Honoring Art Icons: Contemporary Artists Pay Homage to the Masters

In the ever-evolving world of contemporary art, many of today’s artists continue to explore the past while forging their own new paths. Three contemporary artists represented here at our galleries—Henrik Abedian, Craig Alan, and Ray Gross—have gained recognition for their unique approaches to paying homage to art icons. Featured below are some of the works of these three artists that celebrate and reinterpret the timeless art of masters.

Henrik Abedian

Henrik Abedian is known for his bold, graphic works that focus on the intersection of technology and media in modern life. Two of his pieces, both part of a series titled Nothingness is the Outline of Familiar feature silhouettes of two very recognizable figures, Mona Lisa and Vincent Van Gogh. Through a digital lens, he combines famous paintings and contemporary culture, creating mesmerizing compositions that breathe new life into art history. Abedian’s work serves as a bridge to the past, reminding us of the continued relevance of art icons.


Henrik Abedian, Nothingnesses is the Outline of the Familiar I, Sublimation on Aluminum, Edition 2 of 15, 30 x 30 in.


Henrik Abedian, Nothingness is the Outline of the Familiar II, Sublimation on Aluminum, Edition 1 of 15, 30 x 30 in.


Craig Alan

Craig Alan has carved a unique niche in the art world by creating images through the placement of human figures. From a distance, his compositions appear to be traditional pictures and images. However, a closer look reveals that these pictures are made up of miniature individuals arranged to form a larger image.

Several of Alan’s works give a nod to art icons of the past. In his piece Populus: Soup Alan’s placement of tiny humans comprise a Campbell’s soup can, a reference to Andy Warhol. Another one of Alan’s pieces titled Populus: Everyone, references Robert Indiana’s recognizable LOVE pop art image. Alan’s art, characterized by meticulous attention to detail, explores the concept of the collective human experience. Through his use of scale, he both honors art figures of the past and reminds us of our interconnectedness.

Craig Alan, Populus: Everyone, Mixed Media on Metal, 48 x 48 in.


Craig Alan, Populus: Everyone, Mixed Media on Board, 36 x 36 in.


Ray Gross

Ray Gross is a contemporary sculptor known for his hand-painted hyper-realistic sculptures depicting art tools and other everyday objects. His larger than life paint tubes, sometimes with spurts of paint coming out of the top, feature images of artists along with references to these icons’ pioneering styles of work.

For instance, Gross’s piece Blue Picasso Paint Tube features an image of Picasso himself and references his work in Cubism. Another one of his pieces, Yellow Frida Kahlo Paint Tube, has an image of artistic icon Frida Kahlo, with aspects of Kahlo’s famous work, Self‑Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird. Gross’s sculptures serve as an embodiment of art history, allowing viewers to interact with and engage on a physical level with the figures who have shaped the artistic landscape. His work transcends mere representation and evokes a sense of reverence for the masters.

Ray Gross, Blue Picasso Paint Tube, Glazed Ceramic, 36 x 10 x 4 in.
Ray Gross, Yellow Frida Kahlo Paint Tube, Glazed Ceramic, 36 x 10 x 4 in.

Five Pieces to Fall For This Season

With the first day of fall having come and passed, we can’t help but get excited for the coming season. Whether it be the changing leaves or just getting cozy as the weather cools down, there is plenty to look forward to this fall. A look through our collection revealed a wide range of pieces that stirred up our excitement for autumn, and we have a feeling you might “fall” for some of these pieces too!


Joseph Adolphe

Joseph Adolphe, Ripe No. 9, Oil on Canvas, 66 x 54 in.

Adolphe’s Ripe No. 9 encapsulates fall beautifully with its ripe apple tree branches. Apples are an essential part of autumn, and this piece invites the viewer to appreciate the simplicity and wonder of nature. Joseph Adolphe’s energetic and dynamic brushstrokes embrace the magic of the moment, and give the painting a sense of vitality. 

View More Work By Adolphe.


Maria Burtis

Maria Burtis, Say Yes, Quickly, Mixed Media on Canvas, 63.5 x 62 in.


Maria Burtis uses vibrant shades of green, orange, yellow and red that leap off the canvas, and remind us of the changing leaves. Say Yes, Quickly captures the full spectrum of the fall foliage palette, and brings a great deal of energy and light to any space. A generous amount of negative space surrounds her brushstrokes, framing and accentuating the abstract florals and inviting the viewer into a painting where the boundaries between reality and imagination blur.

View More Work By Burtis


David Skillicorn

David Skillicorn, Nel Bosco 12-4, Mixed Media on Canvas, 48 x 60 in.


