Wind Sculptures by Lyman Whitaker

Wind Sculptures by Lyman Whitaker

What is a kinetic wind sculpture?

Kinetic wind sculptures are sculptures  designed to move and change with the wind and weather. Due to their composition these sculptures are able to move, and they truly come alive on windy days and in harsh weather. People love seeing wind sculptures out their window in their lawns or sculpture gardens as they mimic the trees and the nature around them. The wind sculptures are made out of copper or stainless steel.

What inspired the wind sculptures?

Lyman Whitaker came up with the idea for his kinetic wind sculptures while looking at nature and seeing how the leaves reacted to the natural forces around them. Over the years he has taken inspiration from so many different places in nature creating the collection of kinetic wind sculptures that we all get to love today. Lyman Whitaker weaves the mystical and the natural to create the shapes that we see and the movements that the sculptures perform. Once seen the movements of these wind sculptures make captivate their audience and give a glimpse into one’s own imagination.

“By organically placing the sculptures in settings dependent on natural elements for movement, the sculptures rise out of the ground to symbolize creative energy and the kinetic elements, new opportunities. I hope that my sculptures will generate a sense of interest and delight shared and enjoyed by a broad array of people.”

Lyman Whitaker

Who is Lyman Whitaker?

Lyman graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Utah. There Whitaker studied under Avard Fairbanks and Angelo Carvaglia,eventually learning classical sculpture techniques as well as contemporary design. Lyman’s early work was more representational, with a wonderful mix of ceramics, bronzes, small mobiles, mixed media and copper wall pieces, and included several public fountains.

Lyman Whitaker has been honing his craft in sculpting for more than 50 years. He has seen his primary focus shift to wind sculptures for the past 30 years. He has mastered the craft of many metals, which allow for the superb craftsmanship on the sculptures. Over the years he has developed some of the most superb kinetic sculptures that are world renowned for their longevity and brilliance. The receptivity to his work has allowed Lyman to create a wonderful studio where he works with his wife, Stacy Christensen, and his brother, John Whitaker. Together, over time, they have created a productive network.

Can the sculptures handle weather?

Lyman has decades of experience designing his pieces to handle a tremendous range of environmental conditions. Each piece is warranted to handle up to 70 mph constant winds and 90 mph gusts. If you have more wind than that, odds are you have bigger problems to worry about!

Fortunately, the pieces are designed with protection in mind. The Copper Wind sculptures will handle Snow, Ice, or Saltwater just fine. The steel rods are made of 316 Stainless Steel and the copper has no issues with those conditions. The Stainless Steel sculptures are made from 304 Stainless Steel which DOES NOT do well in a saltwater environment. Snow and Ice are not an issue for the 304 Stainless Steel pieces. When you know a big weather event is going to occur, simply unlock the piece from the ground pin and safely store it as part of your property preparation. All but the very largest pieces can be moved with 1-2 people and reinstalled easily.

How are they set up?

Installation of your wind sculpture is simple. Every sculpture comes with instructions and diagrams for how to secure the ground pin. Lyman Whitaker highly recommend anchoring the ground mounting pin in concretes. After that, simply put the sculpture onto the shaft, place the shaft onto the ground pin, and lock everything into place. Trust Whitaker, he’s the master. 

What is the copper patina?

At Lyman Whitaker’s studio the artist oxidizes the copper to create a varied patina of green and brown surfaces. Unlike rust, the green patina helps protect the piece as well as enhance its visual appeal. This allows the wind sculptures to keep their patina.  The wind sculptures will continue to weather over time and change in appearance due to a wide variety of factors including humidity, dissolved salts in the air, pollution, etc. Over time, the sculptures will look similar to other exposed copper in your area

The difference between copper and stainless steel

Trying to decide between the Copper and Stainless Steel wind sculpture is primarily an aesthetic question. The Copper  sculptures go well everywhere, day and night when lit for evening hours. The Stainless Steel sculptures REALLY pops with contemporary architecture and settings and shines very brightly in sunlight.

The other thing you can do with Stainless Steel wind sculptures is play around with colored LED lighting systems to give them a different scene setting during evening hours.

From a durability standpoint, the only key difference is that the Stainless Steel sculptures are constructed primarily from Type 304 Stainless Steel which is NOT salt water resistant. The Copper sculptures have 316 Stainless Steel arms which IS salt water environment tolerant.

If you aren’t by the ocean, then it’s purely a question of looks when deciding between which type to install.

Ordering a Kinetic wind sculpture

To go about ordering a wind sculpture we have a few options for you. You can either order the wind sculpture directly online, or reach out to one of our seasoned art consultants. If you happen to find yourself in beautiful South Lake Tahoe stop into our gallery. You can find us as Stateline with over 110 of the stunning wind sculptures out front.

The Return of Art Families: Meet the Rozenvains

Art families are often thought of as a feature of the Renaissance. But artistic families have been creating works of art together in modern and contemporary movements, as well. In some cases, every member of a notable family has been recognized for their artistic achievements, as is the case with the four members of the Rozenvain family. Based in Toronto, Canada, Aleksandra, Michael, Miri, and Barak Rozenvain are making waves in the art world with their vibrant nature-inspired motifs. At Marcus Ashley Gallery, we’re proud to represent this family and share their works with our community, as well as work with our clients to commission one-of-a-kind works of art.

Could artistic talent be genetic? Is it all about nurturing artistic talent from a young age? Or maybe artistic dynasties share the very best lessons and techniques only within the family.

What is an Art Family?

An art family is exactly what it sounds like: a notable family of artists renowned for creating works that are often reminiscent of each other using similar techniques. A well-known example is the Picasso family. Pablo Picasso overshadowed the Picasso family, but his father, Jose Ruiz Blasco, was a notable drawing professor who taught at multiple prestigious institutions. While their art is not reminiscent of each other, his father’s recognition of his talent led him to attend the prestigious Real Academia de Bellas Artes in San Fernando. His family didn’t end there either, as his children Paloma and Claude became designers and photographers.

