Retro Sorrento

Illustrated and Handmade designs

illustration

Utica Coloring Book with Made In Utica

Illustration Work, Building Illustration, EventsMaria ValleseComment

I love working with my friends over at Made In Utica, and I'm especially excited about this project I worked on with them for the 2016 Holiday Season: The Utica Coloring Book! 

Over the past few months I have been creating black and white ink illustrations of some of my favorite places in our city for you to color in this 16-page booklet. This is a limited printing, with a limited quantity, so get yours online at madeinutica.com/shop ASAP! 

Here's just some of what you'll find inside: 

More info From Made in Utica

"Celebrating all the ways Utica is colorful! The perfect Made In Utica gift or collector’s item to keep!

More than just a coloring book, this is a collection of art featuring illustrations by Retro Sorrento. Artist Maria Vallese has beautifully and intricately detailed some of her favorite #madeinutica places. Color it in, frame it, keep it – this is a book to be treasured and enjoyed. Also makes a perfect holiday gift for Utica friends and family near and far. Available in a limited quantity for a limited time only.

The Details

  • 16 pages of unique designs
  • Includes artist’s notes and descriptions
  • Only 250 available
  • 8.5″ x 11″ in size
  • Orders will be shipped out no later than December 12th
  • You may also choose to pick up your order on December 10th from 10am-2pm at Made In Utica, #323 in Mayro Building on Bank Place in Utica

What are you waiting for? Don’t miss your chance to have the Utica Coloring Book for yourself, your kids or your loved ones. ON SALE NOW."


I've been all over town helping promote this, including a stop at the Uticast this past week. I talked with Sam about my art career thus far, my the Coloring Book, my favorite books, the Beatles, and more! Listen to the episode here: 

Gig Posters

Illustration WorkMaria ValleseComment

Over the past few months I've had a few commissions for gig posters - something I find super fun and have always wanted to do! 

My friends over at MadeInUtica.com commissioned me for a poster for their upcoming Soul Train event with The Adirondack Scenic Railroad. I wanted to intertwine the look from the Soul Train music variety show from the 70's/80's era with an iconic image from Utica. Because the train ride is starting out at Union Station the obvious pick was the outside facade of the building (although I also threw around some ideas with a skyline and a train landscape). I'm a big fan of Filmore Posters from artists like Brian Graham and Bonnie MacLean - so you'll definitely see their influence here in color and style.

The Soul Train poster will be given away with event ticket purchases which can be made at the Adirondack Scenic Railroad's website, at the train station, or at MadeinUtica.com

I've also been creating posters for DJ Ease One's gigs at Lukin's Brick Oven Pizza on Varick Street in Utica. DJ Ease One plays a mix of hip hop and R&B with some classics in the mix. Go see him you'll have a blast! 

Clinton, NY Building Illustration

Building Illustration, Illustration WorkMaria ValleseComment

Here's some pieces I recently finished up, reworked from sketches I created a few months ago. These are some of the more recognizable historical buildings in the village of Clinton, NY - where my studio is located. The Allen Building is where my studio has been located since 2011. 

The Allen Building, Clinton NY. Digital mixed media with watercolor and ink. 

Alteri's Restaurant, Clinton NY. Digital mixed media with watercolor and ink. 

Hogan's Corner, Clinton, NY. The current home to Cafe J. Digital mixed media with watercolor and ink.

Prints of these pieces are currently available at Signature 81's new location, 17 College Street, Clinton NY. 

Little Falls Canal Celebration Logo

Logo Designssorrento4211 Comment

Just finished this illustrated logo up a few weeks ago for the 2014 Little Falls Canal Celebration, and finally have permission to share! The citywide festival will take place August 4-10th. The black and white logo is for the promotional material, and I will be creating some color prints to sell for the Chicks Along the Canal on August 9th and 10th on Canal Place. 

Keep an eye out, I'll be posting some color options soon! 

Logo for 2014 Little Falls Canal Celebration, this August. 

Also, on a side note, Retro Sorrento is now on Twitter! Follow me on a more regular basis: @retrosorrento

Huge updates!

Building Illustration, Crochet Jewelry, Illustration Worksorrento421Comment

I've been working on so many things, and definitely neglecting to update here! I've got lots of new earrings in the works, along with some new pieces I'll be working on for the summer shows.

Here's some new earrings that are currently available on my Etsy page:

Peace sign earrings $26

Crochet Earrings with brass sun charm and czech glass beading $24

Crochet Chandelier earrings with howlite beads, $24

Evil Eye Chandelier earrings $24

Crochet hoops $18

Crochet Hoops $18

The Spring Indie Garage Sale also passed us by without an update, here's my booth from the show. So glad we were able to be back at Utica's Union Station: 

I also finished up a flier & map for a local organization that I'm involved with.

Project-U

is a coalition of artists aiming to highlight the arts culture of downtown Utica and giving artists space and the opportunity to exhibit their work in empty and underused storefronts in the downtown area. 

Here's a close up of some of the buildings, Utica has some beautiful architecture and it was very interesting to see how these old buildings have evolved through the years. 

Columbia Street, home to Upstate Flux

The Mayro Building, Genesee Street. 

Macartovin Building, Devereux and Genesee Streets. 

Black River Systems, part of the busy corner, Genesee and Lafayette Streets. 

The Former Bev's Building, Genesee Street. 

Union Station, Main Street. 

Strut, Bleeker Street. 

I was also able to work with my friend Kim at Creative Designs and Christine's Cookie Shoppe in New Hartford on another logo for Christine's new dog treats! Kim did the fantastic design on this, and I did the dog cartoon/caricature. 

Dog Caricature for Christine's Cookie Shoppe's new Dog Treats! 

Lastly, here's a digital piece I finished up for a show last month at the Mill Art Center & Gallery in Honeyoye Falls, NY. 

"Coffee at the Windowsill"