Catherine Jeltes Fine Art Decor Photography, Painting, Artisan Jewelry News The latest news from Catherine Jeltes Fine Art Decor Photography, Painting, Artisan Jewelry. en-us Sat, 10 Oct 2015 13:01:33 CDT Sat, 10 Oct 2015 13:01:33 CDT World Rhino Day: Where Do Rhinos Stand? <div> </div><div><img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/26/Toto_e2.jpg" height="295" width="446" /> <em><strong>Toto, 20x30 Acrylic on Canvas<br /></strong></em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Rhinos are endearing.&nbsp; Despite their reputation for being fierce and aggressive, they can be amazingly gentle.&nbsp; I cannot look into those eyes and see those wonderfully wrinkly lips and simply not be enchanted.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>September 22nd was World Rhino Day.&nbsp; Four of the five species of rhinoceros--black rhino, white rhino, greater one-horned rhino or Indian rhino, Sumatran rhino, &amp; Javan rhino--are threatened and three are critically endangered due to habitat loss and poaching.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>To most people, this is not news.&nbsp; Blame is easily placed on the poachers.&nbsp; <em>(Did you hear about that slaughtered rhino? Disgusting. Evil poachers!)&nbsp; </em>However, the epidemic of rhino poaching is not that simple.&nbsp; More often than not, poachers are simply trying to earn money to feed their starving families. Seems pretty abhorrent to us in the United States, right?&nbsp; Do you not think that there are those in our own country who are out of work or homeless, needing to feed themselves or their families that would not do the same if there was such an opportunity here, regardless of the risks?&nbsp; Don't get me wrong--I am not sympathizing with the poachers.&nbsp; What I am saying is that while they are a part of the problem, they are not the source of it.&nbsp; What drives the market for rhino is the demand in China and Vietnam for rhino horn.&nbsp; Ground into a powder, it is believed to have medicinal purposes.</div><div><img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/26/BabyRhinoA_web.jpg" height="329" width="329" /> <em><strong><a href="">Baby Rhino, 8x8 Print</a><br /></strong></em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><h3>Rhino horn is made of keratin, the same as hair and fingernails. <br /></h3><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Though there is no scientific evidence to support that rhino horn has any medicinal value whatsoever, unfortunately western medicine is not the basis for this cultural belief but rather centuries of eastern medicine practices and cultural tradition.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Many organizations and zoos around the world are working together to keep native rhino populations alive and thriving, through in situ and ex situ conservation programs as well as helping to maintain and establish conservation laws and international treaties.&nbsp; To read more about the plight of the rhino, visit <a href="">The International Rhino Foundation</a> at <a href=""></a>.</div><div><img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/26/BlkRhino_web.jpg" height="266" width="333" /> <a href=""><strong><em>Black Rhino Silhouette, 11x14 Print</em></strong></a><strong><em><br /></em></strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/26/AvatarGZA.jpg" height="75" width="75" />&nbsp;<strong><em>All artwork &#169; 2015 Catherine Jeltes, Gallery Zoo Art. All Rights Reserved.</em></strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div></div> Mon, 28 Sep 2015 14:07:57 CDT Cool Nature: Eastern Black Swallowtail Caterpillar <div> <em>Disclaimer:&nbsp; Though it would be far more glamorous to say I was out hiking knee-deep in native fauna with my hand-held magnifying glass, the reality was that I was taking out the garbage and recalled at the last minute my husband's warning not to step in the parsley because we have caterpillars.</em>&nbsp; <em>So it is less of a nature walk than a stroll in my backyard.</em>&nbsp; Point?&nbsp; HOW COOL IS THIS?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/26/SwallowTailCat2Blog.jpg" height="222" width="212" /><em>&#169; 2015 Catherine Jeltes</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This is an eastern black swallowtail butterfly caterpillar in the stages just before getting ready to pupate (ie. make its chrysalis and change into a butterfly.)&nbsp; We grow a variety of low maintenance herbs in our garden, and both dill and parsley seem to invite these little guys quite nicely (which is why we allow these plants to generously re-seed ad nauseam.)&nbsp; Being a tomboy growing up, caterpillars and amphibians were my most favorite things.&nbsp; I still go a wee bit over-the-top when I encounter them.&nbsp; My son doesn't quite understand my level of enthusiasm that he only reserves for "all games video."</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>When I borrowed this little cutie for a photo op, he surprised me when I picked him up (or in fact touched him anywhere.)