What Have Art Families Accomplished in the Modern Times?

In the modern era, there have been plenty of families that have contributed to modern art. Families of modern times bled from painting into film, photography, and ceramics. A great example is the Saars art family, who were heavily involved in the Black arts movement in the late 1970s. Their use of mixed media, ceramics, painting, and sculpture impacted the way that millions of people saw race, and their last generation won multiple museum collections. This is a great example of how these artist families can change people’s lives for generations past their original pieces. Now, the spotlight shines on the Rozenvain art family and their beautifully textured artwork, leaving the rest of us wondering where their next artwork will pop up.

Who are the Rozenvains?

The Rozenvains are an art family based in Canada. Their artwork is known for nature motifs, similar painting styles, and vibrant colors that leave a lasting impact. While each family member’s artwork is distinct, Rozenvain art is easily recognizable by its similar color palette and thick oil techniques.

Michael Rozenvain

Commissioned Michael Rozenvain painting of a moose at Marcus Ashley Gallery

As the patriarch of the Rozenvain art family, Michael Rozenvain definitely made his mark on the family technique. With most of his work being animal portraits or nature scenes, Michael’s thick oil palette gives viewers an illusion of texture and depth, while pops of color pepper his paintings. These pops of vibrant color are seen throughout other Rozenvain pieces, making the feature distinctive of the Rozenvain art family.

Born in Ukraine in 1963, Michael Rozenvain would go on to study at the Art School of Kieve, continuing his studies at the Academy of Applied Arts in Lvov. He met his future wife, Aleksandra, while studying in graduate school. Eventually, the couple would begin to look for inspiration from the cityscapes and nature of Europe. Artist families all draw their inspiration from somewhere, and the Rozenvains parent’s motifs also exist heavily in their children’s artworks.

Aleksandra Rozenvain

Beautiful Autumn Days commissioned painting of aspen and pine trees by Aleksandra Rozenvain

While the work of Aleksandra Rozenvain has similar recurring motifs to the rest of her family, we see a lot more landscape nature scenes built from square and rectangular shapes. While the bright color palette is still there, as well as the intricate texture, Aleksandras’ work certainly has a streak of individuality. While this isn’t uncommon in art families, this form of pointillism and contemporary impressionism is certainly unique. Her technique is a structured painting with a palette knife.

While artist families do have some diversity, Aleksandra’s influence on her family’s artwork is just as prevalent as Michaels, especially in nature and floral scenes. Aleksandra was also born in Ukraine, earning degrees in the same places as Michael.

Barak Rozenvain

Beautiful Alpine painting Barak Rozenvain commissioned art

Barak Rozenvain follows the nature theme closely, but innovates by combining sculpting and painting into one art form. While the rest of his family utilizes palette knives or multiple applications of thick paint, Barak recreates the beauty of Canadian mountains using earth materials such as clay and sand.

Like many children from art families, Barak grew up in a creative environment. Through spending hours in the family studio, a love of 3D art, and learning from his parents, he felt influenced to paint the beauty of nature just as his family did. While using vastly different methods, the Rozenvain art texture stays strong in its lineage.

Miri Rozenvain

Miri Rozenvain’s Follow Your Heart commissioned painting of a turtle

With similar striking colors, earthy texture, and natural themes, Miri Rozenvain‘s work borrows from all the other techniques of Rozenvain art. Using the colors to highlight the animal’s movement in a very striking way, Miri also builds texture using natural earth and stones. This is very similar to Barak’s method of placing clay and sand in order to create realistic sculptures. Miris’s style is very spontaneous and abstract compared to her other family members, but just as creative and expressive in the end.

Miri recreates a magical experience using her experience at the York University Visual Arts program in 2016. She was also inspired by the time with her artistic family and visiting many museums and international art galleries growing up. Exposed to all of this creativity, Miri used her love for wildlife as fuel to push her art to where it is today.

Commissioning One of a Kind Rozenvain Art for Your Home

What really makes the Rozenvain family stand out at Marcus Ashley Gallery is that their work is entirely customizable to the customer’s needs: you can commission a 100% unique, original, one-of-a-kind painting from any of the above artists. One of our art consultants will work with you and collaborate with the artist to ensure every detail of your dream painting is executed with precision and care.

To see more Rozenvain family artwork, visit the Marcus Ashley Gallery collection near the shores of South Lake Tahoe in California, or get in touch with us today to learn more about commissioning your next painting from this amazing art family.

The Hyper-Realistic Paintings of John-Mark Gleadow

True hyper-realistic paintings are both a trick and treat for the eye. When this technique is masterfully achieved, one can feel like they’re looking through glass at a real object for a moment. Learning this art form takes many years of focus, practice, and determination.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the technique behind one of the most fascinating and beautiful artists on display at Marcus Ashley Gallery, John-Mark Gleadow. Gleadow specializes in book spine art that is so rich and vivid that it seems photographic. Indulge in his unbelievable creations and explore the pieces you can envision in your personal collection.

Dissecting Hyper-Realism

Like any art form, one can appreciate hyper-realism even more if they have an understanding of the techniques and skill required behind it. Hyper-realism already looks impressive to the untrained eye, but it’s even more mind-blowing when you’ve attempted to paint anything yourself.

Hyper-realism is not as simple as copying exactly what you see — far from it. To achieve hyper-realism with paint, you must have a remarkably perfect command of color mixing and an understanding of how color interplays with light, both of which are immensely hard to grasp even in computer-generated imagery. Doing it by hand requires patience and many, many years of practice.

Often, paintings that are not hyper-realistic seem a bit too perfect. This makes them beautiful in a way, naturally, but it also gives a sense of fantasy and surreality. To create a hyper-realistic painting, one must embrace imperfections and learn how to imitate the unpredictability and variety of nature.

