Art for Nature Lovers: Landscape Canvas Print Gifts at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Marcus Ashley Gallery is located in the beautiful scenery of South Lake Tahoe, where we are incredibly fortunate to have the majesty of nature in our backyard. Many pieces in our collection are inspired by the natural landscapes that surround us, and our art curators are often asked what artwork can commemorate their love for the landscape.

Here are our best ideas for landscape canvas prints, landscape pictures (framed or unframed prints), and landscape photography wall art. Enjoy our inspired collection.

Rolinda Stotts’ “Artfully Ruined” Landscapes

Stotts has pioneered a style of landscape painting that is truly unparalleled. She uses a technique she’s named “Bella Rotta,” which translates to “beautiful broken” in Italian. She purposely breaks and damages her artwork to imitate age and decay. The destruction adds texture, intrigue, dimension, and life to otherwise gentle, peaceful nature scenes.

A Stotts landscape canvas print (or mixed media painting) would make a fantastic gift for a nature lover, especially one who can appreciate the beauty found in imperfection.

Dancing Light

Rare and Glorious Nature Photography by Jon Paul

Capturing the true grandeur of nature with a camera is not easy, yet Jon Paul manages to accomplish it time and time again. Jon Paul has dedicated his life to portraying the mysteries of the wild.

Paul has an impressive repertoire. Our Jon Paul collection encompasses panoramas, landscapes, wildlife, night shots, black and white subjects, national parks, the Southwest, and 

photographs of our very own Lake Tahoe. If you want to purchase landscape photography wall art for yourself or as a gift, we can’t recommend Jon Paul’s work highly enough.

Snow Capped

Barak Rozenvain’s Stunning Mountains

Rozenvain is inspired by his hometown of Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. What you can’t quite see online is how Rozenvain illustrates the tremendous depth of the mountains in three dimensions, essentially creating a sculpture on canvas with thick paint. The result is a homage to snow-capped mountains that comes remarkably close to the real thing.

Many of Rozenvain’s original works are for sale at Marcus Ashley Gallery, and you can also have his landscape photos framed using our gallery services.

Painting of a colorful canyon with a cowboy on horseback entitled Canyon Floor by Charles Pabst

The Majestic Landscapes of Charles Pabst

There are few artists alive today who have mastered color and landscape in the way Charles Pabst has. In stunning pastel hues, Pabst explores the beauty of America’s national parks, especially the untamed West. In his paintings, you can get lost in worlds of color and light that draw you with their vivid, ethereal calmness.

Charles Pabst is one of the finest contemporary landscape painters today, and a limited edition landscape canvas print from his collection would be an exquisite gift for any art collector.

Winter's Twilight

Alexander Volkov’s Fascinating Realism

Renowned artist Alexander Volkov uses oil paint with such expertise that you might often confuse his paintings for photographs. The pieces he creates with his paintbrush are nothing short of magical. 

His interplay of light is one of his strengths, and it’s also a feature that’s incredibly important to him. Volkov says: “There is no greater mystery to me than the conflict of light and darkness. In the way they clash and penetrate each other, there is the source of everything. Whether I paint a landscape, a still-life or a portrait, within it there is always a story of light traveling through darkness.”

Not only do we have a variety of astounding limited edition landscape canvas prints available at our store, we’re also thrilled to offer a few select Alexander Volkov originals. Your nature-loving recipient will be very lucky indeed if they’re gifted one of these rare and special works of art.

Have Landscape Paintings Framed at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Our highly experienced custom framers can frame your artwork to perfection and customize your frame to your interior decor. Our experts are happy to discuss framing options with you. Simply contact us or visit us in person at our spacious South Lake Tahoe gallery. We look forward to helping you find a fantastic gift for the nature lover in your life.

Gift Ideas for Private Art Collectors & Art Lovers

What do you get for the private art collector that has it all? Taste is incredibly subjective, of course, but Marcus Ashley Gallery boasts a collection of inspiring artwork that any collector would be proud to display in their personal gallery. 

If you’re looking for a special gift for a loved one or cherished friend, our art connoisseurs are able to help. Peruse these gift ideas for art lovers and explore more breathtaking options at our online gallery.

