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Archive for the ‘Therapy’ Category

Here’s what you need for a successful party: balloons, food and that famous caricaturist Whatsername.  We were partying in the Hillview Government Center in Louisville to celebrate Jim’s 75th birthday.  One of his daughters flew in from Colorado to organize this generous bash.  And generous it was! Sumptuous! Though I don’t eat when I work, I could tell that everybody loved the food.  You can eat while I draw.  It only takes about a minute of your attention for me to get the gist of your face and then I go to work for a few more minutes. Doesn’t take long. Not even color takes long, about 5 minutes per person, and color is so much fun.  This was a great party.  Everybody got into it, everybody loved the drawings.  So rewarding for everybody –and for me!  Thank you, Michelle!

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All that was all fun, but what happened on the paper when I had these two brothers across the table from me was, well, beyond my control:

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This Valentine’s Day celebration was held in the party room at Danville Nursing Home for the residents there. All but two residents were in wheel chairs, some had oxygen tubes.  I mention this merely to set the scene a bit, since I am only posting pictures of my drawings, not the people.  But you will immediately recognize my approach here:  I drew everybody young, energetic and glamorous. I was rewarded with quick giggles, some admiration of my technique and “you made me look the way I was when I was young.”  Right, Richard, you got it.  That was my take on this crowd. Nursing homes are always rewarding to work in.  I always learn and go home with things to reflect on.  Thank  you, Pat, Kerri and Jesse!

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The Admiral is a posh retirement home on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. I was invited back to liven things up at their September luncheon.  People were tentative at first—this happens sometimes—but after a while there was a line and the conversation over the drawings got pretty lively.  A big factor at parties is food, which has to be enjoyed first before you join the crowd around the caricaturist for extra pleasures like laughing over your caricature and commenting on your friends’. When you’re planning an event, remember: laughter is therapy.

Thank you, Jennifer!

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Glencoe is a pretty posh suburb of Chicago.  This was a thirteen-year-old’s birthday party with only 5 friends invited.  The girls were so into the drawings, they laughed uproariously as they watched the drawing come to life on my paper and then when they saw the finished product they just lost it.  I was so swept up in the hilarity that I didn’t even get a picture of the funniest stuff.  Oh, well.  This reaction is what I work for and it was fabulous, as you can see. The younger brother was hovering and did finally get his drawing, but he was not on the girls’ wavelength to get the depth of the in-jokes operating here.

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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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This is the end-of-summer picnic at a retirement community in Melrose Park, a SW suburb of Chicago.  I’ve done this event for years and have drawn some people several times, like T-Bone and Ron. Repeat performances don’t get boring, not at all. It’s great to be able to greet people by name and to be recognized with a smile.  The jazz ensemble is always excellent.  I love drawing the great age differences from really little to very advanced in years. And of course, the stylish pre-teens!——–

 

Thank  you, Brenda.————————————————

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When I draw at parties I always have my little Canon at my side. It handles well and is unobtrusive. When the drawing is finished I turn it around with my right hand for the “victims” to see. The little Canon is in my left hand. I quickly raise it and click the shutter. This maneuver has to go very fast because that precious reaction lasts only a fraction of a second. What makes it precious is that it is uncontrolled. It is, dare I say, a moment of truth. They throw their heads back, they drop their jaws, they howl. When that split-second of truth is over, they collect themselves and make nice for the camera.  Too late, I gotcha!

Here are some examples of the moment of truth from the Wedding in the Park (previous post).

 

 

 

 

 

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