There is a small difference between photorealism and hyper-realism. Photorealism strives to perfectly emulate a particular photograph, while hyper-realism attempts to go even further beyond by emulating real life as closely as possible. In short, hyper-realism is usually more detailed and gives a sense of “false reality”.

How Gleadow Achieves Hyper-Realism

It is possible, albeit sometimes difficult, to achieve hyper-realism using mediums such as water color, pastels, pencils, acrylic paint, and so on. Gleadow, however, opts for the richest and most classic of all paints: oils. He prefers oils for their malleability and durability, like so many great artists before him. His inspirations include Rene Magritte, Salvador Dali and Vermeer, all of whom had an impressive command over oil painting techniques to manipulate how they portrayed (or did not portray) reality in their respective styles.

You may not notice it at first if you only see his literary artwork online and not in person, but his book spine art is actually larger than life. This is one of the ways Gleadow is able to achieve such precision detail — he enlarges reality in order to have closer control over shading and miniscule lighting effects.

Popular Works By John-Mark Gleadow at Marcus Ashley Gallery

John-Mark Gleadow has produced a large amount of realistic artwork, all of which is as eye-catching as the last. Here’s just a sampling of the Gleadow collection we have on display at our gallery.

Hyper-realistic oil painting of nine travel book spines with a small globe by John-Mark Gleadow entitled Across the Globe
Across the Globe” by John-Mark Gleadow, limited edition giclee on canvas

This remarkable book spine art by Gleadow features both part of the shelf and a miniature globe beside the books, both seamlessly incorporated into the overall realism. The books share a similar color palette and size, adding a satisfying homogeneity that’s pleasantly offset by the beautiful miniature.

Hyper-realistic painting of seven book spines  by John-Mark Gleadow entitled - Could You? Would You?
Could You? Would You?” by John-Mark Gleadow, limited edition giclee on canvas

The mint condition of the six exterior books stands in sharp contrast to the damage and wear shown on the central study bible. Directly to its left stands a hefty title, a story of Warren Buffet’s road to capitalism, and the story of Gandhi stands nearby. The painter’s stance on these topics and the wear of these books is unclear — is the bible worn from use, or mistreatment? It’s up to the viewer to interpret.

Three hyper-realistic book spines with a paintbrush sticking out, entitled Love by John-Mark Gleadow
Love” by John-Mark Gleadow, limited edition giclee on canvas

This painting is a break from Gleadow’s usual row-style literary artwork. Rather than a row of spines, this book spine art piece is a close-up of three intricate, bold book covers. This Gleadow piece is phenomenal for its ability to perfectly replicate classical artwork and simultaneously manage to make it look like it’s being stretched on glossy paper around a book. The mastery over lighting, color, and shading an artist has to have to produce this level of hyper-realistic painting is hard to believe!

Hyper-realistic painting of seven book spines entitled Bibliotheque VI by John-Mark Gleadow
Bibliotheque VI” by John-Mark Gleadow, limited edition giclee on canvas

Each of these book spines contains a topic of great weight and cultural significance. Each topic can also spark instant reactions and emotions from our own personal experiences. These provocative titles are masterfully painted, like all of his works, and the subject matter adds weight and interest to Gleadow’s impeccable hyper-realistic painting formula.

Explore Gleadow’s Book Spine Art at Marcus Ashley Gallery

If you’ve been fascinated by the hyper-realistic book spine art of John-Mark Gleadow, we welcome you to explore the rest of his collection with us. Come visit our expansive gallery in person in beautiful South Lake Tahoe, or explore fine artwork from wherever you are with our online gallery.

Marcus Ashley Gallery has a number of premier gallery services including insured international shipping, custom framing, certificates of replacement value, financing options, and more. We handle every service with professionalism and expertise, and we can answer any of your questions. Enjoy the world of classic and contemporary art and further your art collection with ease.

Highlights from Our Figurative Sculpture Collection

Figurative artwork, or figurativism, implies representational artwork. It describes any form of art that includes references to real world objects, particularly to human and animal figures. The term “figurative art” is a relatively modern one, coined somewhat in response to the emergence of abstract art, which is synonymous with non-representational art. Michelangelo and Alberto Giacometti, for instance, are great examples of unique  figurative sculpture artists from the late 1400s and mid 1900s respectively.

In a general sense, the term “figurative” is retrospectively applied to all art before abstract art. It’s also distinct from modern realism in that figurative artists employ contemporary references. Modern realists also base their work on real world objects, but their styles predate the post-impressionism period, i.e. prior to around 1886.

In this blog, we’ll look at some figurative sculpture artists whose work is showcased here at Marcus Ashley Gallery.

Michael Parkes

Micheal Parkes is arguably the leading magical realism artist in the world at the moment. His sculptures (and his artwork in general) borrow heavily from figurativism, seamlessly blending these two styles. Interestingly enough, Parkes used to paint in the abstract expressionist style earlier in his artistic career. At a certain point, he gave up the practice of art all together and traveled to India in search of inspiration and philosophical illumination. Emerging from his hiatus, his style underwent a dramatic change, represented by the vast body of his work today.

Angel Affair by Michael Parkes

Parkes uses various mediums, including canvas, paper, vellum, stone lithographs, and bronze sculptures. His figurative sculptures are truly stunning, and versatile in that they work in a variety of spaces. They blend mythical and modern elements in ways that surprise and delight. There’s usually an interesting backstory to go with them as well. 

Angel Affair, depicted here, was conceived while Parkes was stranded at Zurich airport in the middle of a snowstorm. His companions happened to be businessmen. While waiting for the next flight, he fell into a fitful slumber and dreamt of angels flying down to the businessmen to kiss their loneliness away. When he woke up, he swore he saw an angel fly away and leave behind a single feather that he has to this day. 

As with most of his figurative bronze sculptures, Angel Affair is rendered in a traditional Florentine patina, however, you can choose to buy it with a customized, colorful patina that Parkes creates using special techniques.  The intricate detailing you see on parts of the sculpture, including the angel’s wings and the businessman’s hair is achieved using a special sculpting technique called ‘Lost-wax’. 