Painting of a white tree and sunflower field entitles Wild World by Mario Jung

Mario Jung Originals

Jung’s contemporary impasto landscapes are distinctive for their clean lines, vivid colors, and rich details. His paintings often feature a single poignant tree, created by meticulously layering oil paint to achieve a three-dimensional effect. 

His paintings are as unique as his story. After a fall interrupted his art career and left him blind, deaf, and paralyzed, Jung miraculously recovered. He returned to art through sheer determination and force of will. He has dedicated his life to art ever since and has enjoyed worldwide fame among public and private art collectors alike.

Painting of a white angel woman with a black unicorn entitled Dark Unicorn by Michael Parkes

Michael Parkes’ Limited Edition Canvas

Michael Parkes is an exemplary artist that Marcus Ashley Gallery is incredibly proud to showcase. He has single-handedly advanced the genre of “magical realism” to brave new heights by blending surrealism with magic, ancient myths, and mysteries.

His body of work is both expansive and varied. He has mastered oil painting, stone lithographs, bronze sculptures, vellum drawings, and even jewelry. A Michael Parkes original or limited edition is a fantastic gift idea for any art lover.


Rolinda Stotts’ “Bella Rotta” Originals

Rolinda Stotts’ artwork is highly distinctive for its “Bella Rotta” process, an Italian term she coined which translates to “beautiful broken.” She paints dramatic, gorgeous nature scenes, often on multiple panels, and then purposely breaks and damages them to imitate imperfection and create unique textures.  

Stotts’ artwork is popular for its charm, individuality, and composition. At Marcus Ashley Gallery, we’re also pleased to offer our clients the opportunity to commission a one-of-a-kind piece for private art collectors.

To take your gift experience to the next level, reach out to us to learn more about Rolinda Stotts’ home shows, wherein she will visit your recipient’s home and help consult on how best to decorate blank wall spaces with her multi-part artwork.

Bernhardt Trail

Charles Pabst Limited Edition Prints

Pabst’s love for the beauty of natural America and Italy is the dominant feature in his works. His mastery over the brush is unparalleled and universally admired.

You may have heard of Pabst: he is one of the finest American contemporary landscape artists alive today. His art is in huge demand both domestically and internationally, and one look at his stunning works will explain why. A Charles Pabst limited edition print is an ideal gift idea for art lovers everywhere.

Browse the Collection at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Our gallery is renowned for its impeccable collection, knowledgeable staff, and excellent service for private art collectors. Let us help you discover awe-inspiring art and select the finest gift ideas for art lovers. Contact us with any questions or visit us at our beautiful South Lake Tahoe gallery. 

Our Favorite Things to Do in Tahoe Winters

Lake Tahoe is an absolute winter wonderland. If you enjoy a cozy fire with craft beer, entertainment, and a great view, this is the place for you. Here are the top recommendations for things to do in Tahoe during winter, brought to you by our local staff at Marcus Ashley Gallery.

Hit the Slopes

Skiing is an absolute must! Lake Tahoe is internationally famous for its gorgeous ski resorts, and this is a great place to hone your skills or start learning. No matter your fitness or skill level, a ski resort is a fun place everyone can enjoy. 

There are a number of fantastic ski resorts in the area. Heavenly Mountain Resort is the largest, stretching over both Nevada and California and offering beautiful views of the lake from the slopes. Families with kids can hit the bunny slopes or go tubing.  Advanced skiers can get an adrenaline rush on the intense black diamond valleys. 

Kirkwood is a bit more remote, but its steep slopes are highly sought-after by thrill-seekers. Sierra-at-Tahoe has a laid-back atmosphere, lovely scenery, and that warm, cozy feeling we love about winter. It also has one of the best ski schools around for every skill level, from beginners to experts.

Have a Night Out at AleWorX at the Y

Head over to AleWorX for amazing craft beer and wood-fired pizza. This wonderful venue features a self-serve tap wall of unique craft beer, and the patio is always alive with music and entertainment. Visiting this fun local nightlife hotspot is a must on our list of things to do in Tahoe in the winter.

