Best Types of Decorative Sculpture for Each Space in Your Home

Placing sculptures is an excellent way to take your home decor to the next level. It brings an extra dimension to your living space by bringing art off the walls and into the room. Sculptures are a very versatile device as well. They come in many different sizes, styles, and mediums and can accommodate a variety of interior color palettes. You can use a sculpture as everything from the centerpiece of a room to a coffee table display and it will create impact.

It’s a good idea to plan your artwork picks and interior decor together to preserve aesthetic harmony across your home. Sculptures with muted color palettes tend to draw attention to their form and design. However, when framed against a similarly-hued wall, much of their appeal is glossed over. Try to incorporate subtle contrast through accent walls and tablescapes as you place your artwork.

Read on for tips on using decorative sculptures for your home’s unique spaces.


Sculptures can be a great way to welcome your guests and can often set the tone for the rest of the house. Feng shui and Buddhas are a popular choice as decor elements facing the front door. The belief is that when chi enters the home and encounters the positive aura of a deity, it casts an auspicious vibe throughout the place. Other decorative sculpture options include artsy key bowls and imaginative coat hangers.

Living Room

A living room is the perfect place to go big with your sculpture decor. If you’re into large scale art and want a piece that dominates a space, this is where it should go. Figurative sculptures, in particular, can add a lot of personality to a room. Some of Michael Parke’s creations, for instance, can be a very impactful presence. They’re beautifully crafted pieces that borrow from mythological themes and typically have an interesting story to go with them.

On the other hand, if you like really expressive artwork with a more modern touch, consider some of Boris Kramer’s work. He creates exquisite hand-forged figurative metal sculptures that evoke intensity and dynamism. They’re great attention-grabbers and conversation starters.

Three Graces decorative sculpture by Boris Kramer

You can also make small-to-mid-sized decorative sculptures more visible in your home by adding a pedestal or base. Sculptures should ideally be displayed at eye level for optimal viewing. Some of Jack Storms’ cold glass sculptures are perfect for pairing with a raised pedestal in your living room. They’re awe-inspiring, skilfully-crafted pieces that are bound to create interesting conversation.

For something more understated, consider stainless steel or monolithic sculptures. These are usually great for pairing with other restrained artwork to create an attractive display.


Desert Palm by Lyman Whitaker

Your bedroom decor is a chance to let you be you. Add some decorative sculptures that lend these spaces a welcoming and comforting vibe. Lyman Whitaker creates beautiful wind sculptures that are best placed near a window or balcony. Inspired by his love of the environment, they create mesmerizing movements that you can admire for hours on end. Aim for color coordination between your sculptures and surrounding elements. People tend to favor neutral palettes for their bedrooms. You could try mixing in a few vivid statuettes to add a pop of color.

Pay special attention to your tablescapes and shelves. Curate some nice smaller scale sculptures to make those surfaces stand out. Some of Mackenzie Thorpe’s pieces are great for adding cheer and positive vibes to your bedroom.


This can be a tricky place in your home for decorative sculptures. You want something that stands out and blends in at the same time. Think about your own interest and what you want the vibe of the place to be. Creative? Contemplative? Rustic? Pick something that inspires you to get down to work. Maybe even add a desk muse to your workstation. Loet Vanderveen’s animal sculptures are an excellent choice for this. Their intricate designs and beautiful patinas make them a lovely addition to any space.


Don’t neglect your passageways. Decorative sculptures and artwork can help break up the monotony of a long corridor or staircase. Mackenzie Thorpe‘s emotive sculptures are a great way to perk up these spaces. Consider having recessed alcoves or shelves built into your walls to create a mini sculpture gallery. Alternatively, hallways are also a good place to add some display cabinets to showcase your artwork.


A well apportioned bathroom is one of the most underrated decor decisions. Thoughtfully placed artwork can lift the vibe of the space and make those long baths a truly decadent experience. Decorative sculptures are a good choice for this; they’re much less susceptible to spoilage from condensation than say an art canvas. 

Vases and finely carved figurative sculptures tend to be popular picks. Opt for sculptures made from ceramic or natural materials that don’t rust over time. If something quirky or eccentric is more your taste, consider some of Frogman’s jewel-toned creations. Inspired by amphibious and seaborne creatures, they’re a fitting choice for the bathroom.

Aurora by Frogman

Dining Room

Dining room decor can subtly influence the mood, conversation, and even appetite of those in there. Some polished metal and ceramic decorative sculptures can give the space a stately, elegant feeling. For a more homely, rustic vibe consider wooden sculptures. Malcolm Tibbetts practices segmented woodturning, a rare technique that demands a lot of patience and skill from the artist. His pieces combine complexity, creativity, and the natural appeal of wood. They’re a good fit for places like the dining room and even kitchen.

Browse More Decorative Sculptures at Marcus Ashley Gallery

If you feel inspired by some of the suggestions here or you’re in the process of curating artwork for your space, be sure to browse through our gallery. Our collection includes artwork from internationally-renowned sculptors and features some rare and truly fascinating sculpting techniques. 

