Studio Bits

Latest Posts

Daybreak Featured in Art Saint Louis Exhibit: In/Of/About Nature

My original artwork “Daybreak” was curated into Art Saint Louis’s In/Of/About Nature exhibition running July 29 through September 7, 2023 in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. This curated gallery exhibition presented artworks in all types of media that represented nature, human relationships with it and/or human effect on it. Artist Statement: “Every flower is its own… read more

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

As artists–heck, as human beings–it is easy to stay with what is most familiar to us.  However, stepping out of our comfort zones and challenging ourselves pushes us to become better people and better artists. One thing I’ve discovered teaching elementary art is that little kids are fearless in their creativity–always eager to try new… read more

Original Art: Flower Fun

No other season inspires florals quite like spring. The variety of colors and the abundance of new shades and palette combinations give me inspiration that literally makes me giddy.  Yellow and teal florals herald the lightness of summer… …whereas flowers in a splashy blue and gray palette on white bring a taste of the sea… read more

Custom Floral Art: Indigo Flower Paintings on Paper

One of my favorite excuses for not blogging is painting. This time around I quite happily blame it on my latest commission based on my Indigo Flower Series.  This custom floral collection is a series of nine 10×10 inch abstract flowers on cotton ragg paper in indigo/navy blue.  All of the flowers are in the… read more

How I Use My iPhone To Market and Manage My Art Business

I love my iPhone.   You probably hear many other people say this, but probably not for the reason I am about to give you.   I love my iPhone for marketing and managing my online art business.   Before I got my iPhone, I never had a smart phone.  My phone–which I reluctantly carried… read more

Original Art: Modern Floral Painting On Canvas Wisps

After several months of working with my abstract flower paintings series on paper, I was able to design the first of my modern floral series on canvas.  Titled Wisps, it is a still life portrait of four flowers in shades of yellow, white, and brown presenting on a gray background with a hint of blue-green… read more

St. Louis Springtime Flower Tour Via iPhone

Spring has arrived in St. Louis in glorious scented color.  As it’s quite simply too beautiful to be cooped up in my studio, I’ve decided to try an experiment and tour my neighborhood with my iPhone, snapping photos of spring as I go.  Here is a snippet of my discoveries…     Star Magnolias.  The… read more

Archival Cotton Ragg Paper: Why It’s A Staple In My Studio

    As an artist I utilize a variety of mediums in my craft.  Any material that works with both photography and painting is invaluable, simply because what would normally be scrap in one area can be used or re-purposed as functioning material in another.  Archival cotton ragg paper fills this need quite nicely.  Not… read more

Art In Progress: Mixed Media Painting on Claybord

My current art studio project is an 18″ x 36″ mixed media painting on cradled claybord.  The initial intention was to create a large floral painting, experimenting with the techniques I use on paper and applying them on a larger scale to a harder surface with a smoother finish and more absorbancy than my regular… read more

Coffee Art and the Branding of a Holiday Cup

  It’s made headlines on CNN, CNBC, USA TODAY, and Forbes.  It’s dominated social media for days.  And it’s all about a cup.   Honestly?  I could care less that Starbucks has changed the design of its holiday cup. (I love coffee, I love Starbucks, and I love the holiday season.  End of story.)  What… read more

Gallery Zoo Art: Making Art Mugs With Shutterfly

Today’s photo market has a plethora of options for turning your own photography and art into home decor and useful household items.  For me, this is where being an artist comes in handy, as I have plenty of my own designs to choose from. Perhaps I should start with a simple truth:  I like mugs. … read more

World Rhino Day: Where Do Rhinos Stand?

Toto, 20×30 Acrylic on Canvas   Rhinos are endearing.  Despite their reputation for being fierce and aggressive, they can be amazingly gentle.  I cannot look into those eyes and see those wonderfully wrinkly lips and simply not be enchanted.   September 22nd was World Rhino Day.  Four of the five species of rhinoceros–black rhino, white… read more

Art Painting In Progress: Zoo Art For Nursery–Giraffe

Yay!  My commission triptych–animal art paintings for a nursery–is at last complete.  At 10″ x 20″ x 1.5″, the final painting of a baby giraffe is larger than the baby rhino and baby hippo…(or should I say taller?) making it perfect to vary the art display to suit the wall space. Baby Giraffe © 2015… read more

Art Prints: How To Make Different Prints From One Painting

In April I wrote a blog post titled “Art Photography:  How To Use One Image To Make Different Prints.”  The same concept can be applied to using a single painting to make different prints.  Ever create a painting and wonder how it would look–or sell–in a different palette?  Here is where you can experiment inexpensively. … read more

Feeling Mellow? Purple Art Photography For A Rainy Day

Rainy days–especially during the warmer days of spring and summer–tend to fill me with a sense of mellowness and nostalgia.  Muted purples and greys further reflect this tranquil mood, and I find myself drawn to that dreamy world where the only sound is the drip, drip of raindrops rolling off the leaves of the trees.… read more