Eat at Our Favorite Local Restaurants 

Fine dining is abundant in South Lake Tahoe, and our gallery staff has had the pleasure to experience it all. You can’t go wrong with a delicious night out at Riva Grill and the Edgewood Resort Bistro. Riva Grill is located right on the lake, and its outdoor patio seating offers breathtaking views. The Edgewood Bistro has classic menu options that everyone can enjoy in a beautiful, comfortable ambience.

Watch Magic Fusion at the Loft Theatre & Lounge

This perfect mix of magic and comedy is one of our top personal recommendations for things to do in Tahoe in the winter. Magic Fusion features world-class magicians and is called “Tahoe’s #1 show” for a reason. It’s the perfect evening entertainment on a cold, wintry night.

The show is appropriate for both children and adults, and there’s a special matinee on Sunday where you can get one child ticket free. 

Bundle Up for a Winter Hike

Zephyr Cove, Lake Tahoe in winter photography by artist Jon Paul at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to avoid the trails. The scenery around Lake Tahoe is phenomenal in winter, and you shouldn’t miss it. Simply bundle up and bring some hand warmers and boots with a good tread. Get out there and have an adventure! 

We love hiking the nearby Mount Tallac Loop and Cave Rock trails. Both of these trails are wildly popular for their accessibility and gorgeous, sweeping views. But in the silence and serenity of winter, you might not see another soul on the peaceful trail. The Mount Tallac Loop is approximately a full day’s hike, so plan ahead and come prepared.

You can also try snowshoeing on many of the South Lake Tahoe trails! Look out for one of the many local snow equipment rental services and enjoy much better mobility on packed snow.

Visit Our Gallery

Forest near Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, photograph by artist Jon Paul at Marcus Ashley Gallery

We’d be remiss not to say visiting our own Marcus Ashley Gallery is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Tahoe during winter. The gallery is located in Heavenly Village, a delightful area with shopping centers, theaters, and restaurants adorned with festive holiday lights.

Our expansive collection features exclusive works from Jon Paul, Dr. Seuss, Malcolm Tibbets, Michael Parkes, Rolinda Stotts, and many more. If you like what you see, we offer a variety of originals and limited edition prints, as well as custom framing services and art consultations to help you along the way. Browse our online gallery to explore more.

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.

Gift Guide: An Art Book Collection for Art Lovers

Delight the art lover in your life with a special artist coffee table book from our gallery. In the latest edition of our gift guide series, we’ll explore the Marcus Ashley Gallery art book collection so you can find a unique gift for art lovers that will amaze, inspire, and amuse them every time they pick it up.

The Devil's In The Detail - Book - Todd White
The Devil’s In The Detail – Book – Todd White

1. Todd White: The Devil’s in the Detail 

Todd White is a legend among high society art collectors. He lives his life in the spotlight, and his meticulous observation of human nature shines through in his whimsical, mysterious works.

His acclaimed book, The Devil’s in the Detail, tells the story of the Hollywood intrigue that White has encountered over the years. It’s a fascinating glimpse into a life fraught with envy, drama, and revelry.

Image of Alexander Volkov's Book

2. Alexander Volkov: A Study of Time Past

Volkov is enamored with the fleeting, transient beauty of the natural world. His second book, A Study of Time Past, explores the beauty not often seen by the distracted eye in our modern world. This gorgeous artist coffee table book encourages you to stop, reflect on, and appreciate the simple elegance of nature. 

A Boy and His Rocket -Book - Markus Pierson
A Boy and His Rocket -Book – Markus Pierson

3. Markus Pierson: A Boy and His Rocket

The story of Markus Pierson’s art career is like no other. He was once a bookkeeper, but after narrowly surviving Crohn’s disease, he decided to turn over a new leaf and become an artist. This unique gift for art lovers celebrates the absurdity, triumph, and heartbreak of life. 

Out of the Shadows - Book - Mackenzie Thorpe
Out of the Shadows – Book – Mackenzie Thorpe

4. Mackenzie Thorpe: Out of the Shadows

Out of the Shadows tells the story of a family through old photos, personal quotes, and inspirational artwork. Thorpe manages to capture the whole scope of human emotion in one fascinating book. It’s an essential addition to your art book collection that you won’t want to miss.

