Monthly Archives: November 2010

Image of the Day: What’s Gnu?

Sometimes things happen for a reason.  If you've been following this blog, particularly the Image of the Day posts, you'll know that some of our favorite images by Chuck Jones are those done at the regional zoos, whether it was the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park or the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park or even the smaller Santa Ana Zoo in Orange County, Chuck Jones loved to draw animals (and homo sapiens!)  So, imagine our delight when today, poking around in a file we hadn't had our nose in before, we came across this terrific photo of Chuck speaking with a zoo keeper at the San Diego Zoo.  

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But, of course, this post would not be complete without a drawing of a denizen of the zoo, so please welcome our 'gnu-est' addition to Jones' 'gnu'anced bestiary portraits, 'Gnu'dara Gnu from Gnu York (pen and ink, with brushwork, on sketch pad paper, 9" x 11" approx.)  

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Image of the Day: A Crash of Cubist Rhinoceroses

Is any other animal on the planet as ripe for a cubist rendering (or parody for that matter) than a rhinoceros?  Although Chuck Jones was not one (a Cubist, per se, although his non-animation art in the late 1950s and early 1960s utilized his keen sense of the geometry of life,) he saw the possibilities when visiting a local zoo.  Forthwith, we present two sketches by Chuck Jones, (graphite on 12 field animation paper) that clearly exhibit his delightful sense of the absurdities of life on this world:

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Chuck Jones Center for Creativity Art Program Decorates for the Holidays!

On Sunday, November 7th, the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity held an art program for 6 Orange County, California Girl Scout Troops (a total of 26 girls!)  Our teaching artists (all volunteer) Jamie Sugarman and Elisa Hastings led the girls through several processes, one of which was "Litter-ally It's Art" where they created multi-dimensional sculptures from found and recycled objects.  


Another part of the day was spent reversing colors in Chuck Jones artwork to create a new mood and to experience how color can affect one's emotional perspective.

Ms. Sugarman, a former Disney caricature artist, led a group of nine girls in a session where they decorated the windows of not only the Center, but also two adjacent businesses, the restaurant "Byblos" and the children's vintage clothing store, "Hope Chests."





All-in-all it was a great way to spend a Sunday!  

Photos courtesy Vicki Woods, Girl Scout Troop leader and member of the Chuck Jones Council for Creativity, the volunteer community ambassadors for the Center.  If you would like to volunteer at the Center, please contact Pam Marsden, Program Director at 949-660-7793.  

Image of the Day: Is It Too Early?

Earlier this week we came across a box of delightful sketches by Chuck Jones at the Chuck Jones Archive. Looking through them, these three really stuck out (in a good way,) but we thought maybe we should hold back on showing them until a little closer to Christmas, after all it's only November 6th, but they're such wonderful drawings that we couldn't wait.  So enjoy (and forgive us for jumping the gun on the upcoming holidays!)   

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It is fascinating to see how Chuck Jones structured his drawings.  These sketches give you an inside track on the mechanics of draftsmanship; just look at those lines and circles that delineate the reindeer's body, for instance, and the wonderful sense of the character's personality expressed so simply.

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Even bears need help getting the star up on the top of the tree.  

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In just over 30 lines, Chuck has told you everything you need to know about the reindeer at the bottom of the sheet of paper pictured above.  That's remarkable draftsmanship.  

Special Guests Visit the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity


Craig Kausen (center,) chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity along with Linda Jones Clough (Chuck Jones' daughter) welcome Warner Bros. animation director Matt O'Callaghan (far left,) Katherine Concepcion and art director Alan Bodner (far right) to the offices of the Center in Tustin, California.

O'Callaghan is the director of the most recent Warner Bros. theatrical short cartoons (in 3-D!) "Coyote Falls" and "Fur of Flying" (with a third one in the can and ready to be released with an upcoming Warner Bros. feature!)  If you haven't seen the cartoons yet, they are excellent.  Working within a 3 minute time frame, O'Callaghan and his crew created a modern, yet traditional animated film that was long on laughs and short on, well, it was too short, it was that good!

Alan Bodner, Matt O'Callaghan and Craig Kausen pause for a photo-op in front of Chuck Jones' custom animation desk at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Orange, California.  (And yes, that's a life-size cut-out of Chuck Jones on the left.)

Chuck Jones 'draws' Matt O'Callaghan.  "Animation is life." –Chuck Jones

Alan Bodner takes inspiration from Chuck Jones' animation desk at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.  The Center is located at 131 W. Chapman (just a 1/2 block west of the Orange Plaza) in Old Towne Orange, California.  Drop-in & Draw classes are held most Saturday mornings from 9 AM to Noon. Materials charge is $10.00 for children 10 & under and $15.00 for everyone else.  Call 949-660-7793 for more information or email  

Photos courtesy Katherine Concepcion.  

Image of the Day: Manhattan Beach

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Between houses in the early 1940s, Chuck Jones, his wife Dorothy and their young daughter, Linda, lived with Chuck's mother in Manhattan Beach, California for a bit (that's Mabel's house to the right in the background.)  If you live here or if you've ever been to southern California, you probably know that our beach cities are oftentimes shrouded in a morning fog, a fog so thick that absolutely everything is leached of 'color' and it all becomes a matter of grayscale tones.  

Jones, classically trained as an artist, puts that time to good use in "Manhattan Beach" and yet brings his sense of humor to it as well.  His "Study in Gray and Black" (his "Whistler's Mother" in other words) is compositionally adept (an inverted triangle) with its round umbrella shapes mimicking that of the hooded young boy and his half-buried canine companion digging a hole in the sand providing a counterpoint to the lack of colors other than gray, black and white.  

Image of the Day: The World Series 2010 (Rangers vs. Giants)

It's true, these are not drawings from last night's final game of the World Series (Rangers vs. Giants,) but they are two remarkable sketches from the archives of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity that depict that all-American pastime, baseball.

Whether or not you were rooting for San Francisco or Texas, I think we can all agree that Chuck Jones captured the spirit of the game not only in this first drawing (circa mid-1960s) of the manager politely disagreeing with a call made by the umpire (because they are always polite conversations, aren't they?), but also in the second where he explored the anatomy of a pitcher as he prepares to launch a ball across home plate.  Take a moment to really look at the way Jones has delineated the attitude, the mannerisms and the strength of the pitcher with a few deft strokes of his pencil (they all add up to character.)

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