Author Archives: Robert Patrick

15 Years

It’s hard to believe it has been 15 years and, at the same time, only 15 years since my Grandfather, Chuck Jones, passed away on February, 22, 2002.

Chuck Jones working on layout drawings for his 1975 television special, "The White Seal".

Chuck Jones working on layout drawings for his 1975 television special, “The White Seal”.

On the one hand, I still have instantaneous thoughts of calling him to ask about this or that during my day to day activities. It feels like he is still actively involved in the world, at least in my world, because so many people continue to talk about him, continue to study his vast creations, and continue to use his guidance and principles to shape their creative careers.  And I personally continue to unearth answers from him to new questions that arise from his writings, scribbled notes, an obscure interview, or a story that someone relays to me about him in a happenstance conversation.

On the other hand, the world seems to have so dramatically changed since he died in 2002, certainly my world has, that it feels like an eternity since then.

I suppose that these instantaneously contradicting perspectives of time illustrate one of his most often quoted philosophies.  Although it is apparent that the mechanics of animation is an illusion created one moment at a time, he profoundly observed that “Animation isn’t the illusion of Life; it is Life.”  Perhaps this contradiction of illusion and not illusion points to a piece of why he and his films, philosophies, and teachings are so timeless.

I miss him but fortunately he is timelessly with me always. –Craig Kausen

Craig Kausen, Chuck Jones's grandson, at the Huntsville Museum of Art's Smithsonian exhibition, "What's Up, Doc? The Animated Art of Chuck Jones", 2016.

Craig Kausen, Chuck Jones’s grandson, at the Huntsville Museum of Art’s Smithsonian exhibition, “What’s Up, Doc? The Animated Art of Chuck Jones”, 2016.

The Linda Jones Archive: Crier in the Wilderness by Chuck Jones, Part 2

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CRIER IN THE WILDERNESS by Chuck Jones

Part II

Note from Linda: At the time of this article, February 7, 1957, the lead-in stated the following: “Chuck Jones has been Art Director of the Crier from its infancy, and herein tells you how come. He and Dottie dwell in a fabulous glass-and-stone aerie up in Hollywood Knolls, and Little Linda is all grown up and married.”  I was, as stated in the article, seven years old in 1944. We had a live-in mother’s helper named Mary. Mary was a junior at USC and had been born and raised in Los Angeles. Mary was my bestest friend…and I was heartbroken when she (and her parents) were taken to the Internment Camp for Japanese citizens…Here is Part II of the Canyon Crier article started last week.

 [PART II] – Wifely Wiles

The fact that my wife was not working, an activity usually associated with car-pools, did not really constitute an incongruity in my mind. She already owned a rapier, a euphonium and a suit of formal riding attire, even though she had no interest in swordsmanship (“buttons”), tuba-class instruments, or fox-hunting (‘driving a tack with a sledge hammer”). She simply liked these articles for themselves, and I found it quite believable that she would join a car-pool just to drive out to Cal-ship, wrap bandages, and read Dickens in the back of the car all day, and ride back with the boys at night.

“I read about it in ‘The Canyon Crier’”, she said, producing this miniscule yet action-provoking sheet from behind a package of RUM ‘N MAPLE cigarettes. (Why was it always possible during the war to obtain cartons of RUM ‘N MAPLE cigarettes, when less exotic brands where available only in butt form?)

“The girls up on the ridge do their marketing together on a car-sharing basis,” her lip quivered, “eye wan tu-tu.”

“Eye wan tu-tu?”

She pursed her eye-lids. “I want to, too. I want to car-share, too. I want to ride with the girls and market with the girls. Other wives get to, why not me? I’ll plan a plan so I’ll get it all done at once.”

She was about to offer to hold her breath and turn blue if I refused to listen.

I felt this might be a poor example to our daughter Linda, whose seven-year-old blue-eyed naiveté concealed only too well a jaundiced cynicism toward our ostensible maturity.

[Part III next week!]

The Linda Jones Archive: Crier in the Wilderness by Chuck Jones

The "Canyon Crier" masthead drawn and designed by Chuck Jones, a long-time resident of the Hollywood Hills.

The “Canyon Crier” masthead drawn and designed by Chuck Jones, a long-time resident of the Hollywood Hills.