City Expressions - Book - Michael Flohr
City Expressions – Book – Michael Flohr

5. Michael Flohr: City Expressions

This 190-page book took over three years to complete. It’s a kaleidoscope of color and majesty that only Flohr’s unique impressionistic art style can evoke. It also comes with four art prints!

Paintings From the Kitchen Table Lockdown 2020 - Book - Mackenzie Thorpe
Paintings From the Kitchen Table Lockdown 2020 – Book – Mackenzie Thorpe

6. Mackenzie Thorpe: Paintings from the Kitchen Table Lockdown

This popular artist’s coffee table book is not only charming, but topical. Thorpe created this exceptional artwork collection during the UK lockdown in 2020, in which he painted a watercolor or acrylic work every single day. 

This visual chronicle takes you through a personal and emotional journey that’s a delight to explore. It’s one of the first publications in what certainly will be a slew of pandemic-inspired artwork in every art book collection.

New Horizons - Book - Charles Pabst
New Horizons – Book – Charles Pabst

7. Charles Pabst: New Horizons

Pabst’s landscapes are utterly stunning, both on canvas and in print. His talent in landscapes is unparalleled, and his ultimate goal is simply to bring happiness to others. New Horizons is one of the most popular items in our art book collection, and we encourage you to peruse its beautiful pages.

Scratching the Surface - Book - Sally Maxwell
Scratching the Surface – Book – Sally Maxwell

8. Sally Maxwell: Scratching the Surface

Maxwell’s Scratching the Surface covers the life of a wildlife artist who persisted against trends and took scratchboard and monochromatic drawings to the next level. This book includes a foreword by artist John Banovich and a thoughtful essay by Todd Wilkinson.

Orchid Stories - Book - Rolinda Stotts
Orchid Stories – Book – Rolinda Stotts

9. Rolinda Stotts: Orchid Stories

The story behind Orchid Stories is as uplifting as the artwork itself. Stotts was inspired by an orchid farm when facing the devastating reality of her friend having stage 4 cancer. She created her series of orchid paintings so that each bloom would send a message of hope, life, and growth. 

Regarding this unique gift for art lovers, Stotts says: “I was not just painting orchids. I was painting love.”

Welcome to Marcus Ashley Gallery

If you’ve liked perusing our art book collection, we encourage you to browse our full gallery either online or in person in South Lake Tahoe. Welcome to the 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. 

Art Styles 101: Contemporary Landscape Painting

From the ethereal impressionism of Claude Monet’s water lilies to the “happy little forest” scenes of Bob Ross, landscape painting has taken many forms over the course of history. Today, contemporary landscape painting continues to astonish and inspire, and we’d like to share with you more about this versatile art style.

At Marcus Ashley Gallery, we represent a wide variety of contemporary landscape artists and have curated gorgeous landscape oil paintings for sale for your collection. If you’re interested in this art style, we encourage you to peruse our online gallery or visit us in person in South Lake Tahoe.

The Evolution of Landscape Painting in Recent Centuries

A historical context is always important to understand what differentiates contemporary landscape paintings from the art of the past. From the (Western) genre’s origins in the 1500s, landscape painting has seen several fascinating cultural evolutions. 

Painting was not always accessible for all social classes; the tools, materials, and training required to master the art was usually possible only with a wealthy patron. It was the wealthy, then, that commissioned skilled artists to paint landscapes, and it was typically their whims and desires that guided the artist’s hands.

Commissioning landscape paintings became enormously popular amongst the upper classes in Western culture in the 18th century. The famous Victorian art critic John Ruskin once declared landscape painting as the “chief artistic creation of the nineteenth century,” associating the appreciation of nature with spirituality. He said people are “apt to assume that the appreciation of natural beauty and the painting of landscape is a normal and enduring part of our spiritual activity.”

This mindset gave way to 19th and 20th century Romanticism, which sought to escape the harsh industrialization of the world and envision a purer, fantastical world that fulfilled the longings of the spirit. Landscapes of that era often embodied this concept, adding a mystical and fanciful touch to the realism of prior decades. 

