Category Archives: Inspiration

Terri Hardin and Looney Tunes Fortune Tellers at Red Dot Auction!

The incomparable Terri Hardin, Disney Imagineer, sculptress, puppeteer, creator (you know those Foster Farm chickens, right? Terri created them) has designed the most amazing Looney Tunes Fortune Tellers EVER! She’ll be folding them on Saturday, May 6th for a donation to the Center. Add them to your “must have” list!

Tickets for the Red Dot Auction are available at www.ChuckJonesCenter.org/RedDot. Be there or be square!

 

Portrait of a Young Woman, collection of the artist and not for sale.

The Incredible Work of Master Portrait Artist, Fran Lew

Fran Lew, a name synonymous with the greatest of American portrait artists such as John Singer Sargent, Robert Henri, and Norman Rockwell, is without contemporary peer. Her unerring eye for detail and her sensitive rendering of the emotional undercurrent of the sitter, whether for a commissioned private portrait as seen below, or for one of her “Stars of Hollywood Boulevard” celebrity portraits, is truly inspiring.

Portrait of a Young Woman, collection of the artist and not for sale.

Portrait of a Young Woman, collection of the artist and not for sale.

You see it in her handling of the subtleties of the planes of the cheeks, the curve of the lips, the brilliant life streaming from the eyes of the subject, all are captured by the sure hand and artistic genius of Lew.

Audrey Hepburn, charcoal and white pastel on toned paper, 14" x 11" by Fran Lew.

Audrey Hepburn, charcoal and white pastel on toned paper, 14″ x 11″ by Fran Lew.

What makes an artist shine like this? Fran Lew exhibits an innate understanding of how to capture the essence of her subject with the finesse and subtlety deserving of the most important people in our lives.

Fran Lew’s work is represented by the Chuck Jones Galleries. She is now taking portrait commissions, both personal and from her “Stars of Hollywood Boulevard” series, please contact your Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant for details and availability.

Inspired by Chuck Jones

Artists Karen and Tony Barone, featured artists in our San Diego Chuck Jones Gallery through April 13, have honored the influence Chuck Jones has had on their art and their life in their website’s “Blob”. Yes, that’s right, it’s not a “Blog”, but a “Blob”. Written by Tony, the “Blob” covers all sorts of topics. The most recent posting, #9, centers on the Chuck Jones inspiration they’ve channeled in their most recent work, “Bugs Bunny in a Hare-Raising Experience”.

Chuck Jones by Karen and Tony Barone.

Chuck Jones by Karen and Tony Barone after a photograph by Karsh of Ottawa.

Tony writes, “I am a composite of skills and knowledge inherited from all those artists who have come before me.

“In my most recent incarnation, I am channeling artist Chuck Jones, the world’s most collected cartoonist, animator, filmmaker and Pop art practitioner. The impressions he left on me when I was a “baby” artist, but an artist none-the-less, are indelible. Now that I am more skilled, I am even more aware of how skilled he is. I say “is” because although he passed in 2002 at nearly 90, I speak of him in the present because I continue to “draw” from him.” Read the rest of his inspiration at the “Blob” on BaroneArt.com.

The Linda Jones Archive: Crier in the Wilderness by Chuck Jones, Part 5

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 pool parties often in lovely, poison oak surrounded, swimming pool above the back patio…. yes, above…up the hill through overgrown ivy covered steps, which were especially slippery coming down. I learned to love to swim in that pool and missed it when we moved across the street in 1945. Here is Part V:

 [PART V] Cinnamon, Anyone?

             It was through the pages of the Canyon Crier that my wife sought wartime bargains. Her wants were relatively simple since the only thing she hoarded during the war years was cinnamon sticks. She had a morbid fear of being without hot-buttered rum, even though it was hot oleo-margarine-rum more often than not. Occasionally a grocer in a flippant mood would advertise cinnamon sticks, and shortly thereafter a slender hooded figure might be observed slinking by the check stand with a bulging paper bag. Since 1945 we have had hot buttered rum perhaps five times, which means that we still have ample supply for about ten thousand years.

Betty Branch, then editor of the Crier (Russell Branch, Publisher), inserted a plea for an artist-cartoonist of the general class of Arno, Adams, or VIP Partch, who would be willing to work for nothing. I applied, knowing full well that I had the disadvantage of not being in the class of Arno, Adams or Partch, yet smugly aware that I held the enormous advantage of being willing to work for nothing, which I knew they were not. My relationship with all of the succeeding Canyon Crier editors has continued in this same unsullied manner, characterized by purity on both sides. Neither checks nor rejection slips have ever passed between me and any editor of the Canyon Crier.