Crier in the Wilderness by Chuck Jones

Note from Linda: At the time of this article, February 7, 1957, the lead-in stated the following: “Chuck Jones has been Art Director of the Crier from its infancy, and herein tells you how come. He and Dottie dwell in a fabulous glass-and-stone aerie up in Hollywood Knolls, and Little Linda is all grown up and married.”  I was, as stated in the article, seven years old in 1944. I was in the second grade at Valley View School, to which I walked each day…actually uphill (and downhill) both ways! There were 72 steps from the street to our front door. My father’s studio was a room over the garage, which was only 40 steps from the street, but 32 steps down from the front door. I called this the “castle house” and from what I can see of it these days, it looks very much the same as it did in the early forties when we lived there.  —   I have decided to publish this article in six parts, along with the illustrations that accompanied the article at that time. Here is Part I.

[PART I]

The first time I knew that there was such a publication as the “Canyon Crier” was that night during the war when my wife began to make whimpering noises and little dog-like running motions in her sleep. This type of restlessness always presages a complaint or new statement of policy at the following breakfast table, so I was as prepared—to use the term so loosely as to be idiotic—when she gave her first post-orange juice cough. This then was going to be a statement of policy, a new venture or something current on Linda’s up-bringing from Ribble, Ilg, Gesell or Spock, known as RIGS in our household. If it was going to be a complaint, she would have cleared her throat rather than coughing. Thus do we survive through understanding the delicate code of marital communication.

“I’m going to join a car pool,” she said, smearing a quarter pat of butter on a heel of raisin bread toast. (Why is raisin bread so easy to come by during war-time?” The time necessary to chew up and swallow a rag of raisin bread toast was the time allotted me to consider a spate of short-handish thoughts: “Car-pool? Why? Where? Who? How? Huh?”

[Stay tuned…more next week!]

Did You Ever Wonder What an Animation Director Made in 1944?

Chuck Jones’s pay stub for the week ending December 9, 1944. At the time, he was directing animated short films for Leon Schlesinger Studios.

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On January 6, 1945, just a month after the pay stub, Chuck Jones’s famous skunk, Pepe le Pew, made his debut in “Odor-able Kitty”, which had originally been titled, “Forever Ambushed”.

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The model sheets were drawn by Chuck Jones and used by the animators to stay “on model” during the drawing of the cartoon.

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Side note: “Forever Ambushed” is a take-off on the title of bestselling romance novel of 1944, titled, “Forever Amber”. The book was eventually made into a film in 1947 by 20th Century Fox. The Chuck Jones pay stub is from the Linda Jones Clough archive.

“Rubes” Cartoonist, Leigh Rubin” to Appear at Nashville, TN Library!

Attention Nashville, TN residents and those in the surrounding area!!!
 
Our friend, cartoonist and animal lover, Leigh Rubin, of “Rubes” fame, will be feted at the Nashville, TN downtown library on Monday, February 6 beginning at 6 PM. Sponsored by Nashville’s daily paper, the Tennessean. It’s free and open to the public. Leigh’s a very funny man and if you can see him live, you should do so! Be there or be square!
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The Linda Jones Clough Archive: Ode to the Washam Wedding

Chuck Jones’s daughter, Linda Jones Clough, will be posting weekly, material from her personal archive of writings and ephemera created by her father over the course of his lifetime. Today, she presents “Ode the Washam Wedding” a poem Chuck Jones wrote celebrating the wedding anniversary of his friend and colleague, Ben Washam. It is important to note that Chuck was intimate friends with his animators throughout his career.

Linda recounted that as a four-year old, Ben Washam’s wife, Eddie, was one of her favorite visitors–always ready with a lap and a kind word.

From: Chuck Jones

To: Ben and Eddie Washam

Re: Eighth wedding anniversary, October 1942

ODE TO THE WASHAM WEDDING

Happy wedding anniversary to the Washams. I.E.: to Benny and Eddie,

Who apparently have gone together for a long time. Steady.

From where I sit it looks like you have been married since nineteen

thirty-four. To be exact, in October.

Were you sober?

Or were you drunk with love or liquor.

And so woke up the next morning with a screaming headache thinking

you had never felt worse or been sicquor?

Eight years is a good long time to have been married.

Some people I know quite well would rather be hari-karied.

But I want you to know that marriage is a thing that I spend a good deal

of time endorsing.

It’s better than horsing

And being a general gadabout,

Even though some irresponsible wolves may be madabout

You.

Pew!

Just remember that when you’re a hundred and nine years old and not

married and not pretty.

It’s pretty s—-y.

(That line is only dirty if you make it so.

