Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Painting People Sketchbook Pages

I’m Not a Party Girl but She Is

The Party Girl #1, ink & watercolor in sketchbook
The Party Girl #1, ink & watercolor in sketchbook

I am so not a party girl. But my son’s fiancée is and loves any opportunity to play dress up. I was invited to her birthday party, designated (tongue in cheek) as a swanky cocktail party. I said I’d come but since I don’t own anything swanky and I firmly believe in Thoreau’s wise words, “Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes” I wouldn’t be too swanky. As it turned out, I wasn’t alone, and it was fun to see the variety of outfits people were decked out in. (My wine-colored blouse and long black skirt turned out to be perfect, as strangely enough nearly everyone was wearing combinations of black and wine or plum).

The Party Girl, ink & watercolor in sketchbook
The Party Girl, ink & watercolor in sketchbook

The birthday girl was the epitomy of swank, with a skin-tight, teensy, black satin dress, long-sleeved black satin gloves, stilettos and lots of chunky bling. She is a beautiful girl, a lithe formal model and dancer, and so pulled it off elegantly and magestically, truly the princess of her party. (Sorry E, that my sketch added 20 pounds at least to your perfect figure).

Several people chose interesting hats to accompany their outfits: from a funky straw rodeo-style cowboy hat accompanying a chiffon party dress, high heels and sun glasses to a young man wearing a strange winter cap with ear flaps and Buddy Holly style glasses. (This was a Berkeley party, after all!)

Most of the people at the party were friends and family of the birthday girl so nobody seemed to mind my sitting on the couch sketching. When the cowboy-hatted drama teacher asked to see my sketchbook and I said I was embarrased at how badly I’d drawn her she gave me a big lecture on not putting down my work and never saying, “Just” as in I was “just sketching”! I could see why her students love her and are inspired by her.

It was a lovely party and yet, in my usual reclusive style, I was happy to depart after two hours and return home to a painting I was working on.

2 replies on “I’m Not a Party Girl but She Is”

Jana! What fun sketches (and commentary)! People-watching is such fun! I applaud you (while trying to picture how you pulled it off) for sketching right in the midst of them. Californians must be a whole different place–that no one would think twice that you were sitting there sketching them. Thanks for sharing!


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