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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.