Reach out to our art consultants for advice on choosing the perfect decorative sculpture for your home. Browse through all the services we provide to enhance your art experience, including home previews and excellent financing options. We ship across the continental U.S. and all artwork is insured till it reaches your doorstep.

How To Collect & Display Art For Living Rooms

Your living room is your sanctuary and the centerpiece of your home. It’s where people come to gather and relax in a space that is uniquely yours. That’s why choosing art for living rooms is so important — and so tricky!

With decades in the gallery business, we have many pro tips on how to choose and hang living room art decor properly.We’ll explore our key 9 recommendations below:

  1. Choose Living Room Art Decor Wisely
  2. Make Sure People Won’t Lean On Over-Sofa Art
  3. Choose The Width of Over-Fireplace Art Correctly
  4. Use Paper or Cardboard to Plan Out Art Hanging
  5. Leave At Least 4 Inches Of Margin Space
  6. Use The Right Hanging Materials for Heavy Artwork
  7. Use A Level!
  8. Hang A Salon-Style Gallery Wall Correctly
  9. Consider Leaving Curating, Hanging, & Framing to a Professional

What You’ll Need

  • A level
  • A piece of paper or cardboard cut out to the size of your artwork
  • Rulers or measuring tape
  • Painter’s tape
  • Nails or screws, depending on the size and weight of your artwork
  • A hammer or drill
  • The right drill bit for your screws and wall material
  1. Choose Living Room Art Decor Wisely

Choosing the right art for living rooms is the hardest part of the process. You want art in your living room that:

  • Speaks to you on a personal level
  • Makes the space feel inviting and welcoming (it is a room for living, after all)
  • Fits in your space and coordinates with your color scheme

Sometimes you have artwork in mind right away, but other times, picking the right living room art decor can cause stressful indecision. It doesn’t have to be so difficult if you know a few tips. When it comes to choosing living room art prints, keep these factors in mind. 

  • Scale. Is your artwork too big or too small? Make sure you choose the correct margins and you’re hanging most pieces at eye level (more on that below).
  • Height. Do you have enough wall height to hang the artwork at eye level, or will it look cramped? 
  • Color. Does your artwork suit your interior’s color scheme?
  1. Make Sure People Won’t Lean On Over-Sofa Art

Hanging art for your living room over your sofa is a great idea, but watch out: don’t hang your artwork so low that people can accidentally lean on it! 

Don’t fall for this pitfall, even if you think the artwork looks better if it’s slightly lower. Your artwork needs to stay safe and your space needs to stay liveable at the same time. 

  1. Choose The Width of Over-Fireplace Art Correctly

Hanging living room art decor over a mantle? A general rule of thumb is to ensure the width of the painting is about as wide as the opening of the fireplace itself, not the full mantle. This gives an even and “correct” visual appeal.

  1. Use Paper or Cardboard to Plan Out Art Hanging

If you’re not sure if your artwork is the right size, cut out a piece of cardboard with the same dimensions and hang it up with painter’s tape in your desired space. Afterwards, mark the ideal spot with pencil.

  1. Leave At Least 4 Inches Of Margin Space

A crucial principle of visual design when choosing art for living rooms is creating balance by sticking to consistent margins. If your artwork or furniture is separate from each other, the brain will not blend them together. To the untrained eye, it simply looks less busy or messy.

A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 4 inches of margin space between artworks. 

  1. Use The Right Hanging Materials for Heavy Artwork

Solid wood or metal frames can be very heavy, and the last thing you want is for your valuable living room art prints to fall!

Learn what you’re drilling into. If you’re drilling into concrete or brick, you’ll need a concrete drill bit and a wall anchor. If you’re drilling into wood, a normal drill bit will suffice, and you should still use an anchor for added safety. Try not to hang on drywall, but if you absolutely must, use a toggle bolt and stick to its weight rating. 

  1. Use A Level!

Please use a level when you’re hanging your artwork! This easy and inexpensive tool makes all the difference. Your eyes can deceive you, especially when you’re hanging artwork up close, and constantly shifting your piece back and forth might drive you a little crazy. Use a level for every hanging, both when measuring for the drill holes and when actually hanging it. 

  1. Hang A Salon-Style Gallery Wall Correctly

A salon-style gallery wall with many pieces of artwork grouped together can be quite an involved process to create. You can spend a long time obsessing over correctly grouping and positioning art for living rooms.

We have a few tips on how to create the right gallery-style art wall in your living room. 

