The perfect way to enjoy a Satruday: Turner Classic Movies will be honoring Chuck Jones's centennial year with a film retrospective on Saturday, March 24th. Click here for the play list and times. You'll be treated to a panoply of Jones's most cherished cartoons, starring your favorite Looney Tunes characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Road Runner, and Pepe le Pew. Make some popcorn and stay up late to watch his only feature film, "The Phantom Tollbooth" and look for him in a cameo role! I can hear the laughter already…can't you?
The works of Northwest legendary cartoon artist, and world-renowned anima-producer at Warner Bros., Chuck Jones, are now on display at Portland International Airport. Born in Spokane, Washington, Jones’ career spanned the history of animated films, beginning at Warner Bros. and continuing his work at MGM before establishing his own Chuck Jones Enterprises in 1963.
Photo courtesy Port of Portland
Jones' colorful and magical masterpieces of liveliness display his innate creative genius. His most poplular works include "The Dot and the Line", "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "The Phantom Tollbooth." He is perhaps best known for his timeless work at Warner Bros. such as "What's Opera, Doc?", "Duck Amuck" and "One Froggy Evening."
Greeting the traveler’s eye, Jones’ exhibit, located along Concourse A, brings to life his youthful spirit and sharp wit. Jones’ work speaks to the inner-child of many travelers, and highlights more than 60 years of cartoon and animation history. Jones was a prolific artist whose work has been exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide. He has directed more than 300 animated films, won three Oscars in his career, and received the Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1996.
Photo courtesy Port of Portland
"Painting does what we cannot do—it brings a three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional plane,” said Jones, who expressed himself in many different ways through his work.
The work is part of the rotating art exhibits program at PDX and is on loan from the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity through March 2012. More information about Jones is available at www.ChuckJonesCenter.org.
The PDX art program is designed to showcase the dynamic cultural life in the Pacific Northwest and showcase Northwest expression through ongoing relationships with regional artists, arts organizations, museums and educational institutions.
More information about PDX is available at www.pdx.com.
Beginning September 19th, a new Chuck Jones exhibit based on his drawings for his 1996 book, "Chuck Reducks–Drawing from the Fun Side of Life" will be featured along Concourse A at the Portland, Oregon airport. If you're traveling through Portland then (particularly on Alaska or Horizon airlines) make sure you check out this original artwork, much of it never-before-seen, from the hand of Chuck Jones. The exhibit will close at the end of March 2012.
The exhibit focuses on drawings that Jones created to illustrate how he drew the characters that we've all come to know and love, including, Sam Sheepdog, Porky Pig, Marvin Martian, Bugs Bunny and others. The works below are a sample of the original artwork that will be on display.
The Chuck Jones Big Draw was completely and utterly amazing. If you were there you'll know what I mean, if you weren't, let me share this note, anonymously written on a carrot that I found last night as we were cleaning up after a full day of creativity workshops:
[It reads: "Dear Chuck~ Thank you for touching our lives with your creative genius. You have given us the ability to laugh at ourselves through the antics of your wonderful characters. You give us joy. Love from an admiring & grateful fan.!!"
You give us joy. There was enough joy yesterday at the Chuck Jones Big Draw to go around the world at least once, if not 100 times. When you're allowed to let your creativity shine through in a nurturing, non-judgemental environment, it is absolutely amazing what you will produce.
You give us joy. Artist Sunny Dolberg shares her reverse transference process with a budding Picasso. One of the most active of workshops, Sunny guided young and old alike in a process that creates a mono-print by painting your image on a clear acrylic sheet and pressing it (upside-down) onto a canvas or piece of paper. The results were outstanding!
You give us joy. Linda Jones Clough, equestrienne and daughter of Chuck Jones, led the session, "How to Draw a Horse" (shown here discussing the finer points of horse anatomy…would that be called "horse-sense"? IDK.) Below is the horse that Linda drew as she worked with her group.
