THIS Thursday, July 28th! Picture Farm Gallery Benefit for the South African! by Abbie Zuidema

"South African" 2016, 11x15" watercolor on Fabriano

Friends & Family,  
Mark Beukes, aka the South African, was diagnosed with MDS,
Myelodysplastic Syndromes, and will need a Bone Marrow Transplant.  Yes, this is very serious; but it can be cured with a successful bone marrow transplant and a lot of will power.  A bone marrow transplant is expensive and has a long recovery period (usually a full year) which is why a fund has been created to raise money and support to help cover some of his medical treatment and living expenses.  Click to learn more & contribute to the fund.
THIS Thursday, July 28th, Picture Farm Gallery will be hosting an art auction to benefit Mark Beukes.  There will be an amazing array of art on offer, over 30 local and international artists.  Preview & bid on art before Thursday. 

My contribution was a custom map of South Africa, which is where Mark is from, also why we call him the “South African”.  I teamed up with Mark Firth to come up with some significant spots and memories. They hung out in the Northern suburbs in Sandton and Rosebank, near Johannesburg, but made regular forays into Hillbrow for the night clubs.  Mark and Mark would meet at 2 am at the Hard Rock Cafe after their shifts. South African, as we all call him, attended Wits University, or University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.  Those years were spent working, smoking pot, and drinking Castle Lager to the album, Cold Fact, by Rodriguez. One can only imagine the kind of mischief those two must have gotten into back in the day!  Ihope that this map celebrates that moment in time, and the South African, before we even met him.  To this day I can’t hear Rodriguez, and not be magically transported back to my Diner days in 2001, and the South African leaning on the bar. 


STARBUCKS~Huge India Ink watercolor Maps! by Abbie Zuidema

Starbucks ~ Thrilling news!!!  
Biggest project to date!!
Starbucks enlisted me to paint 3 large scale maps of coffee growing regions:  Asia/Pacific, Africa and Indonesia. These large scale watercolor maps are 3 x 3 feet big.  

Each letter, and all the writing on these map was done by my hand.  Each stroke of the pen reflects who I am as an artist. As a result, the lettering is highly expressive with a distinctly unique style.

The Sumatran tiger was completed using Inkblot technique, creating the markings on the coat and face.  Inkblot creates an expressive uncontrolled mark. It's incredibly laborious but well worth the effort, resulting in deep, rich, expressive lines.  This technique was the finishing touch on all the maps created for Starbucks.

The maps will be installed in Starbucks across the country.

{Details of these paintings can be seen at}


They Draw and Travel-100 maps & a brand new book! by Abbie Zuidema

"In 2011, the brother-and-sister design duo of Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell founded the website They Draw & Travel ( Today, it is the internet’s largest collection of illustrated maps created by artists from around the world.

This book contains 100 illustrated maps of places in the United States that were drawn by the fine artists, professional illustrators and amateur doodlers who make up the very creative community on They Draw & Travel. The illustrated maps in this book provide inspiration on many levels.

From a purely artistic standpoint, the variety of illustration styles is amazing. From the cool linework of James Gulliver Hancock and the painterly style of Abbie Zuidema to the sharp graphics of Nate Padavick and the cuteness of Aunyarat Watanabe, the illustrations in this book are a great reference for exceptional style and talent.

As a travelogue, these maps provide a fresh way to look at and learn about a particular place: through the eyes of an artist. Do you know where to go for a really great bike ride in Vermont? Did you know there are 36 places to eat cashew chicken in the town of Springfield, Missouri? Or, how about all the great things to do with kids in Los Angeles? This book takes armchair travel to a whole new artistic level!"

(thank you Nate Padavick, I couldn't have said it better myself!)

Get your copy on!  Perfect for a holiday gift!

Westjet - a Canadian commission honoring a brother. by Abbie Zuidema

My friend Joelle Hann asked me to paint a very special commission.  It was a thank you map for Westjet Airlines. They flew her for 16 months unlimited from New York City to Canada.  So that she could be with her brother and his family while he underwent chemo. It would also commemorate that special window of time they shared.

 “Yesterday Bill, my brother, would have turned 40. This morning I landed in Vancouver to spend a week with his wife, and kids Sammie, 7, and Alex, 8.

This time I bring with me my "thank you" gift for WestJet, the company Bill flew for, who very generously--incredibly, really--flew me from New York to Victoria as often as I needed while Bill was sick. That's 16 months of flights. They never said no. In fact, they said there is no limit.

They are directly responsible for all the extra time I got with Bill. Because of them I got to know Bill again as an adult. I got to know his wife and kids. West Jet was key in bringing my brother and me together again before he passed. It is a gift I can't repay. 