In this piece, David Skillcorn has created textured branches that make us feel as though we have stepped into a fall forest. The lush flecks of red and orange draw us into the space surrounding the tall birch branches, almost like leaves on a forest floor. Skillicorn has employed a rich variety of techniques to convey both the visual and tactile qualities of this scene. His use of palette knife adds a sensory dimension to the textured trees, while the fiery background seems to glow with the warmth of the setting sun.

View More Work By Skillicorn


Justin Wheatley

Justin Wheatley, Quilted Barn, Acrylic on Canvas, 48 x 36 in.


This piece by Justin Wheatley calls to mind farm-filled memories, and takes us back to some of our favorite fall places. Depicted with precision, the barn is painted in a bold crimson and set against a clear sky, creating a sense of calm order. Through his masterful use of color and composition, Wheatley captures the charm of the countryside, evoking nostalgia, serenity, and a connection to nature.

View More Work By Wheatley


Sherri Belassen

Sherri Belassen, Perfect Storm, Oil on Canvas, 72 x 60 in.


This painting by Sherri Belassen offers a totally different take on the word fall! Belassen depicts a woman being gracefully dipped by her partner, in a moment of harmony and trust. Belassen’s use of color and composition goes beyond mere representation. It delves into the realm of emotions, as the vibrant palette expresses the passion and intensity of the moment. The dynamic composition emphasizes the couple’s connection, with the dramatic dip at the center, framed by the surrounding abstraction.

View More Work By Belassen

Selecting Art: A Behind the Scenes Look

Our most important goal at our galleries is to connect you with art that speaks to you and reflects your personality, whether you’re adding to your collection or acquiring your first piece. From coming into the gallery to take a first look at art, to viewing different works in your space, and to seeing that piece you fell in love with finally hanging on your wall, working one-on-one with an art consultant is an exciting and rewarding experience.

Take a little behind the scenes look at our process. (Keep in mind, it looks a little different for everyone!)


Meeting at the Gallery

For your first appointment at the gallery, you may already have an idea of artists and particular pieces you like, or you may not know what you’re looking for yet—which is totally fine, too!

While there’s lots to see on our gallery walls, it’s always fun to dive into our art bins, where we house the majority of our artwork when it’s not on view. Our galleries’ diverse and extensive collection includes work from both established and emerging artists from around the globe. Your art consultant will show you around and brainstorm with you, to get an understanding of the specific space in your home you’re looking or the mood you want to create. They will help you discover pieces of art that resonate with you.


Curating a Collection For You

At this point, your art consultant will have a solid idea of artwork that appeals to you. They’ll take another deep dive through our collection and may pull additional works for you to see. The perfect piece might be at one of our other gallery locations, in which case, they’ll have it sent over on our weekly art transfer.



The In-Home Appointment

Time to load up our vehicle with your potential new pieces! Our amazing team of assistants, art handlers, and consultants work together to get everything ready to go. 

Now the real fun begins! We’ll try out artwork in different spaces, finding what best elevates your home and most importantly, brings you joy. Our favorite part of this whole process is the magic moment of watching a client fall in love with a work of art.


Appointment with The McMullin Design Group


The Installation

Some clients decide then and there to keep a piece, and the art handler on your appointment can professionally install it right away. If you’re up for it, we love to snap a photo of the final install for our Instagram.




Let Nature Take Its Course

“This room is peaceful and thoughtfully designed with natural tones, materials, and textures; the importance of foliage and leaves is apparent and I thought I’d keep this in mind as I choose art for the space. ” –Betsy

Adolphe, Ripe No. 8

Joseph Adolphe, Ripe No. 8, Oil on Canvas, 68 x 56 in. framed


“Joseph Adolphe shows off Mother Nature in his peachy Ripe No. 8. This softly fitting piece looks perfect between the two window walls; it continues the greenery to the trees beyond and the plump peaches seem to tumble right off the branches for us to enjoy.”

Joseph Adolphe: View More Work | In the Artist’s StudioOn the Wall


Slonem, 5 Sparse Hutch

Hunt Slonem, 5 Sparse Hutch, Oil on Canvas, 37.5 x 49.5 in. framed


“Painting bunnies is second nature to Hunt Slonem, (born in the year of the Hare). His classic style is revealed in a minimalistic way in his new painting Sparse Hutch. This charming grouping of rabbits seems at home, close to the outdoors, while making a playful statement.”

Hunt Slonem: View More Work | In the Artist’s StudioOn the Wall


Masterpol, Liberty

Rose Masterpol, Liberty, Acrylic on Canvas, 61 x 49 in. framed


“Rose Masterpol’s works are instinctive and intuitive; her natural talent is revealed, opening the door for onlookers to tap into their own nature and see beyond the canvas. Her piece titled Liberty adds energy and color to this calm interior space, stirring up emotions within ourselves.”

