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Archive for November, 2011

———The International House of Wine and Cheese is way up in Richmond, Illinois, half a mile from the Wisconsin border.  In the middle of October this makes for a pleasant drive from Chicago.  It’s a family owned business.  When I remarked to the owner, Tom Jiaras, that his customers seemed exceptionally sociable and friendly, he said, this is what you get when you’re in a community for thirty years and you build good relations with everybody.  He holds a Wine & Cheese event several times a year, creating a congenial atmosphere. People get to know each other and spontaneously compare notes on various wines as they peruse the displays.  One couple I drew drove in from as far away as Oak Park. I was impressed and thoroughly enjoyed this afternoon.

International House of Wine and Cheese: tom@forwinelovers.com, 815-678-2500

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Sometimes, in a group drawing, not everybody stays around for the photo op:

And sometimes the camera is turned on the artist and then the artist hams it up

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All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

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I was treated like a rock star last night.   Was that because of my fine hot pink jacket with the brass buttons or was it because the hostess had looked at this blog (right here!) and recommended it to the others?  When Cherie and I were planning this part of the party, I had mentioned my work with the Chicago History Museum, where I drew visitors in the fabulous gowns from the museum’s collection.  Her mom, Florence, was turning ninety and Florence was a classy dame—as gentlemen used to say back in the day when gents wore hats and dames wore nylons with seams that were held up by garter belts.  So, of course, I was the artist of choice!  And I really was treated like an artist.  Amazement rang through the cozy room every time I held up a finished drawing.

This was an intimate family gathering, only eleven people.  Since I had two hours to draw this small group, I took out my large paper, 11 x 17, and worked in color. (Usually I use 8½x11 for color because it goes faster.)  The larger paper inspired more daring, a more flamboyant line, because the marker has a lot of space to show off on.  It just skates over that glossy paper.  Of course, the whole ambiance was so lively, with everybody so comfortable and relaxed, that I intuitively felt permission to just go for it.  Let’s see now, was this work or was I part of the family and having fun?

We were on Archer Avenue in Willow Springs, south of 104th, at Greco’s Italian Restaurant.  It’s the most unassuming, most unpretentious place.  As you pull in, you wonder why the parking lot for such a small place would be so big.  Then, when you taste the food you know: Greco’s is family owned and is popular for good reason.  Several reasons, actually.  Let’s just say, I admired the delicate fresco and window decoration, I appreciated the service,  I savored a bit of dinner and then lingered over the cake.  As I headed back towards 55, I tried to come up with excuses to haul myself from Evanston to the South Side more often.  Whom could I take to Greco’s for a birthday celebration and where on Archer is this bakery called Webers?  I’m working on it.

If I were a rock star, I would just direct my chauffeur.   We’d go there so often, I would just use a little hand signal and he’d glide the limo down to Greco’s with a stop at Webers.

Thank you Cherie for insisting that I taste the food!  I’m glad you chose me to entertain at this wonderful  celebration. Thank you Colette for sparkling gab.

I filed Greco’s and Webers under CULTURE.

Greco’s Restaurant   http://www.grecos.ws/

Webers Bakery   http://www.webersbakery.com/

To see my work at the Chicago History Museum, go to TOPICS in the column at the right and click “Chic Chicago.”

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All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

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When the Human Resources people at Intellegrated were planning the company picnic during the summer and they wanted a caricaturist, one of the engineers  mentioned me because I had drawn him and his wife, oh, years ago.  When would that have been, gotta check the date on the drawing, by the signature.  Oh, here it is…1989!  That was the year I jumped in, both feet, both hands, into the business of calling myself a professional caricaturist.  I was, hmmm, pretty good, but I worked with a limited repertoire of poses, let’s say.   I had drawn them separately, faces and shoulders only, avoiding the challenge of the whole body pose.  But, hey, it was good work, good enough to be framed and it had been hanging in their home for twenty-three years.

So here they were again and I was thrilled to draw them again and this time with all the flair that comes from experience, after having drawn thousands of people over the years.  Both of them were clearly tickled to share this moment with me.

Thanks to all the people at Intelligrated who celebrated that bright October day with me this year!

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

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The wedding ceremony itself may be formal or informal, but the receptions are becoming more and more relaxed.  Even when the reception is held in a crystal chandeliered banquet hall, where the chairs are covered in white satin and wrapped with large bows (see July 19, “Wedding in Addison;” and July 29, “Wedding at Chateau Bu Sche” ), the feeling remains informal. Both the immediate family and the guests go to quite a bit of trouble to work out the details of the event and so, when they get to the reception at the end of the day,  they are ready to relax.  Perfect for a caricaturist!  I love doing weddings.

The reception for Kirsten and Rodney, in early October, was held at Francesca’s in Elmhurst. I enjoyed the wonderful friendly atmosphere.  People even brought me tidbits from the buffet, the occasional  small plate with easy finger food—mmm, yumm—to keep the artist fueled.  When everything goes  well on such a big day, it’s nice to end it with mirth and levity.  Hey, it’s what I do!

Shown here, a small sample of the many guests I drew that evening. I had drawn the bridal couple, K & R, from photos ahead of time and that drawing was on my table as I drew the guests.  (See Oct 5, “Engagement in the Lake”).  It’s great to work with imaginative people.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

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Twins

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When Callie sat down to be drawn, I said, I’ve already drawn you.  She said,you drew Kelsey.  Right.  Kelsey wore pink and Callie is wearing yellow.  I asked if she enjoyed this confusion, it must be happening to them all the time. Yes, she said, slightly bored by the question.  Now, I’m pretty good at faces and I notice little quirks, but these twins were truly identical.  When I draw identical twins, one will be in profile and the other in a front view.  It’s the only way.  I had already drawn Kelsey (without knowing she was a twin)  in profile because her hair was pulled back and so when Callie sat down with her hair loose, she got the front view.  So, that worked out very well. Still, I love being challenged and these two were…well, incredible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

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Here’s a small selection of the twelve runners I drew in Lake Forest (see previous post) plus the nanny from Salzburg, Austria.   Everybody thought this was hilarious.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

 

 

 

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And the nanny holding up her drawing in its plastic sleeve…see the shine.

 

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After these 4th graders came in second in a state-wide competition, one of the dads threw a party for them at the family’s Sheridan Road mansion.  Here you see the group “shot” of the twelve runners and their two coaches.  This drawing is on 11 x 14 paper and took about an hour to do.  I also drew all of them individually and will show a few of those drawings in the next post.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

Read Full Post »

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