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My next art trip destination

by abby on July 15, 2014 | Comment

photo of art exhibition of Ludwig Bemelmans
{from Publisher’s Weekly article on the Madeline show}

I just heard about an amazing art exhibition in New York City. The New York Historical Society is hosting a show of the artwork of Ludwig Bemelmans—you know the author and illustrator of the Madeline series! The show is themed on how New York City influenced his artwork.

Although his colorful and impressionistic artwork reflects the Parisian life, he actually created this artwork in a New York City apartment. (To brighten up the dreary gray city he even painted his windows!) Louise Mirrer, the president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, said that his art suggests “an immigrant reimagining a Europe he knew” as a child. She continues that even though the Madeline books are set in France, the protagonist’s “fearless and funky” spirit is of a New Yorker. I totally agree.

The art show is paired with all sorts of biographical information and antecedents that chronicle Bemelmans’s life in New York, first as an immigrant from Austria, then as a an well known author/illustrator with all his posh acquaintances he had befriended through the years. It sounds fascinating!

The Madeleine exhibit is on display until October 19th and is sponsored by the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. If you aren’t able to make it to NYC, you can see the show at the Carle Museum in November.

Was MADELINE a favorite series of yours?

New on my Drawing Table

by abby on July 11, 2014 | Comment

photo of sketches of humpback whale with bubles with numbers inside
{new art is coming!}

Phew, after being away for a week it feels great to be back to work and in one place. I’ve been wanting to create this painting for almost a year now, but teaching and book design kept me away. This is why I love summer: I can paint!

The idea for this sketch came to me after I completed the ABC Giraffe painting (get the print here). I thought that pairing a counting themed print with the letters would make a fun set. To add a little more variety from the ABC print I created a whale blowing bubbles with numbers 1-10 inside.

I’m looking forward to creating a rich blue background for the whale to swim in with lighter numbers. A lot of the empty space will be activated by the spontaneity of the watercolor. I’ll be experimenting with color combinations next.

I can’t wait to show you it when it’s done!

On the road to . . .

by abby on July 8, 2014 | Comment

poster of Hatch Show Print store

This has been a summer of traveling! I was on the road again for a week long road trip to Nashville, Tennessee with my best friend. One of our stops in Nashville was to visit the famous letterpress shop: HATCH SHOW PRINT Do you know of it?

photo of wall of letterpress posters

Hatch Show Print has been producing eye-catching letterpress posters for decades now. They have developed a distinct Americana style, featuring large bold wood-block type with minimal colors. Hatch Show Print is most know for creating advertising posters for famous country and blues/jazz musicians, but their “bread and butter” posters of groceries, filling stations, and other southern culture themes are also beautiful.

photo of letterpress studio in Nashville

The studio has recently moved into the first floor of the new Country Music Museum. You can see the print makers at work through large glass windows. It’s probably the most clean print studio I have ever seen!

Hatch linocut block

Hatch Show Print has a wonderful shop and gallery. In the shop they were displaying a lovely lino cut block. There is such talent in this studio! I couldn’t leave without a print of my own, so I bought this vertical one:

photo of Hatch Show Print vertical print

I still have to figure out a place for it in my home. I have an itch to redo the pictures in the living room. My style is changing and I feel ready for new wall art. Perhaps this print will be just right?!

Where are you traveling to this summer?