Archive for July 13th, 2016


Access1bIt’s the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities on Chicago Ave, near Clark Street.  I was invited to draw caricatures of the staff party there last Friday.  I drew not only of staff, many of whom are in wheelchairs, but also of interns and, I believe, volunteers.

When you scroll through this blog, you can’t tell that I’ve drawn many people in wheelchairs before.

But I have never drawn wheelchairs.  I chat with disabled people as with any other party goers who want to be drawn.  They are interesting and inspiring, always.


Access2I often find people with disabilities full of energy and eager to talk and laugh.  That’s why I have never drawn them sitting –as I actually see them—but instead I have them running or standing in an assertive, often sassy pose, as if they were saying “look at me, this is the real me inside, forget this mechanical chair.” These drawings have always been received with spontaneous delight and gratitude. Not everybody smiles for the picture, because people with disabilities are sometimes self-conscious about their smiles—as are others, too.

At this Access Chicago party last Friday, however, I had a new experience.

Carrie1One of the women in wheelchairs was exceptionally glamorous.  Her hair Carrie2was carefully styled, her make-up was flirtatious and her earrings said “Carnival.”  Naturally, I drew her in a flirtatious, standing pose.  When she saw it, she had a big smile, at first, but then she rejected the drawing because it did not depict her accurately.  “I’m not standing,” she said, “I’m sitting down.”  After some hesitation, she did accept it.  But later, towards the end of the party, she brought it back, saying, she did not want it.

Lesson learned:  In the future when I’m drawing people with disabilities, I will ask for specific instructions from the party organizers about how people are to be depicted in the drawings.

I drew nine-teen people in an-hour-and-a-half.  Thank you, Cris.

Access6And thank you, Pat, for your riotous laugh!!———————————-



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