CJCC - Canyon Crier Illustration #5 website

Just how many editors and/or proprietors the Canyon Crier has known I cannot now recall, but four—I think—have been significant Branch, Rose, Bishop and Sharpe, and three of these seem to have an etymological sympathy: Sharpe, Rose, Branch with Bishop thrown in for ecclesiastical class.

[The exciting conclusion of this article next week!]

The Linda Jones Clough Archive: Crier in the Wilderness by Chuck Jones, Part 4

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 well remember my father’s “war warden” hard hat…with a webbing inside that fascinated me…but he wouldn’t let me play with it. He went out almost every night, from our blacked out home, with his huge flashlight and his hard hat and a first aid kit slung over his chest. The searchlights interspersed the stars…and they were not for movie openings, but searching for enemy aircraft. Here is Part IV.

CJCC - Part IV Illustration from Canyon Crier_400px

[PART IV] The Oddments of War

Thus she joined the carpool and the “Canyon Crier” became a factor in our lives. We were at about this time promoted to a kind of restricted B sticker for our gasoline ration I was working on a project to camouflage Signal Hill rather a thankless job since the oil wells could only be disguised as something that looked like another military objective like a ship yard, an ammunition dump or an air-field. I think our final suggestion was to build two other fake Signal Hillses and hope for the best, or to make a gigantic tent big enough to cover all of Long Beach. At any rate we managed to carry on, although I occasionally had to employ the steps, dare the dog, and the Rhus diversiloba (poison oak).

It was through the tiny pages of the Crier that we were informed of the activities of Civilian Defense. Dan Duryea, as I remember it, was Senior Warden in our parts. Ken Harris was block Warden. Kent Winthers was Junior Warden and I was Fire Watcher, since we were almost the sole residents of Passmore Drive at that time. The Finkel house, now owned and beautifully remodeled by Hal and Margo Findlay, was then empty and the only other house was occupied, I believe, by a schizophrenic who thought he was a German spy but never came outdoors long enough to find out. He it was who had bought the confused Doberman thinking him to be a turn=coat (or turn-pelt). The three of us then were the task force that manned Operation Passmore, and even though in the giant logistics of war such minutia are often overlooked, yet it is true that we kept Passmore Drive remarkably free of fire-bombs.

[See you next week, with Part V]

The Linda Jones Clough Archive: Crier in the Wilderness by Chuck Jones, Part 3

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 beautiful, big yellow tom cat named Passmore (yes, named after the street we lived on). One day I asked my parents, “If Passmore had kittens, could we have one?”  Of course, their answer was that Passmore was a tom cat and therefore could not have kittens. I said, “But IF he had kittens, could we have one?” With a knowing glance at each other, they agreed. I took them across the street to our neighbor’s black cat who had just had five adorable little yellow kittens…Yes, I got not only one, but two…I named them Rudy and Bennie…Here is Part III.

CJCC - Part III Illustration from Canyon Crier

[PART III] House with Long Haul 

I decided to employ logic. Even if I lost with Dottie, I might impress Linda. I indicated with patient yet pointed logic that the two miles to the nearest lady-ridge-resider ride-sharing intersection was Woodrow Wilson and Mulholland, while the nearest market was but a scant half mile from our home on Passmore Drive…and all down hill, including one hundred and eighty-seven steps connecting our street with steps connecting our street with the one below. Furthermore it would take a full day’s supply of gas in our gasping Oldsmobile to struggle up Woodrow Wilson to Mulholland and share in the economies of the ridge girls in their gay junkets to Finkle’s market at Highland and Franklin.

She had gained confidence through my maunderings and gently exhaling a fragrant cloud of rum, maple and tobacco, said that down-hill empty-handed became up-hill grocery laden, that the one hundred and eighty steps was a farce going down with gravity as a friend, but became an endless cement ladder going up, laden with salmon, Spam, short-ribs, and such. Furthermore the steps were dangerous; behind a fence paralleling the last fifty feet lived a psychotic Doberman Pinscher, a reject from the Canine Corps—who in being taught to bite enemy soldiers had carried instructions a step further and now bit anything. He had gnawed a head-sized hole out of his chain link fence, and travelers on the steps could only avoid the action of his garbage-disposal jaws by wading through a breast-high orchard of greasy poison oak opposite him. When Linda was with her, she had to carry her—and the groceries—over her (Dottie’s) head. All this she was willing to endure, she said, but in her illogical woman’s way she just couldn’t see what having poison oak, hydrophobia, and a weakened hearts was doing to further the war effort.

[Come back next week for part IV!]

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 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.

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

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.