Rose Masterpol: View More Work | Inside the Studio | On the Wall

Insider Edit: What Molly’s Loving

Working in the art world has always been my dream, and being able to directly work with art is such a treat. It is so nice to be surrounded by such a spectrum of art and to learn something new every day! As a gallery assistant, I get to work with many different art pieces every day. I also work with our clients to help them find the perfect piece for their home.

Here are just a few of my favorite pieces in the gallery!

Gavin Benjamin, Heads of State No. 17, Mixed Media on Board, Edition 2 of 5, 40 x 30 inches


Gavin Benjamin | Heads of State No. 17

Gavin Benjamin is my favorite artist we have here at the gallery. I have a background in jewelry, so I love to see the crystals he adds to his pieces, and how he incorporates fashion into his art. This piece starts a conversation, and speaks to the severe lack of black royal icons remembered in history. Benjamin saw this absence, and therefore created his own “heads of state.”

See more of Benjamin’s work.


Dennis Sheehan, Frost Awakening, Oil on Canvas, 24 x 24 inches


Dennis Sheehan | Frost Awakening

I have always loved landscape painting, and Dennis Sheehan creates some intricate pieces. This piece reminds me of waking up in the mountains in Maine, and being able to see the snow glistening in the sun. In his brushstrokes, Sheehan is able to perfectly capture the way in which a golden sunrise can light up a winter day.

See more of Sheehan’s work.


Henrik Abedian, Dud I, Sublimation on Aluminum, Edition 3 of 25, 30 x 30 inches


Henrik Abedian | Dud I

I find the process of sublimation on aluminum fascinating, and enjoy the way it gives the piece a glossy finish. This piece also starts a conversation. It does this by drawing a sharp contrast between the grenade, a symbol of destruction, and the floral print, a symbol of life. In a way, Abedian has made something once considered threatening into something beautiful.

See more of Abedian’s work.

Local Summer Exhibitions

Here at Merritt Gallery & Renaissance Fine Arts, we know that on a hot summer day, one of the best places to be is in a nice cool museum! We rounded up some of the must-see exhibitions this summer in all of our local gallery locations, including Chevy Chase, Baltimore and Haverford. Here are the best art exhibits to check out across the east coast this summer!

Chevy Chase

Philip Guston Now at the National Gallery of Art (closes August 27th)

This exhibition charts the career of one of America’s most influential artists through more than 150 paintings and drawings. From muralism to abstract expressionism to figuration, Philip Guston’s biography is one of significant shifts over time. Famous both in his day and now, Guston’s art continues to connect and evoke strong reactions. Guston’s art also poses queries about how art interacts with beauty and cruelty, freedom and uncertainty, politics and the imagination.

Philip Guston, Painting, Smoking, Eating, 1973, oil on canvas.


Artist to Artist at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (closes September 3)

Artist to Artist showcases a changing lineup of eight partnerships drawn from the museum’s collection of 20th century works.  Each partnership depicts two individuals whose paths crossed at a pivotal point in their careers. The interpersonal interactions reflected in these works, based on shared objectives or life experiences, all contributed to the development of American art. 

Grace Hartigan, Frank O’Hara, 1926-1966, 1966, oil on linen.


A Window Suddenly Opens: Contemporary Photography in China at the Hirshhorn Museum (closes January 7)

A Window Suddenly Opens: Contemporary Photography in China is the Hirshhorn’s first survey of photography by Chinese artists made between the 1990s and 2000s. The exhibition will feature 186 works of unique Chinese art. 141 of these pieces are a donation from renowned Chinese art collector Larry Warsh. A Window Suddenly Opens explores how, over the course of three decades, Chinese artists embraced the immediacy of print and digital photography during an unprecedented cultural shift.

Huang Yang, Chinese Landscape Series No. 3, 1999, Color Photograph.



Martha Jackson Jarvis: What the Trees Have Seen at the Baltimore Museum of Art (closes October 1)

Martha Jackson Jarvis has created mixed-media works that imaginatively retrace her great-great-great-great grandfather Luke Valentine’s journey from Virginia to South Carolina during the American Revolution. The end result is a masterwork of abstract painting, consisting of 13 large-scale works on paper and a focused collection of smaller pieces. Jackson Jarvis imagines in her art her ancestor’s movements on foot across treacherous and shifting terrains.

Martha Jackson Jarvis, Red Road Dissemblance, 2020, walnut ink, watercolor, oil, and acrylic paint on paper.


Quiet Beauty: The Watercolors of Léon Bonvin at The Walters Art Museum (closes August 13)

This exhibition, Quiet Beauty: The Watercolors of Léon Bonvin, gives visitors the opportunity to view 16 of the French artist’s watercolors in-person. The artist was influenced by many different things, such as modern French art styles, photography, and Japanese prints. Following Léon’s death, William Walters (1819–1894) continued to purchase the artist’s watercolors and build a collection. After William’s death, his son Henry (1848-1931) established Baltimore as the hub for the preservation and appreciation of Bonvin’s work.