Today, environmental issues such as climate change make the genre even more essential and profound. Contemporary landscape paintings express the beauty of the threatened earth humanity is challenged to preserve, while showing the same evocative appreciation for nature as their predecessors did hundreds of years ago.

Let’s explore some of our own artists represented at Marcus Ashley Gallery who explore the natural world through their work.

Landscape painting of a church nestled in green hills entitled Bells of the Abbey, by Charles Pabst.

Charles Pabst

Charles Pabst’s passion for the American Southwest is made clear in his breathtaking panoramas. As one of the country’s best-known contemporary landscape artists, he has received many awards and well-deserved international renown.

His use of warm lighting and soft impressionist brushstrokes evokes the peace and majesty of the outdoors. He often focuses on the unique landforms in the West, and excels in creating the sense of awe and wonder of ancient canyons and dramatic cliffs.

Pabst is fascinated by the history of the “wild west,” and some of his scenes depict western migration of American settlers and the scenery they encountered along their adventure. Pabst’s contemporary landscape paintings are excellent depictions of western Americana.

Landscape painting of a sunset over an ocean entitled New Day, by Alexander Volkov.

Alexander Volkov

Alexander Volkov’s contemporary landscape paintings feature a dazzling, mysterious interplay of light. His mastery of color allows him to create scenes that seem realistic at first glance, but slowly draw you in to a fantastical environment. Volkov once stated, “There is no greater mystery to me than the conflict of light and darkness. In the way they clash and penetrate each other, there is the source of everything.” 

Volkov’s landscapes remove the distractions and stresses of modern life. They present a natural America, free of cities and distraction. Whether he paints a soft sunset over the ocean or a still winter forest, he gives you the sense of peace and solitude that only nature can provide. In his paintings, nature triumphs over man, and every piece has a timeless quality.

Landscape painting of mountains and wildflowers entitled Blooming In Nature, by Mario Jung

Mario Jung

Mario Jung is a contemporary landscape artist from Korea with a powerful story. He miraculously recovered from an accident that left him blind, deaf, and paralyzed, and has poured his inspiration and passion for life into his contemporary landscape paintings ever since.

Jung does not commit to the free-flowing randomness of nature. His paintings often mix elements of realism with clean, geometric shapes and layers of texture that create a captivating scene that draws you in and forces you to reconsider your reality.

Landscape painting of a Venice canal entitled Beautiful Venice, by Michael Flohr

Michael Flohr believes that contemporary landscape paintings don’t have to have meaning — their beauty can simply be enjoyed. Flohr excels in capturing the beauty of cityscapes and rainswept streets, and is a master of avant garde and abstract expressionist techniques. 

Flohr is a contemporary landscape artist whose work is highly inspired by the bright colors and techniques of Cezanne. He paints with pure pigments and creates a dazzling mosaic effect, adding a modern twist to classic environments.

Artfully cracked landscape painting of mountains and wildflowers entitled Our Candy Land Corner by Rolinda Stotts.

Rolinda Stotts

Rolinda Stotts is inspired primarily by her rural upbringing and the simplified view of the world as viewed through the eyes of her children. Her oil paintings undergo a phenomenal transformation when she literally breaks them in her own two hands, cracking the thin layers and creating organic texture.

Stotts’ contemporary landscape paintings break the mold and stun viewers with their straightforward beauty. The tactile nature of her works draws viewers in and adds incredible visual interest, making her a unique contemporary landscape artist.

Browse Landscape Art and More at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Marcus Ashley Gallery’s passionate curators and art consultants are proud to represent the artists discussed above. If you’re interested in purchasing contemporary landscape paintings for your personal collection, we have many landscape oil paintings for sale, including but not limited to the artists discussed here.

Visit us at our spacious South Lake Tahoe gallery or on our website. Check out our upcoming events with artists to meet many of these painters in person, as well!

Understanding Art Gallery Style Framing vs. Gallery Wrapped Canvas

You have several options for how to display fine art in your home, but by far the two most common ways are gallery style framing and wrapped canvas. If you’re new to fine art and want to learn how to make your collection look appealing no matter which style of frame you choose, then we can help. 