  • Make sure spacing is consistent! An even spacing between each artwork will make the overall feel much neater and more intentional-feeling. 
  • Symmetry isn’t always necessary. If you have many different works of different sizes, trying to force symmetry and balance is less natural than embracing the asymmetry and hanging the artwork in a varied cluster. 
  • Put the central artwork at eye level. 
  1. Consider Leaving Curating, Hanging, & Framing to a Professional

When in doubt, the best decision can be for a professional gallery curator or interior designer to frame your pieces and choose the location of your paintings for you. If you’re worried you’re going to mess it up and you don’t have an eye for design yourself, you may never be satisfied with what you create. In these cases, you may be happier spending the small extra amount hiring a professional to help curate art for your living room. 

Consider reaching out to the professionals at Marcus Ashley Gallery. If you’re in the Lake Tahoe area, we can even take pieces from our gallery to arrange a private showing in your home. This way, you can see for yourself in person how our pieces look in your space. 
For any more questions or to work with one of our art consultants directly on your art selection, don’t hesitate to contact us.

How to Decorate with Large Scale Art

The difference between decorating with regular-sized art and larger artwork is that while the former serves to enhance your space, you can often plan your room around the latter. Large scale original paintings, photographs, sculptures, and fine art prints can easily stand by themselves and serve as the centerpiece of the room.

By the same coin, they can also create unexpected outcomes. Because large scale art tends to have an outsized influence on its surroundings, it’s a good idea to put some thought into the kind of artwork you choose, where you install it, and how you showcase it. If you’re considering buying a large piece of artwork for your space or looking for tips to install it, this blog is an excellent starting point for you.

Installing Large Scale Art: How to DIY

If you’re researching how to install a large scale painting or sculpture by yourself, it’s easy to get inundated with confusing advice as well as overlook some crucial things. Here are some basic tips to get you started on the right foot:

Find the Correct Level

Ensure you find the right height to hang your art before you begin boring holes into your wall. There are some tried and tested metrics you can follow for this. Ideally, your large scale art should be hung so that its midpoint is about 60 inches above the floor. If it’s going to be hung in the bedroom or sitting room, leave 8-10 inches between the bottom of the artwork and the headboard or the back of the sofa. Hang it around six inches above the surface of the mantel — unless you intend to place it on the mantel have it lean against the wall.

Use a measuring tape to determine the right height to place your fixings. Mark off your drill spots with a hard charcoal pencil so that it’s easy to erase. Use a step ladder so that you’re stable throughout the process and to ensure you’ve made your markings correctly. 

Use a Stud Finder

It’s important to understand the structure of your walls when you’re installing large scale art. They may often have water pipes and electricity lines running through them. In modern homes, these are usually channeled around the edges of the walls, but this isn’t always the case for older houses. If you drill in the wrong spot, you might end up puncturing a pipe or nicking an electric cable.

A stud finder is a device that helps you locate the studs in your walls. Studs are heavy wooden beams that serve as a frame for your whole structure and are better equipped to support heavier objects like a large scale painting. 

Pay Attention to Fixings

When hanging any kind of flat artwork, it’s always recommended to use double fixings on either side of the painting, rather than a single, central fixing. This helps prevent your artwork from leaning forward or moving every time someone brushes past.

With large scale art, it’s better to employ slightly bigger fixings than you might think necessary. A couple of screws on a simple plaster wall aren’t likely to support a large painting for very long.

If you’re looking for professional advice to correctly install your new artwork, the art consultants at Marcus Ashley Gallery will be delighted to help you out. 

Decorating with Large Artwork

Large scale art is more than just a painting or a sculpture that happens to be oversized. It’s meant to command a space and be an immersive experience. When you’re displaying it, you’ll want to ensure that there’s harmony between the art and its surroundings, so that it’s an intriguing presence rather than a jarring one. The last thing you want is to splurge on a piece of art and display it in a room with a number of other distractions that take away from the effect of your largest showpiece.

Consider some of these ideas when choosing and displaying your new artwork:

Enhance an Accent Wall

An accent wall is often the perfect backdrop for large scale art. It can elevate the effect of an imposing painting or sculpture and together serve as the star attraction in your home. Depending on how impactful your accent wall is to begin with, you could try adding in a minimalistic canvas with neutral hues and large brushstrokes for a timeless feel. You could also use it as a backdrop for a white marble sculpture, using the contrast to accentuate the artwork.

Over the Fireplace

This is a favored place for most people to hang a large scale painting or photograph. It works quite well since a fireplace is often the focal point of a room, especially a sitting room. It can create interesting conversation among your guests, allowing them to appreciate it together. In fact, it’s a great way to ensure that a stunning piece of art doesn’t go unnoticed. Everything from landscapes to abstract artwork and mixed media originals work well for this setting. You could also try placing it on the mantel and lean against the wall for a more eclectic, laid-back vibe.

Above the Sofa

This is another excellent spot in your living room to hang large scale art. If your sofa is set against a blank stretch of wall, try framing it with a large painting. Choose complementary colors paired with pillows and drapes to retain a uniform aesthetic throughout the space.

Against a Stairwell

Have a long stairwell? Give it some character with a large scale painting. Try adding something with narrative or movement, such as a period piece or a mythological depiction, so that your guests can appreciate it better as they’re moving across it. 