</div><div><img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/26/SwallowTailCatBlog.jpg" height="250" width="323" /><em>&#169; 2015 Catherine Jeltes</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>As vibrantly orange as the "antennae" look, they unfortunately did not smell of mandarin or Sunkist.&nbsp; I suspect the accompanying scent fell within insect etiquette as the equivalent of a caterpillar fart.&nbsp; Here are the cool things I learned about our garden resident:</div><div><ul><li>&nbsp;The caterpillar larvae after hatching look markedly different from the late stage caterpillar I found.&nbsp; Newly hatched caterpillars camouflage to look like bird droppings. (Yes, you can accurately tell these newbie caterpillars that they indeed "look like sh*t.")<br /></li><li>The orange "antennae"--actually a gland--are called osmeteria and have a chemical repellent (which obviously did not deter me, but does apparently deter predators such as ants.)</li><li>Since some insect parasites that use swallowtail caterpillars as a host can locate them by smelling the caterpillar's feces, swallowtail caterpillars use their mandibles to throw their own poop, thereby setting false trails for their predators.&nbsp; <br /></li><li>As for the swallowtail butterfly itself, if the wings are open you can tell the sex of the butterfly.&nbsp; A large dusty iridescent patch of blue on the hind wings = female; large bright areas of yellow spots = male (the blue patch is much smaller on males and less noticeable.)</li></ul><p>It's been a few days since I've seen our caterpillar.&nbsp; Hopefully he did not get munched.&nbsp; More than likely he has made his chrysalis and is quietly pupating.&nbsp; I am going to have to brave the current mosquito swarm and spend some more time inspecting the garden.&nbsp; Maybe--just maybe--I will find something fascinating enough to make the amount of hives I will undoubtedly acquire worth it.&nbsp; At the very least, perhaps I will find the cicada I retrieved that the cat caught and released in the house.<br /></p><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em><strong>You can see more insect art throughout my <a href="">Nature Photography Gallery</a> on <a href=""></a></strong></em><em><strong>.</strong></em></div></div> Wed, 16 Sep 2015 17:56:42 CDT Art On The Work Table: In the Painting Studio <div> </div><div>This week's post is a bit short.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>When not busy juggling the ins &amp; outs of the art studio, I have had the awesome time-suck opportunity to investigate copyright violations of my artwork.&nbsp; Good to know it appears I have joined the ranks of the visually infringed.&nbsp; Sigh.&nbsp; Moving on...</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>So here is my messy work table.&nbsp; It isn't pretty, but I'm sure no one has delusions that artists are neat and tidy, do they?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/26/StudioInProgB9_15.jpg" height="244" width="320" />&nbsp;</div><div>The painting in the foreground is brand-spanking new--I just began working on it last night.&nbsp; The painting in the background is still--yes still--in progress, but I am finally seeing light at the end of this paint encrusted tunnel.&nbsp; You may read more about this painting's journey in <a href=""><em><strong>Textured Mixed Media Painting In Progress</strong></em></a>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The tools and the metal in the front right corner are for a copper pendant.&nbsp; Here is a better detail: &nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;<img alt="" src="" height="219" width="334" /></div><div>The stone is raw amethyst, which really stands out against the warm pinks and oranges of the copper, and the contrasting textures of the stone and metal compliment nicely.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Remember this piece of metal from <a href=""><em><strong>Applying Heat Patina To Copper Sheet Metal?</strong></em></a></div><div><img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/26/HeatPatinaB_web.jpg" height="129" width="195" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Here is the finished bracelet: </div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;<img alt="" src="" height="298" width="352" /><em><strong><a href="">Copper Metal Hammered Bar Bracelet</a><br /></strong></em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Until next week...</div><div><em>Catherine</em></div> Thu, 10 Sep 2015 15:40:59 CDT Love Amazing Art? Subscribe To Artwork Reveal <div> The <a href=";id=0be0369cc2&amp;e=93100dc6b3">September issue of Artwork Reveal</a> is an amazing bouquet of floral, fauna, and nature.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>What exactly, you may ask, is Artwork Reveal?&nbsp; <a href="">Artwork Reveal</a> is a<strong> </strong><em><strong>free</strong> </em>monthly e-mail list you subscribe to that essentially drops eye-candy art directly into your inbox.&nbsp; All featured art is recent artwork from professional artists.