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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

IMG_4089
The host invited forty friends to celebrate his birthday—probably his 40th ( just my guess)—at the Fulton Market Kitchen on Sangamon and Randolph in IMG_4087Chicago. This is a place to see and be seen. We had a private dining room with a two-story high ceiling and a bar that was constructed out of a collage of chairs. I use the word “we,” in the sense that I blended in, like a fly on the wall. I wore black, of course, and roamed inconspicuously, drawing people as they were standing around talking and then later as they were seated for dinner. It’s a bit tricky to pull this off gracefully and, judging from the host’s gratitude,  it seems I succeeded, while enjoying myself thoroughly. I drew everybody (in three hours), but only took two shots of my drawings. And here they are.
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PascalBI drew twenty-six dental hygienists at the Hyatt. (A funny sentence. Say it fast.) It was their convention and the tables were full of pokey, sharp tools. It must have been a relief for these women (almost all were women) to find Pascal Dental, for whom I worked that afternoon, to sit down for 5 minutes for a caricature by– ta-tah!—that famous Chicago caricaturist and have a good therapeutic, stress-relieving belly laugh. I tend to think that a sense of humor is a sign of superior intelligence (an occupational bias of mine) and so I came away with

PascalAthe feeling that these dental hygienists all have more brain power than is required for picking the right scraping tool after they say, “open wide.”
I love their reactions and that’s what you see here. You can tell from the drawings that I had as much fun as they did during those two hours. Thank you, Steve and Juliana. 

And what about this trio? What could be the dynamic in that office?  They thought this was a riot!————-

PascalC
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IntHostel20A
The International Hostel on Congress and Wabash asked me again to participate in their annual IntHostel20bcommunity day. There’s a Chicago Blues band and, ta-tah, me. It’s my third year there and I love it. Faces from all over the world—a face-person’s dream! Thank you, Sharday.
All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.
http://www.khilden.com
https://katherinehilden.wordpress.com
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http://www.katherinehilden.com————————————

IntHostel10b IntHostel10a IntHostel2a IntHostel2b IntHostel3b IntHostel4a IntHostel5a IntHostel5b IntHostel6a IntHostel6b IntHostel7a IntHostel7b IntHostel8a IntHostel8b IntHostel9a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IntHostel9b

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14Tapia1aLook at this expressive face.  I love drawing kids who are self-assured.  This girl faced me as if she were 14Tapia1bdoing her job while I was doing mine.  We were partners in an interesting enterprise.  My drawing of her celebrates the asymmetry in her face, a sign of intelligence and maturity.

All the kids at this party were poised.  When I asked them what subject they liked in school,  they all said math.  Some added reading. Love it!

14Tapia13aThe Monaco Hotel on Wacker and Dearborn in Chicago has the most welcoming, elegant lobby.  I arrived so early that I had time to sit by the fire place and read.  I kept looking up to study the design of the lobby and its furnishings—an excellent learning opportunity.

The party for the one-year old was in a banquet room and very well organized.  14Tapia13bVery often, at a kids party I have to wait for the little ones to cooperate.  Note here.  There was never a lull between drawings.  I drew all the kids and then some adults.  In two hours, twenty-three people.  Thank you, Evelyn!

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13EarlesArchtcs1bThis was a December Holiday party for an architecture firm. We’re at the Seven Ten on Lincoln Ave:  food, drinks, bowling, out of the Chicago cold and …caricatures.  I was asked to add something  13EarlesArchtcs1chrissmassy, so I gave everybody a Santa hat and a red nose.  This really went over big, lots of hilarious responses. The art of caricature relies on minimal touches.  Just two spots of red and bang! Cracked everybody up.

What with the food and the bowling, the pace for drawings was pretty leisurely, just twenty-seven people in two-and-a-half hours.  Thank you, Kim!————————————

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

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13HyattPreWed2As I was finishing the drawing, his aunt said to me, “you didn’t make his eyes big enough.”

13HyattPreWed2bBecause so many family members were coming from out of town, the grooms father invited everyone for a party before the wedding.  What a great idea for a family get-together to catch up on all the news and gossip.  The evening was filled with hugs and laughter.  We were on the 31st floor at the Hyatt at 22nd Street.  The view was spectacular, after an afternoon of thunderstorms.  Best to you, Joe and Tiffany!

I drew twenty people in two hours.———————–

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13HyattLookNorthAh, Chicago!

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13YouthHostel2b

It’s nice to be asked back.  I was there for the first annual party last June and now I got to draw some of 13YouthHostel2the staff again, always interesting.  The guests, of course, were new, this being a hostel for international travelers.  What a great gift from Chicago!  Notice the tattoos saying “Chicago” in a heart with an arrow through it. I’ll keep that in my bag of tricks. They loved it. I’ll show a few of the drawing here.  The reactions were priceless.  Thank you,  Sharday, and watch out for the corner of Addison and Broadway!

