Friday, July 31, 2009

Phillyside Arts networking event

Last evening, my fiance and I attended a Phillyside Arts networking event at a funky, intimate little bar in South Philadelphia. The location was perfect because our favorite Vietnamese restaurant was just around the corner, but I digress...
Philly Side Arts is an "online marketing and networking service for the creative arts community. The primary objective is to help artists achieve their potential by providing online promotional programs for the artists to engage in while encouraging them to attend offline networking and educational events." We were able to meet the executive director, C. Todd Hestand, and find that the group isn't just for the traditional 'fine' artist, but 'niche' artists such as myself. When I joined, there were a dozen or so artist members-- now there are over 120. I was surprised to learn that the PSA link on my website/FB fan page has gotten them a good amount of hits. :-)
We also met a lovely artist, originally from Austria, Sybille-Maria Pfaffenbichler. She does beautiful mixed-media pieces depicting music and dance in a flowing, visceral way. Please visit her website at
It's always good to meet new people! We had to go around the room and give a short 'who I am and what I do' spiel. To my chagrin, I was first---so I explained that my comfort zone was looking at my subject and easel-- with an audience behind me, not in front of me!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

75th birthday caricature

Just completed this marker and artstix studio caricature for a gent who'll be receiving it tonight! :-)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My second comic strip!

My friend Celestia Ward and I collaborated on a second comic strip---which was just published in the quarterly magazine of the International Society of Caricature Artists:

Our first comic documented our adventures in caricaturing at the State Fair of Texas last fall, to which we'll be returning for our sophomore (and sophomoric) year soon!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Last day ( and night) at the fair

After drawing at a nearby gig, I made my way to the fair to draw some more!

It's a day of mostly families and small children (the beautiful baby contest happens on Saturday afternoon) and I've always loved drawing little ones...

The last photo, of one of Gary's drawings, started a small run on Dora-the-Explorer-themed caricatures for both of us. My Blackberry once again gave us reference pics.

1st birthday party!

On Saturday, before I ever set foot on the fairgrounds for the last day of Kimberton, I drew caricatures at a sweet little girl's first birthday party! Everyone gathered on the back deck overlooking a beautiful backyard. Along with my caricatures, the kids enjoyed a face painter and a bouncy house, while the more daring guests, young and old, whizzed aloft on a zip line suspended between two tall trees!

Friday night at the fair...

My friend and fellow artist, Gary Smith, from Baltimore, joined me this year for Friday and Saturday at Kimberton. We created a joint "RIP Michael Jackson" caricature for a sample: I airbrushed his head and Gary cartooned his body...

Here's Gary hard at work...

And here are some of mine:

It was my second year drawing these two little ones!

And once again we got rained on, but I've got the tarp-wrapping down to a science now!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fair night #4--the rain finally did more than threaten

As I arrived at my fair, it was drizzling. I held off setting up so that if it became a downpour, I would not get soaked....after a while, people started arriving, so I erected my tent and got out my easel. Then the skies opened......:-(
Well, after some time passed, in which I sat hunched in my raicoat as far to the middle of my tent that I could, it eased up. I did get in some caricatures, but the rain must have made some people grumpy: I had a few instances of what I call the "non-customers". It's always a couple or a group--they sit in my chair, tell me they want color or BW, I make sure they know that the price is PER PERSON, they are surprised (!) and then they get up and walk away!! Then there was a mom with a little girl of about eight years old. They checked out my display and the little girl said, "Mommy, I really want one." The mom asked me how much and I told her. Then she turned to the little girl (and I'm quoting) "Honey, if you get this, that's ALL you get at the fair. No waffles and ice cream, no rides, no games, no anything. Now what do you want to do?" And the little girl actually considered it--- she didn't say no right away (I knew she would, though). I was kinda perplexed by that seemed more likely that the mom just didn't want a caricature than lack of funds... to each their own, of course! The faces I did get to draw certainly made up for the rain and the annoyances!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fair night #3 and more synchronicity

Last night at my fair, I had a unique caricature experience---drawing goats--AND a reunion with a long-lost customer! First, the goats:

Kimberton Fair is a real, old-fashioned pie-eating-contest-fair queen-baked-goods-competition-livestock type of fair. My caricature booth is situated somewhat near the animals. The previous night, these two nice ladies stopped by and asked if I'd ever drawn a goat before. I said, "No, but I'm game!" So yesterday, before the fair actually started, they brought their beloved 14-year-old mama goat and her kid to be drawn. They posed like they'd been doing it every day---which they do, for shows!