But, I offer this token: an original watercolor painting by the talented Brooklyn artist Abbie Zuidema. A map showing the flight routes I took for those 16 months, one of Bill's favorite quotes, a note of thanks, and the things we loved in both places: the Olympic mountains in the west, the Williamsburg bridge in the east. To WestJet, thank you. (And thank you, Abbie J. Zuidema for the love you put into this project.) I've brought the painting to show my family, and then it's going on to WestJet offices in Calgary.”

-Joelle Hann

This map chronicled a life journey.  We all must face seemingly impossible challenges in our lives, and the passing of a loved one is something we all must experience.  This map was a testament to the grace of leaning into the challenges that life gives us. It’s about survival and abundance, even in the darkest moments.  As I was making this commission, I too was struggling with a loss I didn’t think I could bear. It was incredible to take part in documenting something so affirming.  Thank you Joelle for asking me to be a part of this.


New Prints up @Bibber & Bell Wine and Spirits! by Abbie Zuidema

Yehaw! Happy September! New prints are up at Bibber & Bell Wine and Spirit!  What a treat to be able to hang more work! A big thank you to Damien & Robyn for extending my artistic stay.

Art should be accessible to everyone, to be lived with & shared.  With that philosophy in mind, I have made some of my favorite watercolor paintings into prints.  Pieces from my collections of watercolor Maps, and Knickers & things, are available framed or individual. Unframed prints are $35 & framed prints are $70, priced for those of us with budget in mind.

If you haven’t had the chance to check out the Bibber & Bell you should.  Stop in & say hello. Peruse their fabulous wine selection. There are some delicious things to be sipped & had.

P.s. All the wine labels denoting region are made by yours truly.

P.p.s. Prints are available in my Etsy shop-just added New Mexico to the mix!

they draw & they Travel-Alaska Map by Abbie Zuidema

Exciting!!!  My Alaska map is front & center on "they draw & travel" website! Awesomeness.  TDAT showcases maps illustrated by artists from around the world.

I love what Nate & Salli are doing on "they draw & travel" & I am SO pleased to be able to be able to contribute. If you havent seen the website have a look. They also have a website, they draw & cook.

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.

Off to Denali hi ho hi ho! by Abbie Zuidema

Recently I was contacted on Etsy by Natalie who works for the Denali Education Center in Alaska! She wondered if I would be interested in participating in a 18th annual auction this summer.

Yes please!

How cool to send a map to Alaska of Alaska! (it really is the little things that make life good)

A little about the auction:

"The auction is a community event where over 450 people attend both from the Denali Borough of migratory workers, but also Alaskans from all over. We feature local artists and traveling artists who have been here and have works that were inspired by time here."

Today Alask is being mailed to Alaska~Bon voyage & thank you Natalie for the opportunity!


My lunch at Etsy by Abbie Zuidema

Last week I had the opportunity to go to the Esty headquarters. My old friend Matt came into Vinegar Hill House for dinner the other night & invited me over to Esty to have lunch. But of course! How cool to pay a visit! I had no idea what to expect.

I signed in & was given a name tag. I dutifully filled it out & then looked at it…suddenly I felt too dorky to actually wear it. I stuffed it in my back pocket instead and said hello to Matt. He greeted me with a smile & warm reception. He is so nice! After you pass the front desk there is nothing typical about this office setting. Etsy redefines community of working people.

It was lunch time & people were lining up to tuck into some serious eats.  A baked potato bar extravaganza!  Everything you could possibly imagine was there, from broccoli to bacon, chives & swirly butter pats. There was also soup and salad options & don’t forget the cookies!

As we cruised the office to find a place to eat, there was lots of cool stuff to look at. Art adorned the space; paintings were hung and painted directly on the wall. There was color and activity everywhere. The place was abuzz. The office was filled with light,  lots of wood desks, plants, and computers. A mannequin stood poised, dressed, waiting for it’s photo shoot.  A little dog patrolled the lunch tables hoping to steal off with a potato skin.

We found a table & were joined by Emily & Josh who also work at Etsy. They are all old friends & some of the first people I met in NYC.  It’s so awesome that they get to work together. We chatted about restaurants and ideas & things that we are excited about. Laughed about some of the crazier places we had been in our lives & where our travels had taken us. I rattled off some of the potential maps I wanted to make: Colorado, Fire Island, Paris, Detroit, New Orleans, so many, the possibilities are endless.  It was an inspiring visit! It was so nice to be able to have lunch together.  Good idea Matt! I am looking forward to more visits from Etsy friends at Vinegar Hill House & Hillside.  I grabbed a cookie on the way out & let my mind wander to new places!

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~