GALLERY ZOO ART Portfolio on Fine Art America

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blue Kid, Green Mommy

My two and a half year old son is currently in the habit of identifying people on the playground as if they were crayons. "Where did the Blue Kid go?" or "Where is Green Mommy?" is what I often hear as he refers to his new playmates of the day. Asking him to call them by their name usually results in him screaming as loudly as only an uninhibited toddler can "BLUE KID COME BACK!"

Sometimes I find myself thinking of my art in the same way (ie. "where's the blue painting with the dancer?" instead of "where is Flux?") I think that is my way of beginning the break-up phase. When I paint, I begin a very intimate relationship with my creation, as most artists do. The art becomes a part of me, and the process of creating it envelops darn near everything I do until it is finished. Then comes the Honeymoon Phase, when I display the painting for a period of time, satisfied with my efforts and admiring each brush stroke, the gradation of color, and the rhythm of line and movement. (If I am not "in love" with my art, I do not put it up for sale--it is that simple.) It is only by associating each piece in a more abstract way--by color, by number, etc.--rather than by title that I am able to emotionally disentangle myself from it enough to market it.

Does my son call me Running Mommy or my husband Biking Daddy? No. We are simply Mommy and Daddy, the labels through which all else falls neatly into place.

And it is perfect.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Journey To Africa

Today one of my dearest friends is embarking on the journey of a lifetime. She is traveling to Africa--more specifically, to Tanzania--to support the global conservation efforts of the Saint Louis Zoo. Not only will she be serving as a liason between the zoo's WildCare Center for Cheetah Conservation but she will also be setting up an art exchange program between fourth grade students in Tanzania and here in St. Louis, Missouri. This art exchange program hopes to increase environmental and animal conservation awareness in youngsters on both continents, laying the groundwork for future generations to be predisposed to the vital importance of global conservation and local conservation in their own communities.

To learn more about the Saint Louis Zoo's WildCare Center for Conservation, go to

Have safe travels, girl--and may you return with lots of inspirational photographs for your favorite artist :o)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

From the Mouths of Babes

Tonight my husband and I were sitting on the floor of my son's room while he picked out a bedtime book. In the process of selecting a story, he--how shall I say this--released a bit of air. He turned to us and said, "Oh, excuse me. My bottom burped!"

Needless to say, I remained on the floor for a good long while.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Art Cards

Not long ago I was out shopping and needed to pick up some greeting cards. I am always in awe of the prices for mass produced paper cards. Seriously? Five dollars for a card? Don't get me wrong--I love the sentiment and thoughtfulness that cards express. And because of that, I save almost every one since I can't bring myself to toss them. Needless to say, I have a lot of storage space that will make nice fuel when I can no longer afford to heat my home.

Honestly, I would rather put the money I would normally spend on a card towards the gift. That way, the recipient gets a nice gift, the landfills have one less card to digest, and most importantly, I don't feel as if I am out five more dollars. (Even if I am, I don't notice it as much, and somehow I have more money for Starbucks.)

Then I got inspired. What if I created an art card? It would be an original painting--not a reproduction--the size of a standard greeting card with room for personalized messages on the back that (and this is the best part) would be both a card AND a gift? What could be more fun to create as an artist that would not only be a GALLERY ZOO ART original but also affordable?

So GALLERY ZOO ART Art Cards were born. I decided to create them in series of threes, so they can be gifted individually or as a set. They are painted on canvas board, so they are flat and easily frameable, and they are a standard 5" x 7" size. Every material used is completely archival (acid free) to stand the test of time, from the canvas to the paper to the glue.

Now I know some smartee out there (yes, you know who you are) will say that these Art Cards cost more than five dollars. And they do. But you have to remember the key phrase...the Card is the Gift. And then twelve dollars for an original painting seems like a steal (and believe me, it is.) So take the money you save by not buying a paper card and buy something for yourself. You undoubtably deserve it.
Find GALLERY ZOO ART Art Cards only at

Friday, October 24, 2008


Patience is not one of my virtues.

In fact, being mother to a toddler, this deficit in my personality is a recipe for disaster. Sure, I have tried many things over the years to chill out--deep breathing, whispering instead of yelling, walking away, punching soft inanimate things like mattresses (walls are kinda hard, and well, they actually hurt. It is not pretty like you see on TV.) Despite these efforts, I still struggle. Most days are fairly even keel (I know other moms are hard-pressed to buy this one) and if I had money to put in a jar for every time that I failed to be patient, I could probably end the recession. Ironically, it is not my child that might nominate me to see Dr. Phil. It is Adobe.

As an artist, I have a love/hate relationship with Photoshop. Don't get me wrong--it is an absolutely fantastic (and necessary) tool to market your work, plus if you become adept at it you can get in really good with your in-laws when sending them oh-so-adorable photo collages of their only grandchild.

If you can figure it out.

Adobe Photoshop is perhaps the only sure-fire way to motivate me to swear like a drunken sailor in ten minutes flat. I have no patience for it. Tutorial schmootorial. The "Help" feature sounds like the perfect option when at my wits end, but wait--none of the key words I select show up in the Search For. Funny, since the key words are used by Adobe in the program menu. Even better is that different features are in different places, depending upon which version you might be using, so make sure you have the same version as someone who might be giving you instructions on your "how do I do this" question.

The good thing is, though, that rarely do I experience a higher level of satisfaction and competence than when I master a new Photoshop technique (take that, Layers and Text! To the Mattresses!) It is when these achievements come without me having to take a valium, however, that I know I am one step closer to being the more laid back artist and parent I've always imagined. Now if it could just happen sooner...