Léon Bonvin, Country Road with Peasant, 1863, watercolor with gum heightening, iron gall ink and pen, over graphite underdrawing on slightly textured, moderately thick, cream laid paper.


ABUNDANCE: Too Much, Too Little, Just Right at the American Visionary Art Museum (closes September 3)

ABUNDANCE explores what lies at the core of profound contentment, fruitful enjoyment, and gratitude. Nowhere is the pursuit of happiness or the search for personal freedom in the expression of work more apparent than in the works of these artists. The artists featured in this exhibition have fashioned new worlds out of simple, frequently discarded materials using nothing more than their creative minds.

Paul Lancaster, Still Life With Fruit, 1997, Oil on Canvas.



Judith Joy Ross at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (closes August 6)

The work of Judith Joy Ross represents a turning point in the history of the portrait image. Since the early 1980s, Ross has employed an 8×10-inch large-format view camera to record her interactions with a variety of Americans. Her work includes an emphasis on subjects in eastern Pennsylvania, where she was born and raised. This exhibition, which features over 200 photographs, examines Ross’s work throughout all of her significant projects, as well as other previously unseen images. 

Judith Joy Ross, Untitled, Eurana Park, Weatherly, Pennsylvania, 1982, Photograph.


Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America at the African American Museum in Philadelphia (closes October 8)

20 artists were asked to participate in a partnership with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the African American Museum in Philadelphia. These artists all created works that address the pressing question: Is the sun rising or setting on the experiment of American democracy? A ground-breaking exhibition at both institutions, Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America includes brand-new installations in various galleries. Visitors are able to witness how each artist responded to the theme of the rising sun, in an era marked by divergent viewpoints on human rights and equality.

John Akomfrah, Vertigo Sea, 2015, three-channel HD color video installation, 7.1 sound, 48 minutes and 30 seconds.


Joseph Stella: Visionary Nature at Brandywine Museum of Art (closes September 24)

Approximately 80 paintings and works on paper are included in the exhibition Joseph Stella: Visionary Nature. This exhibition is the first to exclusively focus on his flora and fauna subjects. Visionary Nature reevaluates how this body of work relates to Stella’s overall career by concentrating on his distinctive vocabulary based on nature and the context in which it developed. It also looks at how these works reflect Stella’s fervent spirituality.

Joseph Stella, Swans (Night), ca 1924-1930, pastel and charcoal on paper.


Art for Every Mood

“This modern space has neutral furnishings perfect for many types of artwork. I chose three works that could each infuse a different feeling.” –Marcie

Marcie’s diverse picks demonstrate that there’s no right or wrong answer when choosing a piece for your space—it’s all about what resonates with you and reflects your personality. What would you place in this space?

Barber, First of Spring

Liz Barber, First of Spring 5, Mixed Media on Canvas, 62 x 50 in. framed


First of Spring by Liz Barber is organic and relaxing. The wall is filled with colors that will calm any mind at the end of the day.  

Liz Barber: View More Work | In the Artist’s StudioOn the Wall


Vargassal, Sugar Heist

Ariel Vargassal, Sugar Heist, Acrylic on Canvas, 61.5 x 49.5 in. framed


Ariel Vargassal’s new piece Sugar Heist is lively and unexpected, injecting humor and positivity into the space.

Ariel Vargassal: View More Work | In the Artist’s StudioOn the Wall


Segal, Spinning Top

Maura Segal, Spinning Top, Mixed Media on Canvas, 62 x 50.5 in. framed


Maura Segal’s Spinning Top is sophisticated and bold.  Her pieces have a hidden layer of texture beyond the seemingly simple foreground that adds personality and interest.

Maura Segal: View More Work | Inside the Studio | On the Wall

Gazing Upward

Adding color and texture to this clean and neutral living room was no problem for Mina, the director of our Chevy Chase gallery. She chose three pieces that draw the eye upwards and play off the various elements in the space, while still maintaining a relaxing and cohesive look.

What would you place in this space?

Allen Martin, You’ve Got the Love

Carly Allen Martin, You’ve Got the Love, Mixed Media on Panel, 62 x 52 in.


You’ve Got The Love is a beautiful new piece by artist Carly Allen Martin that would be a striking addition to this room. The loose impressionistic style and vivid colors bring the outside in and feels like a summer day.

Carly Allen Martin: View More Work | In the Artist’s Studio |On the Wall


Belassen, A World Away

Sherri Belassen, A World Away, Oil on Canvas, 62 x 62 in.


