Tag Archives: inspiration

SoCal Artist Michael Summers at the Chuck Jones Creativeside Chat

Please join us for our next upcoming virtual Chuck Jones Creativeside Chat via ZOOM, Thursday, August 20, from 4 to 5 PM PDT to meet So Cal artist, Michael Summers. The imaginative paintings of Michael Summers take us into a crisp and colorful world, alive with nostalgia, splendor, and whimsy. Within each vibrant scene are playful reminders that our everyday lives are filled with wonder, beauty, and magic. This event will be hosted by Ben Olson.

ALSO, don’t miss our auction of new Michael Summers Original and Limited Edition works. The auction will open at 4:30 PM PDT on August 20th, an hour before the Summers event and end at 7 PM PDT.


► DATE: Thursday, August 20, 2020
► TIME: 4:00 – 5:00 PM PDT
► ZOOM INFORMATION: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82004692301… Password: 380034
► FACEBOOK INFORMATION: Facebook.com/OfficialChuckJones


► Auctria Auction from 4.30 PM – 7 PM PDT: bit.ly/MichaelSummersStudio
► VIEW MICHAEL SUMMERS ART: https://www.chuckjonescatalog.com/summers


You can make a difference in someone’s life today with your support.
The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity has delivered 1000s of program hours this year and inspired 1000s of children and adults through our core programs that focus on school-age children, brain health for adults, and those living on the autism spectrum.  Our programs have been presented throughout southern California and now in the greater Chicagoland area.
Please take four minutes to watch this video and you’ll know how our work has affected the lives of our participants. If afterwards, you feel compelled to make a donation,
please visit: ChuckJonesCenter.org/take-action/. Any amount will be greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your time and consideration.

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.

Premiering the Fine Art of Nancy Cartwright, A Brief Q & A

The Chuck Jones Gallery is pleased to have been selected as the premier location for the debut of the original art of celebrated and renowned voice actress, Nancy Cartwright, at this year’s Comic Con International in San Diego, California.

Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, in her art studio.

Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, in her art studio.

In an email exchange, Ms. Cartwright answered questions posed by the Chuck Jones Gallery. Here is a sampling of that conversation:

CJG: Tell us about the early years, growing up. What part did painting and drawing play in your childhood?

NC: I was always very creative as a child. I loved coloring and painting and doing arts and crafts. I really liked doodling and also working with clay. . .but I never really considered it for a career. Music played another part in my life and by the time I was 10, I decided to play the trumpet. I wasn’t allowed to be in both music and art–I had to pick one or the other. I chose music and eventually played French horn in the concert band, the marching band, and the orchestra.

CJG: What do you feel you communicate through your paintings?

NC: Fun, beauty, aesthetics, some thought-provoking messages.

Craig Kausen, Chuck Jones's grandson, with Nancy Cartwright and her original painting of Bugs Bunny, inspired by the work of Chuck Jones.

Craig Kausen, Chuck Jones’s grandson, with Nancy Cartwright and her original painting of Bugs Bunny, inspired by the work of Chuck Jones.

CJG: Are there any major artistic influences you’d like to cite?

NC: I’ve been in the animation industry for 35 years now and my art is a reflection and homage to this art form that has served and inspired me for so long.  Being a part of the longest running scripted show in the history of television [“The Simpsons”] has completely influenced my passion for this art form.  Reverse painting has been around for thousands of years where it was widely used for religious renderings.  Much later, painting on glass influenced Renaissance art. With the invention of celluloid [a kind of plastic] in 1889, the art of animation was born.  My good friend, Dave Tourjé, is a local artist who excels in reverse painting.  His work is permanently on display in his historical home in South Pasadena that was serendipitously owned by the late artist and educator, Nelbert Chouinard.  Nelbert ran an art school that was the hub of the training that Walt Disney presented to his more inexperienced animators back in the 20s and 30s. In fact, Disney personally drove the animators to the school in his Model A so they could learn about anatomy and fine art.  This was especially helpful since it was during the development of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”.

CJG: What is your favorite color?

NC: Coral.

"Fellini", original painting by Nancy Cartwright, acrylic on Plexiglas.

“Fellini”, original painting by Nancy Cartwright, acrylic on Plexiglas.