Boris Kramer

Synergy by figurative sculpture artist Boris Kramer

As the son of world-renowned artist Richard Kramer, Boris was perhaps born to be one himself. His figurative sculptures are found in galleries and private collections all over the world. He uses mediums like steel, bronze, brass, and copper

Kramer learnt blacksmithing techniques at an early age by his father’s side. His work showcases a fascination for human relationships and often evokes dynamism and intensity of the kind found in exuberant dance routines.  

Case in point — Synergy — is a polished steel creation. The figures are forged from mild steel, which is heated, twisted, and welded until the figures form a continuous loop. They’re meant to showcase the strength that is found when two people connect intimately. 

This steel sculpture is about 50 inches or just over four feet tall and works equally well as an outdoor or indoor showpiece. Each of Kramer’s sculptures are unique, hand forged and personally signed by him. You can explore more of Boris Kramer’s work at Marcus Ashley Gallery. Keep a close eye on our events calendar to see when Kramer is due to visit one of our gallery art events next.


Pieta by Michelangelo

Michelangelo is one the greatest, if not the greatest, figurative sculpture artists of all time. Referred to as Il Divino or “the divine one,” his skill is and will be revered for generations to come. His works during the Renaissance period are some of the most recognizable and important images in art history and treasured possessions in museums and private collections worldwide.

Featured here is arguably his most famous bronze sculpture ever — the Pieta. As one of his defining creations, it cemented his name in history at the age of 23. The Pieta was commissioned in 1498 by French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères, initially as a tomb monument. However, it was so well received that it went on to be showcased inside St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, where it stands to this day.

Originally carved from beautiful Carrara marble, the figurative sculpture depicts the Virgin Mary supporting the body of the dead Christ in her lap after his crucifixion. The Pieta is special because this theme of the Virgin Mary and Jeses was virtually unknown in Italy at that point in time. Bronze limited editions of Michelangelo’s work today are sanctioned by Casa Buonarroti. Formed by Michelangelo’s family after his death, they are the sole possessors of the artist’s “droits morale” or moral rights. We are honored to offer our clients and community access to these treasured works.

Loet Vanderveen

Greater Kudu - Regular by Loet Vanderveen

The late Loet Vanderveen’s work as a figurative sculpture artist stands out in this list for his focus on animal forms. The highly stylized poses and interpretations of his sculptures give you some sense of his great love for animals. His creations are coveted possessions in museums worldwide. Marcus Ashley Gallery hosts one of the few comprehensive collections of Vanderveen’s work available anywhere in the world. 

Vanderveen worked largely with bronze. Kudu, Greater-Regular, shown here is a great example of his attention to detail when representing the animal form. The greater kudu is an antelope found in southern and eastern Africa. As someone who’s been on many African safaris for first-hand inspiration, much of Vanderveen’s work showcases wildlife from that region. This figurative sculpture shows the antelope nestled in its natural sedentary pose in the wild. It’s rendered with an elegant black crackle patina, lifting the appeal of the piece.

Explore More Figurative Art at Marcus Ashley Gallery

All the artists featured here and more can be found at Marcus Ashley Gallery. Browse through the work of Renaissance masters and modern to contemporary geniuses alike. If you’re really struck by this art style, talk to one of our art experts for more information on figurative sculpture artists. 
Learn more about all the services our gallery offers to give you an enriching art experience, as well as some of our excellent financing options.

Artist Highlight: Alexander Volkov’s Paintings

Alexander Volkov is a modern day master of realism. He’s most widely known for the clarity of vision which drives his creations and the interplay of light that brings each piece alive. He has a particular fondness for the American countryside and much of his portfolio over the past 30 years has featured this. His realistic landscape paintings are some of the most captivating representations of rural America you’re likely to come across.  

Volkov lives in Frenchtown, NJ with his wife and business partner Heidi Breyer. They’re parents to five adult children.

Early Life in Russia

Volkov was born in St. Petersburg — formerly Leningrad — in Russia in 1960. From the age of seven to 17, he attended a special English school. He started painting when he was in high school using oil — his primary medium to this day. This continued while he studied at the Department of Physics at Leningrad State University, where he graduated from in 1986. Following graduation, Volkov worked for a time as an animator at the Leningrad Studio of Science Films and later as a stage artist in a small theater in the city.

Around 1981, he began to exhibit some of his realistic landscape paintings with the Brotherhood of Experimental Arts, an “underground” art collective active in Leningrad at the time. Later on, he joined a breakaway group of some 30 artists called Ostrov or “Island.” These artists united together in the ideology that their work was neither socialist realism nor extreme avant garde.

In 1989 he immigrated to the U.S. In a stark break from the thrum and bustle of St. Petersburg he was used to, he chose to settle in rural America, which has been his home for over three decades. It’s these vistas that have fed his imagination and inspired his vast portfolio of realistic landscape paintings. 

His Process and Inspirations 

Volkov reluctantly refers to himself as “self-taught.” He believes that there is learning readily available all around you, should you want it; people, dead and alive, famous and unknown, and even things and events around you can be a source of learning if you’re willing to pay attention. 

As an evolving artist, Volkov drew inspiration from a host of “teachers,” including Rembrandt, William Turner, Franz Hals, Vermeer, and many other past greats. He looked to Beethoven and Satie, Einstein and Tarkovsky, and Nabokov and Steinbeck. There were also the people he grew up with and those in his life, including school and university friends, professors, and struggling artists.

In addition to realistic landscape paintings, Alexander Volkov is also fascinated by architectural depictions and still-lifes. He brings drama and poetic expression to all of this work through his favored device — light.

The use of light features heavily throughout Volkov’s work. He skillfully lends mood and creates an atmosphere in his paintings through an interplay between light and darkness. The resulting artwork always feels like it has a story to tell and draws the viewer in.

“There is no greater mystery to me than the conflict of light and dark. In the way they clash and penetrate each other, there is the source of everything.”

