Mar 18, 2011

The Fred Moore Expert: Tim Walker's new book and booksigning

James-also known as Tim-Walker holds one of Fred Moore's original, well-worn pencils, along with a photo of Fred advising Ollie Johnston

One of the oldest friends of the Blackwing Diaries is a gentleman I met through our mutual interest in Fred Moore.  I'd heard of him in the 1990s mentioned at Warner Bros as a guy who knew funny timing--as in Bob Clampettesque funny--so I already liked him, but it wasn't until five years ago, after reading an essay about the late, great Moore on these pages, that we met. He immediately offered to share his amazing collection of Fred's drawings, as well as many of his private photographs, with the readers of this blog.  Talk about riches...

I've known quite a few collectors in my time, some with world-class collections that have taken years and a lot of money and effort to acquire, but it's not terribly common to find one with the open-hearted generosity of Tim Walker.

Tim's an animation artist of the old school, and his puckish sketches are all the more remarkable for having been done by completely re-training himself to draw using his left hand after he began to lose the use of his dominant right hand to the Parkinson's disease.

 Parkinson's is a dread scenario for anyone in any walk of life, and for an artist using his hand and arm in his work it's particularly tough, but Tim refused to stop drawing, forcing himself to use his left hand instead.  That's pretty astonishing, and inspiring.
He's collected a sketchbook of his called "Drawings From The Left, or Parkinson's Pictures", and it's filled with his buoyantly rounded, charming drawings. Tonight from 6:30-9 he's having a signing in Studio City.  Highly recommend you drop in, hang out and chat a bit about drawing, cartoons, or maybe about some of the golden age Disney artists Tim's an expert on.  He's a very cool guy.

Mar 10, 2011

Chouinard Art Institute Redux: Dig This

Some time back I posted a page from a vintage Chouinard course pamphlet. Here's one of the covers:

Chouinard's class catalog, circa 1951
Those were the days at Chouinard-even their disposable, flimsy paper class lists sported designs like this. Two of these were inherited by story artist Justin Hunt via his great-uncle, a student of advertising in 1950, and last month he posted them in their entirety-along with a bit of the history attached-on his blog Buttermilk Skies.
Here's another cover:

Justin has excellent taste and a keen eye for vintage books, especially those that contain great drawing; along those lines he's posted loads of excerpts on his blog. Worth the trip.

Random Fred Moore

While on a Google search for Wilfred Jackson I happened upon this image, part of a terrific post of screen grabs Michael Sporn did back in December. Here, from 1951's "Operation Wonderland", is Fred Moore and Johnny Lounsbery. Artfully lit, they're looking offscreen as they go through the promotional motions, drawing the soundstage antics of the actors used for reference on "Alice In Wonderland".

As an aside, Mark Mayerson comments on Michael's blog that this might be the latest picture of Moore he'd ever seen. I think that distinction might actually belong to this shot of Fred with John Sibley taken outside the Burbank animation building, posted here in 2006(from the collection of James Walker).
In any case, it's hard to believe that the man shown here is barely 40 years old. This is the visible toll years of hardcore drinking can take.