“Zanniki’s Escondido” incorporates some of Escondido’s landmarks: Niki de Saint Phalle’s “Queen Califia’s Magical Circle” at Kit Carson Park; The Heritage Park on Grand where so many wonderful events take place each year; The Safari Park with its authentic wildlife; Palomar Hospital much celebrated for its dedication during the pandemic. The lower left portion of the painting represents the Esco Alley Art project. The small mother and child statue situated in front of Filippi’s Pizza Grotto on Grand Avenue, “Reflections on Downtown”” by T.J. Dixon (1990).
The dancing senorita and the mariachi duo is a tribute to our Hispanic population. The African American lady sipping her wine is enjoying her view from behind one of the decorated concrete barriers. The motif on the concrete barrier is people holding hands, forming a bond, suggesting unity and togetherness.
A patriotic banner is draped over the barrier.
The Escondido barrier painting project served to alleviate depression, anxiety, and sadness during a difficult time. Escondido was kept alive by the willing elves who transformed the gray city into a colorful, inviting garden.
The artist in the foreground represents our art community. Her motif is important – our Native American heritage. A disabled person is depicted accompanied by her caretaker. This is meant to show respect to the less fortunate and for those who have served.
Cruisin’ Grand, our popular Friday night attraction is also embodied in the “story”.
California poppies, a hummingbird and nature connect all the subject matter.
Grape Day Park, Escondido’s oldest park, has been the center for community events and activities.
The orchards in the background represent vineyards, citrus trees, avocado groves or whatever the viewer envisions. The mountains can be any of the ranges that surround us. The vastness and openness of the Escondido backdrop (Hidden Valley) is no longer hidden!
We are alive, teeming with positive energy and erupting creativity. We are ready to embrace, improve and focus on the future of our city!
When we stand together, anything is possible!”
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.