A Look at Volkov’s Work

To give you a deeper insight into his method, we’ve featured select artwork from Volkov, including some of his original realistic landscape paintings as well as the result of his foray into a brand new medium.

Hunter’s Moon

Hunter’s Moon realistic landscape painting by Alexander Volkov

Hunter’s Moon marks St. John’s Eve — the Summer Solstice, a magical time when spirits are said to come out of the ground and the water and join the festivities happening all around. The painting is also meant to convey stillness and serenity with the moon peeking through the trees and beautifully lighting up the glade and the lake. Volkov tries to create a mood where the viewer can absorb this sense of calm and quietude amidst the celebrations of the day.

This realistic landscape painting is an alla prima or a “first try.” The artist uses faster drying paints and larger brushes to lend deeper textures throughout the piece. Employing this method allows him to revisit the techniques of his youth and create works of art with more passion and intensity. This technique results in a more impressionistic aesthetic, a natural fit for Alexander Volkov’s realistic landscape paintings. Volkov’s alla prima works are usually not published as limited editions. 

Locktown Sunset

Locktown Sunset by Alexander Volkov

This is a special painting by Alexander Volkov. It shows the interior of a church in New Jersey, close to where he lives. While the church itself isn’t operational anymore, the local community wanted to find a way to save and preserve this place. Volkov created Locktown Sunset for a fundraiser that could be used to help this church. He spent hours inside this church by himself looking at how the light passed through the space and glanced off its walls. He was deeply struck by the harmony, beauty, and simplicity of the place. It seemed to him as if the church was a focal point in the world and while he was in there, nothing else existed but him and the church. The experience moved him and inspired him to create this piece.

Locktown Sunset bears all the hallmarks of a Volkov original, with the skilful rendition of light across the church’s surfaces and the atmosphere it creates. It’s one of his most recent works.

Eternal Love

Eternal Love by ALexander Volkov

In a departure from his realistic landscape paintings and still lifes, Volkov explores the world of sculpture with Eternal Love, his debut piece. Amid the turmoil of 2020, Volkov turned 60. Those two events inspired him to finally act on his long-held desire to foray into sculpture. He felt it was a natural segue for his artistic expression. 

Eternal Love is a sculpture of two hands reaching upwards together, capturing his evolution as a person on two fronts — as a husband and as an artist. It represents enduring hope, faith, and love for life, and symbolizes enduring human resilience in difficult times.

Volkov used a cast of his own hand as a muse. The sculpture’s hands are crafted from polymer clay infused with marble powder. The base is made from solid marble. The sculpture also features his signature interplay of light, its elements are positioned in a way so as to cast shadows at different angles of illumination. 

Explore More Volkov Art at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Volkov’s portfolio is available in its entirety at Marcus Ashley Gallery. Browse more sculptures and realistic landscape paintings by Alexander Volkov. Discuss his work with our art consultants to get an even deeper insight into his process. Volkov is very open to collaboration and taking on commissions that help bring someone else’s vision to life.

Look through our gallery services for a more enriching art experience and keep a tab on our art events for a chance to meet the artist in person.

Explore Our Menagerie:
Animals in Art at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Capturing the natural world in art is an ever-impressive feat, and those who manage to portray the mannerisms and beauty of animals in art have a rare talent. Read about some of our most popular artists who explore animals in their artwork.

Loet Vanderveen

The late Loet Vanderveen was one of the most famous modern animal sculptors of the 20th and 21st century. His iconic bronze animals have been collected by Queen Elizabeth II, The King of Tonga, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many more notable individuals. Vanderveen sadly passed away in 2015, making his limited collection of sculptures all the more rare and exclusive.

Black bronze sculpture of a kudu with curled horns by Loet Vanderveen.

Kudu, Greater-Regular

Vanderveen’s childhood was influenced by his love for the zoo and his dreams of exotic safaris. After serving in the R.A.F during WWII, he was able to pursue his artistic career and learn rare patine bronze sculpture techniques. This elegant form is enhanced by delicate patina work that gives it an entrancing color and shine.

Sculpture of two giraffes by Loet Vanderveen.

Giraffe Pair

Look closely at this sculpture and you can see the small cracks in the patina, carefully chosen to imitate a giraffe’s. It is only with Vanderveen’s immense skill that he could manipulate patina and bronze with such care.

Tim “Frogman” Cotterill

Every one of Frogman’s unique frog sculptures has a personality all its own. The jewel tone and texture is achieved with bronze, gold, or steel, and his masterful technique lets him create animals in art that are, in his words, “just plain fun.”

Frogman’s modern animal sculptures are currently out of production, so everything you see on our site or in-person is a limited edition and soon to be unavailable. Shop while you can!

Sculpture of a green frog with a red heart called Casanova by Frogman.


This lovely piece is just one of Frogman’s many gorgeous frog sculptures. This lively little amphibian looks so real it could almost jump off your display.

Sculpture of a red gecko entitled Diablo by Frogman.


Frogman doesn’t just make frogs! His eye-catching geckos spark the same curiosity and whimsy as his classic frogs.

Miri Rozenvain

Miri Rozenvain’s lifelike, kaleidoscopic animals in art are beloved by collectors around the world. Her unique style is a surprising mix of abstract and realism, employing a technique that adds captivating texture to her modern animal paintings. She creates custom pieces for the gallery as well as on commissions for our clients. If you are interested in such a piece, please get in touch with us to learn more. 

 Colorful abstract owl painting entitled Determination by Miri Rozenvain.

Determination (Sold)

Rozenvain is incredible at capturing the depth of an animal’s facial expression in her art, and this free-flying owl is no exception. 

Painting of an abstract colorful horse entitled No Speed Limits by Miri Rozenvain.

No Speed Limits (Sold)

This custom painting has such expressive texture that the powerful horse seems to almost be bursting through the canvas in an explosion of color.

