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Archive for the ‘Picnic’ Category

I’ve done hundreds of summer parties & picnics. Sometimes I’m out in the open wearing a straw hat to keep cool or I’ve clamped an umbrella to my chair to keep the drawing paper from blinding me in direct sun.  Sometimes a big oak tree will provide shade. But the best is being set up in a tent.  There is something about a tent that elevates the mood of the whole gathering.  You might think it creates a ceremonial atmosphere, but just the opposite, it loosens everybody up.

This was an international pharmaceutical company. I have no idea what they specialize in or even where their headquarters are.  We were out, way North, in some clearing in a forest preserve. The tent was expansive, but not so huge as to feel “corporate.”

I loved the feeling in this event. You can tell by the drawings.  I experimented with poses and ways of letting the hair fall over one eye, for example.  You’ll find my favorite drawings in the larger format at the end of the gallery below. ——————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you, Shanna. You really  got the humor in what I do.

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Getting adults to crack up is wonderful, but to see kids lose it when they see the drawing is out of this world. Look at those faces!  This is the moment I work for.

The parents were geologists and environmentalists. I love drawing smart people who have an unshakable sense of humor. Look how relaxed everybody is! They just let me do my thing and, you know, that’s the really the only way to pose for a caricaturist.  Abandon all hope, ye who enter here, hahaha.

This was a company picnic last September, my first gig in Cincinnati after moving to Indiana from Chicago.  Fernbank Park is on the Ohio and it’s glorious.  I’m staying.

Thank you, Chris.

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streetfair7a

The caption for this drawing could be, “We made up at the Beet Street Fair.”  When they first sat down in front of me they were nasty, nasty-funny.  About nothing in particular, it was a general stand off, as in “are we breaking up or are we getting together again.”  They told me that this on-and-off is how it goes with them, they love each other but always fight.  You can see, I got some of the growl and the I’m-not-talkin’-to-you in the drawing.  By the time the drawing was done, in about eight or ten minutes, their mood had warmed up to something close to happy.   What is it about caricatures?  Or was it the October sweetness in the air?  Or just plain Milwaukee?

streetfair7

In mid-October Goodkind and two other bar/eateries put together this big street fair in the Bayview neighborhood of Milwaukee.  It was a delight!  What is it about Milwaukee?  Every time I drive up there for a gig I come back wondering why I like those people so much.  They’re at ease, funny, self-confident and good-looking.  They can be stylish-edgy; when they show up in un-repentant hippie overalls, they come across as ironic, still stylish-edgy.  Mind you, I’m not fishing for more gigs up in Milwaukee…it’s a long drive.  But still, what is it about Milwaukee?

I enjoyed everyone who sat for me that glowing October afternoon.  I have the pictures to prove that the pleasure was mutual. Here’s documentation of a few of the more riotous moments. More in the next post.

streetfair2 streetfair2a streetfair3 streetfair3a streetfair4 streetfair4a streetfair5 streetfair5a streetfair6 streetfair6a

http://goodkindbayview.com/beet-street-harvest-festival/http://goodkindbayview.com/#six

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victory1

At large summer festivities there’s often a face painter. Face painters have become very  skillful and imaginative.  Though I encourage people to get there caricature first before they go over to the face painting table, they often forget or ignore that and then come to my stand with a painted face that looks like a mask.  In that case, as followers of these posts know by now, I draw them in profile.  That way I can at least approximate a likeness.

victory2But when I saw this woman I broke the rule.  She’s obviously an older woman, a resident at the retirement home actually, and her demeanor was gentle and dignified.  But her cat face was so funny and endearing, that I decided to go for it.  I simply drew a cat with her face.  She loved it and said she would send it to her kids.

I did a family day at this retirement home about three years ago  and this year I recognized some of those  faces.  That’s always fun.  One of the residents is Mr. T-Bone, who always wears his black baseball cap with that name on it. He remembered me, too.

The Soul Entertainers Band, led by Carlton Moore, was excellent:   (219) 688-1117.

https://katherinehilden.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/christmas-party-at-the-melrose-park-victory-center/

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Lincolnwood1

Ajun is a physical therapist with a kind, gentle manner that comes through in the Lincolnwood2first few minutes of anyone talking with him.  My job is to draw him funny. How can I do that?  Saying something that is obviously the opposite of what you mean is one way to be funny.  So I drew Ajun as assertive and tough, as in “you talkin’ to me!?”

He cracked up.  Everyone got the joke.

Lincolnwood Place is a retirement/assistant living community.  This was an afternoon party for the staff. I’ve done many staff parties in retirement and nursing homes and I’m always amazed at how energetic and cheerful these people are. I can’t imagine that work being easy.  They Lincolnwood3certainly deserved this afternoon of food, games, music and, ta-tah, my drawings.

Thank you, Lori!

As you can see, some people got into it and let their hair down.

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Lincolnwood4

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This gig came through GigMasters, who encourage clients to give feedback and an evaluation of the artist after the event.  Here’s what the Director of Human Resources wrote:

Katherine Hilden was without a doubt 10 STARS!!! She was the highlight of our employee picnic. She was hired as the character artist & the employees loved her. She is great at what she does, very respectful & talented. Very reasonably priced. We want to hire her for every single employee picnic in the future. Its Monday morning & the staff is still talking about how great Katherine was.

Thanks again, Lori!  I loved this party.

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LincolnPk1

The people who work at this Riverside Plaza computer company took the Metra in from the distant suburbs, like Grayslake.  And then to Lincoln LincolnPk2Park for the company picnic last Saturday.  Worth it!  We had a breezy mid-summer day and we did our partying just off Clark Street near Armitage.  As I was setting up I noticed a marker that said the lake came up to this point 8,000 years ago.  This started an interesting conversation with a couple of fifth graders about the beginning of time and space and, like, ahhh, like, the big bang?

I love drawing computer geeks and their kids.  They have no idea what I’m doing but they love the work, every time.

Thank you, Stephanie, for arranging such perfect weather in space/time.

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P.S.  I was so in tune with this crowd—apparently—that I caught this ten-year-old’s hammed up frown before his parents told me that he loves making this face.  After he saw the drawing his freckled face really got into the frowning act.  Very funny!

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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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