Author Archives: Craig Kausen

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: March 24th~ Turner Classic Movies Documentary Debut

Just a quick reminder of that Chuck Jones: Memories of Childhood debuts Tuesday, March 24th at 8pm.  Turner Classic Movies has followed it with a full tribute of films.  They have chosen a great selection of his films including some films you just don't get a chance to see very often.

I would be interested to hear your favorites from the list below.

I hope you enjoy it!

Craig

From the Orange County Register today:

CJTCM-OCREGISTER

The following is the complete schedule for TCM’s March 24 tribute to Chuck Jones:

8 p.m. CHUCK JONES: MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD (2009) – Premiere
8:30 p.m. “The Night Watchman” (1938)
8:40 p.m, “Prest-O, Change-O” (1939)
8:50 p.m, “Sniffles and the Bookworm” (1939)
9 p.m, “Elmer’s Candid Camera” (1940)
9:10 p.m, “Scent-imental Over You” (1947)
9:20 p.m. “Haredevil Hare” (1948)
9:30 p.m. “Duck Amuck” (1953
9:40 p.m. “One Froggy Evening” (1955)
9:50 p.m. “What’s Opera, Doc?” (1957)
10 p.m. “The Dot and the Line” (1965)
10:15 p.m. “The Bear that Wasn’t” (1967)
10:30 p.m. CHUCK JONES: MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD (2009) – Encore
11 p.m. The Phantom Tollbooth (1969)
12:30 a.m. “The Night Watchman” (1938)
12:40 a.m. “Prest-O, Change-O” (1939)
12:50 a.m. “Sniffles and the Bookworm” (1939)
1 a.m. “Elmer’s Candid Camera” (1940)
1:10 a.m. “Scent-imental Over You” (1947)
1:20 a.m. “Haredevil Hare” (1948)
1:30 a.m. “Duck Amuck” (1953)
1:40 a.m. “One Froggy Evening” (1955)
1:50 a.m. “What’s Opera, Doc? ” (1957)
2 a.m. “The Dot and the Line” (1965)
2:15 a.m. “The Bear that Wasn’t” (1967)
2:30 a.m. CHUCK JONES: MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD (2009) – Encore
3 a.m. The Phantom Tollbooth (1969)

http://www.tcm.com/thismonth/article/?cid=218721

Discovered Chuck Jones Sketch Book Pages ~ Part 1

I was looking through my book case today for my copy of Jerry Beck's '50 Greatest Cartoons' for some reference material on an article I'm writing and came across one of Chuck's sketch books from 1960. 

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The handwriting on the cover is from my grandmother, Dorothy, which reads: "You really have caught the spirit – I salute you – Sir – Love D.      6-9-60 Berlin"

As an aside, it had a note stuck on it, probably from the late 90s because of the 'Friends' reference, that was about Jenniefer Aniston and what films she might be in.  I don't see any connection between the sketch book and the note, but things got piled together over the years and I thought it interesting… I don't recall pursuing the request.  It's actually amazing what we find in certain books at times…

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Anyway,I thought it was fascinating to see what he drew in this book and how wonderful his thought process was in capturing the expressions of people, their postures, and their character in such a brief moment in time.

These are literally the first five pages of this sketch book.

The book measures 9.5 x 7 inches.

I hope you enjoy…

Craig

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I would love to hear your thoughts on these treasures…

A New Friend of Chuck Redux

I just had the pleasure of meeting (digitally, of course) "Widgett" at NeedCoffee who, as it turns out, is a great admirer of Chuck's work.  I have enjoyed getting to know his site.  He enjoys providing his visitors with a smile; an aim I echo whole-heartedly.

Please take a look at his numerous references to Chuck over the months.  He's selected some of my favorite cartoons to accentuate his posts.  I will continue to check back to for his take in the future.

Craig

7 Years and Still Living On…

Seven years ago today, my grandfather passed away.  It was definitely a difficult transition for me, for my family, and truly for the world (as I have heard from literally thousands of people over the past seven years).

 CJImage4

However, he lived, contributed, experienced, and learned for nearly 90 years.  At 89 he once told me that he was still amazed that he got to do what he loved to do all of his life, even make a living at it along the way. 

During his acceptance speech for his Lifetime Achievement Academy Award 13 years ago he quoted Robert Frost in conveying how he felt about his life:

My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.

Giclee-73-big

I know that he achieved that in his life.  Truly a remarkable achievement for anyone and perhaps a goal that more of us (or even all of us) could bring into focus. 

I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend so much time with him.  Whether it was with a single person in hallway on one of our trips, at a dinner with friends or family, or in front a group of 500 or 10,000, he mesmerized by giving his full attention to being with that person or those people right then and there.  I still meet people consistently who convey the memories of the one time they met Chuck and their special connection with him.

I think what I felt seven years ago was that there was a gaping hole left by him not being in our lives.  But as I heard so many wonderful memories from so many people over the following weeks, months, and years, that I truly feel that he continues to live on through our memories, through his films, through his art, and through all that continue to be insprired by his genius.