I was very touched to see they hung the drawing with all their show ribbons.

This family above is very special to me. I used to draw the couple every year at another fair that I did (til 2002) when I was first starting out, but no longer. When I moved on to doing parties and ballgames, I had no way of finding them...til last night!!! While I was drawing the goats, they (and their little daughter whom I had never seen) were having dinner at the sausage-sandwich stand next to me. I heard the dad remark that they used to always get a caricature before they were married and were due for another one...and THEN I looked over at them, and recognized them!!!!!
We were all quite happy to see one another, and now I have their contact info. I am so glad they decided to eat at Nick's!

Now here's a young man who's been a regular at THIS fair since he was a baby. It wouldn't be Kimberton to me without seeing Xavier and his family!

These two sisters were fun to draw!

This young man has already used his caricature as his Facebook avatar (he joined my fan page already!) Thanks Andy!
And another night has gone by with nary a raindrop.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Signed sign-in digital caricature for happy graduate :-)

A beautiful photo of last weekend's graduation party sign-in was just emailed to me by the client.
Here's what she had to say:
Hi Emily, Attached is the photo of Amanda with her caricature. She was really thrilled! She is excited to bring it to school with her. I think the likeness is amazing! Thanks so much for providing an incredible gift.
Thank YOU! :-)

Night Two of the Fair!

Hooray! Nothing was blocking my parking spot when I arrived, AND the rain held off!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First night of the Fair!

No raindrops were seen on the cloudy first night of Kimberton Fair, but there were lots of smiling faces to caricature. And if the sitters weren't smiling, then their PARENTS were! :-)

Here is my setup. When I arrived, I was annoyed to find out that someone had parked a big unattended storage-type RV in my usual parking spot next to my booth. After checking with the office, who said it could not be moved right then, I pulled up to within 2" of the offending vehicle--but my car took up almost half my tent! Grrrrr. At all the other years of this fair, it (as are the cars of other outside vendors) has been right next to hold extra stuff and as a refuge against the inevitable swiftly-approaching thunderstorms that are always a feature of this particular July week. Well, we'll see if it's there tonight....
Below is the first drawing of many, I hope!

The above little guy was on the shy side. His mom tickled him to get the big smile that's in the drawing! She also told me that he loved Thomas the Tank Engine. When my kids were small, I used to be able to draw Thomas without any reference, but not anymore. My trusty Blackberry with Google Image Search solved that problem!

Finally,here's a view of my cramped little tent at the end of the night. I actually couldn't find my old xmas-lights that I always used in the past, due to an overenthusiastic closet cleaning-out earlier this year, so I bought some of those newfangled rope lights. Much easier to put up!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wedding Caricature

I recently drew a young engaged couple at a party, and they displayed their color caricature at their wedding on Saturday!

Congratulations, Liz and Wayne!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy birthday, Brian May!

Inspirational Jan Opdebeeck is still cranking out fantastic celebrity-birthday drawings. Today's birthday is Brian May, guitarist for Queen (one of my favorite groups ever) and part-time astrophysicist--he's 62!! So, I found some time to do a very quick BW exercise in Photoshop--of the man who built his own legendary guitar.

Company Picnic

Lasy night, I got to enjoy the sights, sounds, and especially smells (mmmmm) of a minor-league baseball game, in beautiful Lancaster County, PA, while drawing at a company picnic! Plus, I was treated to the signature product of the company whose picnic it was (yummmm!) Can anyone say, "pretzels"?