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Archive for June, 2016

Crown5

Crown6The Crown Picnic really is the crown of picnics.

I’ve been doing his picnic for many years and have posted about the most recent years. For the low down on my in-group there at the farm in Wauconda, see

https://katherinehilden.wordpress.com/?s=crown+picnic

I draw new people every year.  But the regulars always want one more drawing for their collection: Peter, Carla, Joan, Fred, Sherrie, Susan, Paul and Bridget plus a half dozen whose names I don’t have at my fingertips just now as I’m typing this.  In the sparkling

Crown8ambiance—both physical setting and conversations—it’s always Crown7interesting to come up with a new way to draw them.  Often they bring new friends. What fun! This is the best.

For Peter, Carla and Fred I had prepared a surprise, but that deserves a separate post.

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EZ1

When the president of a company hires me to spend a whole day to draw everybody who works there, I know I’ll be looking at energetic, imaginative, intelligent, personable, interesting and interested people across my drawing board.  All of those characteristics go with a sense of humor.  And it takes a sense of humor to appreciate caricatures.

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t was an absolute delight to draw smart people who also had a sense of humor. Humor is a cerebral function.  I haven’t done much theorizing in these posts, but it’s time to mention the French philosopher Henri Bergson.  Bergson wrote about laughter and humor around 1900 and in the first two decades of the 20th century.  I highly recommend looking him up.  You can start with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laughter_(book)

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Humor is related to creativity.  In our own time, there’s much talk about creativity, but humor seems to be off the list of speaker topics.  We get jokes, yes.  But what’s the psychology of humor, not so much.  Touchy subject, you know, given the rules about political correctness.

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I highly recommend this presentation by John Cleese linking humor and creativity:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQ0lck7oo4A

IMG_9524You’ll see that PC is overshadowed by the importance of tickling your brain with a joke, even a not so PC joke.   All in the interest of getting at the “open mode,” in which creative thinking is possible.

IMG_9521he link between humor, intelligence and creativity was confirmed in all those faces I drew this past Tuesday.  No wonder, I was privileged to draw my caricatures at EZlocal, rated among the country’s top one hundred SEO companies.

http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/topseoscom-announces-rankings-of-100-best-local-seo-companies-for-february-2016-2100845.htm

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As the old Monty Python silly walker tells us, you get things done in the “closed mode” but if you don’t know how to get into the “open mode” you won’t come up with anything interesting and worthwhile to do.  The president at EZlocal obviously knows this.  Maybe intuitively, without theoretical terminology, but he knows it. He had the place buzzing. It was a privilege to be there.  Inspiring!

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Thank you, Jim!  And thanks for wanting the work in color!

EZ3

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EZ2

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Hammond1

Hammond2A this party in Hammond, Indiana, some natives confirmed for me that Jean Shepherd’s 1983 movie A Christmas Story (based on his book and narrated by him) was set in Hammond, Indiana, his home town. When I got home after the party, I Googled Indiana jokes. Nice try, Hoosiers, but none of those jokes could be applied to Hammond– at least not as I experienced it on Kansas Street. My host was an ophthalmologist with four smart, talented Hammond3kids, one of whom had just graduated from high school.  There was a piano and a HARP in the living room!  Sophisticated, worldly, witty people, just hanging out in Ron’s driveway, being drawn by me.  I loved the repartee!  The puns! The nuances! I love it when people get what I’m doing, which is a form of lying, and lie right back to me—to test me.  As, for example, the top punster telling me that he works for the city—cutting grass.  Ha.

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Hammonders apparently think they’re living in a suburb of Chicago.  They just hop the South Shore train to take in some art on Michigan Ave or soak Hammond5up Lincoln Park.

I loved this party on Kansas Street. The best gigs are gigs where I learn stuff and stereotypes are toppled.

Somebody needs to post more up-to-date Indiana jokes.

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Flossmore3.Flossmore4This was mom’s 60th birthday.  Her siblings, her children and grandchildren were all present.  As I drew her I had to glance every now and then around the room at the grandchildren to remind myself that this glamorous woman might actually be sixty.  The main organizer was one of her daughters, shown here with her boyfriend.

Flossmore2.I had wonderful chats with the people who sat for me.  One person, however, stole the show—for me, at least.  She was a supremely intelligent and poised women, who worked as the chief of staff for one of the state representatives in that area.  As such, she explained to me, she had all the power without any of the discomforts that accompany fame. Did she herself have any political ambitions?  Oh, no, she said, this was the perfect job. Too bad, I would vote for her at the drop of an elegant pair of heels.

We called her husband over to pose, which he did in good upstaged humor.  In my drawing he all but vanishes behind his wife’s self-assured charisma.  I stammered a helpless apology.  Don’t worry, the chief said, he’s used to it.

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aIshani

AIshani2We were in a park shelter in Warrenville.  It was May first.  How promising! Spring is here at last.  We wished!  Alas, it was 42 degrees.  I was dressed for the upper reaches of Norway, but the kids were not.  I drew freezing, shivering, often crying children. I just hope everybody got warm and cozy as soon as they got home.

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RiverGrove

This was a kids’ birthday party at Hanging Gardens Banquets in River Grove. When a lot of families with kids are invited, the parents tend to request black/white drawings to maximize the number of drawings that can be made.

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bachelorette1

The Bachelorette Party seems to be a sophisticated idea. I say that because the only bachelorette parties I’ve done have had highly educated, chic women in them.  This one, bachelorette2at Brimfield, had a couple of MD’s and a pilot, for example, plus an assortment of teachers and financial advisors.  Ok, enough with the sociology notes.  You can see from the pictures, that they were also very beautiful.  As for the chic part, going with the Great Gatsby theme, brings out the radiance in women.  And the hilarity!  Nothing like an all-girl party for hilarity!

Brimfield, btw, is a store on Clark near Bryn Mawr for antique hunters and decorators.  bachelorettesceneThey have a party room upstairs.  Not to be missed!

http://www.brimfieldus.com/

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