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National Color Day

by abby on October 22, 2015 | Comment

oct 22nd is national color day
{My watercolor palette}

Happy National Color Day, everyone! Did you know about this holiday? I just discovered it and I will now be marking my calendar. One more reason to LOVE the month of October!

In honor of this special day, I’m sharing another colorful watercolor sketch I did while on our first day in Paris.

watercolor sketch of carousel in Paris

Behind the Eiffel Tower is a lovely small carousel. It was a sunny day and there were lots of children scrambling on and off. This little sketch is certainly a celebration of color!

How will YOU be celebrating color today?

Summer Reading: Picture Books

by abby on June 13, 2014 | Comment

illustration showing Father rabbit is readig aloud to young son

This week I’m working on this little spot illustration of a father rabbit and his young son reading together. It dawned on me today that this would be a great chance to share with you a couple of lists of recommended read aloud picture books—perfect for summer reading!

A good source for a classic list of the 25 best picture books over the years (chosen by teachers) is supplied by SCHOLASTIC. Here is the complete list. A few of my personal favorites are:

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg

You really should see the whole list. There are some real winners mentioned!

For a more modern collection of recommended picture books I recently found this blog: READ ALOUD PICTURE BOOKS: A growing collection of the best. The author is a mother, teacher, and huge supporter of children’s books! Her highlighted books are good examples at what’s being currently published and how they fit into our national conversations. She even tests out the books on her students and will comment on their reactions to the stories and artwork.

Do you have a favorite read aloud book or source where you find books?

New Baby Love Collage

by abby on May 16, 2014 | Comment

watercolor collage art featuring mother rabbit holding baby boy rabbit

This week I had a chance to create a very special mini painting. It’s dedicated to our friends who are new parents. Their little one turned 1 month yesterday!

Here’s to Daddy K, Mama T, and little Baby J!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Animal Panel Brainstorming

by abby on September 12, 2013 | Comment

colorful farm animals painted in vibrant colors
{my farm animal panel collection}

With the popularity of my animal panel collections at this year’s art festivals I’m thinking of creating a new set and would love your input! I’ve created a FARM ANIMAL collection and a WILD ANIMAL collection, but what should the next one be?

giraffe, lion, alligator, monkey, elephant, hippo painted in bright watercolors
{my wild animal collection}

A couple ideas that you suggested to me last week were a beach/ocean series or woodland forest creatures? Which animals would YOU like to see?

If you have some thoughts please post your ideas in the comment section or on the AbbyDora Design facebook page (have you LIKED US yet?) Thank you in advance!

Clothesline Festival is This Weekend

by abby on September 6, 2013 | Comment

photo of children's watercolor art in festival booth
{AbbyDora Design festival booth}

The weekend for the annual Clotheslines Art Festival has arrived! Soon the grounds surrounding Rochester’s art museum will be dotted in little white booths bursting with all sort of paintings, prints, jewelry, and fine crafts. I’m so excited to be a part of this collection of artists! I start setting up my brightly colored booth this afternoon, but here’s when you can arrive:

SEPT 7th & SEPT 8th
Saturday 10 am to 6 pm; Sunday 10 am to 5 pm

This festival is a fund raiser for Rochester’s art museum. For a small fee you get access for over 400 fine artists, music, and local cusine.

Admission: $5 at the gate; children 10 and under free if accompanied by an adult; includes Gallery admission. No pets (except service animals), bicyclists should enter at Prince Street and check bikes at the RCA Bicycle Valet. Parking information is available too.

The AbbyDora Design Booth will be located on the Goodman Street side of the art museum (Zone B). Keep those eyes out for my bright green and teal banner!

My children’s art will be the main event in my booth. I’ll be featuring original paintings and fine art prints in all sort of sizes that will fit many standard frames too. And now with a chill in the air here in update New York, I’ll also be showcasing a few holiday items too.

black cat silhouette with handlettering for halloween
{One of my Halloween cards featuring hand-lettering}

I’ll be showing several Halloween and Thanksgiving cards, and even a few Christmas/Hanukkah cards. Why not shop for a few holiday items before your Fall and holiday schedules become too hectic?

I hope I will see you this weekend!

Long Lost Sketches

by abby on August 22, 2013 | Comment

drawing of a cat wearing a mask

I’m teaching an illustration course this Fall called: Sketchbook Illustration. I’m super excited about this opportunity to share my love of drawing with students. It also got me thinking about all my sketchbooks and drawing pads around my studio and home. So this afternoon, I pulled out several from their various hiding places—bookshelves, stacked underneath reams of printing paper, underneath tea mugs, and even next to my bed. You just never have enough sketchbooks. (huge smile)

drawing of children's art

While reviewing my work, I realized I had forgotten about some of the ideas and characters I was so excited about earlier. If only I had another set of hands, I could get so much more painted! This is how it usually goes for me: I jot down an idea and then something else pulls me away from it and I just never get back to making more of the sketch. I really should have more of these “review sessions” of my sketchbooks and take a look at my work with fresh eyes. Perhaps I will see a storyline or off-shoot idea from an initial sketch.

