Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hokey Wolf "Lamb-Basted Wolf", 1960, Art Lozzi

Here's a Hokey Wolf painted by Art Lozzi. The grabs are kinda yellow, because they are from an old faded vhs, taped off TV.
You can still see his style in the cool textures.
Art does a lot with a little.

Hi Art,
I just posted your last email in the Frank Tipper post-High Fly Guy. I think that is Frank trying to paint the modern style that you and Monte did naturally. Do you remember anything about Dick Bickenbach or Walt Clinton? Johnny Johnston? Hey did you ever work on commercials?
Art says:

Hi John,

Did I ever work onCOM mER Ci aL s? !?!? Me? Did Stravinsky ever play guitar in a west coast jazz band?DidBill hanna ever walkatightropein a circus? OrOr february have 30 days?????Oh, It's not that I'm against the idea. You got a job for me?Actually, without opening the Dec. 10th post, I started replying to your letter.. and this is as far as I got.

Tipper??? Did I miss something. I didn't see it.

After looking:re: Those insipid wolf cartoons, Hokey Pokey
something or other, I ask, "Isn't it possible that these were done far away from our own studio? Like Japan or another country? These could not have been produced in the USA, and certainly not at H-B. Frankly I don't remember them circulating at 3500 Cahuenga. I for sure would've seen them and raised a big stink... unless I was already gone by then. I knew that many jobs were given overseas for the cheaper labor and for the lack of time we were facing... or to outside painters who worked at home.

actually HB didn't start sending work overseas till about 10 years later-JK

What you showed is ghastly. Ghastly! Flat, tasteless, yukky, yekky and icky. I see that whoever the artist was used a few bg items that were done before for Yogi Bear and the Flintstones such as the low stone wall (pink, though), a pink sky, and a pale green one, little bushes with flowers -or ones that the studio had given to them to use as a guide, such as trees, the clumps of tree-leaves, and not much else. The thought of good color flew out the window. That painter didn't know what good color was!

Do you know of these cartoons being done overseas? It also looks very light feminine-handed. No balls. The person'd be better at painting butterflies and rose petals on porcelain cups. It was a conglomerate of elements from all the shows we were doing. I think I'm going to puke.

Bickenback from MGM days ("Bick", soft spoken and always had a ready twinkly smile. Prominent front teeth. What else?), Walt Clinton, J. Johnston. I'm afraid that I can't offer you anything that could widen your knowledge of them, except that Bick and Walt were there at the studios, doing their own jobs, layouts and animation, consulting. I liked them, but we were separated by our "specialties".

Layouts and bgs didn't intertwine strangely enuff. And besides, the bg department was on the second floor. Rarely did we mingle at the "new" building. I'm sure, though, that you could write books about them.I'll look up your post on Frank Tipper tomorrow, with my coffee.

More later?Art L

Hi John,

OhMyGod! When you asked me, "Did you ever work on commercials?" you meant, "Did you ever work on the backgrounds for any of the Kellogg's, Winstons things?"

Right? Obviously that didn't come across. I thought you were asking if I ever worked on any commercial commercials, like for non-Hanna-Barbera on my own time, for automobiles, Florsheim shoes, for magazines, newspapers, TV.

But, did I ever do any of the bgs for a Kelloggs

all kinds of stuff: Direct Sponsorship 1

all kinds of stuff: Direct Sponsorship 3 -end credits - leave the audience with a good feeling about the sponsor

or such, very likely, yes. In fact, playing the Winstons one where the wives are mowing the lawn, etc, I'm sure that one was mine....probably among others too. Very recognizable. Very Art Lozzi - inspite of what the credits might have shown or not shown.

As for seeing my name in the credits, you mustn't give that a lot of weight. They were not always accurate. According to credit lists, it looks like I painted only 12 or so backgrounds in my career. And I've seen my own name on shows that I never worked on, or as one of a long list of BG names where I never participated....and many times it was embarrassing.

I've seen mixes of bg styles where someone was given the job to do, but where many of the older, already-used backgrounds from the files were slipped in, not to have to paint them again. I recognize my rock textures, my skies, my clouds, my colors, my wood grains. I recognize my trees....that have been copied and recopied by others -like the flat ''cut-ribbon" technique that is applied onto the bark....along with awful colors. "Hey, Lozzi changes tree colors and adds lines and textures. I'll do the same."

I even saw one now -this morning- on one that J.K. himself presented. I'll also scan or forward one that I found on 11/11/06 (from that illustrates how that style is STILL being copied, 45 years later! In a way it's flattering, but it's also very unimaginative on the part of the artist. What the hell are they teaching in art schools today? What the hell AREN"T they teaching?

As for work being sent overseas, I remember them talking about it while I was still in Hollywood. I left permanently in 1968, and was already involved with Hilton and cruiseships in Europe for two previous years. I couldn't have heard about it while living in Greece.

Now those Hokey Pokey things: There is NO WAY I worked on any of the ones you show, in spite of what any credit list shows. There is NO WAY I'd have brushworked a sky like that, with those colors, the ground, those horrible trees. It all looks like bad 1932. I even find it incredible that they might've been done in our studio. That year, 1960, the studio was near the base of Laurel Canyon, while the "new one" was under construction. The bg people then were Monte, Neenah Maxwell (Ollie Hanson's niece) and me. Bob G, at home. Work had to have been given out....somewhere. Where?

Actually I don't have more insight into Frank Tipper. I didn't even know he painted backgrounds. I thought he was just doing layouts. But what you show is more of the bland, uninspired stuff. The elements, as with the others who were doing H-B backgrounds are straight from what I had been doing: the colorations (but without the strength of color) and the outlines of leaves and stones, etc. This is not original. I cannot believe that they could've been done by a name such as Frank Tipper. This looks like a newer addition to the bg department who was tryng to apply the style, or work done at home (or again, even overseas).

Now, the above "contributions"will probably add confusion instead of enlightenment. I hope not. Keep asking, keep commenting. SOMEthing will shine through my misty and distant past. Stay strong.

Art L.