The team at Marcus Ashley Gallery is happy to define gallery wrap vs. framing to help you decide the optimal method to display your artwork.

What is Wrapped Canvas?

Canvas is a specific type of fabric material designed to be durable but stretchable. An artist or a manufacturer stretches the canvas taut over a wooden frame and treats it with specific mediums so that it can hold and preserve paint. 

There are two kinds of wrapped canvas that work for either original canvas artworks or art prints on canvas: gallery wrapped vs. non-gallery wrapped. Non-gallery wrapped canvases are typically what you might find in an art supply store or in plein-air paintings that need to be more light-weight for portability, where you will find thinner stretcher bars and where the canvas staples are clearly in view. Artists and clients both usually desire art on non-gallery canvas to be framed.

Gallery wrapped canvas is a method of displaying paintings wherein the edge of the canvas is stretched over the frame and completely covers the stretcher bars beneath: you will not see the staples, the stretcher bars are usually thicker, and the overall presentation is sleek. The painting continues around the entire edge, adding dimension to the piece and creating a “pop-out” effect on your wall. 

Some frames beneath canvases are thick, so they can be challenging to frame yourself without a professional service — in this case, choosing a gallery-wrapped style is both an easier and often a more affordable option. At Marcus Ashley Gallery, we offer gallery-wrapped canvas options for many of our limited edition giclee and artists’ limited edition prints.

Many people love the effect of this framing style, feeling that it lends a contemporary and artistic appeal to the room. It all depends on your style preferences and the genre of painting, as well.

Examples of gallery-wrapped canvas on display at Marcus Ashley Gallery. Artist - Mario Jung

What is Gallery Style Framing?

Close up of a custom art frame with a blue patina finish over gold

Gallery framing is simply when a professional encloses artwork in a custom frame. A frame can also come with glass or plexiglass, which then protects delicate artwork and encourages its longevity.

Choosing a gallery frame for art both elevates and enhances art, making it look more complete and professional. Additionally, when you choose a custom frame, you can complement the art by choosing special finishes and patinas to make the art truly stand out. The expense is well worth it for most collectors concerned about the long-term value of their collection. Additionally, having features like UV protection and protection from dust and the elements helps keep your artwork vibrant.

While custom framing definitely makes art work look and feel more elegant, gallery wrapped canvas does offer similar benefits visually. Some types of art, such as artists’ prints on paper, watercolors, and lithography, benefit more from a frame.

If you desire gallery style framing for your deep canvas, a floater frame is an excellent option. Note that if you choose this option, you might be covering a small amount of the edge of the canvas. A professional gallery framer will be able to advise you on the best options for your specific artwork.

Choosing Gallery Wrap vs. Framing

There is one important thing to note: like your personal art preference, there is no “best” way to display a painting. Both gallery style framing and gallery wrapped canvas can look attractive and professional. It comes down to personal preference and your interior style.

Another important question you can consider when making your choice between gallery wrap vs. framing is: How did the artist intend for their art to be displayed? More often than not, an artist has this in mind before they even begin the piece — especially if they intentionally paint the edges of the canvas sides.

Choose Marcus Ashley Gallery for Your Custom Framing Needs

Marcus Ashley Gallery creates museum-quality framing for our customers right here from our own frame shop. While you’re here, browse our online gallery to find inspirational artwork from some of the world’s finest artists. If you have any questions about gallery wrap vs. framing, contact the experienced professionals at Marcus Ashley Gallery. Our passionate art curators and consultants have the skill to advise you on the best choices for your space, and they’re more than happy to help find the perfect piece for you!

Art Styles 101: Magical Realism Painting

Image of Robert Gonsalves’ limited edition print of Space Between the Words
Robert Gonsalves, As Above and So Below, Limited Edition Print at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait of her spine replaced with a broken column, Emily Bronte’s ghosts in an otherwise typical-English Wuthering Heights, Franz Kafka’s transformation of a man into vermin in Metamorphosis. All of these are magical realism, in which an uncanny hint of the supernatural is added to our familiar world to challenge the way we perceive reality.

