Just beyond the horizon….life blooms…..

6/9/15…I cannot believe the amazing support I have received from my followers, collectors, and friends. Thank you all for being on this journey with me. No matter what new things the days bring, knowing you are there with me makes everything crazier, better, happier, and more worthwhile.  – Catie



Journey…n. c.1200, “a defined course of traveling; one’s path in life,” from Old French journee “day’s work or travel”.


This blog has always been about my creative journey…the idea came from my commencement speaker, Renzo Piano, at graduation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009. Renzo advised us graduates to not measure our career by the day or even the month or year…but instead by the decade. We should look back at each decade to see how far we have come in our artistic journey and make sure we continue moving forward at our own pace.  Looking back at the past decade I see that in the beginning of it I was a frustrated bookkeeper who knew there was something much greater for me just beyond the horizon and wishing myself the courage to pursue it.


Although I haven’t written a post since December (wow….first of all I cannot believe I have been so remiss) it doesn’t mean that nothing has been going on!  I have been busy working as a contracted Social Media Liaison for the St Charles Arts Council and have loved further honing my social media and marketing skills doing so. It has given me the opportunity to meet the most amazing artists and art supporters, work side by side with passionate people providing creative opportunities for artists, and helping to make the dream of having a cultural/arts education center in my city of St Charles, Illinois get closer to fruition!  I have also been busy creating a new body of work in a different direction that involves adding new biologic elements to my flowers (stay tuned for that).


Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.   –Mark Twain


Over the past few years I have been feeling an increasing pull to the wild adventure of the West…to witness the never ending sun filled blue skies…to explore the grand mountains standing sentry…to dream of new landscapes…and to follow the footsteps of my parents and sister.  Being born in Chicago and raised from age 2 in the suburbs here has been a great thing! This is my home and has been my entire life. Over the years, since my parents moved to Arizona, I have made an amazing family here…personally and professionally. I am both nervous and anxious to announce that it is time to leave my safe harbor…move along on my journey…and head West. I am grateful to say that I will be able to spend time and enjoy my parents for the rest of their journey!  I am excited to share all the new inspiration I will receive as I explore the Southwest and continue to allow my interpretations be expressed in paint…or even perhaps photography!


You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.  -Christopher Columbus


Again I find myself wishing for the courage to pursue what lies just beyond that horizon. I am not sure when this new journey will begin. Our home in downtown St Charles just went on the market.  I am going to enjoy each moment of it IN each moment of it.  I hope you continue to come along for the ride!




My 2015 wish for you…



Happy 2015!

I have a wish for you….

I wish you to see the beauty in all things – large things and small things.
I wish you to embrace the idea of silly and strive to be it often!
I wish you to start a conversation with an artist (it may seem scary but we love it!).
I wish you to buy an original piece of artwork that you love (and the story with it).
I wish you to see the world with the wonderment of a child’s eye.
I wish you more laughter and love than you can handle!
I wish you whimsy!

These are all things I try myself to strive for each and every year; some years it’s easier than others. Thank you for being on this journey with me this past year and I’m looking forward to better embracing my artistic whimsy this coming year!

Jump Start YOUR Holidays!


I have heard from family, friends, art collectors, and many others how fabulous it feels to give someone they love artwork for gifts. Not only do you make the person you love happy by giving the amazing artwork, but you make it possible for the artists and artisans to continue pursuing their dreams.  This year, in the Cedar Avenue Studio building, we have expanded our annual Holiday Open Studio event to include guest artists, other small local businesses, children’s activities, as well as charity raffle opportunities. We hope you will join us between 10am-5pm over the weekend of November 8th and 9th!

Items available will be original artwork, jewelry, notecards, bookmarks, calendars, matted prints, framed prints, photography, and so much more. If you have any questions, you can email me at catie@catarzina.com.

We are so proud to also include Christine Welch of The Coffeecake Connection (website) who will be offering up her gluten free treats as well as taking orders for holiday delivery! She has agreed to offer discounts to those who come this weekend to place their orders and assures me she will offer Thanksgiving delivery as well.

1020 Cedar Avenue is located 1/4 mile east of Route 25 and one block north of Route 64 (Main Street). Our building is located behind Reber and Foley and we have plenty of parking available!  Hope to see you there!

The Cedar Avenue Studio artists hosted a September Soiree in the Skylight Gallery space during the Charlie’s Center for the Arts weekend in St. Charles. Thank you to everyone who came!  A lot of artwork was sold off the walls as well as prints and cards.  It was a great time and something we hope to do again next year! Thank you to Anne Ressman Zabinski, Amy Furio, Laura Stoecker, John Granata, and Al DaValle for participating!

Skylight Gallery opening tomorrow through Sunday!





















Opening Thursday, September 11th through Sunday, September 14th, from 10am-5pm the Cedar Avenue Studios artists will be featuring their artwork for viewing and sale!

The Skylight Gallery event is part of a larger weekend event being hosted by the St. Charles Arts Council (www.stcharlesartscouncil.org).  The arts council is hosting their annual Charlies Center for the Arts – ALL of the ARTS – ALL over TOWN!  There are so many events going on this weekend in town!!!

Batavia Enterprises, Inc. is the building owner and they were so kind to allow us to utilize a really creative space in the rear of the building at 1020 Cedar Avenue in St. Charles, IL. The space features one large gallery room with 8 smaller rooms that make up one large space.  So, the six of us gathered up all of our artwork and hauled it into the space, hung it up to show the world, and now we are excited to open it to the public.

There is an Artist Reception being held Saturday night, September 13th from 7-10pm.  If you are in the area, please feel free to come on down and get your dessert on while looking at art and hobnobbing with the creatives!  We love everyone and it will be lots of fun…no stuffiness…just fun!  There are also notecards, prints of work, and other goodies available!

