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Archive for the ‘Therapy’ Category

Yoshi’s is an elegant Japanese restaurant on Halsted near Belmont.  Friends of Frances gathered there for brunch to celebrate her 90th birthday. I couldn’t tell how old anybody was.  I certainly wouldn’t have guessed Frances was ninety.  I drew twenty of these energetic women in two hours.  That was a leisurely pace, for me, which gave me time to admire the décor, the choice of colors, the paintings on the wall and the lighting.

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

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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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RuthLake1

The Ruth Lake Country Club in Hinsdale hosted a Ladies Invitational yesterday. Tee-off was at noon.  As the members and RuthLake2their guests came in between ten and noon, they socialized, snacked and, ta-tah, sat for a caricature.  They were a fun bunch, relaxed and to a tee, in good humor.  Such an ambiance makes for good caricatures.  The marker just flows.

When I had a foursome, I looked at everyone, decided on the sequence in which I would draw them and then everyone took turns sitting in front of me.  Goes very fast, about a minute for the face.  Then I tucked the line drawing away and finished the drawing with bodies and color later.  The ladies liked that. You know how athletes are, they don’t like to sit still very long.

After four hours on the links, they came back to the locker room to freshen up a bit (it was a hot and humid afternoon) and relax over hors d’oeuvres and chardonnays.  This was another opportunity to get your caricature drawn.

I thoroughly enjoyed this day.  What a congenial group they were! Lot’s of easy-going humor.

RuthLake3

The tongue? I didn’t have to make that up!

Thank you, Jan.

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Micky1

Time to celebrate.  A grandson graduated last month, a daughter was in town from Colorado, somebody has a birthday in a couple of weeks, it’s the middle summer, what more do you need…let’s get together and celebrate.  Celebrate what?  Celebrate this family!!

I was set up in a spacious backyard in Prospect Heights. You can tell from the drawings that the pace was leisurely and chatting with my subjects got, well, chatty and funny.  My hostess—the lady with the hat, above—was delighted that I drew her with a microphone.  We had been talking about her singing career and our favorite sopranos.

Micky2

How did she find me?  A few years ago I drew caricatures at a nursing home party where her mother was a resident.  The line, she reminded me, was long and people loved the drawings.  She kept my card. Voila!

Thank you, Micky!

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Access1a

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.

Access1

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!!———————————-

Access5

http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mopd/provdrs/accesschicago.html

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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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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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