A World Away by Sherri Belassen brings interest to the space in both the medium and subject. Is it an abstract or can you see the leg hanging out of the hammock? Her use of mixed media provides texture and depth well. What a fun piece to enjoy in a room that invites relaxation.

Sherri Belassen: View More Work | In the Artist’s StudioOn the Wall


Dugar, Night Music

Shivani Dugar, Night Music, Oil on Canvas, 74 x 50 in.


Shivani Dugar’s Night Music brings rich earthy tones to the room which tie in so well with the natural wood elements and textures. The painting feels like an extension of the blazing fire below and lifts the viewers gaze upward.

Shivani Dugar: View More Work | Inside the Studio | On the Wall

Frame Your Ducks in a Row

There are no limits to the fun we can have with framing! Whether you’re framing a 2-dimensional or a 3-dimensional piece, we’ll help you find the best way to display the things that mean the most to you or simply put a smile on your face.


Project Inspiration: Collectible Rubber Duckies

Our clients are constantly surprising us with their framing ideas. When one of our clients came in with a bag full of rubber duckies, we couldn’t have been more excited about this framing challenge.


How We Did It

First, we picked out our 9 favorite rubber ducks and arranged them in a way that felt playful, yet balanced. With all the fun costumes, it was hard to pick just 9!

Next we discussed the materials we wanted to use. We decided on a plexiglass-glass box that would allow you to see the rubber ducks from any angle. We also knew we wanted shelves for the ducks to sit on, but rather than having them made in clear acrylic we decided that lining them in a fabric would add that something that we were missing…

With the bight colors of the rubber ducks and their various outfits, we opted for a white terrycloth that felt clean, on theme, and didn’t compete with the stars of the show.

Once hung on the wall, the plexiglass box adds dimension, but lets the rubber ducks shine on their own. A perfectly playful piece for our client’s bathroom!

Have a framing project in mind? Reach out to your nearest gallery to get started!

Pattern, Texture, & Color…Oh My!

Do you want to try something new in your home? Embrace the creative chaos of quirky furniture, funky wallpaper, and patterned textiles, layered with captivating pieces of fine art. Maximalism in your interior design is a great way to show off your unique personality and passions. If you are unsure of how to make it work, check out some of our favorite installs in maximal interiors for some inspiration.


Collage and Neon

This Rock Therrien piece juxtaposes the image of Tweety Bird with bold neon against a collaged background. The art is placed on a lively lime green, pink and teal floral patterned wallpaper. Combining these dynamic features allows their energy to play off one another. The longer you look at this installation, the more it just makes sense! Check out some pop art to add to your maximal space.

Therrian, F*ck, Mixed Media with Neon on Board, 48 x 48 in


See more from Therrien


A Blue-Green Dream

Next, we have a mystical room designed by Elizabeth Reich. The space beautifully reflects Mark Beck’s Seaside, perfectly enveloping participants in serenity. This wallpaper is whimsical and fun, working with the brilliant bright blues of the couch, coffee table, and rug. Loud and immersive, Elizabeth maximizes the design so well, you can almost hear the crash of a wave or birds in the trees!

Mark Beck, Seaside, Acrylic on Canvas, 42 x 42 inches


See more from Beck


Funky Maximal Medium

Not quite ready to commit to the ultimate boldness? Here are two spaces that inspire a light dose of maximalism.


Neutral POP

Beatriz Simon’s Blue Dance delivers an exciting pop of blue to this first neutrally textured and patterned room. Dining room chairs have a geometric pattern that speaks to the similarly toned one of curtains. The two head seats pull focus to either end of the room while the twin chandeliers add a strong dimensionality to the space. This is a beautiful example to dip your toe into maximalism.

Beatriz Simon, Blue Dance, Mixed Media on Canvas, 59 × 59 in.


See more from Simon


Naturally Abstract

This room with its exposed stone strategically brings outside in. The stone’s organic texture and shapes are reflected in the forms located in Rose Masterpol’s Barcelona Chair. The wonky curves and taupe coloring is continued in the chairs and sculptures, tying the design together. This is a good example of how to make a space feel more exuberant without going deep into the maximalism sphere.

Rose Masterpol, Barcelona Chair, Acrylic on Canvas, 54 x 56 inches


See more from Masterpol


More is More!

For the last install we have this bubbly and jubilant space designed by Johnson Sokol. This is a perfect example for those ready to dive into the maximal deep end. From the charming floral patterns in the pillows and the drapes, to the peek at the hallway’s more structured wallpaper, this home grabs your attention at every turn. Mersuka Dopazo’s Still Life on the main wall ties every color and texture together harmoniously. This space is activated and welcoming, embracing your gaze wherever it lands in the room. Explore more still life art to activate your interiors.


