Monday, May 2, 2011

Dreamy Artful Couple, Now with More Dreamy

About three years ago I discovered Abbey Hendrickson's blog after meeting her at a printmaking conference and it was art love at first sight. I spent a whole weekend reading her blog and catching up. It was Abbey's blog that inspired me to create my own and here I am today, blogging away!
Abbey and her husband Philip live together in upstate New York with their two dreamy children. Both of them make artwork that is gorgeous and inspiring, always with a finger on the pulse of the contemporary art world (I've always wanted to use that phrase to describe someone). It's neat to see their work side-by-side because I think it really creates a dialogue with each other.
For our dreamy edition today I present to you Abbey and Philip and their dreamy work and even dreamier interview!

1. When did you two first meet? Was it dreamy at first sight?

A: We met at Red Lobster, of all places! Phil was a bartender and I was a hostess. I had a long-time boyfriend when we first met, but I definitely thought Phil was dreamy. He was artsy and interesting and handsome…but really quiet. Our mutual friend liked him and invited him to come see a blues band with us. Phil and I ended up talking all night, I finally broke up with my then-boyfriend for good, and we started dating soon after. That was ten years and two babies ago!

P: Yes, it was! I introduced myself over a stack of Red Lobster menus. So suave.

A: Right?! It doesn’t get much hotter than that! I don’t know how we hooked up…we constantly smelled like melted butter! So gross.

work by Philip

Whoa Baby!
work by Abbey

2. Have you two ever worked together collaboratively? If so how did it go? If not, any plans for the future?

P: We went to undergrad together and organized a few projects there, but we’ve never officially collaborated on one piece. We tried to work on a collaborative drawing when Emmett was first born, but it was hard to keep up.

A: Oh man, was it ever! I had just started grad school, Phil was teaching full-time, and we had a brand new baby. By the time we got home, the last thing we wanted to do was draw. I do think we work well together though and we’re definitely open to working on a project together someday. Oh, and he cuts all of the wood for my 20 in 20 projects…that’s sort of collaborative, right?

work by Abbey

Phil's work
work by Philip

3. One collaboration you have made are your two adorable children. Is it hard to find time to work on your own work now that you have children? How do you make the two work together?

A: They are adorable! The simple answer is that we take turns. I stay up really late at night and Phil wakes up really early in the morning. We’re like ships passing.

P: Most of my time is taken up with teaching. When I come home, Abbey starts working on her stuff. I wake up as early as I possibly can, sometimes as early as 4 AM, to get a project finished. I really have to take advantage of any time I can find and always try to remember that this time is going to go by so fast.

A: That’s so true. Our babies are only going to be little for a blink and it’s already flying by! If one of us has a big project to finish, the other one takes care of all things kid. Luckily, he’s a morning person and I’m a night owl.

work by Philip

This is such
work by Abbey

4. What about critiques? Is it safe to critique each others' work or do you go to other people for feedback?

A: We’re always bouncing ideas off of one another. We don’t always agree…

P: I’ve come to really value her judgment. She always gives an honest answer, even if it’s not what I really wanted to hear. I’m always asking her for her opinion about my artwork, something I’m writing, a problem with work…all sorts of things. I know she feels comfortable asking me for the same kind of feedback.

A: I do! Every day I’m asking Phil for his advice about something. I’m also always on the phone with two of my dearest friends, Rachael ( and Kris. We’ve been friends for years and I trust their instincts. They’re my other two sounding boards…whether they like it or not. J

Thinking and thinking
work by Abbey

work by Philip

work by Philip

5. Any friendly competition? Do you two ever apply to the same shows or for the same jobs?
A: Nope.
P: No, because I know I’d lose out to her every time.

A: No way! I think it’s the other way around. In undergrad there was a friendly competitiveness; we were in the same BFA program and were ALWAYS working in the studio together, pushing each other along. We applied for the same shows and it wasn’t ever a big deal. When it came time to apply for grad schools, Phil was ready to apply and I wasn’t. To be honest, that decision didn’t come easily and we hit a momentary rough patch. Luckily, it ended up working out really well in the end. Phil went to UMass Amherst and I worked at the Eric Carle Museum, both of which we loved. Then, when he was finished with school, I went to the University at Buffalo and he landed a teaching gig. I think that little rough patch sealed the deal with regard to competition though. We don’t apply for the same jobs or shows because it doesn’t work for us and it’s not worth it.

work by Philip

work by Abbey

Horses suck
work by Abbey

Phil's work_detail
work by Philip

work by Philip

Abbey's work
work by Abbey

6. What's next for you two with your work? Any projects going on that you would like to share?

P: We just bought a 150-year-old farmhouse, so that’s our next major project.

A: Oh yeah…it’s a project for sure! We’re really excited about it though!

P: We have a ton of work ahead of us. As far as artwork goes, I don’t know. I just finished a 4 x 8 foot woodcut that we printed with a steamroller. Something always seems to come up, right?

A: Always. I’m still working on my 20 in 20 project and Rachael and I just finished a huge project together that will be debuting at the National Stationary Show in May. Lots of exciting things are happening!

P: Always.

Thanks to both of you for making such dreamy work!

Here are some links for find the Hendricksons Two:

Abbey's Blog: Aesthetic Outburst

Abbey's Art: How Now Design

Philip's Art:

Cancel your plans for today because you're sure to get addicted!


anna said...

Great interview!!

a said...

i love how small and interconnected, yet large and far-thinking the printmaking/art/craft world that we belong to is!