Sally Maxwell

Maxwell has mastered capturing animals in art. Her modern animal paintings feature scratchboard, a rare and unique medium that allows for highly precise lines. She uses a distinct technique in scratchboard that allows her to add color to what’s largely known as a black and white medium. Her process is part of what makes her art highly unique and sought-after. 

Realistic painting of chardonnay, cheese, and a monkey by Sally Maxwell.

Chardonnay Monkey

This painting was inspired by Maxwell’s love for chardonnay, cheese, and crackers on a happy evening: some of life’s delightful simple pleasures. The lifelike quality is utterly stunning.

 Painting of bears and crows entitled Shoo Fly by Sally Maxwell.

Shoo Fly

Maxwell’s experience with depressive thoughts inspired this painting of crows and a bear. These crows represent the negativity she wishes to ward off. Her new slogan: “I AM the bear and I can do it!”

Discover More Animals in Art at Marcus Ashley Gallery

To see more of our modern animal sculptures and paintings, browse our online gallery or visit our expansive gallery in beautiful South Lake Tahoe. We welcome you to explore our inspiring collection!

Loet Vanderveen: The Story of a Legendary Bronze Animal Sculpture Artist

“To capture the soul of the man, one must look into his eyes. To capture the eyes of the beast, one must look into nature’s soul.”

-Loet Vanderveen

Loet Vanderveen was a master of cast bronze sculpture, able to reproduce the elegance and beauty of nature in an art form so challenging and harsh as metal. The story behind this renowned animal sculpture artist is just as inspiring as his art, and one could not exist without the other.

From enduring tragedy in WWII, to designing fashion in bustling metropolises, to moving to the remote coastal mountains of Big Sur, Vanderveen took a passion for the natural world and poured it into art. Learn the story behind the man whose sculptures grace the residences of Queen Elizabeth II, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and avid collectors around the world.

Loet Vanderveen’s Early Life and Influences

Loet Vanderveen grew up in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. As a child, Vanderveen visited the Rotterdam zoo across the street almost every day, fostering in him a deep love for animals and the natural world. He was obsessed with someday traveling the world and creating art, but his life as an animal sculpture artist would not begin until he had overcome great hardship.

Tragedy struck Vanderveen’s life at a young age when he lost his mother to a car accident and his father to a staph infection. In 1940, his home of Rotterdam was bombed by Axis forces, and right before, the Dutch army was forced to slaughter all the dangerous animals in the zoo. 

Vanderveen had half-Jewish heritage, and during the occupation, he was forced to flee the city by bicycle over the Belgian border. During the rest of the war, he served in the R.A.F., where he became a decorated soldier.

From the City to the Mountains

After the war, Vanderveen finally had the freedom to pursue his artistic passions. His artistic career began as a fashion designer, designing sportswear in Paris and London. This cutthroat industry was not enough to satisfy his creative longings, and so, he moved to New York City, where he undertook the challenging art of reduced glazes. He met with the curator of the Far Eastern Department of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Fong Chow, a master ceramicist to whom he owed the rest of his career. Thenceforth, his life as an animal sculpture artist began.

Vanderveen’s career truly took off when he escaped to the wild to pursue his dream of being an artist. He purchased 20 acres of land in Big Sur, California, and built a house with a ceramic studio atop a mountain. After a fire destroyed the original home in 1985, he rebuilt it, and a new wave of inspiration prompted him to pursue casting bronze sculpture full-time.

How Artists Create Bronze Sculpture Art

To create sculptures in bronze, artists first create the sculpture in malleable clay. The clay is then used to create a mold, usually in silicon rubber. The rubber mold is used as the basis for the cast bronze, which is poured into the mold from a hot forge. 

Many materials can be used in the bronze casting process to make the sculptures, including gated wax, silica sand, and ceramic shells. Many artists choose to burn out the wax in the interior of the sculpture, rendering the sculpture hollow. The bronze must be molten, poured, and welded by skilled professionals with great care to ensure seam lines, bubbles, and imperfections do not appear in the finished product. Vanderveen then added an additional layer of complexity by applying colored patinas to his bronze sculptures, which must be applied to the bronze while still hot.

The complexity of his process is masked in how graceful and silky his animal sculpture art appears to be, and this is part of what makes Vanderveen so famous. Bronze sculpture art is challenging and imprecise, and the elegance of Vanderveen sculptures is a testament to his patience and mastery of the craft.

Explore Vanderveen’s Legacy at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Well into his 90s, Vanderveen continued to pioneer and innovate in his chosen medium, producing works that would leave an indelible mark in wildlife sculpture forever. He equated his works, and all animal sculpture art, to a 21st century homage to totem poles. Loet Vanderveen passed away in 2015, therefore his remaining collection of cast bronze sculptures are all that there ever will be. Now, his work has passed into legend, and his techniques may never be perfectly replicated. 

If you wish to purchase a Vanderveen sculpture, we are happy to assist you. His sculptures add hope and optimism to any space. With world-class gallery service, your sculpture will be fully insured until it reaches your doorstep. It will come with all the necessary certificates of replacement value that such a rare and valuable piece of art requires. 

If you have questions about Loet Vanderveen’s artwork, please get in touch with one of our art consultants. We also encourage you to explore Loet Vanderveen’s collection online at Marcus Ashley Gallery or come see our collection in person in our renowned South Lake Tahoe location.

Artist Process Spotlight: Famous Pastel Artist Mackenzie Thorpe’s Career and Works

Mackenzie Thorpe is one of the highest-selling British artists in the last few decades. From a humble background in the industrial northern English town of Middlesbrough, Thorpe has created a legacy of art that has sent ripples throughout the international art world.

It takes only one look at Thorpe’s famous pastel art to see why collectors fawn over his work. The smooth, careful strokes, the vivid colors, and the surreal shapes and forms tell stories and show emotions that words don’t have the power to express.

The art consultants at Marcus Ashley Gallery invite you to learn about this renowned oil pastel artist and his technique.

