Flagler Artists: Christine’s Zollinger’s creative odyssey

For every art style, there is also a reason to perform. Some paint to create, others use it to wind down after a long day of work, and for others it is therapy. When tragedy struck Christine Zollinger, art became an outlet for her grief.
“I took every art class I could in high school,” she says, developing quite a portfolio by age 16. She had even painted a mural across the basement wall of her childhood home in Charleston, South Carolina. “I loved drawing with charcoal pencils and watercolors.”
This love of art continued into college, at least for the first year. As much as Christine wanted to continue as a professional artist, there were bills to pay. Art had to be pushed to the back burner.
She did not completely abandon the passion. After a full day of teaching, the art was there. Long hours monitoring a childcare center for the state of Texas, the art was there. When Christine became a mother, she instilled the importance of being creative in her children. The paintbrush is not the only source of creativity, she would tell them.
One first attempt at blending art and business was the Sip and Paint Christine ran in Orlando. Meant as a social meetup, adults came with bottles of wine to share, responsibly, with peers while painting. It was a mix of social and creative, cultivating community in one spot. The business had to be sold during the Covid lock downs, unfortunately.
After moving to Palm Coast, Christine discovered how active the town’s Facebook community can be in the best way. She had created a Resin Lazy Susan and posted it to one of her groups. Only expecting likes and friendly comments, she instead received requests for commissions. People loved what she had done and wanted it for their homes and offices.
Resin was a new art form for Christine. It was a style she wanted to learn after falling in love with sea-glass, mixing paint with resin. “I’m self-taught. I saw someone do a project I loved, and I tried to learn how to do it myself. It took a lot of time and screw ups before I learned it correctly.”
This is how she makes her “play money.” She creates pieces for friends, family, friends of friends, and those who make requests on her Facebook page, CZ Creations. This gives her a comfortable lifestyle where she is rarely beholden to anything. Some days she starts at the beach, others she works part time at her home goods store. A percentage of her proceeds go to Christmas Come True, where she has volunteered for many years.
It is a style for the patient. “When you deal with resin, you do the project, and it needs to be cured for a couple of days before I can go back and work on it. It takes a while.”
Painting commissions on her terms contributes to the comfortable life she loves. “I am very happy with how the work is now. Sometimes it must be every day, sometimes it’s less,” she says. The major obstacle in her artistic endeavors has been the cost of equipment during Covid.
Art is still a refuge of calm on its own, but has transformed into a vehicle for community and rebirth. Christine is a living example, there is no deadline for reinventing yourself. It is far too easy to put down our passions because there is no time or energy to invest in them. But when the time comes, jump on it. “I started my life over at 50,” she says. “That’s when I started calling myself an artist.”
“It is never too late to do what you love. Do what you love and you’ll be happy. Try to be creative somehow with your life.” Stay in the know at Beach front and you will catch Christine presenting her pieces.