Just this morning my daughter, Samantha, came into the room and asked, "What ya doin', Doc?"  Yes, he lives on.

Now or sometime in the future I would enjoy hearing any of your favorite memories of Chuck, his films, or inspirations you may have attained from him or his work.

Happy memories to all of you!

Craig

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A Flashback to Chuck Jones and Family – 1999

I found a great photo the other day of Chuck at my son Alex's 8th grade graduation ceremony.  Chuck was definitely the only one who was wearing the plantation hat and vest on that day.  As the eldest great-grandchild, Alex and Chuck had a special relationship. 

Untitled-2 copy 

Chuck and Alex had a special greeting when he was little where they would shake hands and then each pretend they would put something in their hip pocket.  I never saw Chuck do that with anyone else and it was his special thing with Alex.

Untitled-4 copy Chuck, Linda, Alex, and Jim

Starting Something Great with our Chuck Jones Blog

Today, Robert Patrick and I met in my office to discuss many of the wonderful topics that we want to include in our Chuck Jones blog. Given that this blog is brand new, we're learning constantly at the power of what we can bring to those who visit us here. 

Robert blog talk 

Although Linda Jones Enterprises has been providing the artwork of Chuck Jones now for 32 years, we are less than 32 days into the world of blogs.   

We hope in the coming days, weeks, and months to bring you a glimpse of the diverse and exciting world of Chuck Jones, the Chuck Jones Galleries, and the rapidly changing world of art from around the globe.

Stay tuned for Great Things to come! (no pressure set by that statement…)

Craig

Rose Parade – Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote – Memory of a Lifetime

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Posted by Craig Kausen

It was an incredible honor and one of my most memorable days to ride on the New Mexico Rose Parade Float on New Year's day this year.  This is me (Craig), my mother (Linda), and a great new friend of ours, Jim Garcia from Albuquerque as we started down Orange Grove Blvd as we left our starting position. 

The experience actually made me giddy.  I felt like a little kid getting to play out a magical fairy tale dream that lasted for, what seemed like, hours and hours! (Ok, it actually was hours and hours…)

We actually first were introduced to the float the day before when the official judging occurs. 

4035 NM Float in hangar med Although it doesn't show in this picture, the morning of the judging there were hundreds of people previewing the floats, talking to the float builders and riders.  It's quite an event in itself.

As a float rider, we needed to be in full regalia and seated on the float.  Unfortunately, I cannot share photos with you because they shoo everyone out of the hangar that is not part of the float building crew. 

Obviously we were judged worthy because they awarded the New Mexico Float with the Bob Hope Humor Trophy for most comical and amusing entry. 

On New Year's morning, we were picked up a few miles from the parade route at 5:15 am (or as my brother said O'Dark Early). (Special thanks to our friends John and Leanne for hosting us nearby so we didn't need to wake up at 3am instead of 4!)  It was a brisk 38 degrees and I had much sympathy for the float crew who spent the entire night on Orange Grove Blvd with the Road Runner and Coyote.

We had the opportunity walk the entire staging area before we got underway.  The detail and magnitude of the presentations in each of the floats was amazing.  We bumped into our dear friend John Ramirez (of Acme Animation www.AcmeAnimation.org) who designed three floats for the parade and won three awards!

4068 NM Float Jones Family cropWe waved until our arms nearly fell off and yelled "Happy New Year" until our voices nearly vanished.  I also carried Chuck's cane and hat the entire way to help celebrate his animated creations. 

I think the most amazing thing to me about the parade is the sheer magnitude of it.  Before we even made the turn onto Colorado Blvd, we passed thousands upon thousands of people who had slept out on the curbside, arrived early to stand toward the back of the crowd, or continued to wander up and down in front of the mansions lined up along the road.

As we turned the corner onto Colorado I wish I had video from my perspective of the grandeur of the grandstands, the cacophony of the crowds, and the legion of cameras, photographers, news people that reached for as far as I could see.

Here's a link to the snippet from the local coverage by KTLA…. and yes I received dozens of emails, texts and even some Facebook postings asking me if I was one of the "Humans" who were referred to by host Stephanie Edwards during the broadcast…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnnniNJO5Z4

The remaining five plus miles of the parade route was packed with people for the entire distance (again the magnitude of it all).  If you can't picture five plus miles with enthusiastic, cheering families, think of nearly 100 football fields lined up end to end with 20 to 200 people deep on both sides for the entire distance.

IMG_0717 A huge thank you to Raul Rodriguez, the float designer, for doing such an incredible job with the design and for respecting the characters that were created 60 years ago this year.  Raul is here with us in ready to ride the China Airlines Float he designed as well.

And thank you to the State of New Mexico for celebrating Chuck's most famous characters and the long relationship Chuck, New Mexico, and the Road Runner have all had.

Trivia:  Did you know that Chuck and the State of New Mexico were both born in 1912?

More:   Did you know that Chuck created the Road Runner in 1949?  And that New Mexico chose the roadrunner as their state bird the exact same year…  coincidence?  I don't think so…