I might have meant ‘sweaty’ if you pronounced ‘pretty’ ‘pretty’

instead of ‘pritty’, or I might have meant ‘sweety’ if you

pronounced ‘pretty’ ‘preety’ like Mexicans do, no?)

Well, anyway, you dirty-minded little couple you, Happy Birthday to

the inception of your connubial bliss.

Do you realize this:

For twenty-nine hundred and nineteen nights Benny has been saying:

“Beddie?”

And Eddie answers, “Ready.”

Ben Washam, contemporary to the poem. Alas, no photo of Eddie Washam to share.

Ben Washam, contemporary to the poem. Alas, no photo of Eddie Washam to share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Down the Rabbit Hole! A Studio Visit with Karen and Tony Barone

The Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego is pleased to announce that they will host a major exhibition of the POP art of internationally acclaimed husband and wife collaborative artists, Karen and Tony Barone. The Chuck Jones Blog visited these amazing artist’s studio in what they call their “Paradiso Secco” (dry paradise), located in the world-famous Coachella Valley.

A warren of 9' aluminum rabbits greet you upon arrival to the courtyard of the Barone's artistic haven.

A warren of 9′ aluminum rabbits greet you upon arrival to the courtyard of the Barone’s artistic haven.

The charming, witty, and gregarious Tony is the first to greet his guests, and then, the striking Karen, a woman of great warmth and beauty makes her entrance — tiny and outrageously coiffed and made – up, a super heroine for our times.

Deep shadows reflected on the stucco walls of the Barone home and studio/atelier. The outer walls and paving stones have been painted with dark gray ovoids, mimicking the sculpture and the setting.

Deep shadows reflected on the stucco walls of the Barone home and studio/atelier. The outer walls and paving stones have been painted with dark gray ovoids, mimicking the sculpture and the setting.

Karen and Tony met “cute” — on Chicago’s “el” one day and ever since have been creating art, sculpture, and architecture. Famous for their work with Rich Melman’s Lettuce Entertain You group of themed restaurants, the Barones designed and developed such notable Chicago eateries as Zanadu, Lawrence of Oregano, Tango, and the Brewery.

Tony, front, and backed by his wife, Karen, at the entrance to the pool area of their home where visitors are greeted by giant cas and dogs.

Tony, front, and backed by his wife, Karen, at the entrance to the pool area of their home where visitors are greeted by giant cas and dogs.

When Chicago grew too small for the dynamic duo, they packed up their studio and moved to New York’s SOHO district where they opened one of the very first galleries in the now ubiquitous neighborhood.

"Pop Art" a corner painting in the atelier next to the pool in the Barone's compound.

“Pop Art” a corner painting in the atelier next to the pool in the Barone’s compound.

Karen and Tony escorted us around the exterior of their mid-century modern home, with its steel gray ovals set against the white stucco all the while discussing their art, which is their life, their respect for art history, and where they find inspiration.

Inside the atelier are work benches with the tools for making art.

Inside the atelier are work benches with the tools for making art.

It’s obvious that their life is consumed by creating. There wasn’t a space in their atelier, studio, home, and grounds that didn’t contain artwork, finished and works-in-progress. They complete each other’s sentences–and we found out that now Tony, a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, hones his drawing skills by laying out their canvas works, and that Karen, patient and steady of hand, applies the paint. A true collaboration between great friends, lovers, and artists. It’s truly heart-warming.

"We R Watching" (detail), acrylic on canvas by Karen and Tony Barone.

“We R Watching U” (detail), acrylic on canvas by Karen and Tony Barone.

We spent several hours with Karen and Tony that day–it went by in a flash. They’re voluble, funny, delightfully droll, hip and with a finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist. Which makes for an awesome experience, either in person or when you view their art…they’re right there with you.

Karen and Tony Barone have created a painting in homage to Chuck Jones. It’s so incredible, we’re not going to show it to you. You’ll have to wait until the reception for their exhibition, “Down the Rabbit Hole” opens, Friday, March 17 at the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego. RSVP or for more information, write SanDiego@ChuckJones.com.

Craig Kausen, far right, Chuck Jones's grandson, and president of the Chuck Jones Galleries with Karen and Tony Barone in their studio. What's behind the red curtain?

Craig Kausen, far right, Chuck Jones’s grandson, and president of the Chuck Jones Galleries with Karen and Tony Barone in their studio. What’s behind the red curtain?

To learn more about the Barones, visit  BaroneArt.

Artist Mike Bilz at the Chuck Jones Gallery

Do you have a moment for a funny story? Not funny, “ha, ha”, but funny like “what an interesting coincidence”.