&nbsp; Genres included are painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, artisan jewelry, get the idea.&nbsp; It's purpose?&nbsp; Simply to connect art lovers with great art.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>My submission for this month's issue is one of my small floral paintings, <strong><em></em></strong><a href=""><strong><em>Abstract Flower Navy Blue &amp; Yellow 1</em></strong>:</a></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/26/AbstractFlowerNavyYelo1_web.jpg" height="338" width="279" />&nbsp;</div><div>To see more amazing art, check out the <a href=";id=0be0369cc2&amp;e=93100dc6b3">September issue of Artwork Reveal</a>.&nbsp; Interested in having amazing art delivered directly to your inbox?&nbsp; Go ahead and <a href=";id=a12b9a3fa2"><strong>Subscribe</strong></a><strong>.&nbsp; </strong><span>I promise you won't be disappointed :)</span><a href=""><span></span><span></span></a></div><div> </div> Thu, 03 Sep 2015 09:22:04 CDT Applying Heat Patina To Copper Sheet Metal <div> If you work with copper metal, a simple way to create a unique finish is to apply a heat patina.&nbsp; Here I used a 2" x 3" piece of copper sheet metal that I fold formed along the length, bending and folding it over then hammering to make it flat.&nbsp; The result is a stronger, sturdier 1" x 3" metal piece.&nbsp; Before applying the patina, I used a texture hammer to give the copper a more interesting surface.&nbsp; Now I was ready to work with the heat patina.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>To remove any surface oils and what not from the metal, I scrubbed it with an old toothbrush and Dawn dish detergent soap (baking soda works well too.)&nbsp; After rinsing the metal clean, I dried it with a paper towel, using only the towel to handle the freshly washed metal to avoid any oils from my hands transferring to the copper.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>My materials for applying the heat patina were a small butane torch, a dish filled with clean water for quenching the hot metal, <a href=""><strong>a pumice filled soldering pan</strong></a> with a locking tweezers holding clamp, protective eyeglasses, and two locking tweezers (one for the soldering pan and another to remove the heated metal to quench in the water dish.)&nbsp; *<em>Note:&nbsp; If you fire too long, the copper will get a black residue.&nbsp; If this happens, you will need to "pickle" the metal to remove the oxide using a <a href=""><strong>pickle pot</strong></a>.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/26/HeatPatinaC_web.jpg" height="300" width="399" /> <em><strong>Soldering Pan<br /></strong></em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>What I love about heat patina on copper is that the metal behaves differently every time.&nbsp; Sometimes I get a pinkish rosey brown (one of my favorites); other times there are deep rusty oranges with wonderful blues and greens.&nbsp; The first firing here produced a bit of pinkish brown, though you can see a bit on the right where hints of other colors began to develop.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/26/HeatPatinaA_web.jpg" height="322" width="412" />&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>After a few more firings and quenchings, I got a color patina that appealed to me.&nbsp; Love that orange and blue!</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/26/HeatPatinaB_web.jpg" height="278" width="420" />&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Once you have the heat patina you want, dry the metal thoroughly.&nbsp; If you know your jewelry design, punch or drill any connection holes.&nbsp; If this is your focal piece, you may wish to use an engraving tool to sign the back. &nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>One of the most important steps in applying a patina to metal is to seal the patina.&nbsp; How to seal the patina varies as to the type of patina, but for heat patina on copper I recommend <a href=""><strong>Renaissance Wax</strong></a><strong></strong> (aka Ren Wax) applied with a soft cloth.&nbsp; The wax hardens instantly, after which simply buff gently with a cloth for shine.&nbsp; (You may note the colors appear less vibrant in the finished picture, but rest assured that is not the case--or due to the Ren Wax.&nbsp; Rather, it is simply my personal challenge photographing patinated metal without glare :)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/26/HeatPatinaE_web.jpg" height="201" width="181" />&nbsp;<img alt="" src="/admin/../resources/img/blog_img/26/HeatPatinaD_web.jpg" height="237" width="347" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This metal piece will be used as the focal in a new bracelet design, using the rich warm tones of autumn.&nbsp; Stay tuned!</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em><strong>You can see my metal jewelry designs in my <a href="">Rustic Artisan Jewelry Gallery</a>.</strong></em></div> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 15:52:37 CDT