Thorpe’s Oil Pastel Art Technique

Mackenzie Thorpe works with a variety of media, including gouache, watercolor, acrylic, and of course, pastel. He is most famous for his use of pastels, particularly because he uses no additives or stabilizers in his pastel products — only pure, crushed pigment. This provides the strongest, most intense color possible without smearing or excess moisture.

Unlike other famous pastel artists’ techniques, all of Thorpe’s pastel works are quite literally painted with his bare hands. Thorpe works with a brush for classic paint mediums (gouache, watercolor, and acrylic) but he uses only his hands for pastels. Getting his hands and fingers into the work gives him precise control over the vivid colors and unique texture of pastels.

You can see the passion and control Thorpe exercises on paper with every pastel stroke: for example, when he creates ripples in the sky, he often uses just his pinky finger!

Spotlight on Thorpe’s Most Famous Pastel Art

According to Thorpe, this oil pastel art entitled We Need A Bigger Boat is about the job we all have to do in life: “getting love from one generation to the next.” The fishermen in the boat cannot possibly carry all their love into the boat — but they can try, because it’s the only thing worth saving.

Red boat in a black lake and forest entitled Loving by mackenzie Thorpe.

In Loving, Thorpe uses a streak of red in a sea of black and green to show the ability of love to overcome any adversity. Thorpe smears his pinky finger in the background to suggest a somber, haunting landscape, but the focus never shifts from the hopeful, solitary boat.

Red boat in a sea of pink entitled Over the Sea by Mackenzie Thorpe.

In Over the Sea, Thorpe illustrates what he saw as an endless sea of beauty when he moved from busy London to quiet North Yorkshire. In his overwhelm, he tried to capture the feeling of being utterly lost in beauty and wonder.

Thorpe’s Role in the Art Industry and his Inspiring Philanthropic Efforts

Mackenzie Thorpe achieves something in his art which is very rare: he captures the human experience, with all its tribulations and flaws, and shows the hope that can shine through and triumph over adversity. He does not hide that life can often feel like an endless challenge, but he determinedly finds the rays of optimism in self-expression and creativity.

Thorpe has passed on his tremendous success to a number of ongoing philanthropic efforts. As a child with severe dyslexia from an industrial town, he grappled with expressing himself, and he knows that without help from key individuals he would not have achieved the success he has today. As such, he supports several national and international charities, including the Royal British Legion, the Meningitis Trust, the NSPCC, the U.S. Boys and Girls Club, and the Japanese dyslexic society, The Edge. He dedicates the proceeds from much of his artwork to organizations like the NHS and the NE Autism Society.

Purchase Thorpe’s Famous Pastel Art at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Thorpe’s legacy is profound, with his artwork having been collected by the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, JK Rowling, and Tom Hardy. He is not just a famous pastel artist, but a sculptor and painter as well, and his mixed media talent all plays into the common themes of love and hope while honoring the struggles of his working-class background.

You, too, can become a collector of this famous oil pastel art with the services available at Marcus Ashley Gallery. Explore Thorpe’s originals and limited edition giclee prints or contact one of our knowledgeable art consultants.

Top Ten Limited Edition Michael Parkes Artist Prints

Michael Parkes’ illustrious career has revolutionized the magical realism style. His penchant for meticulous detail and evocative fantasy themes have made his work highly prized by collectors and connoisseurs around the world.

Marcus Ashley Gallery is enormously proud to be able to offer a selection of limited edition Michael Parkes artist works to our clients. Taste is naturally subjective, but here, we’ve selected the top ten most popular prints according to our customers’ and curators’ preferences. Enjoy this marvelous depiction of surrealism, fantasy, and folklore.

Gargoyles depicts a youthful girl who has cast aside her innocence for powers unknown. Its captivating composition sparks curiosity and intrigue at first glance, and each small detail fills you with wonder at the story behind the girl controlling the gargoyles. 

How did the girl come into this power? What is the gargoyle reaching for? Is the girl maliciously breathing life into the gargoyle, or is she as innocent as she seems? Like all Michael Parkes paintings, the story behind the curious figures is up to you to discern.

While certainly one of the least fantasy-themed of Parkes’ work, this masterful still life is no less magical. The impending storm in the background, the perched cat, and the precarious open book make you feel like perhaps this is not reality, but something a little more wondrous. 

Parkes’ still life paintings perfectly demonstrate his immense skill and unique style. This limited edition Michael Parkes artist print is one of our most popular, and it can be printed on giclee canvas in two sizes for your personal collection.

The title of this recognizable work comes from an old English nursery rhyme: “Tuesday’s child is full of Grace.” The woman defying gravity on a burning rope is believed to be a representation of Grace, who is not bound by logic or reason. Parkes says that Grace works mysteriously and cannot be demanded, hence the surreality of the figure’s movements in the painting.

The beauty of this limited edition Michael Parkes artist print masks a surprising sadness. In legends, the Dark Unicorn was the only creature that remained when the pure unicorns were taken from the sinful earth. He remained to absorb the sins and sorrows of humanity so that the world would not fall into chaos, slowly turning black. The angel beside the dark unicorn in this painting tries to convince the selfless unicorn to leave, but he will not. 

Two figures are at play in this astounding Michael Parkes artist image: a powerful black jaguar and a nude winged woman in black stockings, the latter stroking the former’s chin. The contrast between these two figures is stunning, and the sharp black and white contrast in this composition can be interpreted as the harmony of yin and yang. Parkes says of this piece, “The dark and dangerous panther sits in the calm atmosphere of the loving angel.”

This cool-toned, ethereal painting captivates the challenging subject of cosmology and moonlight. The angel holds a representation of the moon in her hand while the full moon shines brightly out, illuminating the angel’s thin and perfect form.

Parkes has also delved into the medium of sculpture, and this is one of the most famous works he has brought into the third dimension. View Moonstruck as a bronze sculpture, which you can also purchase for your collection.