Dopazo, Still Life, Mixed Media on Canvas, 82 x 88 in; Photo: Stacy Zarin Goldberg


See more from Dopazo


New From Geoffrey Gersten

Geoffrey Gersten’s new work contains his signature photorealistic style, continuing to work from vintage photographs. A handful of his new pieces, however, take an interesting shift towards still objects. Gersten brings them to life with his vibrant and recognizable polka dots.


Playing With Conceptual Art


Triumph Over Mastery, Oil on Canvas, 40 x 30 inches


One image that may stand out to viewers is “The Art Basel Banana,” which is officially entitled Comedian, by Maurizio Cattelan. David Datuna, a performance artist, challenged Cattelan’s absurd conceptual piece with his own act—eating Cattelan’s banana. Gersten is continuing the chain of artists testing the “art” of Cattelan’s piece by rendering it with vivid accuracy and juxtaposing it with his pop art dots. It looks so realistic, it is almost as if you could go right up to the canvas and pluck up the banana to eat, just like Datuna!

Check out Geoffrey going “bananas” in his studio.


Sunny Days By The Pool


Poolside, Oil on Linen, 24 x 18 inches


Poolside depicts a woman leaning against a pool railing, staying true to Gersten’s black and white vintage photograph inspiration. Even with multicolored dots replacing the background of the image, Gersten provides the feel of a bright, sunny day by the pool through his execution of highlights and shadows. Gersten grounds the piece with the pool deck tiles, giving viewers a further sense of space.


Color Everywhere


Wild Dreams, Oil on Linen, 48 x 36 inches


In Wild Dreams, Gersten strays from his normally monochromatic figures and depicts this woman in vibrant sun-kissed hues. This image is very bold and commanding, just like the expression of the woman. Gersten pays very close attention to detail in this piece, from the dusting of purple eyeshadow, the rosy lips, to the floral impressions on the figure’s swim cap.


View More Work | Inside the Artist’s Studio | Learn More

Conversation Pieces for a Minimalistic, Earthy Dining Room

We asked Jenna, one of our consultants at the Baltimore gallery, what pieces she would place in this minimalistic and bohemian dining room. She chose 3 pieces that not only match the down to earth aesthetic, but are also sure to be conversation starters.

What would you place in this space?

Masterpol, Uruz

Rose Masterpol, Uruz, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 62 x 62 in.

The earthy green and bright red of Rose Masterpol’s Uruz make for an eye-catching pop of color in this toned down room. The piece harmoniously blends geometrics and softness with vibrant color and movement, making it an energetic addition to this subdued space.

Rose Masterpol: View More Work | In the Artist’s StudioOn the Wall


Westlake, Rallied to the Empire

Wendy Westlake, Rallied to the Empire, Acrylic on Canvas, 49.5 x 61.5 in.

Wendy Westlake’s Rallied to the Empire complements the minimalist, neutral look of the room. Bold and simple, this piece adds a sense of calm and elegance to the space.

Wendy Westlake: View More Work | Inside the Studio | On the Wall


Padron, East Village, NYC

Xan Padron, East Village, NYC, Photograph on Aluminum, 49 x 62 in.

The deep burgundy brick of Xan Padron’s East Village, NYC brings warmth and additional texture to this space. His photographs of people moving through cities make you wonder who they are and where they’re going, inviting plenty of conversation to the table.

Xan Padron: View More Work | Inside the Studio | On the Wall

Artistic Techniques & Secrets

Each of our artists have their own unique perspective and style when it comes to their art-making. Some artists utilize special tools, some execute specific techniques, and others incorporate interesting supplemental media. Our artists use these skills to perfect their craft and produce work of which we just can’t get enough!


Maura Segal

If you look closely at Maura Segal’s paintings, you can see texture and patterns in the foreground and background. Those shapes and lines are actually hand-cut pieces of paper that add an awesome dimensionality to her pieces. 


Liz Barber

Liz Barber’s approach to her canvases is very experimental. She likes to pour paint around and let it take on a life of its own. She also works chalk, charcoal, and pastel into her paintings. Barber enjoys seeing how the mediums interact with each other. The heavy pours of paint mingle into one another beautifully, especially juxtaposed with her other mark-making. 


Raul De La Torre

Raul De La Torre’s first step in his process is to paint linearly with select colors on a canvas or paper. After that, he carefully cuts out sections of the canvas, interrupting the connection of the painted lines. Finally, Raul sources thread that very closely matches the color of his paints to embroider the gap and connect the painted lines once again. Like Audra Weaser, De La Torre’s process is special and amplifies the uniqueness of his art.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Raül de la Torre (@rdelatorreart)


Audra Weaser

Audra Weaser tackles her work through layering and then navigating back into the canvas using a sanding process. Weaser uses this technique to depict motion and allows for an interesting exploration of the movement of light in naturalistic motifs, such as water. This excavation process adds a lovely poetic note to Weaser’s serene canvases.


