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Life Comes Full Circle

by abby on May 22, 2012 | Comment

watercolor painting

Over the weekend, D and I traveled to Saratoga Springs to celebrate my grandmother’s 96th birthday! It was a wonderful weekend filled with family, a gorgeous boat ride on a lake, and even a fantastic story.

My grandmother grew up on Staten Island and learned to paint with watercolors at the Art Students League. Throughout her life, she has kept up her painting and she is a truly wonderful watercolorist. As an young adult she moved to upstate New York. Last month she donated one of her paintings of the Saratoga Springs carousel to a fund raiser in Vermont for her great-granddaughter’s preschool. The fundraiser was a great success and to my grandmother’s utter surprise her carousel painting was sold to a family who lives on Staten Island!

Wow! It’s so perfect and fitting that one of her paintings should find a home on Staten Island. I love when life throws in these “complete circle moments”. Have you experienced one yourself lately?

Park Ave Festival

by abby on July 26, 2011 | Comment

Rochester, New York is a great city in the Summer. I swear people come out of the wood work to celebrate the warm weather and the sunshine—which makes for some great outdoor fun! There are free outdoor concerts every week and even ART festivals about once a month. It’s with great excitement that I’m happy to announce that AbbyDora Design will have our own booth at the 2011 Park Ave Festival!

The Park Ave Fest will take place on:
Saturday, August 6, 2011 & Sunday, August 7, 2011
Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

It’s a magical weekend that turns the Park Ave tree lined street from Alexander Street to Culver Road into one of the largest and most fun community gatherings in Western New York! The AbbyDora Design booth will be near Jines Restaurant and the Wilson Farms on Park Ave.

Be sure to keep an eye out for my booth banner as you stroll along the walk.
abby dora design

You’ll find Playful Paper Goods for purchase inside the AbbyDora Design booth. I’ll have all sorts of fun individual cards for birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, and just because you’re thinking of someone you love. I’ll also have card sets for Christmas, Chanukah, thank yous, and other sets that make great gifts. I’ll also have paper goodies as party decorations for bridal and baby showers.

Finally, there will be original artwork for sale and limited edition prints as well. In preparation for the festival I’ve created a new collage-gouache series that’s perfect to decorate a child’s bedroom wall. Here’s a sneak peak at one of these new pieces.
abby dora illustration
nursery room artwork

With so much to see and shop you won’t want to miss this event! I do hope that if you are in the area you will stop by and say hello.

Serendipity in Paint

by abby on July 7, 2011 | Comment

abbydora illustration

You never know when or where you will find beauty. This morning while I was painting I looked down into my palette and saw this beautiful tree in my paint. I love these little happenstances.

Art Girl Meets Science Guy on 72nd Street

by abby on June 3, 2011 | Comment

Abbydora design

While our stomachs were satisfied by amazing meals, D and I were able to feed our minds as well by visiting a couple of museums during our long weekend in NYC. I love art museums and miss them terribly since I moved out of the New York area. It’s strange how when something is so accessible you take it for granted, but now that I’m 6 hours away I miss my afternoon visits to The Met, MOMA, The Whitney, the Guggenheim, The Frick and so many more. Since we had limited time for museum visits, D and I decided to divide and conquer. While he’s a great admirer and art appreciator, let’s say that when given the choice between an art museum and a history museum, D will choose the latter. No problem for me! Have you ever strolled the galleries of a museum by yourself? It’s luxurious. There’s no schedule, no waiting for someone to finishing viewing a gallery before you move on, and no following along someone else. You simply decide to linger or skip over artworks of your choosing. For me my favorite spot in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, is a little, actually tiny, gallery on the second floor that displays the Degas pastel drawings of ladies bathing. The lighting is dimmed to protect the art, so it feels even more intimate. The drawings are just breath taking! I have long been a fan of pastels. I love the texture each stroke creates and the layering of colors. I have even created a few works myself using this medium, but Degas just takes it to another level. The layering of the colors to create the shading on the skin is beautiful. When you look closely you see blues and bright greens! I lingered again and again over these half a dozen pieces of art. I hated to say good-bye, but perhaps someday I will have a print of one of these bathers in my own house.

Strawberry fields
While I was visiting Degas, Monet, Van Gogh, and Cezanne on the upper eastside, D was visiting the inner workings of the brain and learning about the celestial skies on the upper Westside at the Natural History Museum. After a couple of hours, I walked through Central Park to meet him on the west side. Don’t laugh, but after 7 years of living in NYC, I never got to see the tribute to John Lennon. Happily I stumbled upon it over the weekend. I wonder if the rose is always placed above the type? We shared our museum adventures in the East Village at our favorite Jewish diner on 2nd Ave. I had my standard of homemade lentil soup and a grilled cheese sandwich—made with challah bread of course! Little bit of heaven right there.

Abby trip to NYC
Abbydora new york

The following day D and I stayed downtown in Manhattan. We started the morning with breakfast in Battery Park and then made our way over to the Smithsonian Native American Museum. There’s a museum here in NYC and another in Washington DC. This museum is housed in the original custom’s house. It’s a gorgeous building with a large central room topped by an oval ceiling covered in murals. The exhibition galleries surround this central room. One of the exhibits we saw was about the significance of “the horse” within several of the Native American tribes. The show was interesting and had a wide variety of artifacts, but for me the best part was the icon of a horse developed specifically to promote the show. The stylization came from actually Native American drawings on blankets and on stone. The horse logo is wonderfully simple and expressive. Even from this icon you begin to feel the energy and power of the horse within Native American culture.

All in all, it was a truly marvelous visit to New York. D and I are already looking forward to our next trip down.