Monthly Archives: April 2012

Chuck Jones Centennial Celebration of Animation at the Newport Beach Film Festival 2012

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, a Newport Beach Film Festival Event Sponsor, will be hosting a morning of Chuck Jones animated cartoons at Triangle Square, Costa Mesa (at the intersection of Newport Blvd., 19th St., and the terminus of the 55 freeway) on Saturday, April 28th at 11 AM. Among the many favorite short cartoons to be shown will be one of his masterpieces, "One Froggy Evening."

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Following the showing at 1:30 PM will be a panel discussion and seminar on animation with celebrated voice actress, June Foray (Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Natasha Fatale, and Witch Hazel); Emmy Award-winning producer Linda Jones Clough; "Dora the Explorer" producer and director, Jeff DeGrandis; animation director, character designer ("Hop"), and writer, Chris Bailey and photographer Marian Jones, Chuck Jones's widow. The discussion will be moderated by Craig Kausen, chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

A ticket for both events is $5.00 for adults. For more information and to purchase tickets, please contact the Newport Beach Film Festival by clicking on their name in this sentence or on the images. 

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Daffy Duck 75? Not Possible, Why He Doesn’t Look a Day Over…

On April 17, 1937, a star was born. Tex Avery's "Porky's Duck Hunt" premiered in theaters nationwide and audiences were introduced to a duck unlike any other duck in cartoon history. He was wacky and wild, some might even say crazy, but the germ of an idea was born, and the directors and animators at Warner Bros. took the nutty, black-feathered guy and made him into the star he is today, Daffy Aloysius Dumas Duck. 

Daffy Duck starred in 134 +/- cartoons and arguably reached his apogee in the hunting trilogy directed by Chuck Jones: "Rabbit Fire" 1951, "Rabbit Seasoning" 1952, and "Duck! Rabbit! Duck!" 1953. 

"I have watched with fascination his [Daffy's] growth from his earliest haphazard puerile personality, through adolescence, to the splendid bombast of his maturity in the fifties. Daffy has become the spokesman for the egoist in everyone, but he remains always undaunted by the inevitable requital: the fear of consequences that makes cowards of the rest of us." –Robert D. Tschirgi, M.D., PH.D., professor of Neurosciences, University of California, La Jolla, February 14, 1985

"The first surfacing of that part of my character that was later to show up in Daffy Duck occurred at the age of six. My sixth-birthday party, to be precise. I was immensely proud–it seems to me that all my life I have taken the most pride in things over which I have little or no control. Even though I had older sisters, it never occurred to me that anyone had ever become six years old before, and the splendid cake, candles bravely ablaze in salute to my maturity, was ample evidence that I had entered manhood.

"Having blown out the candles and, as a side benefit, managing to send most of the smoke up my little brother's nostrils, I was handed the knife, my first baton of any kind of authority in six misspent years, and was told to cut as large a piece as I liked. At this point Daffy Duck must have had, for me, his earliest beginnings, because I found to my surprise and pleasure that I had no desire to share my cake with anyone. I courteously returned the knife to my mother. I had no need for it, I explained; I would simplify the whole matter by taking the entire cake for myself. Not knowing she had an incipient duck on her hands, she laughed gently and tried to return the knife to my reluctant grasp. I again explained that the knife was superflous. It was impossible, I pointed out with incontrovertible logic, to cut a cake and still leave it entire for its rightful owner. I had no need and no desire to share.

"My father thereupon mounted the hustings (he was nine feet tall and looked like a moose without antlers) and escorted me to my room to contemplate in cakeless solitude the meaning of a word new to me: "selfish." To me then, and to Daffy Duck now, "selfish" means "honest but antisocial"; "unselfish" means "socially acceptable but often dishonest." We all want the whole cake, but, unlike Daffy and at least one six-year-old boy, the coward in the rest of us keeps the Daffy Duck, the small boy in us, under control." –Chuck Jones writing in his autobiography "Chuck Amuck" 1989

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All drawings are by Chuck Jones, graphite on paper, circa 1950s through mid 1990s.

Creativity at Vital Link

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, (April 13th-15th), the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity hosted a booth full of activities, artwork, and character galore at the Orange County Youth Expo’s Vital Link’s STEM & DMA Showcase 2012 (Science Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Digital Media Arts). 

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Chuck Jones Center’s head teaching artist, Chris Scardino beautifully spearheaded the presentation and programs at the event. 

One of the masterful by-products of this 3-day endeavor was this inspired work created by dozens of participants (young and young-at-heart) throughout the weekend. 

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This turned out be a truly inspired, imaginative, and collaborative event!

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We heard from other attendees that the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity's booth was filled with participants every single day of the event. And although there were robots, video games, science projects, and other 'high tech' booths to explore, our simple booth–filled with paper and pencils–elicited the most positive response from the children (and some of the adults.)

"All you can give a child is time." –Chuck Jones

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Who doesn't like to draw? 

The Blackwing Experience Panel Discussion, April 18th

Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, will be participating in a panel discussion at the Art Director's Club in New York on Wednesday, April 18 from 7 to 9 PM. Joining him will be internationally acclaimed artist Maira Kalman, New Yorker editor Blake Eskin, and president and CEO of Cal Cedar Charles Berlozheimer. The discussion will be moderated by award-winning visual artist, Rich Tu. Topics will include the process of creativity, how the medium used affects originality, and what it means to pick up a pencil in the digital age. 

Attendance at this event is via RSVP only. The Art Director's Club–New York is located at 106 W. 29th St. Click on the image below to go to the website or email Blackwing@streetattack.com. 