Hunt Slonem 

Hunt Slonem loves repetition, as seen by his multitude of rabbits, butterflies, and finches, but also his method of adding texture. His technique for creating texture is executed by sharpening the back end of a paintbrush to make lines in his impasto surfaces. This effect is most clearly seen in his landscape paintings and in the backgrounds of his butterfly pieces, giving them an intriguing illusion effect.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Hunt Slonem (@huntslonem)

What Is Your Framing Personality?

With countless framing options for a single piece, it may be tough to narrow down the options. Sleek and minimal, or more ornate? Make a statement or keep it subtle? If you’re going for a modern look, you might choose a simple floater frame. If you want to add more personality to your space, a funky hand finished frame might just do the trick.

Whichever design you choose can be a wonderful reflection of your personality and style in your home.


One of our experienced consultants, Betsy, presents two landscapes from Hunt Slonem’s Bayou series that are framed in different ways. The first piece is Bayou Louisiana (La Fouche), which has an ornate vintage frame, sourced by the artist himself. This frame adds character and grandeur to this jewel.

The second landscape, Bayou La Fouche Assumption Parrish, is a larger painting framed with a simple silver float frame. The frame complements the painting, quietly allowing the piece to make the statement. 

Betsy selects two more frames fitting for these landscapes to demonstrate the “possibilities” when selecting the perfect frame for your paining. She picks a hand carved driftwood frame with silver detailing for Fouche Assumption Parrish and a simple silver cap frame with black antiquing for Bayou Louisiana (La Fouche)

We are happy to play and try out any and every frame that speaks to you! Contact your nearest gallery to schedule your framing appointment.


Explore more work by Hunt Slonem.

Energetic Art for a Neutral Living Room

Adding energy and color to this neutral space was no problem for Patti, one of our art consultants in Haverford. She chose three pieces that elevate this contemporary apartment in very different ways, while still maintaining a cohesive look.

What do you think of the pieces she chose?

Hunt Slonem | Orange Hombre III

Hunt Slonem, Orange Hombre III, Oil and Acrylic with Diamond Dust, 51.75 x 71.75 in.


“This piece will fill the room with sunny tones of orange and golden yellow. It’s fun and free spirited, featuring recurring bunny patterns that create movement and energy while wrapping the room in warmth. The addition of diamond dust makes the work glow.

Hunt Slonem: View More Work | In the Artist’s StudioOn the Wall


Shivani Dugar | Spring, Joy, & Love

Shivani Dugar, Spring, Joy, & Love, Oil on Canvas, 48.5 x 74.5 in.


“This piece reminds me of a rich textile and adds an exotic feel to the space.  Warm tones of ochres, browns, smokey grays that give the room a more formal feel with a luxurious textural quality. Vibrant brushstrokes add movement to this lush work.”

Shivani Dugar: View More Work | Inside the Studio | On the Wall


Christopher Peter | Swing Silhouette

Christopher Peter, Swing Silhouettes, Mixed Media on Canvas, 53 x 78.5 in.


“This piece has a very playful quality and draws you in with the patterned, handmade papers combined with layered paints. This is a serious piece of art that infuses fun into the room.” 

Christopher Peter: View More Work | In the Artist’s StudioOn the Wall

3 Unconventional Art Choices for a Cozy Living Room

We asked Betsy, an art consultant at our Chevy Chase gallery, about which artworks she would like to see hanging in this cozy and inviting living room. Rather than the obvious choice of one statement piece, she went with an out-of-the-box approach choosing multiples— a whimsical painting paired with a glass sculpture, an abstract piece with a bronze figure, and a trio of wall sculptures—each highlighting the unique architecture of the room.

What would you place in this space?



Slonem, Cross Hatch & Brady

Hunt Slonem, Cross Hatch, Oil on Canvas, 39 x 49 in.; Brady, Handblown Glass, 16.5 x 6 x 9.5 in.


The metallic tone and rich textures of Cross Hatch by Hunt Slonem add elegance, accessibility, and fun into this cozy room. And why not add a handblown glass sculpture, such as Brady, for a quirky touch?

Hunt Slonem: View More Work | In the Artist’s StudioOn the Wall


Westlake, Everyday Occurrence | Hansen, Soulmates

Wendy Westlake, Everyday Occurrence, Acrylic on Canvas, 32 x 42 inches; jd Hansen, Soulmates, Bronze with Urethane Pearlized Patina, 22 x 13.5 x 9.25 inches


Wendy Westlake’s Everyday Occurrence brings curvy shapes and a cool vibe into this intimate, cozy area. The bronze sculpture, Soulmates, by jd Hansen with its pearlized patina introduces more texture and surfaces into this room as well; Both of these contemporary pieces soften the quality and feel of this angular room.