CJG: Why do you paint/draw?

NC: I like to create positive effects on others and this is one way to really surprise them with something they didn’t know I did!

CJG: Anything else you’d like to mention?

NC: Being invited by the Chuck Jones Gallery as a preliminary exhibition definitely needs mentioning.  I had the privilege of working with Mr. Jones on the last animation project he directed—Timberwolf.  It was for the internet and was released in 2000.  Having worked so closely with Chuck opened up a relationship with his family who owns and operates Chuck’s galleries.  I am completely thrilled and honored to be associated with one of the most-respected animation art collections in the world.

Original painting by Nancy Cartwright, acrylic on Plexiglas.

Original painting by Nancy Cartwright, acrylic on Plexiglas.

Nancy Cartwright will be the guest of the Chuck Jones Gallery as it premiers her paintings on Saturday, July 23 from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM. RSVP is required: 619-294-9880. The gallery is located at 232 Fifth Ave., in the heart of San Diego’s Gas Lamp Quarter, directly across from the Hard Rock Hotel and just one short block from the Convention Center.


Path of Pilgrimage–New Paintings by Joshua Smith at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity


New Works by Joshua Smith

An Inspire Exhibition at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity
Opens October 13th

Costa Mesa, CA, September 1, 2015: Artists are often asked where their inspiration comes from; when Orange County artist, Joshua Smith, is asked that question he is quick to respond that he relies on his dreams and his faith for inspiration. Working in a vortex of color and often on over twenty varying sizes of canvas at a time, Smith, not unlike the dreams he credits with inspiring his work, paints in a fever of remembrance, memory, mysticism, and metaphor.

Into the Calm, oil on canvas, 40" x 40", by Joshua Smith

Into the Calm, oil on canvas, 40″ x 40″, by Joshua Smith

“I take my visual clues from architecture and from religion, allowing my paintings to be a reflection of art and of my faith,” says Smith, “and like a small child, I fanaticize my surroundings, the sky’s the limit.” A technically proficient oil painter, Smith, with his Masters in fine art from Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, Connecticut, approaches his work like a metaphysical journey through some unknown reality; he believes in the omnipotence of the dream, the fantasy.

With his emphasis on landscape, his colors lay one on top of the other in a powdery mist of memory; chairs, paths, trees, butterflies, nests, and small home-like structures stand in lonely isolation, but still he imbues each canvas with the emotion of hope and of home. The paintings’ dense, fragile surfaces and areas of multi-chromatic richness recall ancient wall frescos.

“The Center is thrilled to present this Inspire Exhibition of work by the artist, Joshua Smith,” says Craig Kausen, chairman of the board and Chuck Jones’s grandson. “His work, like that of other great artists, inspires each of us to view our world a little differently, with faith and hope; and, perhaps, to question our responsibility to the world around us.”

Opening night reception for the artist is Tuesday, October 13 from 7 to 9 PM at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, 3321 Hyland Ave., Suite A, in Costa Mesa at the South Coast Collection (SoCo). The reception is free and open to the public. The exhibit will close on November 30. A portion of proceeds benefit the programs of the Center, a 501(c)3 public charity.

A graduate of the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford (Connecticut) with a Masters in painting, Smith received his undergraduate degree at the Laguna College of Art & Design.  He has participated in over 30 group exhibitions and more than 25 solo exhibitions in the past 10 years. Awarded the prestigious Best New SOLO Artist at the New York International Art Expo in 2007, Smith recently exhibited at the Carousel du Louvre with the Socièté Nationale des Beaux. He has been involved in numerous projects with The Guildford Handcraft Center, taught as adjunct professor at the Hartford Art School and has been exhibition curator at the Nathan J Gallery, Farmington, Ct. Currently, he lives in Orange County with his wife and two children.

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity was founded by the four-time Academy Award-winning legendary animation pioneer and creator, Chuck Jones in 1999. The Center’s vision is a world where creativity is known and experienced in every discipline, by the many, not just the few. It is located in the South Coast Collection (SoCo) at 3321 Hyland Ave., Suite A, Costa Mesa, CA. www.ChuckJonesCenter.org. 949-660-7793 x 107.

