Studio Bits

Latest Posts

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: Fun With New Flowers

  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… 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… 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… 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

Love Amazing Art? Subscribe To Artwork Reveal

The September issue of Artwork Reveal is an amazing bouquet of floral, fauna, and nature.   What exactly, you may ask, is Artwork Reveal?  Artwork Reveal is a free monthly e-mail list you subscribe to that essentially drops eye-candy art directly into your inbox.  All featured art is recent artwork from professional artists.  Genres included… 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 ©… 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 Print and Canvas Print Pricing

  It may seem that art photography prints and fine art prints listed on my website are different prices than what you see in my Etsy shop.  Why is that?  Two reasons:  The photograph or art print may be listed in different sizes Photography and art print pricing on my website includes shipping charges (for… 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… 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

Etsy Holiday Sale Fine Art Photography 5 x 7 Prints

Just in time for the holidays…a fine art photography sale in my Etsy shop!  A perfect opportunity to get someone you love wonderfully personal handmade art.  From now until December 31st, buy any two of my photographs as 5 x 7 prints for only $20 (a twelve dollar savings!)  Simply click on this 5 x… 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… 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  … read more

Fine Art Print Price Increase

I am proud that over the past 5 years I have been able to maintain my fine art print prices.  That said…   In order to give you the high quality prints you deserve, my print prices will be increasing as of August 1st, 2013.  8 x 10 fine art prints will be $30.00 and… read more

Whiskey Bar Art Photography Featured in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

“Time To Unwind“, my bar cocktail art photograph, is featured on the Vintage Etsy Society blog in this fabulous Etsy collection, “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.”  Thank you, Ms. Jeannie Ology!

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.  Would you like an idea of what they look like?  Check these… read more

Direct Checkout Now Available For Gallery Zoo Art On Etsy

Happy News!  For those of you who don’t have PayPal, don’t like PayPal, or just plain don’t feel like using PayPal, there is now another online purchasing option for Catherine Jeltes/Gallery Zoo Art.   Direct Checkout is now available in both of my Etsy shops:  galleryzooart on Etsy and galleryzooartdesigns on Etsy.  This means that… 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!  Gallery Zoo Art jewelry is 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… 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

Catherine Jeltes On the Canvas and Behind The Camera

Etsy has recently enabled sellers to include an “About” page for their shop.  (Yay Etsy!) Essentially this gives us the opportunity to share bits and pieces about ourselves, our art, and our creative process with our customers and fellow “Etsians”.  I’ve decided to re-post my About page for my galleryzooart Etsy shop below.    On… 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

Clean Studio Sale Original Fine Art Paintings On Sale On Etsy

    As 2011 rolls to a close, it’s that time again–time for a Clean Studio Sale!  What’s that, you might ask?  This is when I mark down some of my original paintings and fine art to ridiculous prices, giving you the opportunity to scoop up some of your faves–and allowing me to free up… 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

Tranquil Garden Featured On I’m So Vintage –Etsy Shopping On Monday

My fine art photograph, Tranquil Garden, has been featured on the blog I’m So Vintage under Shopping On A Monday.  Like all of my fine art photography, this still life nature photograph is professionally printed by me on museum quality premium Epson fine art paper with professional Epson k3 inks, guaranteed to last 100+ years. … 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

Pink Glam Earrings Featured in Best Hudson Valley Wedding Ever

My Pink Glam Earrings were featured in an article by Jennifer Garry titled “How to Create Your Own Wedding Inspiration Board.”  The idea of using a theme and associating colors and textures to design around is applicable beyond weddings and bridal showers.  It is an oft used tool by artists when painting, designing jewelry, etc.,… read more

Feather, Pod, and Leaf Abstract Painting Featured In Birds Of A Feather

I had a lovely surprise upon opening my inbox tonight.  My nature painting “Feather, Pod, and Leaf Abstract” was featured in a fellow Etsy artist’s blog, tenthings, titled Birds Of A Feather.  No reason other than this is an abstract painting she enjoyed so much she decided to give it a home on her blog. … read more

Spiced Pumpkin Kashmiri and Felt Bead Necklace Featured by julietew on Etsy

This gorgeous autumnal collection titled Pumpkin Spice from Etsy seller julietew features everything pumpkin–and then some.  Along with some truly lovely items like pumpkin marshmallows, soap, a pumpkin hued coat, fine art photograph, and cup cozy, my Spiced Pumpkin Kashmiri and Felt Bead Necklace is featured in this Etsy Treasury.  Check it out and be… read more

Wood Sprite Necklace Featured In Eternal Love by justCharming

This latest Etsy Treasury by justCharming is relaxing eye candy of gently muted gray, greens, and soft yellow tones.  My Wood Sprite Necklace is in excellent company.  Please, take a peek and comment if it suits your fancy.

