Writer Sue Kern-Fleishman
Photography Courtesy of Jon Zink and Bob Grebe
[dropcap]B[/dropcap]eth Zink is always thinking of new ways to showcase her vibrant contemporary floral and landscape paintings. In the 13 years since she has been a studio host during the Hidden in the Hills Artist Studio Tour, she has sold original acrylic paintings, giclées, prints and notecards. Her home décor and outdoor art product lines have featured accent pillows, tile art, and custom-designed chairs, tables and other furniture.
Recently, she became Arizona’s first and only authorized reseller for FrameMyTv.com, a company outside of Boston that provides custom television frames and fine art TV covers to clients around the world. The unique product incorporates a motor built in to the top of the television frame that controls giclée art. With a press of a remote, the art canvas rolls down to hide the television or slides up to allow viewing.
“It’s a brilliant idea, especially since televisions continue to grow in size,” Zink said. “TV art covers conceal the black box which detracts from your décor, replacing it with beauty and function.”
Zink was approached two years ago by a Tucson couple seeking botanical art for their TV cover.
“They found me by Googling ‘cactus flowers,’ went to my website, and then drove up from Tucson to meet and discuss the project,” she said.
She arranged for an image they chose to be sent to FrameMyTv.com and it went into production. Shortly after that, she became a licensed artist with the company.
“The couple has since expressed how happy they are to have my “Killer Red” artwork as their television cover,” Zink said. “They told me it is a focal point of their home and they have received many compliments about it.”
Currently, Zink has some 25 pieces of art to choose from on her FrameMyTv.com page, with more pieces scheduled to be offered soon.
Career Blooms in the Desert
Zink’s latest endeavor with FrameMyTv.com is just one of many partnerships she has pursued as an artist, particularly since she moved to Arizona.
A Rhode Island native, she graduated from Bethany College, where she majored in art and minored in education. She met her husband, Jon, in Colorado in 1974 and lived there until they moved to Arizona in 1986.
“The vegetation and terrain were so different from anywhere I had lived,” she said. “During my first spring here, I was pleasantly surprised at the amazing, delicate and colorful flowers blooming from what looked like dead, gnarly plants all winter. I became fascinated with everything about the desert.”
She paints her subjects with acrylics, which suits her personality and painting style.
“I couldn’t work as largely as I liked with watercolor, or as quickly with oil,” she said.
She takes photos to use as references when creating her compositions.
“I am obsessive about detail. I could spend 40 to 60 hours on a painting,” she said, noting that one cactus could have several thousand spines. “There are so many varieties of desert plants. I strive to bring out their beauty, and I have an endless source of inspiration all around me.”
Always seeking a challenge, she receives the most satisfaction doing commissioned work.
“I find it exhilarating,” she said. “It’s an exercise in problem-solving, and my goal is to exceed clients’ expectations. I also guarantee my work. I tell my clients that if they don’t love the painting, they can’t have it.”
Zink is also passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. She has taught corporate workshops for 15 years, and she often donates workshops as auction items for charity events. This will also be her third year of offering full-day workshops at her studio.
“Anyone can register through my website or online store, and because I supply all of the materials, it’s a good way for people to test the waters to see if they enjoy painting,” she said. “Each workshop has a theme, such as aspen trees, cactus plants or cactus flowers. I structure my workshops for beginners and take participants step by step through the process. My goal is to help them learn in a comfortable, fun environment.”
Zink’s Studio #25 on the Hidden in the Hills tour includes four guest artists: mixed media artist Tom Belloni, jeweler Suzanne Brown, paper and mixed media artist Karen O’Hanlon, and glass artist Sandy Pendleton.
22nd Annual Hidden in the Hills Artist Studio Tour
Friday through Sunday, Nov. 16–18 & Nov. 23–25
10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Free, self-guided tour featuring 174 artists at 44 studios throughout Cave Creek, Carefree & N. Scottsdale
Download a map or find maps and artist directories at Sonoran Arts League’s Center for the Arts, 7100 E. Cave Creek Road, Suite 144, in Stagecoach Village.