Category Archives: Chuck Jones Center for Creativity

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

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!]

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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.

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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Chuck Jones’s Grandson to Speak at Colorado Springs Fine Art Center Exhibition

On Saturday, December 3rd at noon, Craig Kausen, the grandson of animator and Oscar-winning director Chuck Jones, will give a special presentation in the Music Room of the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center where he will discuss his grandfather’s work.

This original production cel from "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and many others are on display at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center through January 8, 2017.

This original production cel from “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and many others are on display at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center through January 8, 2017.

During the “Golden Age” of animation, Chuck Jones helped bring to life many of Warner Bros.’ most famous characters and created characters such as Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin Martian, Pepe le Pew, and many others. Jones also directed the 1966 television special, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. After the talk, join collector Bill Heeter in the galleries to learn more about his private collection of original animation cels and ephemera. Please RSVP for this event, as there is limited seating, by emailing boxoffice@csfineartscenter.org or calling 719.477.4310. For more information about the exhibit and the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, click here.

…be counted on to stand up.

1961

Although this quote by Chuck Jones was written  in January of 1961, it is particularly pertinent to today.

“Today, we cannot envisage a protected world that does not include them all, and so [my] hope this year to all people everywhere is for a future–sheltered by the stars, sweetened by clean air, and above all fostering a climate in which no man can be commanded to stand up and be counted–but where every man can be counted on to stand up.” –Chuck Jones

Cakes and hors d'oeuvres prepared by the students of the culinary school at the Art Institute and their restaurant, 5ifty Forks.

Birth of a Notion–Celebrating Chuck Jones’s 104th Birthday!

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and the Art Institute of California–Orange County celebrated Chuck Jones’s 104th birthday with a gala inauguration of a new exhibit, “Birth of a Notion” on his birthday, September 21st. The exhibit chronicles Jones’s passionate belief in the power of the human form as it relates to the production of the animated film.

From left: Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity; Sheila Estaniel, Director of Campus Relations at the Art Institute; Linda Jones Clough, Chuck Jones's daughter,

From left: Michael J. Hansen,  Director of the Aussic Gallery at the Art Institute; Sheila Estaniel, Director of Campus Relations at the Art Institute; Linda Jones Clough, Chuck Jones’s daughter, Lindsey Morgan, Dean of Academic Affairs and Mark Lucero, President of Art Institute of California–Orange County.

Cakes and hors d'oeuvres prepared by the students of the culinary school at the Art Institute and their restaurant, 5ifty Forks.

Cakes and hors d’oeuvres prepared by the students of the culinary school at the Art Institute and their restaurant, 5ifty Forks.

Linda Jones Clough, right, and her son, Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, blow out the birthday candles celebrating Chuck Jones's 104th birthday.

Linda Jones Clough, right, and her son, Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, blow out the birthday candles celebrating Chuck Jones’s 104th birthday.

Film students at the Art Institute interview Linda Jones and Craig Kausen.

Film students at the Art Institute interview Linda Jones and Craig Kausen.

Robert Patrick of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity curated the exhibit, "Birth of a Notion".

Robert Patrick of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity curated and installed the exhibit, “Birth of a Notion”.

Chloe DeMore, 16, a student at Music Vault Academy in Laguna Niguel, performed an original composition in honor of Chuck Jones's 104th birthday.

Chloe DeMore, 16, a student at Music Vault Academy in Laguna Niguel, performed an original composition in honor of Chuck Jones’s 104th birthday.

Santiago Pinzon, a student at Music Vault Academy, manned the DJ booth during the reception.

Santiago Pinzon, a student at Music Vault Academy, manned the DJ booth during the reception.

The hors d'oeuvres, prepared by students at the culinary school and 5ifty Forks restaurant were themed to the artwork. P.S. It was delicious!

The hors d’oeuvres, prepared by students at the culinary school and 5ifty Forks restaurant were themed to the artwork. P.S. It was delicious!

Many thanks to the Art Institute of California–Orange County for hosting the exhibit and presenting the reception. It was a perfect celebration of the creative genius of Chuck Jones!

Photos courtesy Stephen Russo.

 

 

Oil Tanking Connections

Chuck Jones on the Move!

The World of Oil Tanking magazine, “Connections”, featured the Smithsonian exhibit “What’s Up, Doc? The Animated Art of Chuck Jones” in their August 2016 issue.

Oil Tanking Connections

The magazine is published and distributed throughout the world and both the Minnesota Historical Society and the Huntsville Museum of Art exhibit dates were mentioned. The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity provided photographs for the article along with the Smithsonian.