Butterfly Dreams Fine Art Photograph Featured In You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd

Somehow I can’t help but click on a title like “You Can’t Rollerskate In A Buffalo Herd…”  This Etsy Treasury by SeamsVictorian features my fine art photograph, Butterfly Dreams.  If you have an Etsy account, be sure to log in and comment on this lovely collection featuring handmade items from some amazing Etsy artists.

Metamorphosis Necklace Project Featured On B’Sue Boutiques

Curious about what goes into one of my designs?  Look no further.  My Metamorphosis Necklace is featured as a project on B’Sue Boutiques website.  (Thank you, B’Sue!)  Yes, you too can create a vintage style piece, and you do not need these exact components.  Simply use this design as a guide to jump start your… read more

Vintage Orange Butterfly Cameo Pendant Necklace Featured In B’Sue Boutiques Newsletter

    My lovely Vintage Orange Butterfly Cameo Pendant Necklace has been featured in this week’s B’Sue Boutiques newsletter.   It just goes to show–listen to your mother.   I e-mailed B’Sue last week to thank her for her amazing stock of findings and supplies, and I told her that I had just sold my… 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

Woodland Dotty Owl Polymer Clay Jewelry Pendant

As part of Analiese Designs‘ Etsy Artist Series, my painting “Dotty Owl” has been made into a lovely polymer clay pendant.  Even if making jewelry isn’t your thing, these pendants also make lovely ornaments.  Just add ribbon and voila–instant decoration! “Dotty Owl” is also a perfect wall art companion to my “Dotty Chickadee” painting.  You… read more

Woodland Birds and Dotty Nature Paintings

So you may or may not have noticed lately that I am into dots.  Any and all kinds of dots–big, small, teeny tiny, in a pair or barely there–I love ’em.  I think they make exceptional backgrounds for what might be considered “real” subjects, providing an unpredictable element of fun and whimsy.   “Dotty Chickadee”… 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

Woodland Dotty Chickadee Polymer Clay Jewelry Pendant

As part of her Etsy Artist Series, Annaliese has created another pendant from one of my original paintings.  This one is Dotty Chickadee, and is perhaps my favorite “pendant painting” thus far.  You may very well spot a creation from Gallery Zoo Art Designs based on this pendant in the near future.  :o)

Italian Landscape Fine Art Photography Series

  In 2004, my husband and I took our honeymoon in Italy.  Not only had I taken a huge personal step by getting married, but I had also taken a huge professional step by delving into digital photography for the first time.   The images in my Italy Series were thus shot with a romantic… read more

Polymer Clay Pendants From Original Gallery Zoo Art Paintings

I am absolutely thrilled to announce my collaboration with Analiese Designs.  In conjunction with her Etsy Artist Series, artist/designer Rachel Yakubik is creating a series of polymer clay pendants from select GALLERY ZOO ART paintings.  What better way for me to merge my passions for painting and jewelry design!  The first pendant is from my… read more

Designing Gemstone Jewelry vs. Painting Canvases

Uggh!  It seems as if it has been ages since I have posted a new painting, though it has only been several weeks.  In all this time, I have steadily been re-stocking my jewelry inventory and also starting an art/jewelry collaboration with another designer, which I will be announcing soon ;o)  I have been working… read more

Enlightenment Necklace Featured in

My latest jewelry piece, Enlightenment Necklace, is featured in a blog on  Please stop by and check them out.  It is always such a pleasant surprise to be featured on someone else’s blog! 

10 Things You Don’t Know About Artist and Jewelry Designer Catherine Jeltes

Here are ten random things you probably don’t know about me.   1.  I worked directly with elephants, rhinos, and hippos for seventeen years.  Nothing quite like having a sleepy rhino lay his head in my lap.   2.  I can hop on a pogo stick really, really, well.   3.  I am intrinsically and… read more

Artist Catherine Jeltes–GALLERY ZOO ART Website

Here it is…the new home of the entire collection of GALLERY ZOO ART by fine artist and jewelry designer Catherine Jeltes.  I have been contemplating the idea of having all of my art in one place online–paintings, photography, and jewelry–to make it easier for my collectors to find.  I am happy to say that now… read more