For more information: visit https://www.facebook.com/CedarAvenueStudios

We hope to see you!

Big things in small packages!

 SorbetsWebsiteMeet the Sorbets!

This Spring I decided that I wasn’t hitting all my price points in my artwork and therefore wanted to create some artwork that would be available to anyone.

I started with these two pieces, Lime Sorbet and Raspberry Sorbet.  They are each 12″ x 12″, oil on canvas, and float framed in natural pine.  Each piece is priced at $175.  You can see larger images HERE.

Not only are these two pieces affordable, they create an optical illusion due to their compositions.  They are exactly the same size, but look different due to the way the leaves are angled. I thought that was a very cool thing to discover after I painted them!

These pieces can be seen until the end of June as part of the Art Around the Corner in St. Charles. They are located at The Wine Exchange, 1 W. Illinois, St. Charles, IL. 

Summer Lovin’!

CymbaPortfolio  Yep!  It’s officially summertime in Chicago.  The temperatures are hot and the artwork around town is even HOTTER!

Each year from Memorial Day to Labor Day St. Charles, Illinois’ Downtown Partnership hosts Art Around the Corner.  This is a fabulous opportunity for artists to partner with local businesses to showcase and sell their artwork around town.

I am so fortunate to have my work featured at The Wine Exchange, 1 W. Illinois Street (at the Fox River in Fox Island Square), St. Charles, IL.

The Wine Exchange is open Wednesday-Saturday and I am usually there on Friday evenings to meet and greet people who come on by.

For more information you can visit HERE.

This painting is titled Cymba and it was purchased last week at the wine shop.  The new owners of the artwork, along with bystanders, were sharing the various dialogs they felt were happening in the painting and I was thrilled to hear their take on the composition!

A day of art….

Gerda Meyer Bernstein - Self Portrait

Yesterday was a fabulous day of art.  Not only did I get to spend the day in my favorite art city (Chicago), but I got to spend it with my friend Amanda who was in town from Scotland.  We decided to take in as much art in the loop that we could in 3 hours. 

First we headed over to the Jim Nutt show at the MCA, which is quite a collection of portrait work.  Sadly, I don’t share the excited impact of the Chicago Imagists artwork that was done by the Hairy Who group in the 60’s as much as others.  Not that I don’t appreciate the movement and the embodiment of the artwork, because I DO.  However, the imagery (while fun and courageous) doesn’t leave a lasting impression on me.   But to see Jim Nutt’s painted heads is another story.  These pieces are amazing with fine detail work that  you have to see in person and up close.  The colors (albeit acrylic) are luscious with undulating colors that from a distance look one way, but from up close question what you saw from afar. 

There is also a companion exhibition that was thrilling to me, to say the least.  You can see artworks by Wangechi Mutu, Francis Bacon, and a piece from Carol Dunham that I would have never thought he had done.  There is also artwork in the companion piece from some of Mr. Nutt’s peers such as Ted Halkin and Gladys Nilsson.  On some of the companion artwork, the artists write about how Jim Nutt’s work has personally influence their own work. 

 Don’t forget to see the haunting piece on the same floor by Susan Phillipsz.

After that we treaded over to a gallery that I never even knew existed in the loop.  The James R. Thompson Center has a gallery named the Illinois State Museum – Chicago Gallery.  We learned that it has various exhibitions that range from artistic to historic.  Amanda had heard of the current exhibition titled “Luminous Ground – Artists With History”.  This features Ralph Arnold, Morris Barazani, Fred Berger, Gerda Meyer Bernstein, William Frederick, Ted Halkin, Thomas Kapsalis, Vera Klement, Ellen Lanyon, Elizabeth Ruprecht, and Leopold Segedin.  These eleven artists have created artwork for over 50 years and while creating have influenced generations of other artists with their insight and their work. 

In this show (open until 8/26) you can witness the mesmerizing color usage of Elizabeth Ruprecht, be moved by the vast empathy and voice of Gerda Meyer Bernstein, be swept away by the gorgeous figurative work of Fred Berger, and jump inside the small assemblage boxes of Ralph Arnold.  This show is such a feast for the eyes and the soul…you have to get there if possible.  If for no other reason, than just to see the vast work of these amazing figures in Chicago’s rich artistic history and bask in the amount of experience and knowledge these artists possess.

Lastly we galloped over to the Chicago Cultural Center to see the “Off the Beaten Path” – exhibition focusing on Violence, Women, and Art.  While I found this artwork to be moving and disturbing, I was a tad disappointed in the continual slap in the face some of the images caused to me.  I believe this show is a cathartic exercise for some of the artists in view.  There were some disturbing images, so be aware, however there were also some amazing pieces that will inspire you and stay with you with positive impacts.  The one I felt had the greatest impact was a two video installation by Yoko Ono.  The first one was done in 1965 at Carnegie Hall in New York.  She sat on a stage with a black dress on and invited others to come up and cut pieces of it off of her.  It was beautiful and poignant.  There was also another version of the same performance, but done in 2006 with a much older Yoko Ono.  For me this one seemed to have more impact, perhaps because she wears the lines of fame and loss on her face more than from 1965.  For me, it appears as though the “cutters” are like vultures taking pieces of her away.  Pretty great stuff.  The exhibition features artists from all across the world and consist of varying ages.  It is rich in what it offers, but personally I would rather see women portrayed as stronger individuals rather than victims. 

I was really hoping to get to the Wangechi Mutu lecture last evening at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  I am fascinated by Mutu’s artwork as I believe it relates to my own work of questioning what exactly makes a woman a woman.  I am disappointed to say that I missed it, but instead I chose to spend that time with a friend talking about our art and the things we were feeling from all that artwork we had seen in that one day.