Category Archives: The Art of Chuck Jones

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!]

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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.

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.

Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego–One of the Top Fun Things to Do in San Diego

Top Fun Things to Do in San Diego has listed the Chuck Jones Gallery one of their “Top Fun Things to Do in San Diego”! When you’re visiting San Diego, make sure to drop by our gallery and say hello–our knowledgeable staff will answer your questions and speak with you about the art of American Pop culture, including the work of legendary animation pioneer, Chuck Jones. Don’t forget to check out Top Fun Things to Do in San Diego for other cool and nifty things to do when you’re in town.

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DAFFY DUCK PAC RAISING FUNDS FOR PRESIDENTIAL RUN

DAFFY DUCK PAC RAISING FUNDS FOR PRESIDENTIAL RUN

Contributions support the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity

Orange County, CA, February 25, 2016: Renowned film legend Daffy Duck announced his intent to seek the office of President of the United States. Shouting at a crowd of three from the steps of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, candidate Duck hinted at his platform. “A vote for Daffy Duck is a vote for creativity and imagination, and I’m throwing my bill into the ring! Why not? It’s been thrown everywhere else!”

Tying the announcement in with an early victory party on June 5, 2016, before the California Primary (Tuesday, June 7, 2016), the Chuck Jones Center in Orange County will host a “Daffy Duck for President” bumper sticker/campaign poster drawing party, with prizes and celebrations.  Supporters can cast their vote for Daffy at any time on the Center’s website, http://www.daffyforpresident.org.  “I’m the only candidate for the party, and if anybody knows about a party, it’s this duck!” he told the largely silent trio of passersby.

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Mr. Duck’s reasons for entering the grueling 2016 political fray were clarified in a press release. “As candidates of both parties fall away, one candidate rises! A champion of the people who’s not mainstream (but who knows his streams). He’s more stream-of-consciousness. He believes in mom, apple pie, and social insecurity. He’s got brains, bluster, and pluck! He’s a nihilistic socialist rogue insider with Tea Party Appeal.”

For every contribution of $100 to the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity’s “Daffy for President” PAC (Patently Angry Character), the contributor will receive a hardcover copy of Chuck Jones’s “Daffy Duck for President,” a “Daffy for President” campaign button, and a “Daffy for President 2016” bumper sticker. For contributions less than $100, a variety of other gifts are included. Visit http://www.daffyforpresident.org to donate today and for full details! All contributions benefit the educational and outreach programs of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, a 501(c)3 public charity located in Orange County, California. The Center brings creativity programs to underserved children and adults in Los Angeles, Orange Counties, and beyond.

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“Daffy puts the ‘wag’ back in ‘bandwagon,’” the announcement said. “He puts the ‘otus’ back in POTUS. He puts the ‘ivity’ back in ‘creativity.’ He’s not only a problem solver, but he’s a problem creator! And if this world needs anything these days, it’s more problems! Ladies and Gentlemen—we ask your support for the next leader of the Free (if not reasonably priced) World–Daffy Duck for President, 2016!”

Chuck Jones’s “Daffy Duck for President” was a pet project of the four-time Academy Award-recipient and legendary animation pioneer, and was born of a desire to talk to kids about the process of passing a law as detailed in the U.S. Constitution. Using Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Jones’s unique brand of humor, the book was his last published work.

Endorsements have poured in:

“Eh, what’s one more lunatic?” – Bugs Bunny, international film star

“Petty. Greedy. Jealous. And transparent! Daffy fits the bill.” –Foghorn Leghorn (R-Alabama)

“Who?” – Porky Pig, actor

“Are you serious? Start-a-runnin’, varmint!” – Yosemite Sam, diplomat. 

About Daffy Duck:

Daffy Duck is an animated cartoon character created by the animation studio of Warner Bros. in the 1930s. Styled as an anthropomorphic black duck, the character has appeared in cartoon series such as Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies where he has usually been depicted as the screwball companion and occasional archrival of Bugs Bunny. Daffy starred in 133 shorts in animation’s Golden Age, making him the third most frequent character in the Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies cartoons, behind Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig.

Daffy was number 14 on TV Guide‘s list of top 50 best cartoon characters and was featured on one of the issue’s four covers as Duck Dodgers with Porky Pig.

About the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity:

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is a 501(c)3 public charity located in Orange County, CA. Chuck Jones was a creative genius  who gave life to Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote & Bugs Bunny along with over 300 animated films.  The Center, which he founded in 1999, is an organization that fosters and teaches creative thinking—the thinking behind problem solving. It’s a proven fact that “creativity” is like a muscle in your brain that needs exercise in order to get and stay healthy. The stronger that muscle is, the better it works in engaging tasks and solving problems. The Center serves as a gymnasium for the brain. We work with disadvantaged youth, school systems without arts programs, people on the autism spectrum, the elderly (many of whom suffer from early onset dementia), and other groups, including corporate clients, who see the value of pumping up creativity in their ranks.

Support the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. Exercise Your Genius!

Images are available upon request. Interviews available and are dependent upon the candidate’s prior engagements.

 

Calling All Artists! Red Dot Auction VI!

Dear Artists and Friends of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity,

Preparations are underway for the Sixth Annual Red Dot Auction benefiting the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, scheduled for Thursday, May 12 and Friday, May 13, 2016.

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Today we’re writing to ask you to donate a work of art to this year’s Sixth Annual Red Dot Auction. The canvas provided is 12” square and as last year, we ask that you sign the artwork on the reverse.  You may prefer to work on paper or another substrate and that’s fine as long as we can mount it to the 12” square canvas for presentation the night of the event. The artwork should be signed on the reverse so that bidders at this silent auction will not know who has created which painting.

“What should I paint?” Chuck’s life spanned most of the 20th century and with such a wealth of inspiration why not the life and times of Chuck Jones? That should not limit you to cartoon-related imagery, although many of the most sought after works at past Red Dot Auctions were inspired by his Looney Tunes creations; you might be inspired by his love of puns, his life drawings, or the fact that he never had a cavity his entire life.

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Won’t you share your gifts with us and with the Center’s members and patrons?  If you will, please drop me a note with your mailing address and I’ll get a canvas out to you or drop by the Center to pick up a canvas. Have an artist friend who would like to be a part of this exciting project?  Please send them my way:.  Robert@ChuckJonesCenter.org.

Canvases are due back no later than January 31, 2016! Again this year we are partnering with Heritage Auctions to bring the Red Dot Auction to the attention of their over 800,000 subscribers. This online auction will go live mid-April 2016 and end the evening of Tuesday, May 10, 2016. In order to be included in it, your canvas must arrive no later than January 31, 2015. Your name and biography will be available to their subscribers!

And again this year a commemorative poster, similar to the one shown, will be printed; 30 canvases will be selected to represent this year’s Red Dot Auction. A limited number of the posters will be produced and sold the evening of the event. To be considered for inclusion, your canvas must arrive no later than January 31, 2016.

Thank you in advance for your generosity, time, and commitment to Igniting Imagination for Life!

All the best, Robert

Robert@ChuckJonesCenter.org

Our Final Winner Is!

Our Sunday (#7) and final winner of the Chuck Jones Gallery Black Friday Week Give-aways is Julia Knauss of Pennsylvania!  Julia will receive an original production drawing of Bugs Bunny from the 1980 Chuck Jones-directed television special, “Bugs Bunny Bustin’ Out All Over” ! Congratulations, Julia!

Original production drawing from "Bugs Bunny Bustin' Out All Over" 1980

Original production drawing from “Bugs Bunny Bustin’ Out All Over” 1980