In this article, we’ll explore the core concepts that define magical realism paintings and literature. We’ll explore the breathtaking artwork of Michael Parkes and Rob Gonsalves, whose artwork we are so fortunate to feature in our South Lake Tahoe gallery. We invite you to explore this incredible art genre with us and come away inspired.

What Does Magical Realism Mean?

Many art lovers conflate magical realism with the works of the 20th century Surrealists or 19th century pictorial Symbolists, general surrealism, fabulism, or pure fantasy. It’s important to note that while those artistic movements and methods may inform magical realist painters’ work, magical realism does not fit perfectly into these boxes. Magical realism paintings or literature do not address the inexpressible, immaterial psyche in the way surrealism does. They are not illustrations of history, legend, or myth like fabulism or symbolism. They are not purely fantastical or unreal like fantasy.

In short, magical realism must contain magical elements that transform a realistic setting.

Think of magical realism painting as the difference between low fantasy in literature. High fantasy is The Lord of the Rings — it does not take place on Earth. It has entirely new races, languages, histories, and magic. Nothing is familiar, and everything is a new invention.

Low fantasy is Harry Potter — it’s set in the real world, but there are magical elements that elevate, distort, and transform what we’re familiar with. Magical realism is low fantasy: it takes motifs and settings we recognize in reality and adds surreal, fantastical motifs. Some scholars use the term magical realism to mean low fantasy.

The Origins of Magical Realism Painting

How did magical realism painting first come to be? Most art movements have tenuous, debatable origins, but magical realism has definite sparks that ignited the movement.

Magical Realism has its roots in Germany and Italy in the early 1900s. The German term
“magischer realismus” was first coined 1925 by art critic Franz Roh in his book Nach Expressionismus: Magischer Realismus (After Expressionism: Magical Realism).

Franz Roh emphasizes in his book that magical realism paintings must contain these elements:

  • Realism’s accurate detail and photographic clarity
  • The magical nature of the real, normal world: how normal objects can sometimes take on fantastic appearances

As you can see, the second does not quite align with our previous definition. Like many art movements, it is subject to interpretation, and magical realism today has transformed beyond Roh’s original definition.

Roh’s book was soon translated into Spanish, which resulted in the magical realism movement catapulting in South America. This concept inspired authors and artists, including the famous author Gabriel García Márquez, author of Love in the Time of Cholera (1985). This genre is still growing in popularity, both in art and literature.

Michael Parkes: Master Magical Realism Artist

The magical realism paintings of Michael Parkes both exemplify the genre and take it to a whole new level. Parkes’ artworks feature several recurring motifs inspired by his philosophical and mythological studies, including mermaids, angels, fairies, and mythical beasts like centaurs.

Parkes has also mastered the technical aspects of realism, and his still life paintings perfectly depict the world as we see it. This is an instrumental part of the genre: incorporating both real and fantasy elements with meticulous technical skill, and Michael Parkes accomplishes this perfectly.

Michael Parkes magical realism painting of a ballerina floating in the sky
Michael Parkes, Tuesday’s Child, Limited Edition Canvas at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Michael Parkes does not just produce magical realism paintings — he has also mastered the mediums of stone lithography, vellum sketches, and bronze casting. His artwork comes to life in three dimensions while retaining fantastical themes and evocative human and animal figures.

The magical realism painting As Above and So Below by artist Rob Gonsalves, showing a city made of cave stalagmites
Robert Gonsalves, As Above and So Below, Limited Edition Print at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Rob Gonsalves

Another renowned magical realism artist, Rob Gonsalves’ paintings were influenced by the paradoxical creations of René Magritte and M.C. Escher. While much of Gonsalves’ art has been deemed surrealism, he is classed as a magical realism painter for his consistent involvement of real, tangible human activities. 

Gonsalves included many tricks of the eye (trompe-l’oeil) in his artwork, much like M.C. Escher. His works encourage you to peer closer to see what’s real and what’s an illusion, bending your perception of reality. Gonsalves wanted to display the human desire to “believe the impossible” through his artwork. 

