Category Archives: Inspiration

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.

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.

Collecting Art at the Chuck Jones Gallery

Don’t let the post-holiday blues get you down! Stop by your favorite Chuck Jones Gallery and let the smiling begin.

The galleries, purveyors of the art of American popular culture since 1991, are located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, San Diego and Costa Mesa, California, and offer a diverse collection of important 20th and 21st century artwork. There you’ll find art by American Portrait master artist, Fran Lew; the dynamic brother duo, Shelby & Sandy; the superhero styling of the immensely popular Alex Ross; the Art Deco-inspired artwork of Mike Kungl; the colorful whimsy of Bob Elias  and, of course, the inspiring work of Chuck Jones.

Our professional art consultants are experts in their fields and bring a joy to collecting found nowhere else. Stop by or call today to find out why the Chuck Jones Galleries are your gallery for the art of American popular culture.

"I Love Lucy" original charcoal on white pastel on tinted wove paper, 25" x 19" unframed.

“I Love Lucy” original charcoal on white pastel on tinted wove paper, 25″ x 19″ unframed.

Pirate Pepe relaxes amid the flowers. Painting by Shelby and Sandy.

Pirate Pepe relaxes amid the flowers. Painting by Shelby and Sandy.

"Mythology Superman" by Alex Ross.

“Mythology Superman” by Alex Ross.

"BB-8 Astromech Droid" fine art edition on canvas by Mike Kungl. Click to purchase.

“BB-8 Astromech Droid” fine art edition on canvas by Mike Kungl. Click to purchase.

"Honey Bunny Always Gets Her Rabbit" fine art print on canvas by Bob Elias.

“Honey Bunny Always Gets Her Rabbit” fine art print on canvas by Bob Elias.

"All In" hand-painted cel art edition by Chuck Jones.

“All In” hand-painted cel art edition by Chuck Jones.

San Diego | 232 Fifth Avenue | 619-294-9880 or SanDeigo@ChuckJones.com

Costa Mesa | 3321 Hyland Avenue | 949-274-4834 or CostaMesa@ChuckJones.com

Santa Fe | 126 W. Water Street | 505-983-5999 or SantaFe@ChuckJones.com 

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.

Join Us in San Diego for the Grinch 50th Anniversary!

On the evening of Saturday, December 3, 2016, from 4 to 7 PM, the Chuck Jones Gallery in downtown San Diego will host a celebration of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”‘s 50th anniversary!

You are cordially invited to join us for an evening with the HISTORY, MEMORIES, and ARTWORK of this most watched animated Christmas special in history. “Who” cookies and punch will be served!

CAN YOU IMAGINE THIS WAS 50 YEARS AGO?!?

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This is arguably the greatest 23 minutes of animation ever made! It has everything you would want in a true classic:

  1. The most memorable story by Dr. Seuss
  2. The Greatest Characters you love and love to hate.
  3. Set Design by the master, Maurice Noble.
  4. Music by the incomparable Albert Hague.
  5. The mellifluous voice of Boris Karloff.
  6. Songs sung by the voice of Tony the Tiger, Thurl Ravenscroft!
  7. The best animation team assembled, including such luminaries as Benny Washam, Ken Harris, Lloyd Vaughn, Dick Thompson, and Phil Roman.
  8. Miss June Foray as little Cindy Lou Who, who was no more than two.
  9. A lovable reindeer dog, Max.
  10. And, the greatest animation director in history, CHUCK JONES!

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If you are interested in any of these incredible works of art or would like more information, please contact your Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant. RSVP to the San Diego Gallery, 619-294-9880.

Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego | 619-294-9880

Chuck Jones Gallery–Orange County | 949-274-4834

Chuck Jones Gallery–Santa Fe | 505-983-5999

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Shelby and Sandy @ Chuck Jones Gallery

Brothers Shelby and Sandy made their debut at the Chuck Jones Gallery in the heart of the historic Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego on Saturday evening, November 12.

Craig Kausen, left, president of the Chuck Jones Companies, discusses the collaborative work of Shelby (second from right) and Sandy, brother artists.

Craig Kausen, left, president of the Chuck Jones Companies, discusses the collaborative work of Shelby (second from right) and Sandy, brother artists.

The brothers “collaborated” with Chuck Jones on the above image, Jones’s last unfinished painting of “Sherwood Forest Group” by creating a cel-like overlay of them and Chuck, along with the Warner Bros. animation characters made famous by Jones sitting around a campfire telling stories.

Regarding the work, they said, “Sherwood Forest Group is Chuck Jones’ final oil painting, left unfinished at the time of his passing in 2002. 14 years later, Shelby and Sandy used traditional cel animation techniques to finish this collaborative painting. The campfire is a metaphor for storytelling, where a narrative is passed on from one to another.”

Hundreds of guests viewed five new paintings by Shelby and Sandy.

Hundreds of guests viewed five new paintings by Shelby and Sandy.

Sought after by Hollywood’s hottest young stars in films and music, such as Zac Efron, Drake, and Mariah Carey, Shelby and Sandy’s commission schedule is booked for the foreseeable future.

Shelby, holding phone, and his brother Sandy, pause for a selfie in front of one of their latest paintings, "Pirate Tweety & Pirate Sylvester".

Shelby, holding phone, and his brother Sandy, pause for a selfie in front of one of their latest paintings, “Pirate Tweety & Pirate Sylvester”.

This, the brother’s gallery debut, was met with great collector enthusiasm. Earlier in the week, their first limited edition fine art reproduction on canvas, sold out within minutes.

The Murphy family, father Brian, left, with Shelby, mother Diana, Jody, Sandy, and Cory.

The Murphy family, father Brian, left, with Shelby, mother Diana, Jody, Sandy, and Cory.

Pirate Pepe relaxes amid the flowers. Painting by Shelby and Sandy.

Pirate Pepe relaxes amid the flowers. Painting by Shelby and Sandy.

Collectors of their work pose with Shelby, far right.

Collectors of their work pose with Shelby, far right.

You can follow Shelby and Sandy on Instagram: instagram.com/shelbyandsandy/

Photos by Bijan.