Creatures and humans mix amid a pool of still water and lilypads, and the figures are not entirely corporeal. At first glance, it might seem like a landscape, but upon a closer look, you see it’s more like a dreamscape.

Swan Lake is one of the most colorful and complex in our collection of limited edition Michael Parkes artist prints. Parkes explains the setting for this painting as “a body of water found in a magical place, between Time’s unbreakable chain and human longings.”

Mermaids meet music in this charming masterpiece of magical realism. A blindfolded woman players a string instrument, luring the mermaids in to sing along, enchanted by them even though she cannot see them. The waves have an almost geometric, minimalist appearance, while the figures seem like perfect dolls. It’s another memorable piece that makes Michael Parkes a painter like no other. 

This painting features a reclining nude woman and exotic themes, reminiscent of an odalisque painting that was so popular in the 19th century. The somewhat unreal perspective and partially two-dimensional backgrounds add a layer of surreality to this gorgeous composition. The mood is ornate, indulgent, tropical, and mysterious — a brilliant addition to any collection. Notably, this recent Parkes piece was completed during the COVID-19 quarantine in 2020, where everyone was, quite literally, “going nowhere.” Of this time, Parkes remarked, “During this quarantine, I have been painting as usual, and she is finished. Because of not leaving the house, I thought the name ‘Going Nowhere 2020’ was very appropriate.” 

Running the Bath is a more sensual, yet still magical, piece from Michael Parkes’ collection. A woman bathes with the aid of a blindfolded animal companion or attendant, and her bathtub has a peculiar face, clutching an egg with one of its claw feet. It’s this remarkable imagination that makes Michael Parkes paintings like nothing else, and Running the Bath is a great showcase of the bizarre meeting the elegant.

Explore More Michael Parkes Artist Prints 

Michael Parkes has a style and repertoire like none other. His style and creativity cannot be perfectly imitated, and he is without a doubt the world’s most prolific magical realism painter today. A Michael Parkes painting is a rare piece that collectors and art lovers from around the world covet and treasure.

This is just a sample of the remarkable talent and skill Parkes’ collection has brought to the art world. If you’d like to see more of Michael Parkes’ artist images, sculptures, jewelry, and paintings, please peruse his profile on our online gallery.

An Intro to Dr. Seuss’s Unorthodox Taxidermy Collection

When you think of Dr. Seuss, the first things that come to mind are usually his charming children’s books, his imaginative use of the English language, and the famous Hollywood films his stories inspired. Most people probably don’t think of this lesser-known legacy he left behind: the fantastical Dr. Seuss’s taxidermy collection.

With his taxidermy wall art and sculptures, Seuss furthered his reputation for creating the bizarre and unorthodox. His collection contains names like the Andulovian Grackler, the Tufted Gustard, and the Semi-Normal Green-Lidded Fawn — and they look just as strange and Seuss-ian as you might expect! 
As the premier gallery for Dr. Seuss artwork in the world, Marcus Ashley Gallery is happy to bring you this glimpse into Dr. Seuss’ taxidermy for sale at our gallery. These rare items present an odd and imaginative charm, and we’re pleased to present them to you today.

How the “Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy” Came to Be

Dr. Seuss grew up inspired by the exotic animals at the Springfield Zoo in Massachusetts, where his father eventually became superintendent. His 1967 book If I Ran The Zoo and his lifelong fascination with unusual animals stemmed from this past. In turn, many of our childhoods have been influenced by his love of creatures big and small.

Seuss and his wife’s apartment on Park Avenue in New York became filled with his taxidermy wall art in the 1930s, when Seuss was in his late twenties and thirties. His father would ship him parts from deceased animals from the zoo, including horns, antlers, rabbit ears, and bills.

The collection gained notoriety quickly; Seuss was already a prominent author and illustrator in high society circles in New York. In 1938, an issue of the popular Look magazine called Seuss the “The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.” 

Components of the Collection 

Dr. Seuss’ taxidermy is not technically taxidermy, which is why it is largely deemed as unorthodox taxidermy. While it incorporates elements of real animals such as beaks, horns, bills, and antlers, it does not involve the disemboweling and stuffing of real animals to preserve them as they were in life.

Dr. Seuss himself did not delve too deep into displaying real animal skins. Instead, he repurposed parts from naturally deceased animals from the Springfield Zoo. He used primarily plaster, screws, metal, laminate, and oil paint in his sculptures, adding real animal parts in only a select few. In his Tufted Gustard taxidermy, for example, Dr. Seuss uses no animal parts at all, opting instead for a shaving brush to create the “realistic” tuft of hair.

The collection is full of imaginative treasures. A green bird with a giant beak has a smaller version in a marsupial-esque pouch, and is dubbed the Kangaroo Bird. A pursed-lipped blue animal with dull eyes is crowned with a magnificent set of real antlers, and is dubbed the Sea-Going Dilemma Fish. The somewhat freakish Anthony Drexel Goldfarb has a set of big, floppy rabbit ears and a long brown neck. Like all sculpture, the true creativity of this collection is best witnessed in person.

How Seuss’s Taxidermy Wall Art Furthers His Legacy

How did Dr. Seuss get the inspiration for his bizarre animals? According to one of his interviews with the Saturday Evening Post in 1957, he simply “never learned to draw.” He was purposefully ignorant of realistic anatomy and traditional art techniques, allowing him to express true creativity removed from convention. 

Today, the “Unorthodox Collection” is incredibly valued by fine art collectors. Only 17 Dr. Seuss taxidermy sculptures were ever made. These pieces and their high-quality reproductions remain some of the most sought-after artworks of collectors worldwide. 

Rare and Ingenious Dr. Seuss Taxidermy for Sale at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Marcus Ashley Gallery is the nation’s premier Dr. Seuss art gallery, and we are happy to offer a number of reproductions of Dr. Seuss Taxidermy for sale. There are always a limited number of pieces, so visit our gallery online or in person in South Lake Tahoe to add this remarkable artwork to your collection.