You give us joy. Stephen Reis (gesturing), storyboard artist and director for the animated cartoon, "The Simpsons" shares with his group how he works as he develops the storyline and animation for the series. Participants then worked on their own storyboards. Cowabunga, dude!
You give us joy. This young lad is listening to the sage advice of artist and designer, John Ramirez, who is not only an award-winning designer and cartoonist, but is also the designer of the soon-to-open Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus in Las Vegas. John led his burgeoning John Lasseters in the creation of their very own thaumatrope (a circular disk with a drawn image on each side, attached to two pieces of string and spun to create a moving image.)
You give us joy. Muralist, actor, model, father, citizen of the world; those are just some of the words that describe the wonderfully talented James (Jimmy) C. Mulligan. All the while the Chuck Jones Big Draw was in session, he worked on this mural…started and completed in 6 hours (including a break for lunch). Such awesomeness!
Indeed, everyone gave us joy yesterday…here's a few more photos from the day:
You give us joy. Artist Mary Beth Volpini helped participants loosen up their creative muscles and switch their thinking from the left side of their brains to the right at the first station at the Chuck Jones Big Draw, "What Does Fun Look Like?" Here two of the many teen-agers who took advantage her guidance work diligently on their answers.
California artist and long-time Orange County resident, Bob Elias, will be a featured artist at the Chuck Jones Big Draw, Sunday, August 7th from 11 AM to 5 PM. Throughout the day Elias will be working on a new painting of two of Chuck Jones's iconic characters, but who they are will remain between Bob and I until Sunday. So, start excersizing your drawing arm and come down to SoCo, 3303 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa on Sunday, August 7th for the Chuck Jones Big Draw and see what this noted artist and surfer will be working on! Help us set a Guinness World Record for the largest art class held in one venue, register today!
Artist Bob Elias at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity with his most recent painting that pays homage to an American classic, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons created and directed by Chuck Jones.
Bob Elias works on a painting inspired by Jones's "Duck, Rabbit, Duck" cartoon of 1953. He says he always loved cartoons (both Warner Bros. and Disney–he's also a noted painter for the theme parks) and that growing up in the artist community of Carmel-by-the-Sea in the 1950s gave him the inspiration to pursue his calling after a storied career in the hand-painted sign business. "Those rich, deeply pigmented paints that are used for sign painting inspire my use of color to this day," said Elias. "I had so much fun at the last Chuck Jones Big Draw talking with the children and adults about painting and my technique, that I can hardly wait for this one!" You can find Bob every so often off the shore at San O (San Onofre Beach just south of San Clemente, California) sitting on his board waiting for the perfect wave and a little bit of inspiration.
In the middle 1970s Chuck Jones was producing and directing several half hour TV specials based on the George Selden "Cricket in Times Square" books and characters. The last of a trio of films starring Harry Cat, Chester Cricket and Tucker Mouse was "Yankee Doodle Cricket" and as was often the case with Chuck, he made a thorough investigation of the period (revolutionary, my good fellow!) and while working on model drawings, the look and feel of the film, he took that left turn at Albuquerque and created the drawing that was used as the line for this hand-painted limited edition cel that stars Pepe le Pew, Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam as they witness Daffy Duck applying his "Daffy Duck" (did you think I was going to say his "John Hancock"?) to the Ducklaration of Independence.
Each "Ducklaration" in the edition has been hand-painted by expert cel painters, one color at a time (from darkest to lightest) on the reverse side of the acetate (cel) sheet, Chuck approved each by hand-signing each example. To add this special work of art to your collection, please contact your Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant and you will receive two free tickets to "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony" on Saturday, August 6, 2011 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Irvine, California and two free tickets to the Chuck Jones Big Draw on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at SOCO (South Coast Collection) in Costa Mesa, California, a $150.00 value! San Diego: 888-294-9880; Santa Fe: 800-290-5999; Tustin: 800-959-7175.