Inspiration Strikes Twice! The Red Dot Auction Update

It says a lot when artists that don’t know each other and live across the country from each other both decide to contribute a canvas to the Red Dot Auction and draw as their inspiration not only on the genius of Chuck Jones, but also compose their work based on the illustrious and amazing Norman Rockwell and his triple self-portrait! Holy cow! Now, if that doesn’t make you want to join in the fun of the Red Dot Auction, I don’t know what will! Pre-bidding begins at Heritage Auctions, www.HA.com, on Friday, April 10 and the silent auction closes Friday evening, May 1st, at our gala fundraiser, the Red Dot Auction. Tickets, just $25 per, are available online at: https://delectus-3598.ticketbud.com/red-dot-auction-2015.

Canvas 014

Canvas 021

Animators & Mirrors

Found this at EliseMerand.tumblr.com and thought it was too good not to share with you. You’ve probably wondered where an animator gets those facial expressions, you know, the ones that just seem so extreme. Well, now, we have the answer! They looked in the mirror! Take a gander at these terrific animators and their reflections vs. their drawings.

Ken Harris at Warner Bros. (the Chuck Jones Unit)

Ken Harris at Warner Bros. (the Chuck Jones Unit)

Ward Kimball at Disney

Ward Kimball at Disney

Carlo Vinci (Terrytoons & Hanna-Barbera)

Carlo Vinci (Terrytoons & Hanna-Barbera)

Charles "Nick" Nichols (Disney, Hanna-Barbera + other studios)

Charles “Nick” Nichols (Disney, Hanna-Barbera + other studios)

Fred "Freddie" Moore at Disney

Fred “Freddie” Moore at Disney

Norm Ferguson at Disney

Norm Ferguson at Disney

Irv Spence (Leon Schlesinger, MGM, Hanna-Barbera)

Irv Spence (Leon Schlesinger, MGM, Hanna-Barbera)

Ollie Johnston at Disney Studios

Ollie Johnston at Disney Studios

Wolfgang "Woolie" Reitherman at Disney Studios

Wolfgang “Woolie” Reitherman at Disney Studios

Elephant Walk

A few words from Craig Kausen, Chuck Jones’s grandson on this elephant walk:


“Whether you’re an artist, an animator, a scientist, a veterinarian, or just an observer of life, you can probably get inspired and intrigued by this simple yet elegant six frame walk sequence created by Chuck Jones in the 1960s.

“Notice the bends in the joints, the weight of the steps, the rhythm of head movement, or the minor details of the tail.

“The details and small nuances are what historians discuss when they look at the work of Chuck Jones.  He was a student of life and had the passion and the skill to translate his observations into character and movement.”

I Dare You All, Test Your Strength: Open a Book

Chuck Jones found inspiration in many places, but of all of the sources, reading was perhaps the most fertile place for him. Here’s a letter he wrote exhorting its reader(s) to “test your strength: open a book.”

letters of note CJ



Knowing how to read and not reading books is like owning skis and not skiing, owning a board and never riding a wave, or, well, having your favorite sandwich in your hand and not eating it. If you owned a telescope that would open up the entire universe for you would you try to find reason for not looking through it? Because that is exactly what reading is all about; it opens up the universe of humour, of adventure, of romance, of climbing the highest mountain, of diving in the deepest sea.

I found my first experience with Wile E. Coyote in a whole hilarious chapter about coyotes in a book called Roughing It by Mark Twain. I found the entire romantic personality of Pepe Le Pew in a book written by Kenneth Roberts, Captain Hook. I found bits and pieces of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and all the others in wonderful, exciting books.

I dare you all, test your strength: Open a book.


[Source: Letters of Note]

Where Does Your Inspiration Come From?

Where does your inspiration come from? Chuck Redux thinks this photo of Chuck Jones sitting in the high desert outside of Los Angeles in 1961 on the folded-down convertible top of his Ford Consul painting is inspirational. There's beauty all around us everyday, whether it is the wet pavement on 35th Street in New York City or the dry, parched desert of southern California, and all that's needed is for one of us to stop for just a moment (put down that digital device now!) and look for it. See, it's right there.

Please share with us where you find inspiration to be creative in the comments section!

Chuck Ford Consul 1961
Photograph of Chuck Jones courtesy the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.