Over the Bed

This is perhaps the ultimate way to indulge your individuality with large scale art. Since not everyone has access to your bedroom, what you display there has special meaning. Don’t hesitate to be bold and expressive in the artwork you put up — perhaps an imposing portrait or photograph or something that’s personally meaningful to you.

Centerpiece for an Open Space

Sculptures and other large scale art creations are the perfect way to add some character and focus to a big empty space, such as a building’s lobby, your home’s foyer, or a massive hallway in your home. It’s an ideal setting to showcase a sizable sculpture, since people have 360° access to it, with plenty of space to move around and admire all the little details the sculptor would want them to notice.

Explore Large Scale Art at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Marcus Ashley Gallery hosts an extensive collection of large-sized artwork from a range of talented artists. Browse through some of their work below and on our website.

Aleksandra Rozenvain

Aleksandra Rozenvain is a contemporary impressionist. She creates stunning cityscapes and landscapes that showcase some of her favorite settings from around the world. Her art is an interesting mix of a very structured technique and experimentation with her medium of work. She lives in Toronto with her husband Michael Rozenvain, also an established artist featured at Marcus Ashley Gallery.

Dazzling City of Love by Aleksandra Rozenvain
Dazzling City of Love by Aleksandra Rozenvain


2Wild is a collaborative collection from the brother-sister duo of Barak and Miri Rozenvain. Inspired by their rural upbringing, they’re both drawn to natural and wildlife-oriented themes. Much like their parents, Aleksandra and Michael, they too like to combine unconventional mediums in their artwork. However, their experimentation is much bolder and results in stunning mixed-media large scale art that is a joy to decipher and appreciate.

Tahoe Magic large scale art by 2Wild
Tahoe Magic by 2Wild

Jon Paul

Jon Paul’s nature photography is breathtaking in its scope and impressive for the technical skill it showcases. He uses a large format photo film camera to capture his panoramic images and blends it with images from a small digital camera to highlight smaller details and nuances. His large scale art photos are available as both aluminum and paper prints.

Wolf Moon by Jon Paul
Wolf Moon by Jon Paul
My Butterfly stainless sculpture by Mackenzie Thorpe
My Butterfly-Stainless by Mackenzie Thorpe

Mackenzie Thorpe

Mackenzie Thorpe is an internationally renowned artist from Middlesbrough, UK. His work expresses a range of human emotion, often centering on themes of love and friendship, which he considers the most important thing in the world.

He creates both paintings and sculptures. The latter, in particular, are excellent examples of large scale art, sculpted with metals like bronze and stainless steel.

Boris Kramer

Boris Kramer creates exquisite figurative sculptures that are often larger-than-life. He uses mediums like bronze, steel, copper, and brass. Kramer is fascinated by human relationships and his work often showcases human-like figures engaged in exuberant dance routines, always evoking intensity and dynamism. His large scale art sculptures are perfect additions for open private and public spaces.

Monuments sculpture by Boris Kramer
Monuments by Boris Kramer

Learn More with Marcus Ashley Gallery

If you’re keen on decorating with large artwork, reach out to our art consultants today for help in finding the perfect piece for your space. With our gallery, you have access to a number of services, including home previews and private art shows to give you a sense of what your new large scale art might look like in your space. We also offer excellent financing options as well as annual certificates of replacement value for all your artwork.

Our Favorite Summer Lake Tahoe Activities

The turquoise blue waters and mountain landscape of Lake Tahoe make for an idyllic and rejuvenating vacation all year round. Summer Lake Tahoe activities are endless — from boating to sunbathing to hiking to everything in between.

South Lake Tahoe, the gorgeous lakeside town where our very own Marcus Ashley Gallery is located, is also packed with fun in summer. South Lake Tahoe summer activities include live music, fine dining, boating experiences, tours, and much more.

There’s so much to do in summer you might just have to come back year after year! Read our favorite ideas and get inspired to make your vacation itinerary.

  • Kayaking or trekking to a secret beach

One of the top things to do for leisure around South Lake Tahoe is to find the hidden nooks and crannies around the lake, including the hidden beach. Kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding are essential summer Lake Tahoe activities anyways, but you should also try to reach new shores with your vessels!

The famous Hidden Beach is tucked away on the beautiful East Shore, and can be accessed by a mile-long trail or a boat. This popular beach is also the only place in Lake Tahoe that allows nude sunbathing and swimming, so if that doesn’t float your boat (or kayak), just be aware.

  • Hiking the mountain trails

We can’t imagine how you could pack a summer in Lake Tahoe with activities but not include a hiking trail! There are so many gorgeous state parks and lakeside paths to hike that outdoor enthusiasts are spoiled for choice.

We love the famous Rubicon Trail that has an end in our own South Lake Tahoe. A popular summer activity, hiking this trail will connect you with both D.L. Bliss State Park and Emerald Bay State Park. It’s almost seven miles one way, so you’ll need to pack a lunch, and consider parking two cars on each end of the park if you can.