Art Photography: How To Use One Image To Make Different Prints

How many hours are in a day?  Easy.  Not enough.  We all spend our days trying to be efficient, trying to get the most things done in the least amount of time.  As an artist, I know how long it can take to develop a painting to its completion or to take that perfect picture. … read more

Home Decor Art: The Versatility of Diptych Paintings

If you are anything like me, you are constantly on the lookout for ways to update your surroundings that not only reflects your personal sense of self and style, but also lends itself to a certain “whimsical versatility.”   When it comes to home decor, multi-panel art such as diptych paintings (two panels) and triptych… read more

Mounting Photographs on Claybord: An Alternative To Canvas Prints

  About a year ago a client wanted to purchase some of my seashell photography as canvas prints.  As the cost pushed the limits of her budget, I suggested a less expensive alternative that would fit with her modern decor design–mounting the photographs on artist’s claybord.  This is a fairly simple process to do with… read more

Selling Art Online: Some Basics To Consider

  When I began selling art online over seven years ago, online art galleries were in their infancy (in fact, handmade market giant Etsy was only two years old.)  There were few online artist veterans, many of which had been testing the waters on online platforms such as Ebay.  At the time, “serious artists” only… read more

Etsy And Me: How Do I Shorten My Shop Links?

Have you ever been browsing through Etsy and notice that some sellers have cute, short, clickable links in their item descriptions instead of cumbersome links that go on for two lines?  They look something like this:   My first thought was “I LIKE those.” My next was “I gotta do that.” And then “How… read more

Art Studio Bits: Mixed Media Painting In Progress

My current painting in progress is a 24 x 36 mixed media painting on gallery wrap canvas, a fusion of botanical forms and textures enveloped in a tranquil palette of blues, yellows, oranges, and deep warm brown.  Here are some close-ups of the painting’s textures:         As I tend to completely immerse… read more

Design Studio Workbench: Metal Shapes and Patina

Currently on my workbench in my jewelry studio:  shapes of patinated metals (mainly copper) in various stages of design.   The two flowers and long metal strips are copper sheet metal that has been cut, filed, textured with a hammer, and heated with a butane torch to apply a heat patina.  Don’t you love the… read more

Studio On the Road: Assateague Island National Seashore, Chincoteague Virginia

Assateague National Seashore As October slides into the Midwest (though I do love autumn) I admit to being slightly nostalgic for my summer travels.  Assateague Island National Seashore, an even smaller island off the small island of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, is an amazing haven to enjoy the ocean along the Atlantic coast. … read more

Working With Metal: Hammered Copper Rings

Silver Flower Copper Ring   I love copper.  No other metal responds to a torch with such a varied palette–not just warm near mocha pinks, but vibrant marbled teals as well.  Plus, it is easy to add texture and create a rustic finish (much more interesting than the shiny sheet metal of its beginnings!)   … read more

Rough Cut Gemstone and Blue Ocean Stone Pendant Necklaces, Catherine Jeltes, Gallery Zoo Art

With the start of 2014, my jewelry design studio is heading in a new direction.  Leading the way are these beautifully rustic pendant necklaces, two in fabulous rough cut gemstones:  citrine and February’s birthstone, amethyst. Citrine Stone Pendant Necklace, Bronze Wrap   Amethyst Stone Pendant Necklace, Gunmetal Wrap Several new designs are ocean inspired.  Few… read more

Humor, Thanksgiving Day Musings, GalleryZooArt

 Tranquil Garden   While pondering what I am thankful for this holiday season, I decided to take the opportunity to admit that while my life is far from a schmaltzy Hallmark card, I guess it certainly is pretty charmed.  As I choose to be a terminal optimist despite it all, here is what I am… read more

Using Pine Cones and Acorn Hats As Rustic Pendant Necklaces Catherine Jeltes

“Blush” by Catherine Jeltes Quite simply, I love fall.  I love the colors:  vibrant oranges; reds; golden yellows; chestnut browns; mocha browns;  the textures:  cable knit sweaters; chenille blankets; pumpkin guts; knotted acorn hats; the sounds:  crunchy dried leaves; acorns pelting the sidewalk; crackling wood; laughing kids trick-or-treating;  the smells:  wet, fallen leaves after a… read more

Photography Pumpkin Prints Autumn Fall Art

I had a delightful surprise this summer when I realized our pumpkins from last fall managed to quite successfully re-seed themselves in our vegetable garden.  (Apparently if you use mini pumpkins to decorate winter snowmen it is important not to forget about them once the snow melts–you will be reminded of your neglect later.)  So… read more

Blue Abstract Art Painting Focus On Color And Texture

Eternal by Catherine Jeltes The catalyst for my abstract paintings is most always color.  Blues–particularly turquoise and teal–are often paired with deep ink blue and rusty oranges for contrast, like in Fire and Water.  In Eternal, all of these colors mix, merge, and marbleize into a palette of organic shapes, lending a vibrancy of depth… read more

