Patrick Guyton and the Influence of Animation

Patrick Guyton Gimme Shelter Park West Gallery

“Gimme Shelter” (2016), Patrick Guyton

Patrick Guyton’s metal artwork draws upon the eastern dynasties of yore, with zen-like balance in his compositions, lustrous leafing and a minimalism that soothes the viewer.

With his mastery of detail, it may come as a surprise that a portion of Guyton’s training has more to do with the traditions of Hollywood than the traditions of the East.

In the late ‘90s, a friend of Guyton worked at animation legend Chuck Jones’ studio. The studio needed a background painter, and knowing Guyton’s talents, the friend suggested that he show the studio his portfolio. The studio liked what they saw and hired Guyton to work as Jones’ background painter.

Jones was a producer and director who played a major role in the development of animation in the 20th century. He made more than 300 animated films, working on classic cartoons starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and other famous Warner Brothers characters.

“Working with Chuck – honestly, there is no other word than ‘surreal’ for such a thing,” Guyton says.

Guyton worked as Jones’ background artist for the last six years of Jones’ life. Guyton’s focus shifted from background painting to painting the animation celluloids themselves. The development taught Guyton valuable lessons regarding negative space in art.

Patrick Guyton Paper Dreams Park West Gallery

Paper Dreams” (2016), Patrick Guyton

The lesson carried over to Guyton’s fine art, where he uses very few details to convey atmosphere and feeling. In “Paper Dreams,” one has the impression that an origami swan is floating on a moonlit lake, but only a few ripples and a reflection give the viewer a hint of this.

“Minimalism and negative space is…the hardest to create because you always want to make more, you want to take that painting and keep adding things to it,” Guyton says. “It’s hard to know when to stop.”

Guyton also worked with animator Robert McKimson, an animator and director who worked on many Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, and is credited with defining Bugs Bunny’s design in 1943. Guyton helped McKimson create limited edition sports animation celluloids.

“I’m getting all this input from these legends of art,” he says. “[I was] learning from guys that were on a completely different level than anything I had seen at the time.”

 

Guyton and the National Film Registry

patrick guyton

Mini Bird Series (Gold)” (2013), Patrick Guyton

Aside from influencing his artwork, Guyton’s career in animation attached him to one of the greatest works of animation ever produced.

The memorable Merrie Melodies cartoon, “What’s Opera, Doc?” (Guyton likes to remind people by singing “kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit”) was inducted into the Library of Congress in 1992 as one of the most significant cartoons ever created. The cartoon was also preserved in the National Film Registry.

“That was a capstone in anything I would’ve done art-wise,” Guyton says. “To be a part of the history of it is very special.”

Maurice Noble, an animation background artist who worked on Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” created the original backgrounds for “What’s Opera Doc?” The induction called for commemorative animation celluloid. Unfortunately, at the time of the induction, Noble suffered from arthritis and couldn’t work on the project.

At the time, Guyton still worked at Jones’ studio. The studio sent Guyton to Noble’s home, where he was tasked with creating a fresh, commemorative work for the induction. Guyton says he spent a couple of weeks working with Noble, slowly absorbing the immense talent and historical significance of the artist.

“He basically in a week gave me a crash course on how he does his thing, so I got to be his hands in creating the piece,” he says.

Patrick Guyton Park West Gallery

Bloom” (2014), Patrick Guyton

“What’s Opera, Doc?” is the last theatrical cartoon Jones worked on using the Elmer Fudd character, making the project even more significant to Guyton.

Guyton eventually left the animation industry and began his career as a fine artist, but will never forget the lessons he learned from three of animation’s greatest Golden Age geniuses.

“They are underappreciated probably because they did cartoons, but they’re legends nonetheless, and I believe in those years I learned more than what art school could’ve ever showed me,” Guyton says.

Experience the luminous, minimalist beauty of Patrick Guyton artwork with Park West Gallery. Contact our gallery consultants for information on how to collect works by Guyton.

4 Responses to Patrick Guyton and the Influence of Animation

  1. Ute Turner says:

    I;m interested in finding an art gallery close to Sacramento Ca to view some of the stunning and unique pieces of art. My son and daughter in-law own two of Patrick’s art creations which I’ve always admired. Love “Gimme Shelter” Please let me know the cost and where I can see it in person.

  2. Jim Prewett says:

    We own two of Guyton’s works, one from the swan series and one titled “The Kissing Moon.” These pieces receive more raves than any other works in our home. We love his unique method of painting on metal and his exquisite use of color.

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • Meet Scott Jacobs: The Original Harley Davidson Artist

    Scott Jacobs is internationally recognized for his photorealistic artwork of everything from wine bottles to Harley Davidsons, but he knows art is about so much more than just capturing ...
    Read More
  • Experience Fall With the Art of Slava Ilyayev

    Fewer artists are able to capture the changing leaves, the crisp air, and romance of fall better than Slava Ilyayev.Park West Gallery is celebrating the turn of the season with ...
    Read More
  • Claude Monet Is Coming To Detroit—With The Help Of Park West Gallery

    Park West Gallery is bringing one of the founding fathers of the Impressionist movement to the gallery’s hometown—Detroit.Park West Gallery and the Park West Foundation are sponsoring “Monet: Framing ...
    Read More
  • Dominic Pangborn Selected to Honor Blessing of Father Solanus Casey

    Art and religion have a long-standing history. Artist Dominic Pangborn will join that time-honored tradition by creating artwork of a beloved Detroit priest on his way to becoming a saint.Pangborn ...
    Read More
  • 4 Tips on How to Plan the Perfect Cruise

    Did you know that October is “Plan a Cruise Month”? It’s a worldwide event—first started by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in 2016—focused on teaching both new and ...
    Read More
  • Park West Museum Features Yaacov Agam Exhibition

    Park West Gallery is inviting the public to experience the kinetic art of renowned Israeli artist Yaacov Agam in its newly-renovated gallery and museum.A special exhibition, “Agam,” will run ...
    Read More
  • Art News: Rome Creates Art Exhibition for the Blind

    The art world is full of fascinating exhibitions, intriguing discoveries, and moments that shape history. Here are some of the latest news items making headlines this week. New Exhibition Designed for ...
    Read More
  • How Yaacov Agam Became a Warrior For Truth (With a Little Help From...

    When “The Algemeiner,” one of the foremost Jewish newspapers in the world, announced they wanted to honor famed Israeli artist Yaacov Agam with their 2017 “Warrior for Truth” ...
    Read More
  • Park West Supports the 2017 Amelia Island Jazz Festival

    Enjoy the sounds of today’s top jazz performers and the sights of artwork by renowned artist Alfred “Alex” Gockel during the 2017 Amelia Island Jazz Festival.The annual jazz festival, held ...
    Read More
  • Park West Foundation Fosters Future Generations

    Less than 10 percent of Michigan’s foster care children who graduate high school enroll in college. Less than 1 percent of those who do go on to college will graduate. ...
    Read More
  • Art News: Critics Weigh in on ‘Loving Vincent’

    The art world is full of fascinating exhibitions, intriguing discoveries, and moments that shape history. Here are some of the latest news items making headlines this week. Critics Praise Painted Visuals ...
    Read More
  • Video Premiere: Autumn de Forest: Portrait of a Young Artist

    Being a world-renowned artist may not leave much time for socializing, but art prodigy Autumn de Forest still finds time to be a teenager.“I ...
    Read More