Here's a little taste of "Yankee Doodle Cricket":
On their way to Pismo Beach*, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck make that wrong turn at Albuquerque and end up in a secret treasure cave in Baghdad. Thus opens, Chuck Jones’ 1957 “Ali Baba Bunny”. It doesn’t take but a New York second for Daffy to realize that their travel mistake will make him “comfortably well-off”. The guardian of the treasure, Hassan, tries his best to halt the thievery, but is stopped by the implacable Bugs Bunny. “Rabbit Rope Trick” (below) brings to life one of the classic moments from this film. Created from Chuck Jones’ original drawing, each cel has been hand-painted by expert cel painters much as it would've been when the film was originally made.
“Ali Baba Bunny” premiered February 9 and was directed by Charles M. Jones. Michael Maltese wrote the story with animation by Richard Thompson, Ken Harris, Abe Levitow and Ben Washam and effects animation by Harry Love. Maurice Noble created the layouts, the backgrounds were painted by Philip DeGuard and the film editor was Treg Brown. Voice characterization was provided by Mel Blanc and musical direction by Carl Stalling and Milt Franklyn.
*Pismo Beach, California is located on the central coast between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. In the early part of this century through the 1950’s, Pismo Beach had a reputation in Hollywood for a less than genteel population. Noted for its gambling dens and bordellos situated in quaint little cottages by the sea, it drew many a Hollywood personality. (And the clams weren’t half-bad either, although they’re a protected species now.)
This is the last week that you will be able to view the Chuck Jones exhibition at the Art Institute of Southern California–Orange County. Located at 3601 W. Sunflower Avenue in Santa Ana, the Art Institute is one of the premier art and culinary schools in the United States. The exhibit features life drawings by Jones along with a selection of artworks that feature the cartoon characters he is so well-known for, such as Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner and Bugs Bunny. If you're in the neighborhood, check it out! Here's a little preview of what you'll see while you're there:
For more information about the Art Institute, click here.
As happens here, on our way to other things we stumbled across these two beautiful Daffy Duck model drawings by Chuck Jones (graphite on 12 field animation paper.) They so perfectly capture the character of Daffy (Chuck once remarked, "I dream of being Bugs Bunny, but I wake up Daffy Duck."), that it was imperative we stop and share them with you. And because they are so classic, we're following them with Chuck's 1953 masterpiece, "Duck Amuck". Enjoy!
Daffy Duck doesn’t just do rich; he does ‘comfortably well-off!’ “I’m in the Money” depicts this despot of ducks drowning in ducats and buckets of lucre. Talk about bling.
Daffy Duck doesn’t want to share and says so. Reminiscing about his childhood once, Chuck Jones spoke about how we learn to be socially acceptable by telling the story of a birthday party given for his 6th or 7th year. A beautiful cake had been lovingly prepared by his mother and when he, presented with the cake and a knife with which to cut slices for the other celebrants, stated “I won’t be needing the knife as I don’t plan on sharing the cake with anyone,” and was then quickly whisked away from the table and spent the rest of his birthday alone in his room contemplating the difference between what we really want and what is considered acceptable behavior in polite society.
“It is never a struggle for [Daffy] to determine his priorities. Daffy does what we would like to do if we had the guts.
"Good comedy arises from the ability to bring to the surface, without shame, parts of yourself you would rather keep hidden. A character such as Daffy can act out things that you are not particularly interested in having anyone associate with you, but that you are perfectly willing to associate with someone you draw.
"He is so honest that it hurts. Underlying his avariciousness, sneakiness, and selfishness is an admirable will to survive.” Chuck Jones, Chuck Reducks
“I’m in the Money” is a limited edition fine art reproduction on canvas and has been lovingly created from an original oil painting by Chuck Jones (pictured on page 146 of Chuck Reducks, Drawing from the Fun Side of Life and on page 81 of Stroke of Genius: A Collection of Paintings and Musings on Life, Love and Art by Chuck Jones.)