Make sure you follow dog guidelines (on some trails, a dog must be kept on a leash), and make sure a hike isn’t too strenuous for everyone involved in advance. Hiking is one of the best ways you can enjoy the beauty of Lake Tahoe and truly immerse yourself in the gorgeous, serene wild.

  • Zip lining and ropes courses

Monkeying around on zip lines and ropes courses is a fun thing to do in a South Lake Tahoe summer! There are plenty of courses and guided zip line tours that let you see the beautiful scenery from above.

The Tahoe Treetop Adventure Park, for example, is full of courses that have you interacting and exploring up in the air for about two hours each. People of all ages can do these courses, so they’re great for a family. This is not a passive zip lining tour where you glide over the canopy; this is an interactive obstacle course you have to make your way through.

Heavenly Mountain Resort also has a range of rock climbing walls, zip lines, and ropes courses to enjoy, making visiting it a very popular South Lake Tahoe summer activity. We also love the dining and views at this resort!

  • Cycling and mountain biking

Lake Tahoe is a biker’s paradise. Whether you like adventurous mountain biking or simply a roll around a flat path, you’re in the right place. Cycling is a very popular summer Lake Tahoe activity, and for good reason.

One of our favorite cycling destinations is the Pope-Baldwin bike path. This path is conveniently paved, so you won’t need a mountain bike or rough terrain biking skills. It takes you through old growth forests and to several gorgeous beaches, including Kiva Beach. This is also a great activity for kids, as it has plenty of stops and a breezy terrain.

  • Indulging in fine dining and live music lakeside

There’s no better place for dining and events than in South Lake Tahoe! You will never run out of dining options, whether you like Asian fusion, Irish pubs, or anything in between. You can find casual fare as well as gourmet, 5-star dining, so vacationers on every budget can find something delicious.

Check out our article on our local dining recommendations to grab some more ideas for fun things to do in South Lake Tahoe summer.

  • Visit our art gallery in South Lake Tahoe

When you’re planning your summer Lake Tahoe activities, don’t forget to include a visit to Marcus Ashley Gallery. Our world-renowned gallery is a feast for the imagination, and visitors of all ages will appreciate the variety, skill, and creativity we have on display.

Come explore 4400 square feet of paintings, sculptures, books, gifts, and even a rare and exclusive Dr. Seuss collection. You might even want to pick up a souvenir of your vacation in the form of local Lake Tahoe artwork inspired by the beautiful landscape. We have fully-insured international shipping, custom framing, and every service a collector could need. Come check us out year-round. We’d be happy to welcome you into our gallery.

Spring Gift Guide: Our Top Gift Ideas For Spring

What do you get for the art lover who has everything this spring? At Marcus Ashley Gallery, our collection is blooming with unique art and innovative artists who are at the forefront of contemporary art. If you’re looking for a unique art gift idea for spring, look no further. Whether you’re seeking a small-size piece like a Loet Vanderveen bronze animal sculpture or something on a grander scale like a commissioned piece by Miri Rozenvain, we have something for every visual aesthetic.

Explore a selection of our favorites below and browse our full collection online to find the perfect gift this season or any time of year.

Blue cubic crystal sculpture entitled Blue Spectrum by Jack Storms at Marcus Ashley Gallery
Blue Spectrum by Jack Storms

A Jack Storms original sculpture has no perfect imitation in the world. Very few people can blend optic crystal, dichroic glass, and spectrum glass in such a fascinating way. A Storms sculpture is an exquisite, unique art gift that will be cherished by any lucky recipient for generations.

These sculptures are such a kaleidoscopic marvel that they seem almost computer generated, even though they’re meticulously crafted by hand with special machinery. These sculptures have a science fiction-like, otherworldly appeal, and indeed, some were even featured in a Guardians of the Galaxy film!

Animated gif of a copper wind sculpture entitled Double Spinner by Lyman Whitaker at Marcus Ashley Gallery
Double Spinner by Lyman Whitaker

These stunning sculptures by Lyman Whitaker are mesmerizing in a garden, front yard, or public space. We adore the optical effects Whitaker manages to achieve, and the floral motifs and its function as outdoor decor make it a perfect gift idea for spring. His pieces are what first greet our gallery visitors outside of our South Lake Tahoe gallery and make a lasting impression.

With a Whitaker sculpture, you will not only have a visual marvel, but also sublime craftsmanship and mechanical integrity. Whitaker has been making these sculptures for over 50 years, and he’s well-respected for his innovative designs and reliable construction. If you’re looking for an outdoor sculpture, a Whitaker original is ideal.

