My name is Suzanne Nicolaisen, alias Zanniki. I was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1950 as Suzanne Heyns. My logo and artist signature is derived from the latter part of my first name, Suzanne. As a child I was called Zanne or, the diminutive in Afrikaans, Zanniki.
Helen, my mother, was a phenomenal artist in her own right. She taught me the basics of painting and inspired me with her creativity and her love for color.
South Africa, where I spent my childhood and young adult life, is a country of contrasting light, color and form. I will always be inspired by this unique blend.
Life made Switzerland my home for 21 years. Here the majestic nature with the snow-covered mountains impressed me greatly. There are times where I miss the cold, crisp winters in the Swiss woods and mountains.
California is now my home with its easy living, providing me with newfound artistic possibilities of expression. One of my favorite subjects is the life, legends and symbols of the native Indians in the American southwest.
My husband, Bjarne, is an accomplished author. His ability to ‘paint with words’ is one of my constant motivations. It is our goal to create combinations of his ‘word pictures’ and my painted pictures.
I sincerely hope that this website, by its example, will nurture the creative gift of others. It is intended to serve as an inspiration for those who share my love for color, shape and form as a way of self-expression.