Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for September, 2010

You’ve got to hand it to a school that throws a party in the middle of the day and on a Monday, at that.  I was set up under the sky light in the student union at Loyola University, the one by the lake.  The most frequently declared majors of my sitters were Biology and Political Science.  There was the  occasional double major with English and one major in—wow–musical theater.  My first model was a bio major named Jhanvi, which means “pure” in Hindi, or was it Gujarati.  How lovely, I thought, and then I asked what she liked to do and she said, she played football, touch football–but still football.  A friend of hers came to the table to inform me, emphatically, that Jhanvi’s nick name was “Bulldozer.”  Well, that was an auspicious beginning.  It went like that, one surprise after another, for four hours, from ten to two.  I had an absorbing conversation (it wasn’t always busy)  with Joe about… the Romans, brain surgery and art.  He showed me pictures of his art work on his ipod.  There were several giggling room mates.  There were couples, both of the meaningful-relation kind and the elbow-bumping kind, as in “we’ve known each other since kindergarten.”  I drew a tall lanky guy with a square jaw who said he would never have a tattoo because then he wouldn’t be able to donate blood for a year.  He donates frequently, a pint saves three lives, has been doing it since he was sixteen.  These were interesting, thoughtful people. One Kaytee was about to switch her major from can’t-remember-what to ART.  Yeah, that was a thrill!  I thought these little conversations were pretty interesting although Tom, the musical theater major with a dance minor, claimed that people in this school were mostly and,  for his taste, too straight laced.  One pre-med named Tooja (Gujarati for “scent of a flower”) thought she might go back to India once she has her medical degree because people there really need doctors.  Deep thinkers and serious citizens of the world.  I love drawing serious people.  Drawing serious people is fun!!

The event was called “All About You.”  If it evolves into an annual event, I hope to be there again next year.  Thank you, Ellen.

www.khilden.com

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

It’s all about learning.  Sure, it’s fun ; sure it’s great to go home with a picture of yourself to frame and hang in your room and wonder if you will look like that in five years (the drawing tends to make you look more glamorous, more self-assured and more powerful than you feel–at least are allowed to feel  since you’re a kid going to school and playing baseball and soccer).   But, the real treat is watching over the artist’s shoulder.  It goes so fast!  And look how she does the hair…look how she puts blue in the hair to make it look more black.  They ask me about that all the time.  Look how she leaves a white spot on the tip of the nose and on the cheeks.  That’s the high light, I explain.  She always makes the head big and the body small.  Why?  That’s part of how caricatures are done, I explain.  They themselves all draw.  Drawing is part of the way children make sense of the world.  Drawing is a natural extension of the SEEING process.  Drawing is a natural way of saying, “these things around us that we look at every day are pretty amazing, let’s take time to actually look at them.”  Faces are a special feature of the work we live in and are extra fascinating.  (See PROSOPAGNOSIA in my blog post for 9.  Xxxx, in http://artamaze.wordpress.com)

There are parties where four or five kids will spend the entire duration of the party, in this case two hours, standing next to me and studiously watching the process. I’ve seen it many times and this was such an occasion.  It’s really gratifying for me.  One of the questions that always comes up is, how did you learn to do this?  The answer is that you have to draw a lot, you have to practice.  Then I encourage them to keep drawing.  After the age of twelve, children tend to get more interested in socializing and conforming and, as a result, they spend less and less time at their drawing boards.  Maybe some of “my students” from these parties will continue.  I like to think so.

For the past dozen or so years I’ve been spending the afternoons of grandparents day in nursing homes, where the families come to visit. This past Sunday it was at Holy Family on Dempster in Des Plaines.  This was an exceptionally polite crowd, enthusiastic in a gentile way.  What a pleasure!  Thank you, Mila, Mercy, and Adrianna.  See you next year!

www.khilden.com

Read Full Post »

TWIRLING

We’re in the party room in a downtown Evanston high rise, spacious, with leather seating arrangement and wall sconces.  Pink table cloths and balloons for a three-year-old’s birthday.  She’s dancing in her pink and white dress and looks puzzled when the CD momentarily stops. Dad is handling the pizza in the well appointed kitchen. Mom is serving drinks and catching up with the friends.  All together there are six adults and five children, all girls.  I’m doing my thing, drawing everybody and enjoying the company. Takes about an hour.   So simple.  So cozy.  So much fun.

When I drew the birthday girl, finally, as the last one, she was very exited to see the drawing.  I drew her dancing in her magical, whirling way and then, in her excitement, she resumed the twirling right away.  No time for the camera.  Oh, well. I’m there to make people happy and if I get some documentation of the work, that’s fine, if not, not.  I left, quite inspired by that family.  The birthday girl’s name was Havana.  She was born in Sidney, Australia.  Father, South-African with a Dutch name;  mom, Swedish, willowy and blond.  Evanston may be some sort of crossroads of the nations,  always interesting.

www.khilden.com

Some more pictures:

Read Full Post »