Glass sculpture of a purple frog and orange flowers entitled California Gold by artist Frogman at Marcus Ashley Gallery
California Gold by Tim Cotterill “Frogman”

A Frogman sculpture would make a fantastic Mother’s Day gift in May! Rather than giving your mother a set of flowers that wilt after a few days or so, give your mother a one-of-a-kind glass flower sculpture by an artist of renown. These keepsakes are created to simply put a smile on your face, and to us, that’s certainly a gift worth giving.

Colorful still life of wine, fruit, and flowers entitled Gold Rush by Eric Christensen
Gold Rush by Eric Christensen

A vibrant Eric Christensen painting is a remarkable gift idea for spring. These paintings are utterly awestriking in their realism, and the curators and collectors at Marcus Ashley Gallery simply can’t get enough.

Christensen is an undisputed master of his craft. You might not believe it, but these hyper-realistic paintings are actually watercolor! Christensen’s signature watercolor technique allows him to go beyond the look of a photograph and create a magical brightness and charm that transports viewers to the countryside. A Christensen limited edition or original would certainly be a unique art gift to remember this spring.

  • A Unique Art Book

An art book is a wonderful gift for any art lover, all times of year. We have plenty of recommendations from our gallery.

Out of the Shadows by Mackenzie Thorpe is a heartwarming story of the artist’s life and journey towards becoming an artist. Scratching the Surface covers the life and career of Sally Maxwell, a nature artist with phenomenal realism and an entrancing style. New Horizons is full of beautiful nature illustrations by Charles H. Pabst, whose mission in art is simply to “give joy and happiness.”

An art book would be an ideal gift idea for a spring graduate, especially if your grad majored in art or design!

Painting of a tropical scene and The Little Mermaid characters entitled Dreaming by Steve Barton
Dreaming by Steve Barton

Kick off the light-heartedness of spring with a delightful Steve Barton painting. These bold and colorful creations have an aura of fun and whimsy, and they’re also technically brilliant and make fine collectors’ pieces art lovers can appreciate. Take your gift to the next level and choose one of his trademark Wavy pieces, where the frame is just as much a piece of art as the painting within it.

Steve Barton is also a Lake Tahoe lover who takes plenty of his passion and inspiration from the beautiful nature seen in Tahoe and the Sierra Nevadas. If you’ve visited our gallery in South Lake Tahoe and you’re looking for a piece to commemorate your stay, look no further than our collection of Steve Barton paintings.

Realistic artwork of a wildcat entitled Stepping Out by Sally Maxwell
Stepping Out by Sally Maxwell

Sally Maxwell is a master of making the personalities and spirits of wild animals come alive through art. Her signature black backgrounds make for an eye-catching showstopper on any wall.

Amazingly, her artwork is not paint on canvas. She uses a unique scratchboard technique to achieve her crisp lines and bold contrast, a medium which few contemporary artists have mastered. A Maxwell limited edition or original is a fine gift for any art appreciator and animal lover.

Find More Unique Art Gifts at Marcus Ashley Gallery

We’ve barely scratched the surface of what our expansive gallery and online collection have to offer. Marcus Ashley Gallery is a destination for art lovers in the heart of South Lake Tahoe, and our extensive range of gallery services online and in-person make us the perfect place to find an art gift idea for spring. Contact us for more information about any of the artists in this guide or for help finding the perfect gift for your family. We’re here to help!

The History of Realistic and Hyperrealistic Art

Hyperrealism is a relatively new form of art. It describes artwork that looks incredibly lifelike and is often mistaken for the real thing. At a distance, it’s easy to confuse a hyperrealistic painting or sculpture for an actual photograph or object. This is quite deliberate. Artists create an illusion of reality by using special techniques to create their artwork. As a genre, Hyperrealism is distinct from Photorealism and Realism, although it evolved from them. To understand the history of the hyperrealistic art movement, it’s worth taking a look at the history of its precursors.

Realism and Photorealism

Realism was born in the mid-19th century in post-revolutionary France. Until then, the art world was dominated by styles like Romanticism and Late Baroque, which were all about idealistic portrayals of the world. Their subjects were often borrowed from myth and theology and were showcased in imaginary, dramatic settings. It was akin to artistic escapism.

Realism artists rejected these notions and sought to create art that was grounded in reality. Painters like Gustave Courbet and Jean-Francois Millet exemplified this style. They painted scenes that depicted working-class themes and common folk. It was authentic art that showed the world for what it was, without dressing it up or avoiding unpleasantness.

Photorealism emerged in the late 1960s in the U.S. It built on the Realism movement and the popularity of photography. Photorealists would take a photo and attempt to reproduce it exactly with paint on canvas. Their subjects were often pop-culture objects and urban American settings. Richard Estes and Chuck Close were some of the first Photorealist artists and indeed went on to pioneer Hyperrealism artwork later on.

Evolution of Hyperrealistic Art

Unlike Photorealist artists, Hyperrealists don’t seek to copy their subjects exactly. Rather, they use their photographs only as a reference point and go on to add elements and themes that appeal to them. Broadly speaking, Photorealists dispassionately and accurately reproduce what they see. Hyperrealists deliberately infuse their creations with emotion and narrative to evoke greater meaning. By adding context and complexity, they hope to make their artwork come across as natural and indistinguishable from the reference material.

