Gallery Zoo Art Blog

Latest Posts

Summer Art Series 2024

To challenge myself this summer, I’ve been creating palettes that explore summer colors and rendering them into my signature flower abstracts. As of mid July, I’ve created a total of sixteen original florals. Each one is its own story, manifesting a celebration of both bright and muted summertime hues with an occasional sprinkling of metallic… read more

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

Floral & Flower Home Decor & More

Looking to add some fun modern flowers & florals to your home decor?   Check out my site on for prints, pillows, towels, tote bags, yoga mats…even shower curtains! Pillows and tote bags are available in a range of square sizes: pillows from 14 x 14 to 26 x 26 inches; tote bags in three sizes… read more

Privacy Policy

At Gallery Zoo Art, I value your privacy.  My Privacy Policy reflects the new rules set by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  Because I believe every client should enjoy these rights, I am rolling them out globally.  My Privacy Policy describes how and when I collect, use, and share information when you purchase… 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

How To Make A Simple Copper Band Ring

  Hammered Copper Wide Band Ring   By now you may know that copper is my favorite metal to work with.  As a base metal, it’s less expensive than silver, it’s rustic, warm in tone, and allows for a rainbow of patinas.  With some basic tools, you can make a simple copper band ring that… read more

Modern Floral Art: Indigo Flower Painting Series

  Flowers.   The loose brush strokes and fluid style in my abstract flower painting series captures the energy that resonates through Mother Nature as winter recedes and the earth begins to burst with new growth.   For the Indigo Blue Flower Series, I wanted something modern yet classic–and more unexpected than basic black.  Indigo… 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

For Your Home: Floral Art Brightens Your Space

Ahhh…spring is in the air. And with it, the urge to redecorate is strong.  As the days get longer and spring gets seductively closer, I find myself drawn to fresh color combinations to bring a new look and pop of color to my home decor.  It’s true you don’t need to spend a lot of… read more

Copper Jewelry Rustic Element Design

  Giving customers a peek at what I envision when designing jewelry forced me to articulate what I am drawn to as an artisan and why.  In other words, how do I describe my designs?   Commercial store-bought jewelry rarely appeals to me. I want that rustic, handmade feel to my jewelry–unique pieces that capture… read more

Think Before You Cut Down That Tree

I have an affinity for trees. They set the stage for mood.  Ever walk into a grove of old trees?  They command respect simply by presence.  Lean against the trunk.  Soak up the warmth from the sun.  Feel the braille-like texture of bark beneath your hands.  Breathe deeply of the scent of soil and foliage. … 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

Flawed Beauty Is Perfection

Perfection. We are constantly inundated with what it means to be perfect–the perfect spouse, the perfect partner, the perfect friend, to have the perfect body.  To have “ideal” beauty–either for ourselves or in our home, society tells us things must look a certain way and if not, we are told what we need to do… read more

Painting in Black and White: A Bold Art Palette

October.    The month of Halloween.  The season of scary.  A time when fall fashion is in full swing.  The one color that fits all those things?   Black.   Black is a classic color for a reason.  Black is BOLD.  Black is striking.  It compliments both decor and wardrobe.  Black is modern and elegant. … 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

Cool Nature: Eastern Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

Disclaimer:  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.  So it is… read more

Applying Heat Patina To Copper Sheet Metal

If you work with copper metal, a simple way to create a unique finish is to apply a heat patina.  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.  The result is a stronger,… 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 Studio Bits: How A Simple Paint Palette Can Work For You

Many artists have favorite go-to colors.  Mine are blues and oranges.  With those two colors plus white, I can create a palette which includes green-blues, yellows, and many derivatives of gray.   Take my two recent abstract paintings, for example.  Hard to believe I used exactly the same colors of navy blue, rust orange, and… read more

What Is Summer? Art In the City

School buses have made their final rounds and the kiddos are home for the summer.  Summer is different for everyone.  Beyond the more standard fare of barbeques and swimming pools, we all have different things that evoke summertime for us.  When I was a kid (I’ll never say growing-up because I feel as if I… read more

Art Painting In Progress: Zoo Art For Nursery–Rhino

A couple of weeks ago I shared the first completed painting in my commission triptych of baby animal art for a nursery, along with this sketch of the next painting–a baby rhino.     Here is the completed 10″x10″ painting:   Baby Rhino, © 2015 Catherine Jeltes, Gallery Zoo Art. All Rights Reserved.   In… 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

Art Painting Series: Abstract Flower Blue

Flowers rock.  Quite simply, they come in all shapes, sizes, colors, thrive in most any climate, and are in a constant state of transition.  They can be appreciated en masse as well as up close–with macro photography or even X-rayed.  How could I ever get bored?  My most recent art paintings are a series of… read more

