abbie j. zuidema

Isness~a cinematic graphic novel by Abbie Zuidema

Stavit Allweis, asked me to contribute illustrations for her graphic novel, Isness.

It’s a bold, uninhibited graphic novel about a post-apocalyptic family, integrating live action photos with detail-drenched miniature environments.

She has dedicated years of her life to chronically working this project. It’s HUGE. I paid a visit to her studio & saw the diorama in real life. The details are astounding! She makes miniature sets, then photographically shoots them, then adds the actors into each scene-there are so many facets to each of environments.  It was inspiring.

The watercolors that follow are to be placed within the novel, as illustrations.  They were a treat to make.  Thank you Stavit!

You can learn more about this epic project at: and

Martha's Vineyard Watercolor Map by Abbie Zuidema

Martha’s Vineyard was a special commissioned surprise gift. My favorite kind of work! With visions of the island dancing in my head, I was inspired to create my own rendition. 

The towns of Aquinnah, Chilmark, West Tisbury, Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs & Edgartown are all noted.  There is also a peppering of lighthouses, sailboats, a nod to the Wampanoag Native Americans who originally fished the island, summer strawberries & the historic 1889 Flying Horses Carousel.  

This map is a special treat to all of those who hold Martha’s Vineyard near & dear to their hearts.  Someday I’ll make it out there-till then I can dream.

Prints are available in my Etsy Shop for $35 Clams.

Going back to Cali, to Cali, to Cali.... by Abbie Zuidema

Eastcoast to Westcoast.  Two of my most favorite people are moving to/back to Cali with their daughter. I was asked to make an invite to commemorate this big moment. John is the proud owner of a Westfalia 1985 van. It needed to be in the painting.  A Volkswagon van, along with some psychedelic tie-dye effects was just what I was envisioning. A painting was born.

email cali or bust 2014.jpg

Kohl's Summer Brights Servingware by Abbie Zuidema

Introducing KOHL'S "Summer Brights"~

From painting to servingware....

This post begins with an image of the painting that the "Summer Brights" collection is based on.  That work is then translated into plates & bowls & mugs.

I am so pleased to be able to share this newest addition to the porcelain collection.

KOHL'S Summer Brights Dinnerware

Food Network™ KOHL'S Summer Brights 4-pc. Plate Setting

Kohl's Department Store & Food Network Collaboration!!! by Abbie Zuidema

At last!  I can finally show & tell! 

In 2013 I collaborated with Kohl’s Department Store & Food Network to paint some custom watercolors. Those carrots, eggplants, tomatoes & artichokes have been transformed into Servingware.

~Click HERE to have a look online~

Kohl’s is selling online & in stores, plates, bowls & platters embellished with my paintings and handwriting!  I am thrilled to be able to let this long kept secret out. Exciting!

Australia Map-ode to ochre & Aboriginal Art by Abbie Zuidema

Australia just seems to be on the brain, popping up everywhere!  Ochre is mined in Australia & used by Aboriginals in ceremonies and their art. I've been reading from the book, Color, a Natural History of the Palate,  by Victoria Finlay. Her chapter on ochre was enlightening. Ochre-iron oxide-was the first color paint. It has been used on every inhabited continent since painting began. Australia has the longest continuous painting tradition in the world.  I was inspired & made sure to use ochre as the primary hue of this piece.  As a result of this map I have a much greater respect for the color, its origins & the people that have interwoven it into their culture.  So cool.

Fashion-the Wild by Abbie Zuidema

Recently I was interviewed for the Wild.  How cool. Fashion & Art!  I wracked my brain for answers to questions like, "Who would you like to go on a tete a tete?" & "What is on your life to do list?"  Some of my answers surprised me. It's not a bad practice for all of us to do every once and a while.  I highly recommend it.

Oh, & the answer to: "What is my Wild wish?"

not to be a starving artist.

Sandy Relief & Waves4Water by Abbie Zuidema

Thank you everyone!  We raised $630 from the Etsy Rockaway Map sales!!  Your generous contributions helped make this happen! Thank you! So awesome.

100% of the sales have been donated to the Waves4Water fundraiser Rockaway Renegades.  Waves4Water works on the front-line to provide clean water to communities in need around the world. To learn more go to:

The Rockaway Renegades are an all volunteer based, direct action group committed to the cleanup and relief effort currently underway in the Rockaways following the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy.  To learn more about the awesome work the Rockaway Renegades are doing:  Take a second & LIKE them on Facebook!

Thank you again for your support! Sandy is still affecting so many people’s lives. Your contribution makes a difference.

Sports Illustrated’s D.C.-Baltimore issue by Abbie Zuidema

{click thumbnail for a closer view}

An amazing opportunity came my way.  Would I be interested in doing a map for Sports Illustrated? 