My college course starts on Monday and I know many of you too also head back to school, so, HAPPY BACK TO SCHOOL!

G Is For Giraffe

by abby on July 18, 2013 | Comment

watercolor of giraffe nibbling on capital G
{Sneak peak at my newest illustration}

I’m having so much fun lately and it’s all because I’m creating non-stop! Let me tell you the paint and paper are flying around here. The crazy intense heat of this week hasn’t helped make this journey easy, but I don’t want to be anywhere else but at my drawing table (even if it is sans A/C).

I’ve been wanting to do some sort of alphabet illustration for a while now and the deadline of the Park Ave Fest is making it happen sooner rather than later. Above is a little teaser color sketch of what is going to be created. You can’t go wrong with adorable giraffes, right?! The final will have the entire hand lettered alphabet along with a full giraffe illustration and another little surprise, too. Nope, you’ll have to wait to see the finished painting.

More next week!

Brooklyn Bunny Collage Art

by abby on July 11, 2013 | Comment

Watercolor and paper collage of cityscape and rabbit jump roping
{Brooklyn Bunny}

I’m in full art mode creation these days for the Park Ave Fest and Clothesline later in the Summer. This week, I’m working on several new pieces that involve paper collage.

Doing collage is such fun! It’s a different type of creative thinking than painting and drawing. But I love thinking in shape anyway, so it’s an easier transition for me. You should have seen my art table when I was in the thick of creating the piece above. There were scraps of paper, sheets of paper, and scissors of all sorts piled high all around this wood panel art. It’s was creative chaos!

Brooklyn street paper collage with bunny jumping rope
{Detail of the paper collage and watercolor art}

The Brooklyn Bunny is the first watercolor collage piece that I’ve completed this week. I had a few spot watercolor characters laying around not doing anything and I thought it would be fun to collage backgrounds for these cute guys. This piece is not totally finished yet. I’ll be adding a few paint details to the background, but it’s 95% done.

Matted 8″ x 8″ prints of this piece will debut for sale at the Park Ave Festival. Then it will be available for sale in my Etsy shoppe and in the other summer festivals.

I’m working on the next collage today and I hope to share it with you next week.

Any fun weekend plans?

My Travel Sketchbook

by abby on June 6, 2013 | Comment

photo of watercolor sketchbook and dried watercolors with brushes

Guess what you guys?! D and I are heading out on a great vacation adventure this weekend! We’ll be flying into Portland, Oregon to explore the city for a few days and then we are taking a road trip down along the coast to San Francisco. Eeeee! You can imagine how excited we are.

One of my goals on this trip is to incorporate time to sketch and watercolor. I’m sure I’ll find great inspiration with dramatic coast lines and the amazing surprises we will find along the way.

book necklace from Just Terrific

In fact I have a SUPER COOL sketchbook that I will be wearing on this trip, too. Yes, I said wearing it. It’s a book necklace made by Just Terrific. I met Rachel at a local art and craft fair and immediately fell in love with her book necklaces.

Just Terrific leather bound book necklace

Each book is hand sewn. The cover is made of leather and fastens together with a cord of leather. Her book necklaces are all unique. I chose this one because I liked the length of the chain and the earth-color beads.

photo showing open blank pages of small book necklace

The book necklace pages are blank—perfect for a few words of the moment or a quick sketch, wash, or doodle!

lady wearing small handmade book on a metal chain

Ta-da! I simply adore it. The book is small and not heavy at all. Plus, the chain is long enough for easy on and off, too. I cannot wait to fill it with moments from my travels.

I’ll be back in touch after our vacation and I’m sure I’ll share with you a few sketches from my book necklace. Have a great week!

Where are you vacationing this year?

April Art Show and Tell

by abby on April 25, 2013 | Comment

in progress watercolor children's art

Hooray for Friday and hooray for Spring sunshine here in upstate New York! It’s been a busy week getting back into the swing of book design and painting. My plan today is to have a great day at my drawing table working on the Birthday Parade illustration I’ve started. Cute, right? I’m working a little larger than I have recently to see if I can create great brush marks and washes in the painting. I’m letting the creativity flow!

Oh and I thought I’d give you a little peak into my sketchbook too. I usually keep my sketchbook close to my heart. Sketchbooks are visual journals for me. I write and draw in mine. Some of my sketch pages are for my eyes only and others can be shared with the world. Here are a couple that I do want to share:

bear rabbit characters
{Animal characters—some of which ended up in the new painting on working on}

little girl wish print sketches
{“My Wishes” concept sketches. More to come on this project!}

This weekend, I’m celebrating Spring weather by watching some baseball with D (gooooo Mets!) and maybe even grilling out on our porch! Whoo-ooo!

What are you up to this weekend?