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Chicago Art Weekend

by abby on March 6, 2012 | Comment

abbydora design artwork
My boyfriend and I took a long weekend to visit friends in Chicago. It was our first visit to this mid-west city and our friends, Kirk and Tracie, were amazing tour guides. We hopped buses, “L” trains, and pounded the pavement to see the sights.

custom handmade stationery
It turned out to be a great art weekend. Chicago is home to one of my favorite paper stores, Paper Source, so of course, it was on our list to see. It was great fun to fill my shopping basket with brightly colored envelopes and not have to pay shipping!

Then later on, while waiting out a rain storm in a coffee shop, I casually looked out the back door to see a giant Dick Blick art supply store. Fate stepped in, I swear. I don’t have one of these stores in Rochester and as it turns out they are a wonderful supplier of art boards that are treated to either paint directly onto or you can mount prints to them. I took a few to experiment. My suite case was becoming heavier and heavier as the weekend continued.

The climax of this art weekend was visiting The Art Institute of Chicago. It’s a museum that surprised me with its collection. They have several gems in their galleries. As an artist it’s always a thrill to stand in front of the original painting that you have studied for years and only seen as a 3″ x 5″ rectangle in a book. Seeing Edward Hopper’s Nighthawkes caused me to have such a moment.

Edward Hopper

The painting is so much larger than I imagined! I think I could stare at this painting for 15 minutes and not be board. Hopper has created a very compelling visual story. Who are these people and why are they at this diner?

Another favorite artist of mine is Toulouse-Lautrec. I’ve known him for painting cabaret girls and the night-life of Paris, but I didn’t know he also went through a circus phase.
chicago art museum
I love how the horse is painted and the perspective Lautrec created.

Finally, in the education center at the museum was a small exhibition of the children’s book paper illustrator, Steve Jenkins. He creates beautiful illustrations of animals and insects with cut paper collage. The detail of these creatures is amazing. Here are a couple of my favorites.
fish illustration

children's illustration

These illustrations are used in non-fiction picture books that share with young readers amazing animal facts.

Phew—what a weekend! My thanks to our hosts for their great hospitality and for trekking along to all the art stores and museums. D and I really did love seeing Chicago and I’m sure we will be back—next time in warmer weather!

AbbyDora Design in the News

by abby on September 4, 2011 | Comment

abbydora design watercolor
Just over a week ago, I was quite honored to be in an article featured in the Rochester Business Journal about the next generation of artists in the Rochester area. I was even more flattered to have a great studio photograph included with the piece!

The article interviewed 3 artists, each from a different genre of the arts: music, dance, and visual arts. I was selected as the visual artist. If you would like to read the entire interview, you’ll find it here.

I am truly grateful to be a part of a wonderful art community here in upstate New York. Rochester might be a smaller city, but she is filled with many artists and art appreciators.

Featured Artist

by abby on August 4, 2011 | Comment

DIY wedding stationery

I have some wonderful news to share with you. AbbyDora Design has been selected to be a featured artist on the fabulous wedding website and blog called Emmaline Bride! It’s a website dedicated to the DIY bride with inspiration ideas and a marketplace to find artists.

Yesterday, Emma spoke about a few of my DIY postcard Save the Date designs. See what she said and which designs were showcased on her blog.