Panel discussion

 

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Vital Link at OC Youth Expo

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity will be participating in Vital Link/OC Youth Expo's STEM and DMA showcase this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 13-15 at the Orange County Fairgrounds.

Vital Link’s mission is to be the link between business and education to prepare students for the successful transition to a meaningful career.

Vital Link‘s vision is to serve as a Business/Education facilitator and provide quality support services to career and technical educators, thereby providing current, relevant and meaningful information to all students to help them choose their career.  

Craig Kausen, chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity will be a guest speaker on Friday. The Center's resident teaching artist, Christopher Scardino will be leading workshops in drawing throughout the three day event. 

If you have teenagers in the throes of planning a future career and you live in Orange County, please take them to this event. The event is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday; Friday is reserved for school participation. To learn more click on Vital Link.

We Bid Adieu to Dean Diaz

Craig Kausen, president of Linda Jones Enterprises hosted a going-away party for long-time employee Dean Diaz today at the Lazy Dog Restaurant in Tustin. Dean, known for his droll sense of humor and bad t-shirts, has worked in a variety of areas for both LJE and Chuck Jones Enterprises. His depth of knowledge of all things Chuck Jones is equal only to his love of all things Chuck Jones. We'll miss Dean's skill with a camera (still and video) as well as his ability to identify a production drawing, citing title and date, from 20 paces (and with one hand tied behind his back and a patch over his left eye while standing on his head.) Dean's a great guy and we'll miss him!  

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Craig Kausen, standing left, and Linda Jones, pose with Dean at the Lazy Dog.

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Our waitress also got into the spirit and joined Dean in a round of "are you being served?"

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At first there were nachos.

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And then there were none.

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Dean expresses his concern about the sustainability of decorative polystyrene food receptacles. It also held his dinner (he is, if nothing else, frugal.)

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And as if that weren't enough, Scott Dicken, VP of retail for Linda Jones Enterprises insisted on having his photo taken through a dog's paw cut-out. But ignore him, and join us in wishing Dean the very best future. Au revoir, auf wiedersehen, adios, ciao, baby, good-bye Dean!

 

ACME Quicksand, the Tool Drawer, and a Spiny Frog

Chuck Jones Homage artist, Bob Elias, dropped by the other day to show us his progress on a new painting he's been working on of Road Runner with Wile E. Coyote mired in a puddle of ACME Quicksand.

"The Coyote is a history of my own frustration and war with all tools, multiplied only slightly. I can remember my wife and daughter would start to weep bitterly and seek hiding places whenever they saw me head toward the tool drawer, if only to hang a picture. I have never reached into that devilish drawer without starting a chain of errors and disasters of various but inevitable proportions. Like any other man, I would rather succeed in what I can't do than do what I have successfully done before. I have never reached into that drawer without encountering one of those spiny things you stick flowers in. We don't keep that thing in that drawer, but it is always there. I count it a good day when I get only one spine under a fingernail. I tried to get the spiny thing out of the drawer once, but found out that the last time, when it had stuck to four fingers at once and had been lifted a few inches out of its next in the resulting shriek, it had fallen on a tube of glue, puncturing the tube and affixing itslef to the drawer for all time. I have tried lackadaisicallly from time to time to remove it, and have succeeded in breaking a rattail file, a kitchen knife, three fingernails, a nailfile, a pair of manicure scissors, an eggbeater (in one of my more fanciful efforts), and a window, when the tail of the rattail file separated from the rattail file." –Chuck Jones, writing in his 1989 autobiography, "Chuck Amuck, the Life and Times of a Animated Cartoonist"

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Chuck Jones Homage artist Bob Elias on the left with this blog's author posing with a painting of quicksand that also includes Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. And yes, you're not mistaken, those are Christmas decorations hanging up above our heads. We would have taken them down sooner, but decided that we liked their resemblance to planets and outer space, so left them until just the other day, when they finally were removed and stored for another time. Time is relative, is it not?

P.S. What did this post have to do with spiny frogs? Leave a comment if you think you know why. Who knows the first person to answer correctly may win something! 

It Only Looks Easy

The wonderful folk at Tempe Center for the Arts have created a curricula for teachers and students centered around the Chuck Jones art exhibit they hosted in 2010. Titled "It Only Looks Easy" these plans are well-suited for elementary age children up to the high school level. Whether you're a teacher, student, artist, or anyone interested in learning about drawing animated characters and how artists learn to do what they do,these are definitely worth your time to explore, implement, and create! Click on "It Only Looks Easy" or the image below to check it out.

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While you're making plans for your next art class or learning experience, take a look at what the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity has going on at their new, improved website, ChuckJonesCenter.org.

Find Your “Paradise Season” This Saturday at the Chuck Jones Gallery, San Diego

Please join us in welcoming Disney matte painter and artist, James Coleman, this Saturday, April 7 from 5 to 8 PM at the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego's historic Gas Lamp District. This is Coleman's first gallery show in San Diego and we're thrilled to premier his first work starring Chuck Jones's Looney Tunes characters, "Paradise Season". Coleman, world renowned for his depiction of the Hawaiian Islands, has transported the characters made famous by Chuck Jones to an island idyll, complete with surfboards, leis, and Mai Tais.  It's enough to make you drop everything and get on a plane to join them! 

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To enjoy his work first hand, stop by the gallery Saturday, April 7th from 5 to 8 PM (or sooner) and meet this wonderful artist and get to know his work first-hand. The gallery is located at 232 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, at the gateway to the entertaining and lively Gas Lamp District. 

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The Chuck Jones Gallery art consultants head to work (from left: Micah Murray, Kate Bowerman, Dave Hausmann, Erin Liddell, Joel Shapiro, and gallery director, Mike Dicken.)