West Elm and Etsy: Art By Catherine Jeltes Featured In St. Louis Galleria Store

I am so excited to announce that as a result of the partnership between West Elm and Etsy,  Gallery Zoo Art is one of several local artisans selected for West Elm’s newest store at the St. Louis Galleria. Four of my 8 x 10 fine art wildlife prints are featured. American Kestrel Great Horned Owl… read more

Fine Art Painting: A Walk Through The Commission Process

My most recent commission painting (ie. custom work) was based on this painting:  Poseidon’s Window   This original blue abstract was 20″ x 20″ x 1.5″; my client wanted something similar in a much larger size, 30″ x 52″ x 1.5″   As this was not a standard size, I hand stretched and primed the canvas… read more

Gallery Wrap Canvas Prints From Catherine Jeltes

For those of you who enjoy photography but don’t like to mess with matting and framing yet love the look of canvas…voila–a fun option is gallery wrap canvas prints.  I’ve partnered with a local professional lab to offer this option with my photography.   Here are some examples:   This is a 24 x 30… read more

Think Of Me Mixed Media Pendant Charm Necklace

My latest design, Think Of Me necklace, gets its name from the engraved words “think of me” on the back of the pewter heart charm.  In a way, it could just have easily been called Love Cliche necklace.  Consider the pendant charms:  a patinated copper butterfly, a true vintage key, and a small pewter heart. … read more

Gallery Zoo Art Featured On Show Me St. Louis

  What a fabulous way to start off the New Year!  My jewelry designs are going to be featured on a local TV show in 2013:  Show Me St. Louis on January 15th, KSDK Channel 5, at 12:30 pm.  The segment is called “Jennifer’s Finds“.  The focus will be on my more rustic wire wrapped style,… read more

A Minimalist Approach To Fall Nature Photography

Fall is probably my most favorite time of year, though honestly I enjoy the change of seasons year ’round.  There seems to be this misconception that nature is at its most beauteous during the spring and summer months, when plants are budding and flowering abundantly and everything is lush, green, and new.  I find, however,… read more

A Bit Of Summer Wildflower Nature Photography In Virginia

Just got back from our annual summer trip to Virginia and let me say–oh the wildflowers!  There is not a lot to do in rural Virginia save for lots of outdoor and nature recreation (which is fine by me), so much of my down time was spent admiring and photographing the plethora of blooming plants… read more

Sari Ribbon Jewelry Blog Hop Sponsored By B’Sue Boutiques

For this jewelry design blog hop, B’Sue of B’Sue Boutiques threw down the gauntlet with this challenge:  What kind of jewelry designs can you make using sari ribbon?  I happen to love the different textures of mixed media jewelry designs, and my favorite layered metal flowers are perfect for wrapping in sari ribbon.  For an… read more

Painting Contemporary Abstract Landscapes In Turquoise Blue

I must admit to having a bit of a love affair with the color turquoise.  As blues go, it is one of the most versatile and works wonders in painting abstract landscapes. My favorite is cobalt teal.  When combined with a deep navy blue and white, it really sets (and changes) the mood of the… read more

Embossing Metal For Jewelry And Mixed Media Paintings

I have a new crush.  Oh yes–it’s true.  I’ve just watched an amazing video from B’Sue Boutiques that demonstrates how simple it is to emboss metal–something that I have been itching to delve into for both my vintage style jewelry designs and mixed media paintings.  The name of my new love?  A cuttlebug machine.  Typically… read more

Painting In Progress: Contemporary Turquoise And Teal Color Abstract

My current painting in progress began with a turquoise and teal abstract flower concept on gallery wrapped linen primed with clear gesso.  As I have continued to apply layers of color, however, the paint and its application has begun to react with a power of its own; therefore  I am letting it flow and develop… read more

Starting A Composition For A Mixed Media Collage Painting

Every artist has their own unique way of creating that may vary depending upon their particular medium.  One of my favorite ways to begin a composition for a mixed media collage painting is to gather my materials–canvas, paints, glue, papers, photographs and images, ribbons, etc.–in one place.  I then begin to manipulate my papers and… read more

Pick Flower Gallery Opening Featuring Artist Catherine Jeltes

Pick Flower Gallery, located in Saint Louis, Missouri, will be featuring GALLERY ZOO ART during the months of April & May, 2010.   It is located in the artsy and eclectic Central West End, 4904 Laclede Ave., 63108.  Opening is Friday April 9th, from 6-9 pm.  Please stop by–it is the perfect way to spend a… read more

What Are Kazuri Beads?

  So what exactly are Kazuri beads?   Kazuri is a Swahili word meaning “small and beautiful.””  Kazuri beads are wonderful, glossy, ceramic beads that are hand made in Africa of clay from Mount Kenya.  They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns, with the drill hole generally accommodating  2mm leather cord… read more

Gemstone Dangle Leverback Earrings At Gallery Zoo Art Designs

You requested them, and now they are here…earrings!  My earrings have the same design quality you expect in my necklaces and bracelets.  Only superior quality gemstones and findings are used.  All ear wires are nickel free.  New designs will be entering my stock steadily as the holidays near, so check back often and be sure… read more