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Archive for July, 2011

Marjorie is an interior decorator, who loves a clean line.  Her clients don’t necessarily buy the “less is more” philosophy, but in her own home that dogma rules.  She loves to work with subtle colors and loves to experiment with color relationships in her bathrooms. She throws a party when there’s a new color scheme in one of the bathrooms.  This time her friends finally got together to give her a caricature to celebrate this wonderful idiosyncrasy of hers. The deep green is a joke, apparently.   By the way, that’s Barry the benign accountant/husband sharing the towel with her.  Thank you,  Edith et al.  Go for it, Marjorie!

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This was an elegant and comfortable wedding reception.  I drew for three hours and met some very sociable, energetic, studious and inventive people. I thoroughly enjoyed being with this crowd.

One of the charming people I met there was a six-year old girl named Caitlyn. (Top of this post.) She was poised and sat for me with the awareness of the importance of this encounter:  an artist was making an image of her.  As I chatted with her, I could briefly imagine her running for high office.  At the same time she was very much a little girl.

After I had drawn the bride and groom,  they were too much in demand by their guests to pose for a photo with their drawing–as it should be.  Much happiness to you, Candice and Michael!

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Mount Prospect. A big family get-together where the deck and the white tent were full of tables and food and drinks and the Greek gandmas  kissed the little ones and the guy in charge of the music was really going for the Beatles.  I felt privileged to work in such a warm atmosphere.  We were celebrating four birthdays.  It’s a tradition, I found out:  you have four kids and you throw one humongous party for all of them on one day.  When the cake came out—actually two, one white and one chocolate, and both predictably humongous—everybody sang “Happy Birthday” four times, one for each kid.  Maybe they also have individual birthday parties, but I didn’t find out about that, just that this family throws a lot of party, so yes, they probably do have individual birthday parties for each child.  Any excuse for a party is fine with me.  Happy Birthday Thano, Gia, Anastasia and Bobby!  Thank you, Julie.

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Sometimes a commission comes in with just one bit of information.  In this case, their 10th anniversary is coming up and they’re still very much in love.  Make that two bits of info:  he doesn’t like to dress up (we’ve seen that before, right here in this blog, in fact) and she’s totally into Dancing with the Stars and Oscar Night.  Happy Anniversary, Brian and Cindy!

What I came up with was very much appreciated by Cindy’s sister, who was the gift giver.  Thank you, Kelly!

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Explore and More is a kids’ play center at 3827 N. Southport in Chicago.  It’s not one of those huge places where kids jump on monstrous blow-ups.  Explore is a place for pre-school children.  The first sign of its coziness is right at the entrance:  you have to take off your shoes and put on white tennis socks (provided).  How could this not be a comfortable couple of hours?!  This party was for Whitney’s second birthday and lots of her tots friends came and their parents.  All tables and chairs are kid-size.  No exceptions made for adults and some of these dads were big tall guys.  Pretty funny and wonderful.

I took very few photos.  Here’s  my drawing of Whitney, who was too busy with her social obligations to sit still for some artist’s ol’ camera.

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Dorothy will be celebrating her 92nd birthday in August.  When she was in her 30’s and 40’s, she was a buyer for high end women’s clothing at Marchall Field’s on State Street in Chicago..

She still holds strong opinions about the course of fashion history, trashing most of the fashion developments from the hippies on through the recent “nighties” look–her term .  She likes a clean, well tailored line.  She believes in elegance and understatement.  But she loves the boots that have come into fashion lately, the elegant understated ones, of course.   I suggested we show her in the Jacques Fath “day dress” from 1951, which I know from the Chic Chicago exhibit at the Chicago History Museum. (I drew visitors at the Chicago History Museum during that exhibit.  See posts under “Chic Chicago” in this blog.) The Chic Chicago Fath dress was blue, but beige was the epitome of elegance for Dorothy during her working life. This drawing is inspired by photos of her when she was 38 or so.   Oh, and smoking added to the elegance back then.  Hmmmmm.   Happy Birthday, Dorothy!  Thank you, George and Mike.

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The summer months are all about company picnics, kids’ camp, birthday parties, cook outs, and weddings.  I love it.  I love all that fresh air, dimpled smiles and calypso by the pool. 

But there’s another kind of party and I’m not going to say, it’s the dark side, it isn’t, it’s just that I need to remind everybody that it may be time to plan for fall and winter parties, when we’re inside and we tend to be more—how shall I say it—adult.

 In that spirit, I’d like to review some of the possibilities. Look at the pictures below.  If you’re a high-powered corporate lawyer you may want to be drawn in a strait jacket from the Asylum, or in your bathrobe and with rollers.  If you’ve been married over fifty years, you run the risk of being drawn in a bath tub.  How about a wink and a glass of wine while your shoulder strap is sliding off.  A leopard skin  loin cloth, anyone?  You in a bikini on the beach?  The ol’ speedo?  Yesss, you as a rock star! Be advised, if you’re a professional boxer you’re giving me carte blanche. If you’re at the top of the corporate ladder, you’re driving a Mercedes and living in some fabulous mansion (Mc or otherwise) in Barrington, I’ll be tempted to draw you in clownish green pants and I’ll put black socks on your elegant wife.  But, of course, I’ll only draw with all the stops pulled if you actually did the pulling of the stops and I’ll thank you for it. 

Think ahead!  Think winter parties! Now, in the heat of July!

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Topco

The crew in Skokie wanted to present the boss with a present in observation of the company’s 40th year. The boss was in Connecticut (I think) and I drew him from photos sent by email. Then I went to the Skokie office to draw the top eight managers in person. After that, we worked together on the evolving concept for this drawing. Initially the boss was the largest element on the page, but eventually his yacht became dominant as a symbol of the company. All the symbols found their proper expression: ship, captain, captain’s hat with anchor, captain’s wheel, powerful sails, wind in sails, clear waters, birds of optimism in the sky. It was an interesting project. Thank you, Elizabeth. Congratulations all!

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The Crown Family Picnic is an annual event and I’ve been drawing caricatures there for the past seven years.  There are always six caricaturists with each artist developing a “following,” meaning a group of fans who come back year after year to be drawn.  People collect the drawings and, I’m told, frame them at home in a rec room or family room.  I have my own following.  I greet everyone by name and remember how I’ve drawn them in the past so that I can come up with something new this year.  My photo record is spotty –must be more thorough next year—so that I don’t have everyone to show off here.  But one of my all-time favorites is a couple I see every year there and with whom I exchange news about how life has been treating us. Here is how I’ve drawn this darling couple for the past five years.  I present to you, two people who inspire me,  Carla and Peter!

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The husband was in town for business and invited his wife for a weekend in Chicago.  She drove in from South Bend, IN, thinking she was going to be treated to an elegant dinner and some shopping to celebrate her 60th birthday.  Instead he rented a grand ballroom at the Imperial Suites and threw a grand surprise party for her.  He had contacted me a week earlier to draw a caricature of her in her party mood, which I gathered was a steady state.  I drew her dancing in her favorite sun dress, looking and feeling like a leggy, energetic thirty-nine.  He said that was accurate.  The caricature was to be mounted on a board at the ballroom’s entrance so that everyone could scribble something for her.

Isn’t that wonderful!  Thank you, Don.  Happy Birthday, Norma!

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