Category Archives: The Art of Chuck Jones

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

CJCC - CJ illustration for Canyon Crier article #2_400px
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!]

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.

12_9_1944_CJ_paystub_400px

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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