Art Painting In Progress: Zoo Art For Nursery

Much of my time recently has been spent working on this charming painting series of zoo animals for a client’s nursery.  When completed, it will be a triptych (three paintings), two measuring 10″ x 10″ and the other measuring 10″ x 20″.    The first painting of the set is a baby hippo.  Because this… 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

Wildlife Management: Why Short-Sightedness Is Simply Irresponsible

Let me start by saying today’s post has nothing to do with art.   Before becoming a professional artist, my career was in wildlife management, so after seeing this article, “US Army Corps of Engineers announces it will move forward with plan to slaughter 11,000 cormorants“, I was ticked off.  Not for what most would… 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

Modern Floral Art: The Abstract Flower

Here in the Midwest, spring has sprung…and with it my artistic obsession for everything floral.  I am hard-pressed to remain in a blah mood when around flowers.  It is simply not possible.    As I await the magnolias, daffodils, dogwoods and hyacinths to shake off the last bits of their winter slumber, I am celebrating… 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

Healthy Living: Easy Herb and Feta Salsa

  If you are anything like me, you eat healthier when the recipe is fast, simple, and allows for a lot of variation. Here is my favorite base mix:  a non-spicy fresh salsa recipe made with herbs and feta cheese.  This salsa is great on crackers, with tuna, on toasted bread drizzled with olive oil… 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

Modern Home Art Decor: Flower Photography Prints Orchid Art

Ahh…life in the Midwest can be quite a meteorological adventure, particularly as late winter transitions to early spring.  Personally, I adore my four seasons AND I love snow, but I would be untruthful if I said the occasional 70 degree winter day did not make me long for the warm, sunny, and flower-filled days of… 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

Modern Home Decor: Silhouette Photography Botanical Art

As much as I am full of active energy and often drawn to the busy, modern minimalism serves as my perfect balance.  Taking the transitions of nature and rendering them in silhouette form not only reduces botanicals to simple shape but also creates modern home design in bold neutrals of black and white.    In… read more

Home Decor: Art Print Series Dried Flower Floral Still Life Prints

I adore pleasant surprises.  One of my most favorites is that unexpected gift which keeps on giving (cliche I know, but nonetheless true.)  This past fall, I was a volunteer in a program for a local chapter of Girls On the Run, a program that promotes developing and nurturing a healthy mind, body, and spirit… 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

Wire Work Jewelry Pendants Three Quick Designs

Recently I had the misfortune of losing my internet connection for 3 days.  Yep.  Three.  Whole.  Days.  What’s a girl to do?  Aside from making daily treks to Starbucks and Panera to check e-mail, I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to work on new jewelry designs and play with wire.  The three stones… 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

My Beading Zen Appears To Be On Vacation (or Oh Wait…It’s The Weekend)

I’ve been told (shown, actually) that I don’t need to make big elaborate posts to be more consistent with my blogging.  So today, my advice from the beading studio is this:   1.)  When wire wrapping anything, always cut more wire than you think you will need.  Because inevitably you will need more, no matter… 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

Flower Photography Vintage Style: Magnolia Sunrise

As they say, spring has officially sprung here in the Midwest.  This time of year is a photographer’s flower market, and I intend to take full advantage of it!  My neighbors have the most magnificent magnolia tree that is the landmark of our backyards.  Living in the city, all of our postage stamp size lots… read more

Poseidon’s Window Emerges — A Contemporary Abstract Turquoise Landscape Painting

If you saw last week’s blog post, you will recognize this turquoise splash painting, Poseidon’s Window, as having developed from a near floral abstract.  Originally, the balance of the composition seemed off, so I did what any artist might do:  I rotated it for a change of perspective.  Here the painting has a better balance,… 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

Creating Vintage Style Fine Art Photography With Romance

  Traditional Photography Or Digital? When I studied fine art photography in college, it was traditional:  darkrooms, film, and chemicals.  As technology advanced, I swore I would remain a purist–no digital for me.  Uh uh.  No way.  My honeymoon trip to Italy convinced me otherwise.  Not wishing to track rolls and rolls of film through… 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

Spirit Bird Abstract Nature Canvas Painting

    “Spirit Bird” was not created so much from inspiration as from compulsion.    As I was drifting off to sleep a couple nights back, an image of colors came to mind:  earth tones of greens, browns, and white, similar to some jasper stones I had been working with on a jewelry piece.  It… read more

Gallery Zoo Art Returns And Exchanges

Returns And Exchanges If you are not absolutely thrilled with your purchase, please contact me within 1 week for a return or exchange (1 week to contact me–I realize return shipping may take longer.) There are NO RETURNS on Commissions/Custom Artwork.  All returns and exchanges are charged a 25% restocking fee. Customers have 1 week… read more

Commissioning a Painting–What To Expect

Commissioning a piece of artwork from an artist can be a thrilling but intimidating experience.  Here is a step by step of my commissioning process so both current and future collectors have an idea what to expect.   1.  Contact Me.  This one is easy.  Simply click the Contact button on my website’s home page,… read more