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

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13BuddTemple5b

The Midwest Buddhist Temple on Menominee in Chicago held an all-day Mind/Body seminar two Saturdays ago. There were yoga 13BuddTemple5sessions and instructions by a dancer on how to properly sit and stand in our everyday lives.  We need to take care of our bodies.  I had been asked to participate because I’m in the laughter business. I’m one of those who believe that if you want to be healthy, in addition to eating well, sleeping soundly and, yes, sitting up straight, you also need to embrace laughter as part of your life.  Laughter is therapeutic.  It dilates the arteries and thus sends a rush of oxygen to your brain and to all cells of your body.  I was hired to do a talk-‘n’-draw. (Hm, I think I just coined a new word.) On the Art of Caricature, there’s enough to talk about to easily fill an hour, but the schedule of the day ended up only allowing a few minutes. As it turned out, since zennies are a reflective, introspective bunch, questions came up while I was drawing.  I like that.  But I didn’t stop to expand on the topics that were raised; I only promised to go into them later.  Among the topics that the people I was drawing mentioned were sarcasm, awkwardness, isolating features, and how to learn this art.

This was a group of people with a robust sense of humor—oh, yes, make no mistake about Buddhists.  There was much hilarity and curiosity.  When I finally did talk, I chose to expand on one of the words that had come up:  “sarcasm.”

I told the story of how I found my start in the business of drawing caricatures.  It was the summer of 1989, August. I went to the Gold Coast Art Fair and found myself spending a lot of time hovering around a caricature artist named John Murawsky.  He was good. I studied his technique and kept track of the $20 bills he shoved into his pockets.   Being a lover of faces, a life-long limner, and hard up for cash at the time, I decided to practice drawing caricatures.  “I can do this,” I said to myself and went home to draw faces from high school yearbooks and from newspapers.  Politicians are not my favorite company but they kept making headlines with disturbing decisions in high office. I drew them anyway, for the simple reason that there was a steady supply of pictures of them to work from.  And also because their faces were famous and therefore I had to get the likeness.  I drew every day.  The same face, over and over.  Piles of paper accumulated.  The waste paper basked had to be emptied all the time.  Then I discovered something:  I couldn’t be angry with these people while drawing them.  I could start out not liking a certain politician (not naming names here), but by the time the drawing was done, all that anger was evaporated.  The drawing process requires such concentration—and empathy!—that any other emotion would get in the way and therefore has to go.

The Art of Caricature is widely misunderstood.  When I draw, people stand around me and I often hear them comment to each other that a caricaturist takes one feature, like your nose, and exaggerates it.  This is not true.  If I focus on your nose, for example, and make it either humongous or itsy-tiny, the drawing will look grotesque but will not look like you.  To get a likeness—and I do have to get a likeness—I have to consider all the features and how they relate to one another.  Not only that, but I have to understand how the culture I live in interprets the symbolism associated with the various features.  For example, a big nose on a woman is not desirable, but on a man it can be super macho and therefore , shall we say, a big plus.  Actually, this is a bit of a tangent that I may get into another time.

So, no sarcasm.  None of it, at least not in my work.  This is not to say that I overlook your big nose or your teeth (to take a couple of popular examples).  I really do go for these specifics, but not out of sarcasm. It’s the opposite.  I exaggerate your nose and your teeth as a CELEBRATION of your individuality.

Drawing as fast as I do is only possibly because of the empathy with which I see you.  Drawing is energizing for me. If I had to deal with the interference of sarcasm, that would slow me down and I would get exhausted.  That wouldn’t be any fun. And it does have to be fun—for me.  You laugh when you see the drawing and that’s therapeutic for you, but all the while the process of drawing has been good for me, too. Intense concentration and empathy are probably good for everyone. I recommend drawing for everyone, even for people who grumble, “and I can’t even draw a stick figure.”  (Even for politicians.  Especially for politicians.)

When you draw, the concentration of seeing scrubs out your brain.  Ahhhh!

This was an invigorating event. Thank you, Susan.

Dear Katherine, thanks so very much for a great session.  It was really enjoyed by everyone.  People who had their caricatures done and who were there on Sunday were just raving.

Thanks again.  It was amazing watching the process.  I liked what you said about needing to be completely open and accepting of what you were seeing to be able to do it.

See you soon. Thanks again, Susan.——————————–

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

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12GE@AllertonKlagenfurt

Milwaukee has its charms, but Chicago has…hmmm…a whole other feeling.  It’s worth it.  We do the big times so much…well, more like 12GE@AllertonKlagenfurtBIGa big city.   This was an elegant corporate party at the Allerton.  Thank you, Nancy and Michelle.

Here are just a few of the drawings from that festive evening.

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

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Here’s a gift for an uncle who’s retiring from the force,  that would be the Chicago Police Force.  He was assigned to security on the CTA.  Best to you, officer!  Thanks again, Dan, a pleasure working with your good ideas.

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

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