48 Hours-Concept, drawing, outline & color in less than 48 hours. With edits in between.

I have never painted so fast in my life!

After the map was finished, I literally stood in front of the fan to dry, so I could scan it & send it on its way.  Totally insane & gratifying all at the same time. Bye bye stage fright.

(Sports Illustrated even used the teams hand painted logos on the tops of the pages)

"Designwali" blog featured my Mehndi watecolor fragments today! by Abbie Zuidema

The creator of blog Designwali a self proclaimed "Desi", (which is a reference to people or things from the Indian subcontinent) is a mother & design maven who recently got in touch with me about my mehndi watercolors. She wanted to feature them on her design blog!  Exciting!  She had discovered my work on Etsy & wanted to share them. It is a lovely representation of what I do & some of my most favorite mehndi watercolors that I have in my Etsy shop.  Happy Tuesday for me. Thanks Designwali for tooting my horn!

Custom Wedding Menus on Esty! A new adventure! by Abbie Zuidema

I have embarked on a new adventure. Custom commomerative watercolor wedding menus.  Wow that was a mouthful. But its true. In my Etsy shop you will find a choice, a custom menu, or a template.

"It was all a happy blur. A special dinner you don’t want to forget. Weddings go by so fast! A commemorative watercolor wedding menu is a unique & handmade piece of art. It’s something that you will have forever, to help you remember an event of a lifetime. Classic & timeless."

A special thank you to Anna & Jesse for getting married & letting me use their delicious dinner as inspiration.

click on thumbnails to see the larger versions!


Group show in Williamsburg @Sideshow Gallery! Opening tonight January, 7th 2012 !!! by Abbie Zuidema

I've been invited to add my work to the group show at Sideshow Gallery in Williamsburg. One of my mehndi paintings is framed & hanging! The opening is tonight January 7th, 2012, (unfortunately I will not be able to attend-I am working..)  Josh Goldberg, also has a piece in it, which is exciting to be able to show alongside my husband!

It happens every year & includes a TON of artist from the neighborhood. It's quite an event. The work is hung floor to ceiling french gallery style & everyone comes to see it. The gallery is PACKED. Literally there is someone at the door to limit how many people can go in at one time.  For some reason it always seems to fall on the coldest night of the year... this year it might be different. Should be really fun-check it out if you are in the neighborhood!

Watercolor Mehndi Fragments by Abbie Zuidema


When I make a painting I always test my colors on bits of paper.  I’ve taken those fragments of history & used them as backdrop for my drawing/painting practice.  I have always loved mehndi/henna.  It amazes me-all the individual gestures that work together to become story, a whole.  Mehndi is like handwriting. These paintings are me practicing my handwriting.
Original Watercolor painting
Sunrise Mehndi No.8

*this new series can be seen in my Etsy shop*

NPR submission, Little Thailand, Elmhurst Queens, for the "Little's maps" on Brian Lehrer! by Abbie Zuidema

Hello Little Thailand!  
This map was created (as a result of more than one friends suggestion, thank you friends) for the Brian Lehrer show.  He has asked local artists to submit maps of " NYC's Lesser Known Ethnic Communities"-the deadline is today! Their favorites will be featured on the WNYC website and on-air during the show.  Fingers crossed...
*here is a link to learn more about this project. NPR*  
Little Thailand is my contribution. Only 10 minutes away from home (Greenpoint), is Little Thailand in Elmhurst, Queens. It is so cool! I have barely scratched the surface, but when you go, you are somewhere other than Queens. This is why I live in NYC.

The color palate is distinctly Thai, taken from a night market photo I stumbled across in my searches.  I love pink and red together, it might be my favorite color combination.  This is also the largest map I have made so far.  It was a great project.


~if you would like to see a bigger version of the map, please click on the thumbnail~

Menu for Alice Waters-yes really.... by Abbie Zuidema

A few weeks ago I got an email from Ignacio Mattos.  Ignacio is an amazing chef. We worked together at Il Buco for years and he is also a Chez Panisse alumni.  He had a question for me. Would I be interested in making a menu for a small dinner he was cooking for?  It was a “casual” celebration after a lecture Alice Waters was giving at the New Museum. They were presenting her with the Visionary Award.
I can’t imagine anything much more exciting. 
Or nerve racking. Ha!
The dinner was a huge success & the food was gorgeous and delicious. Ignacio combined tradition Korean ingredients with Union Square greenmarket goodness. Everything was beautiful & inspiring.
I am so pleased with the end results.

To read more about the Alice Waters & the Visionary Award Series at the new Museum click here.