Hyperrealistic art first began to gain a following in the 1970s. The movement was recognized internationally when it participated in the 1972 edition of documenta, the Modern and Contemporary Art exhibition in Kassel, Germany. The term ‘Hyperrealism’ was coined a year later by Isy Brachot, a Belgian art dealer. In 1973, he hosted an exhibition which featured the work of several prominent American Photorealists. He called it L’hyperréalisme.

However, despite its roots, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that Hyperrealism evolved into the independent art form it is today. Modern Hyperrealism combines traditional artistry with newfound techniques by leveraging advances in technology.

Hyperrealism Artwork: Tools and Techniques

By definition, hyperrealistic art imitates reality — not necessarily in the details of what the actual object looks like, but rather in its ability to make the viewer believe it’s a real object or photograph. For instance, if the reference photograph shows a person with an impassive expression, the artist may choose to add a grin or a wink to the painting. However, the objective is to make you believe they’re both real photographs.

This requires a great deal of technical prowess and dedication to achieve. It also creates new opportunities for experimentation and artistic application. Hyperrealistic art can incorporate photographic limitations like perspective, depth of focus, and range of focus. Artists even go so far as to accentuate photographic anomalies, such as fractalization, in their artwork in order to emphasize its digital origins.

In this sense, the subject of Hyperrealism artwork isn’t just the image in the photograph, but the photograph itself. It’s tendencies like these that define Hyperrealism as a distinct and mature genre.

Hyperrealist artists employ the same art tools that have been in use for centuries, including paint, ink, charcoal, graphite, clay, marble, and so on. However, they make some allowances for mechanically transferring the images to the canvas or mold to simulate reality. Aids like grayscale underpainting, grid tools, and photographic slide projections onto canvas are common. Hyperrealistic art sculptors will often apply polyesters directly onto the human body or mold for greater fidelity.

Modern technology has its part to play too. Digital art, created with the help of special software and gear, is a popular way to create hyperrealist sketches and paintings. Working digitally, the artist can incorporate effects and elements into the art that would be impossible to capture with photography.

Modern Exponents of Hyperrealistic Art

Hyperrealism artwork can have a variety of subject matters, ranging from portraits to still lifes, landscapes, figurative art, and more. Each artist will often develop a niche that intrigues them. Marcus Ashley Gallery hosts a wide selection of artwork from modern masters of Realism and Hyperrealism.

Eric Christensen

Eric Christensen is a watercolor Hyperrealist. In fact, he’s the only known artist able to produce hyperrealistic art through standard transparent watercolors. His muse is the California wine country. He creates incredibly vibrant and lifelike landscapes and still lifes around this theme. He does this using a patented watercolor technique that allows him to transcend the look and feel of a high-definition photograph.

Many of his works are based on real locations. He spends a lot of time extensively photographing his subjects before he gets down to recreating them in paint. Each painting takes months to complete. Christensen releases only four or five originals every year.

Shades of Summer hyperrealistic art by Eric Christensen
Shades of Summer by Eric Christensen

John-Mark Gleadow

John-Mark Gleadow’s paintings look like something straight out of a bibliophile’s Instagram. His paintings typically show a series of books stacked together on a shelf. You’re drawn in by the book titles in what you think is a photo, until you spot something off about it. You realize that while the image appears to be a photograph in every sense, it couldn’t possibly be one.

Gleadow’s hyperrealistic art is created using oil on canvas. He prefers oils because of their richness and permanence. Gleadow enjoyed success as an artist quite early in life and his work is well recognized worldwide. His influences include Salvador Dali, Vermeer, and Rene Magritte.

Bibliotheque III Hyperrealism artwork by John-Mark-Gleadow
Bibliotheque III by John-Mark Gleadow

Alexander Volkov

Alexander Volkov’s still-life and landscape paintings are some of the most captivating images of rural America you’re likely to come across. His realistic and hyperrealistic art is loved internationally for the beautiful interplay of light that characterizes each piece. He skilfully uses lighting to create mood and infuse narrative into his artwork. A Volkov original tends to draw you in and make you lose track of time as you’re appreciating it.

Volkov is self-taught, but only in the conventional sense. He believes that there is learning and inspiration all around you if you’re willing to pay attention to it. Some of his early influences include Vermeer, Rembrandt, and William Turner. He has recently forayed into the world of sculpture as well.

Aspen Sunset by Alexander Volkov
Aspen Sunset by Alexander Volkov

Explore Hyperrealistic Art at Marcus Ashley Gallery

If you’re fascinated by this art style, learn more about it at Marcus Ashley Gallery. Our expert art consultants will be delighted to introduce you to some modern Hyperrealism artwork maestros and give you an insight into their process.