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A couple of years ago, a beautiful bride-to-be named Ashley, came into the gallery to meet with her wedding planner (we share our gallery space with event planners). Carol, our art consultant, and Ashley got to talking and turns out that not only do Ashley and her fiance, Mike, love the art of Chuck Jones, but Mike’s also an artist. Carol invites him to submit a canvas to that year’s Red Dot Auction.

"Genius at Work", fine art reproduction on canvas by Mike Bilz. Click image for details.

“Genius at Work”, fine art reproduction on canvas by Mike Bilz. Click image for details.

And everyone loved his work (still do, for that matter)! So, that’s how Mike Bilz became one of the artist working with the Chuck Jones Looney Tunes character legacy. Mike’s unusual and funny point-of-view coupled with his rich, baroque palette and luminous painterly technique make for delightfully unique works of art.

"Socially Secure" a fine art reproduction on canvas by Mike Bilz. Click image for details.

“Socially Secure” a fine art reproduction on canvas by Mike Bilz. Click image for details.

"Laundry Day" a fine art reproduction on canvas by Mike Bilz. Click image for details.

“Laundry Day” a fine art reproduction on canvas by Mike Bilz. Click image for details.

For more information about the original and limited edition art of Mike Bilz, please contact Carol Erickson at the gallery, 949-274-4834 or your own personal Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant.

Mike Bilz signing the Chuck Jones Gallery--Orange County "artist" door. Click image for his biography.

Mike Bilz signing the Chuck Jones Gallery–Orange County “artist” door. Click image for his biography.

The Droll Wit and Wisdom of Artist Daniel Killen

Do you suffer from “Tunnel Vision”? Let our art consultants give you a little “Friendly Advice” about the original paintings and drawings by the inimitable and thoroughly unique Daniel Killen that are currently on view and for sale in the Chuck Jones Galleries.

"Tunnel Vision" acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24", by Daniel Killen

“Tunnel Vision” acrylic on canvas, 18″ x 24″, by Daniel Killen

Daniel, with his background in animation (“Iron Giant”, “Space Jam”), brings his gimlet eye to the Looney Tunes characters made famous by Chuck Jones. With his droll sense of humor on full display in these exquisite works of art, whether in acrylics on canvas or Prismacolor pencils on toned paper, each one comes complete with gag and punchline. You’re guaranteed to laugh every day when you look at his work in your home.

"Friendly Advice" Prismacolor pencil on toned paper, 10" x 8", by Daniel Killen

“Friendly Advice” Prismacolor pencil on toned paper, 10″ x 8″, by Daniel Killen

His expertise with a brush will leave you wondering how he even applied the paint, the canvas surface is as smooth as a glacier. And his drawings are as perfect as you’d imagine from this master comedic artist.

In the artist's studio.

In the artist’s studio.

For more information and to view the entire Daniel Killen oeuvre, contact gallery director, Michael Fiacco, in our San Diego gallery, 619-294-9880 or write SanDiego@ChuckJones.com.

Master Colorist, Bob Elias, at the Chuck Jones Gallery–Orange County

Now on exhibit and for sale at the gallery, master colorist Bob Elias’s “Weight for It!” With his trademark color-blocked landscapes and interiors in which he sets the action, artist Bob Elias always delivers striking and whimsical scenarios using the characters made famous by Chuck Jones. In this instance, Wile E. Coyote finds himself between an anvil and a Road Runner at the moment of realization that the law of gravity will once again win out.

"Weight for It!" acrylic on canvas by Bob Elias, 24" square.

“Weight for It!” acrylic on canvas by Bob Elias, 24″ square.

Have you met Bob? If not, you’re missing out–this is a man who’s done it all, from sign-painting in San Francisco to leading wildlife expeditions in Montana and everything in between. His wealth of life experiences plays out in his beautifully rendered canvases and his unique take on life shines through in the way he uses color to balance and to enhance the action of the painting. For more information about this painting and other works of art by Bob Elias, please contact Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant, Carol Erickson at 949-274-4834.

Bob Elias painting at the Chuck Jones Gallery in Orange County at the hip new shopping experience, South Coast Collection in Costa Mesa.

Bob Elias painting at the Chuck Jones Gallery in Orange County at the hip new shopping experience, South Coast Collection (SoCo) in Costa Mesa.

P.S. Bob’s an accomplished singer and if you ask nicely, he’ll dig out his basso profundo and sing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” for you.