Tag Archives: Chouinard Art Institute

Cornelius ‘Corny’ Cole (1930–2011)

We mourn the passing of animator, production designer, and art instructor, Cornelius 'Corny' Cole. Seen below with Linda Jones Clough (Chuck Jones's daughter) at Blink Digital's Bob Kurtz exhibition reception in September of 2006, Corny had worked with the Chuck Jones unit at Warner Bros. in the early 1960s and was production designer on the Jones written and produced "Gay Purr-ee".  A graduate of Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts), Cole was known as an expert draftsman and later become one of the great instructors of life drawing at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia.  During his 5 decade-plus career he worked with most of the major animation studios.  A full obituary is available at the Los Angeles Times.  

Linda Jones Cornelius Cole (Large)

Cole animated the short sequence "Rape of the Sabine Women" for the Kurtz + Friends Emmy Award-winning PBS television special, "Roman City" (1994) by drawing with a ballpoint pen directly onto the acetate sheets (shown below) in one sitting.  



Chuck Jones and the California Watercolor Movement

We ran across this photograph the other day on our way to something else (as usually happens) and delighted in what it said about Chuck Jones' passion for drawing and painting every day of his life.

Chuck Ford Consul 1961
On May 1, 1960 we find Chuck Jones sitting on the back of his 1960 Ford Consul convertible (this car was made in England by Ford Motor Co. and sold in limited release in the U.S.) up in the high desert outside of Los Angeles with his watercolor paints in a tool kit as he contemplates a work-in-progress (or has he completed it?  We're not sure.)  Which put us in mind of two watercolors of the high desert vistas that he did complete: 

GICLEE151 copy

"Joshua Tree," a watercolor on paper (18" x 28") by Chuck Jones was completed around the same time as the photograph.  His classical training really shines through in a work such as this; his facility with the medium is without peer and reminiscent of the California watercolorists such as Phil Dike (who worked at one time for Walt Disney Studios) and Millard Sheets, both of whom taught at Chuck's alma mater, Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts in Valencia.)

GICLEE-154 copy
"Storm Clouds" watercolor on paper (20" x 30") by Chuck Jones again indicates his familiarity with the California watercolor movement with its emphasis on color, form and the landscape of the state.  This movement was defined by a large format, expressive brush work and strong colors (you can read more about the movement by clicking here.)  You can see in both works how Jones used the white of the paper as a color and form, another attribute of the movement.  

Image of the Day: Chuck Jones at Home on Tareco Drive

CJ Photo-1 72 dpi

Although Chuck Jones’ film credits identified him for more
than six decades as a director of Warner Bros. animated pictures, his stature
as a graphic artist is little recognized by the public.  In addition to the trying requirements of any
director unifying story, layouts, animation, music, dialogue, etc. into a
finished pictured, he was also personally instrumental in the graphic styling
of his pictures. 

CJ Photo-2 72 dpi 

Dedicated as he was to animation as the new graphic medium
of his time, Jones had never forgotten that drawing the land and people around
him was imperative to assure new ideas as to shape and color and design.  For many years, he drew and painted the human
figure and the landscape in search for new gesture and new expression.  This study is reflected in the freshness of
his professional work.

Steeped in an awareness of the importance of dramatics,
humor, action and rhythm in telling an animated story, he managed to instill
into his still drawings and paintings these same qualities.

CJ Photo-3 72 dpi 

Although many artists skilled in making still drawings have
enriched animation, seldom has an expert in animation contributed so much to
the great tradition of the still drawing. 
Here, caricature, an essential factor in all great art, has been exploited
on a high level.  Penetrating observation
reveals new and daring aspects of ordinary people and their actions.  Each drawing is a statement of an experience
and a venture into new graphic structure. 
Here, content and form are balanced to insure the intrinsic value of
each drawing and painting as a work of art.

CJ Photo-4 72 dpi 

As a classically trained artist at Chouinard Art Institute
in Los Angeles, Chuck Jones studied numerous techniques from graphite to oil
paint.  Throughout his life he continued
his classic arts education with drawing and painting masters classes; each
contributing to the evolution of his craft. 
He was passionate about drawing and painting, whether it be of the
famous characters he created and loved or a landscape, street scene, or
beautiful rendition of man, woman, or child. 

CJ Photo-5 72 dpi 

In the late 1950’s and early 1960s he had opportunity to
travel Europe with his wife Dorothy. 
During these visits he captured street scenes, whimsical anecdotes, and
memorable experiences through his mastery of the watercolor technique that
stand as some of the most remarkable creations of his extensive career.

CJ Photo-6 72 dpi

These photographs were taken at Chuck Jones' home on Tareco Drive in the Hollywood Hills, circa 1960.  To view art from the Chuck Jones Incognito collection, please click here.