Explore all the art services our gallery offers, including custom framing, home previews, and affordable financing. Get fully insured international shipments of your hyperrealistic art and free shipping in the continental U.S.

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.

Why We Love Mixed Media Artists

Mixed media painting of an eagle by 2Wild at Marcus Ashley Gallery
“Wild Flight” by 2Wild, acrylic and mixed media on panel

Mixed media artwork is totally free of restrictions. Any limitation a particular media might have is forfeit when you blend materials to create your own new style. The lack of barriers can be overwhelming for some, but the best mixed media artists utilize the full extent of their creativity to produce utterly ingenious artwork.

Here, we’ll explore why mixed media art is breaking boundaries and the contemporary mixed media artists that are shaping the genre. Learn more from the art connoisseurs at Marcus Ashley Gallery.

A Brief History of Mixed Media Art

The definition of mixed media can simply be “artwork that uses more than one medium,” the concept of which has been around since as long as artwork has been around. As a respected art form in the Western world, however, mixed media became popular around the time of Picasso around the 1910s. 

Picasso would blend previously unheard of materials like canvas, rope, and seemingly random materials such as wallpaper in his work. His peers, including Braque and Matisse, experimented with collage and cubism in new and eccentric ways, blending media in a way that was previously considered gauche or unacceptable.   

The mixed media artist Marcel Duchamp truly took collage to new heights, however, with his innovative and often bizarre collages. He took strange items like newspaper clippings and broken pipes to make artwork that really “stood out” — and even infuriated some fine art connoisseurs at the time.

Mixed media artwork often existed to challenge the very idea of what artwork was to the art world, especially those in high society salons who were still firmly rooted in classical techniques and approaches. Mixed media artwork was one of the big steps towards breaking down boundaries for artwork that existed between the rich and the poor. Its message: “You can make art out of anything.”

Contemporary Mixed Media Artists We Love

At Marcus Ashley Gallery, we’re proud to host work from some of the finest mixed media artists of our time. Mixed media allows artists to push creative boundaries and give two-dimensional works interesting texture and unique 3D elements. 

Below is some of our favorite mixed media artwork on display at our gallery. Make sure you explore more artists at our online exhibition!

2Wild (An Artistic Collaboration of Barak and Miri Rozenvain)

Mixed media artwork of a golfer swinging a club with the arc of his swing covered in colorful butterflies, entitled Spring Golfing by artist duo 2Wild.
Spring Golfing” by 2Wild, acrylic and mixed media on panel

Brother and sister duo Miri and Barak Rozenvain are some of the best known contemporary mixed media artists today, and they do not hold back in their ambitious experimentation and soaring creativity. Both siblings are impressive and accomplished artists in their own right, and together, their art soars to new heights. 

No media is off limits for 2Wild. They use everything from map clippings to glitter to sand in their artwork, all carefully collected from places in which they’ve gathered their inspiration. They also take commissions from clients, and are happy to represent the themes and inspirations that are important to you in their unique style. 

Dave Archer

A colorful cosmic scene with a central pinkish planet, entitled Mystic by Dave Archer.
Mystic” by Dave Archer, mixed media on glass

Dave Archer’s cosmic mixed media artwork is not just superficially fantastic; the scientific approach to his work makes it completely out of this world. 

Archer actually uses a handheld Tesla coil to electrocute a mixture of acrylic resin paint, which produces “cosmic clouds” he then paints over with planets and surreal galactic elements. He manipulates the paints on the back of clear glass with two million volts of electricity, and takes inspiration from real photographs from space telescopes for his imaginary galaxies. 

Archer is a fantastic example of a mixed media artist who uses technology and specialized materials in his craft. He was one of the pioneers of mixing electricity with art as well, with his earliest works first made in the 1970s. His works are truly like no other, and have even been featured in shows like Star Trek!

Rolinda Stotts

A triptych of pine trees and an orange landscape, painted by Rolinda Stotts.
On the Wild Side” by Rolinda Stotts, mixed media

Stotts uses a mixture of different types of woods and acrylic to create beautiful natural landscapes and evocative scenes that respect her powerful love of nature. 

What’s fascinating and unique about Stotts’ artwork is that she intentionally breaks and cracks her work. The results evoke images of ancient frescos and decayed wood, adding beautiful layers of texture and tactile depth. Imperfection is beauty to Stotts, and there truly is a deep beauty in her one-of-a-kind mixed media artwork. 

Discover Mixed Media Artists at Marcus Ashley Gallery

At Marcus Ashley Gallery, our passion is representing some of the best artists of history and today. We host fine works from some of the best mixed media artists in the United States and beyond, and we’re delighted to share them with you both online and in person in South Lake Tahoe. 

Our concierge gallery services allow you to collect fine artwork for your own personal collection. We can provide the highest gallery services including custom framing, fully insured international shipping, and certificates of replacement value. Come visit our expansive gallery or consider purchasing artwork for your collection online.