night.  A magnificent, truly magnificent film.  I thought the direction, music and mood was the best I have ever seen in a picture of this kind.  Better, even, than “The Gun-Fighter” and I can tell you right now that our vote for the Academy Award next spring for photography will certainly be “High Noon.”  Dottie sat through it completely enthralled, just as if she’d never seen it before.  I wonder if she thought it would end differently.

How did the bareback test work out, or have you already told us in one of our overlapping letters?

Treg_Brown Treg Brown just tripped in, looking his usual haggard self.      He seems to get thinner every day.  He still has that volcanic energy and drive, however, so I guess he’s not too unhealthy.

The next three nights are square dance nights, thank God.  We have only danced once in the last seven nights.  We’re getting very stale.  Tonight we’re going to Arcadia and dance with Ed Gilmore, tomorrow Arnie [Kronenberger] and Rinkydinks, Friday, Wayne Warga at Buckaroo town hall.  All excellent dances.

Have I mentioned to you or any of your acquaintances lately that I love you?  If not, I do so now.

X marks my kiss….

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity helps gather over one ton of food to fight hunger

From Arts Orange County:

Orange County’s arts community collected over one ton of food during the March 2009 Arts Can food drive. Local artists and arts venues united to fight hunger through a three-week food drive, and 24 arts organizations in 12 Orange County cities participated. The campaign was coordinated by Arts Orange County in tandem with the Community Action Partnership of Orange County, which operates the Orange County Food Bank.

“For a first time effort, we’re thrilled to have made a modest contribution to the needs of those residents who are particularly hard hit during the current recession,” comments Arts Orange County’s Executive Director, Richard Stein. “We wish to thank our audiences, patrons, Boards and staff members who brought in food or made cash donations to the OC Food Bank during our food drive. We also wish to remind those who missed out on participating that they can still contribute to the effort through an online donation at Orange County Food Bank."

Orange County Food Bank distributes over 15 million pounds of food each year to vulnerable people. Over 325 other charities rely on the Food Bank for the food they distribute.  Those organizations include churches, senior centers, shelters, community centers, and social service agencies. Those charities feed seniors on fixed incomes, disabled individuals, the unemployed, homeless persons, and the working poor. The Food Bank also feeds 1,400 people directly each day in communities throughout our county.  The Food Bank is part of a larger private non-profit community service organization – The Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAPOC). CAPOC offers comprehensive services to address the emergency needs of people and provides opportunities for individuals to lift themselves out of poverty.  CAPOC operates two family resource centers and owns a child care facility that offers affordable care. Other services include emergency financial assistance, education, employment placement, computers for kids, health and fitness activities, energy conservation, and home repairs.

Arts Orange County is the leader in building appreciation, participation and support for the arts and arts education throughout Orange County, operating the comprehensive arts and cultural events website Spark OC, producing the annual Imagination Celebration and Orange County Arts Awards, and serving as the official local arts agency of the County of Orange and state-local partner of the California Arts Council.

Organizations participating in the Arts Can campaign:

Arts Orange County, Santa Ana
Casa Romantica Cultural Center & Gardens, San Clemente
The Chance Theatre, Anaheim
Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, Orange (#6 in amount of food collected)
Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters, Laguna Beach
Hartfel Ballet, Orange
Hunger Artists Theatre Company, Fullerton
Irvine Barclay Theatre, Irvine
The Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Beach
The Living Tradition, Anaheim
MUZEO, Anaheim
Newport Harbor Nautical Museum, Newport Beach
North Orange County Community Concerts, Fullerton
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana
Orange County Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa
Orange County Women’s Chorus, Irvine
Pacific Chorale, Santa Ana & Costa Mesa
Pacific Symphony, Santa Ana & Costa Mesa
Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Irvine & Costa Mesa
Placentia/Yorba Linda Unified School District, Placentia & Yorba Linda
Rude Guerilla Theater Company, Santa Ana
Soka University, Aliso Viejo
South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa
Very Special Arts Orange County, Costa Mesa

CJones_artscan_web