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Archive for the ‘Birthday’ Category

abigail1

abigail2Grandma Abigail threw a fabulous back yard party for Neil, who flew in from Texas with his parents.  I have to word it that way because Neil, having just turned one, was clearly in charge.  He wasn’t particularly interested in a family drawing, so I drew him separately and then later his parents also sat down to be drawn.  All in good fun.

It was a wonderful, relaxed afternoon in Homewood.  I drew twenty-four people in two hours.

abigail3Thank you, Abigail!

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

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emilia1emilia2

When your sister turns forty, you have to throw a big party for her. It’s written in stone somewhere.

Emilia’s yard wasn’t big but every square inch was filled with games to play, prizes to win and goodies to eat. I drew thirty-eight people in three hours, including the birthday girl in color.

Thank you, Emilia!

emilia3All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

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Milwaukee1

It was Lauren’s fifth birthday and mom spared no expense:  scrumptious food, DJ, photographer, dancing performers,  pinkpinkpink, and that famous caricaturist, Whatsername, from Evanston.

We’re in Milwaukee, at the Nigerian Conference Center, way up on Appleton at Hampton.

Milwaukee2

Most of the kids were in Lauren’s age group or a bit older.  One self-confident little girl after another sat down in front of me to be drawn.  What a pleasure to meet these poised, lovely children!  You can see from the drawings that I really liked their style and good humor.  (Notice the tongue!)

Thank you, Jadae.

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Bernard1

… and still looking twenty years younger.  The host’s youthfulness came up in Bernard2the conversations I overheard.  One woman said, when she started working in his office fifteen years ago, they asked her how old she thought Tom was.  She said, twenty-four?  He was forty-five.

It’s not just the prodigality of hair, which is probably the first thing you notice—not touched up, btw.  It’s also his big, oh-so-present eyes.  And then, the casual enthusiasm, so youthful.  Just one more thing: he makes surreal sculptures, some displayed on the mantle.  The man claims to be sixty.

I did Tom’s fiftieth birthday party at a posh Streeterville restaurant ten years ago. It was wonderful to be called back for the sixtieth.

Bernard3Lots of family, some old friends, some new friends.  Among the new friends is a history teacher who’s also a bit of a royalist.  He requested to be drawn as a Hapsburg.  By-gone glory is fun to draw.

In the gallery (below) notice the art-class references. Tom, a business man, met some of his long-time friends in art classes at the Art Institute. Among his friends are art teachers, models and actors.  Is it any wonder I felt so at home with this crowd?!

Bernard4

About the art of caricature in general, one note about color:  My technique is now so fast, that working in color does not take that much longer than a line drawing.  A minute or two longer.  If you look at the above drawing of those three artists, notice how effective the red tongue is, or the very French red striped shirt on the art teacher wearing a French Beret. Not to mention nudity.   Many people understand  this intuitively, which may explain the fact that I’ve been asked to work so much in color lately.  Lucky me. Lucky guests.

Thanks, Tom and Rich, for a wonderful party with people who get what I do.  Even the relatives from Kankakee (!!!)  liked my work.

Bernard6All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

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Bernard5

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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.

Flossmore1

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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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SocialTableA
You know how when you throw a party at your house everybody congregates in the kitchen?Exactly. Why not throw a party that’s held IN the kitchen. Take it one step further: rent someone else’s kitchen and engage a cooking teacher. That roughly describes The Social Table at Armitage & Halsted in Chicago.
To celebrate her husband’s 60th birthday, Lilia invited twenty six friends, mostly couples, to The Social Table, where they would participate in the cooking of their dinner under the expert guidance of a chef, this one named Ian. They worked on a stainless steel table (the chopping and slicing had already been done by the staff) and when everything was cooked, they cleared the table and, well, feasted. Feasted. What else could you call such eating! I was set up at another table, where people sat for me very briefly, maybe 3 minutes each, so that I could draw their faces. Later, while the cooking heated up, I added the bodies and finished the drawings. Then I presented them in clear plastic sleeves while the main course was still in progress and the wine glasses were being refilled. All to much applause and laughter. Then, guess what, I was invited to enjoy their perfect halibut-in-roasted-red-pepper-sauce. Thank you, Lilia!
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