Gonsalves sadly passed away in 2017, and we are honored to keep his creative spirit alive by featuring some of his most magnificent works at Marcus Ashley Gallery.

Witness Magical Realism Paintings at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Our online gallery is an incredible way to get lost in magical realism paintings from the comfort of your home, but the experience of seeing these paintings in person is incomparable.

We invite you to come to our gallery in beautiful South Lake Tahoe to witness work from renowned magical realism artists. With our gallery services, you can also consider adding originals or limited editions to your personal collection.

From our family to yours, welcome to Marcus Ashley Gallery!

The Jack Storms Process: How He Makes Exquisite Optical Glass Art

The magical, intricate glass sculptures created by artist Jack Storms are both dazzling and puzzling at first sight. How can light reflect in the interior of the glass in such intricate patterns, and how can glass be carved in such a way while still preserving its structural integrity?

While true understanding of this art form takes decades to master, we’ll do our best to unravel the mysteries of optical glass art and the Jack Storms process of sculpture-making. Don’t forget to explore the Jack Storms collection in our online gallery, or in person at Marcus Ashley Gallery.

What Is Optical Glass Art?

Optical glass art is a remarkably unique sculpture medium. Unlike traditional glass art, in the Jack Storms process, there is no heat involved. The cold glass process includes only cutting, polishing, and laminating the glass.

The sculptures start with a large block of lead crystal. Lead crystal is a kind of glass that contains at least 24% lead oxide. Lead crystal has superior shine and brilliance when cut, and is often found in fine antique glassware made before lead was commonly known to be toxic for drinking. Without heat, lead crystal is exceptionally difficult to work with.

To create his pieces, Jack Storms slices the lead crystal in geometric patterns. Then, he inserts slivers of dichroic glass with intense precision into the slices, carefully gluing and sealing them into place with high-end epoxy. Dichroic glass is a coated, iridescent material that shifts colors depending on the view angle, and has been used for a startling visual effect in glasswork for centuries.

Light passes through the lead crystal differently than the dichroic glass. The Jack Storms process involves carefully paying attention to the refractive index: the rate at which light passes through the material. The epoxy shares the same refractive index as the dichroic glass, but not the lead crystal. By paying attention to this scientific aspect, Jack Storms can create illusions of depth within the glass itself, as if elements are suspended within the glass.

The resulting piece of optical glass art has to be seen to be believed. The light plays off of the hundreds of surfaces in a dazzling display of prismatic effects, creating what resembles a sparkling kaleidoscope. The effect is not chaotic; it is startlingly perfect and geometric, almost alien. Indeed, two of Jack Storms’ art pieces were used in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy in the background of an alien planet scene!

How Unique is the Jack Storms Process?

Jack Storms is one of only three prominent cold glass craftsmen in the world. Why? Cold glass, as the process is also known, is an extremely difficult craft to master and requires specialized tools that few people have access to.

Additionally, Jack Storms’ process can be very dangerous. Storms lost sight in his right eye after a piece of glass flew off the lathe while working. The accident took him away from his craft for almost a year, but he came back to it with renewed vigor, letting nothing stop him from pursuing his passion.

Each of his optical glass art pieces takes around 8 to 18 weeks to complete — sometimes years. The tolerance and precision required, as well as the skill and experience, makes each piece a daunting and time-consuming challenge. There are no shortcuts with this work: each individual lamination is a laborious task that requires intense focus and patience.

The work is highly tactical and mathematical, but it is not without artistic spirit and passion. Storms takes great care to incorporate famous art ratios found in nature, including the Fibonacci sequence. Many of Storms’ finest pieces are inspired by his greatest loves in life, his wife and son, and he pours his love for them into all his work.

Experience Jack Storms Art In Person at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Marcus Ashley Gallery is very proud to host several of Jack Storms’ most stunning optical glass creations. You can come see them for yourself in our premier gallery in South Lake Tahoe, where we feature some of the most recognizable contemporary artists of the 21st century.

We strive to make both our online gallery and our physical location a welcoming, inspiring experience. If you have any questions about purchasing Jack Storms optical glass art for your collection, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our skilled art consultants.

Welcome to the gallery!