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Kappy’s, on Dempster at Harlem,  is a family restaurant owned and operated by an extended family. One of the brothers, Manolis, came up with the idea of getting caricatures of all the staff and then framing the drawings in the restaurant.  He had seen my work of Chicago Celebrities at Petterino’s in downtown Chicago.  The art of caricature is associated with celebrity, always has been. Think movie stars, politicians, royalty, Vanity Fair.  By getting caricatures of his wait staff, greeters, cooks, and busboys Manolis was telling them that he thinks they rock.  Morale is everything, after all.

The other brother, George, is at Kappy’s all the time, greeting people by name and making sure everybody’s happy. The place is obviously popular, it was packed.  I was set up in a corner of the restaurant by the windows and enjoyed watching the dynamics.  I did the drawings in two sessions, accommodating two shifts.  Friends and family of the owners also dropped in to get drawn by me.  All in all, a most rewarding experience. If you’re ever in the area and want a wholesome plentiful meal, stop in at Kappys.  And then look at my drawings in the hallway.  Thanks Manolis and George!

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

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Alberto Alex Alex2 Aliki Caesar Chiano Clara Diane Diane2 Galo Geraldine Herlindo

IMG_8670 IMG_8671 IMG_8672 IMG_8673 IMG_8674 IMG_8675 IMG_8676 IMG_8677 IMG_8678 IMG_8679 IMG_8680 IMG_8681 IMG_8682 IMG_8683 Jen John Jorge Jose Julian Kelly Lionel Oscar Pete Pete2 Shela Stacey Valentina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BelaFleckColor72
Since they’re famous musicians with numerous performances on YouTube, this project was easy. Seeing people in motion, from different angles, makes my work easier and most enjoyable. An uncle of Ms Washburn’s commissioned this drawing as a Christmas present.
http://belafleck.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%25C3%25A9la_Fleck
http://www.flecktones.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3Dq50xzhDO9lI
All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.
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A photo will not do.  It’s a CD cover!

Not even a caricature in a clean line drawing would do, I suggested.  We need to go with wild colors.  So, after the line drawing was approved, I went for luminous colors and did two versions for the client’s consideration.  One of them got all the votes.  Voila!

The client is an opera singer who is moving into jazz.  He has recorded a CD to present to various jazz venues and nightspots.  The cover had to be as dazzling as his voice.  Double voila!

I look forward to hearing you scat, Jerry!

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

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And now for something completely different…in a week of school events (three in five days!)  I got to do a late night cabaret bash.   The Cabaret Vagabond was celebrating its third birthday at the DANK (Deutsch-Amerikanischer Nationalkongress) on Western Ave at Lawrence in Chicago.  Founded by Brian Bell, a bilingual actor and impresario who had just come from a theater convention in Berlin, the Cabaret Vagabond plays in different venues throughout the city.  The devotees of the cabaret are theater people, actors and singers.  When Brian, at the mike,  asked what everybody was working on, there must have been thirty people speaking up, telling us where they were performing at the time, from Pheasant Run to Steppenwolf.  The music was original, performed by the writers themselves and about to appear on CD.  These were all beautiful people, not only in the photogenic sense but also in the sense of personable and “right there” with you.  One of the actors was about to leave for Los Angeles, to do a film audition.  Artists are wonderful, generous people.  I felt right at home.  I did this gig for pleasure, of course.

And I’m available for any theater’s fundraiser (any time I don’t have a paying job)– my gift to all of you, who play with masks to make us aware of them.

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http://www.cabaretvagabond.com/

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

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Drawing Chicago school children with Lincoln was rewarding for me.  But there was a special pleasure in drawing tourists who spoke exotic languages.  Aramaic anyone?  I found it particularly poignant to draw visitors from Korea, China and Vietnam–with Lincoln.   For them, being drawn like this seemed to be the highlight of their day.  Even with the language difficulties I could tell that they knew all about Abraham Lincoln’s life and death, and were absolutely tickled to be shown sitting on his lap.  I know that these drawings are now framed in those distant cities and villages and probably serve as a source of inspiration to innumerable people.   Hey, in some parts of the world, inspiration is hard to come by.  The story of Lincoln tends to move people.  And images are powerful movers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809. I had the privilege of drawing visitors at the Chicago History Museum on the bicentennial of his birth—not just on the birthday itself, but for a whole year after that.  He is probably even more beloved than Washington, owing to his humble origins, his wit and certainly to the fact that for him we have actual photographs. He knew he wasn’t photogenic.  One of the stories he told was that a woman in public once told him that with a face like that he should stay indoors.   During his presidency, Lincoln was often photographed and getting an appealing likeness of his craggy face and obstreperous hair must have been a challenge to the  photographer’s skills in lighting and posing.  The most approachable photos of him are by the Scottish born photographer Alexander Gardner and I chose Gardner’s full frontal shot of the face for my drawing.  It’s still an extremely melancholy Lincoln I was looking at, but I tried to suggest that he was thoughtful rather than sad or suffering from illness by putting a pile of books on the bench he’s sitting on.  I knew I would be drawing a lot of kids on school outings to the museum.  So, yes, books would not only be appropriate as a prop for Lincoln but would also serve as a reminder to the kids.  Read books!!

Imagine this drawing framed in Audrey’s (shown here) room.  When she learns about Lincoln in school or sees the Lincoln sculpture by Daniel Chester French in Grant Park, she will feel a personal connection to the president and perhaps write an extra fine term paper on him.  That’s worth my effort.

The drawing of Lincoln was Xeroxed on gloss paper, the kind I draw on in China Marker.   The visitor who wanted to be drawn with Lincoln was then drawn as if sitting on his thigh or sharing the bench with him.  The addition of the visitor blended in perfectly with the Lincoln already on the paper.

Some ten to twelve-year-olds knew very little about Lincoln and some—especially the ones wearing Lincoln t-shirts—were Lincoln scholars and couldn’t contain themselves in reciting all the things they knew about the president.

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

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Facefame

There’s a new blog on the block:  http://facefame.wordpress.com

I started it on December 15 (last year!) and intend to post daily.  It’s all drawings, no text except links to the articles, video clips or movies that inspired the drawings. The drawings are caricatures of newsmakers, celebrities and other intruders in our peaceful lives.  Also, artists who inspire us.  I hope you’ll enjoy following this blog as much as I enjoy making the daily drawings for you.

For an idea of how the blog got started, go to http://artamaze.wordpress.com

After your daily—not too presumptuous?—visit to Facefame, please, dash down some comment, anything that comes to  mind.

(Right:  John Boehner, our new Speaker of the House.)

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