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Katina Zinner – a force of and for nature

Katina Zinner’s works of art include this oil on canvas entitled “Country Peppers." Images Submitted
Katina Zinner’s works of art include this geometric oil on canvas “Malibu Road One.”
“Autumn Hike One” is one of Katina Zinner’s pieces which is featured in her Leaf Series.
Pictured is a pen and ink portrait of John Muir, drawn by Katina Zinner when she was a teenager.
Barbara Burke, Freelance Reporter
9:59 am PDT April 5, 2017

Katina Zinner grew up in a cosmopolitan home full of intellectual stimulation, passion, creative energy, and art — always art.  

Zinner is the daughter of Peter Zinner, an Academy Award winning film editor, director and producer and Christa Zinner, fashion photographer, photographer of the rich and famous, and a phenomenal sculptor. 

Katina Zinner’s vast array of talents magically merge her parents’ artistic and creative abilities.

Zinner, who is active in the Malibu Art Association, knew from a young age she would be an artist. Her first solo exhibit when she was 11 featured colored pen works. As one tours her home, she will show a stunning pen and ink of John Muir, done when she was a teen. It is jaw-dropping in its stark details.   

Details fascinate Zinner. She experiences life to its fullest, is always curious, always notices and appreciates nature’s intricacies and the multitudinous nuances on the canvas of life.  

That expansive approach to living informs and inspires Zinner’s creativity. 

Malibu Surfside News paid a call on Zinner’s Pacific Palisades home and studio which, like her childhood home in Malibu, is a mecca of vibrant, bold, exciting visual stimulation. Everywhere one looks, she sees Zinner’s amazing artwork, her mother’s stunning bronze sculptures, intricate and strategically placed vignettes and displays, all serving as the playground for Zinner’s three vivacious, adorable dalmatians who lounge around, basking in the sun in front of the bay windows that overlook the peaceful Pacific. The home and her passion for ocean swimming and hiking serve to ground Zinner as she feverishly produces her works. 

“The ocean is the embryo of life,” Zinner said, as she showed photographs of objects she has found washed up on the beach. 

“Look!” she exclaimed with delight. “Just look at the patterns these shells left here. Look! See these leaves with their patterns? That excites me.”

Zinner’s works explode with color, and her bold panels illuminate her subjects. Her Leaf Series shouts out with vibrancy and hues, transporting one to an early misty morning in the Santa Monica Mountains. 

“I have a love affair with color,” Zinner says. “In my home, I wanted to create an oasis where peacefulness and beauty wash over one’s being. I live in a world of beauty, color, pattern and texture.”  

When her family was stateside, Zinner’s childhood home was next to the home of world renowned interior designers Ray and Charles Eames. That was a place that intrigued and inspired Zinner. 

“The Eames traveled all over. They were hugely influential in my early formative years,” Zinner said. “Their home had artifacts from all over the world.”

The Eames’ home had a suspended tumbleweed hanging from the rafters in the living room. That it seemingly floated free in space intrigued her.  

“That tumbleweed fascinated me,” she said. “All you saw was this vast amazing group of twigs with an organic flow that twisted in the wind.” 

Zinner’s life journey has focused on the intricacies of nature.  

However, her work is expansive and riveting.

Her atmosphere series pieces, with their crystal clear hues and wide open expanses, evoke a sense of soaring into the wild horizons beyond this planet.  

Her focus on abstracts, with their large swirling, stark-hued bold lines give a sense of the interplay between the dynamics of nature and the aspirations we all have to achieve and go beyond our everyday worries and frets.

The ebullient, effervescent Zinner exudes energy in all she does.

“I’m passionate about art, food, color, animals, nature and life,” she said. “I can’t do anything small. If I give a dinner party even, the spread has to be beautiful. Presentation is a lost art, and it shouldn’t be.” 

Zinner’s fascinations include Africa, with its majestic animals, safaris and vast, open spaces.  

Zinner’s rendition of the tumbleweed that intrigued her so many years ago stands in a magnificent Malibu home on Calpine Road, overseeing the panoramic view of the Pacific and the mountains.  

Like the tumbleweed that was suspended in mid-air long ago — organic, lithe and full of energy — Zinner’s “Tumbleweed in Malibu” inspires her to move forward in an incessant surge of energy, responding to the primal urge of the creative forces that drive her bold, daring and exciting works which seek to depict, if not to explain, the nature surrounding Malibu that intrigues her. 

The Calpine home’s exhibit merges the past works of Zinner in the form of her iteration of the tumbleweed with her emerging interest in working with interior designers to have her vibrant, colorful works merge perfectly with the motifs in a home.

There you can see her amazing “Country Peppers,” a dauntingly bold oil on canvas that Zinner describes as “sexy and voluptuous,” and her luscious “Country Lemons.”

When asked to pigeonhole herself into one genre, Zinner cannot do so. On every level, this free-spirited soul defies categorization. 

“I never use an easel,” she said. “It is too constricting for me. I live in a world where I can hike in the beautiful mountains and all the colors of nature are much more pronounced and saturated. 

“My work is that of several genres. I tend toward the abstract. But, if you look, you’ll see I am a realist, too.” 

Constantin Brancusi once said, “What they call abstract is in fact the purist realism, the reality of which is not represented by external form, but by the idea behind it, the essence of the work.”

In her works, Zinner depicts the essence of her subjects, their very being and movements. Her creations exude the delicious intricacies she sees in the everyday random occurrences in life and nature.

For more information on Zinner’s works, visit