Wendy Westlake: View More Work | Inside the Studio | On the Wall
jd Hansen: View More Work | Inside the Studio | On the Wall


Devine, Anemones III

Matt Devine, Anemones III, Powdercoated Steel, 18 x 66 x 8 in.


The angular quality of these circular aluminum sculptures created by Matt Devine lend additional shape and form into this room full of nooks and crannies, picking up on the neutral tones in the space.

Matt Devine: View More Work | Inside the Studio | On the Wall

Art At the Office

Make your office come to life by adding some original art to the walls. Bringing color and intrigue into to your workplace, artwork can set a creative, energizing tone the minute your clients walk in. But that’s not the only benefit—having art around the office has been proven to boost employee wellbeing, innovation, and productivity.

For inspiration, see how this commercial real estate office layered a dynamic collection of art into their space.


Office Entry Space: Ben Schwab

Ben Schwab, Substratum, Oil on Canvas, 37 x 49 in.


What better way to capture the hustle and bustle of the workplace than an abstracted cityscape like Ben Schwab’s Substratum? This is a vivacious and kinetic piece that eagerly welcomes all who enter the space. Located at the front desk, Substratum can also be seen all the way down the hallway for everyone to enjoy.

Ben Schwab: View More | In the Studio


Manager’s Desk: Aron Hill

Aron Hill, Left: After the Faded Sun Has Set #3, Right: After the Faded Sun Has Set #1, Acrylic on Paper, 35.5 x 27.5 in. each


Aron Hill’s geometric color-blocking paper pieces look like the finest gems against this jewel-toned blue wall. With their bold colors and clean lines, these pieces add an extra pop to the reception area. After the Faded Sun Has Set #3 and #1 are opposite Substratum, formulating a vibrant dialogue in the welcome space.

Aron Hill: View More | In the Studio


Main Office Area: Xan Padron

Xan Padron, Left: 13th St. West Village, NYC, Middle: Ru Des Recollets, Paris, Right: Copacabana Rio de Janeiro, Photograph on Aluminum, 60 x 40 in. each


This wall of Padron photographs allows you to become a part of the artwork. The employees in this office blend in with the folks in these pieces as they go about their daily work, each with their own personality and flair. The colors of the backgrounds in the photos also beautifully complement the carpet and other blue accents throughout the office space.

Xan Padron: View More | In the Studio

David Skillicorn: Wabi-Sabi

David Skillicorn, Wabi-Sabi 12-2, Mixed Media on Canvas, 48 x 36 inches


What is wabi-sabi?

Wabi-sabi is an ancient Japanese concept that emphasizes finding beauty and serenity in imperfection. The philosophy also encourages an acceptance of the passing of time and natural effects of aging. Wabi-sabi comes from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence: impermanence, suffering, and “non-self” (or emptiness). Some characteristics associated with wabi-sabi include authenticity, asymmetry, simplicity, modesty, roughness, and intimacy. 


David Skillicorn, Wabi-Sabi 12-5, Mixed Media on Canvas, 40 x 60 inches


How Does Skillicorn Use wabi-sabi?

David Skillicorn’s series artfully embodies this aesthetic concept, through the finished work, as well as the creative process. Skillicorn acknowledges the concept of Impermanence each time he adds a new layer to a piece, or scrapes away and reveals strokes and colors beneath. The repetition and flow of the brush across the canvas becomes a mindfulness practice of its own.


David Skillicorn, Wabi-Sabi 10-5, Mixed Media on Canvas, 30 x 30 inches

Asymmetrical and organic, Skillicorn’s paintings evoke the flow of nature. The winding forms may also call to mind another art form related to wabi-sabi: kintsugi, the practice of mending broken pottery with metallic lacquer, emphasizing the breakage rather than disguising it.

The continuous movement of Skillicorn’s works, with their commanding colors and shapes, capture the viewer’s attention, while allowing space to ponder the philosophical and aesthetic implications.

David Skillicorn: View More Work | Learn More

Fireplace Focal Point

A fireplace is a natural focal point in any room, making it the perfect place to showcase a beautiful piece of art. With the wooden beams, vibrant foliage and the gorgeous stone mantel, our art consultants leaned into the natural aesthetic when selecting art for this space. So curl up by the fire and take a look at the two pieces they chose for this warm and inviting living room…


I chose A Wistful Memory by Shivani Dugar because it’s warm and inviting just like this beautiful living room.  The artist loves to evoke the feeling of nature and changing seasons.  I feel you can lose yourself in this piece while curled up by the fire.




Shivani Dugar, A Wistful Memory, Oil on Canvas, 72 x 52 inches

Shivani Dugar: View more Work | Inside the Studio | On the Wall


I chose Kyoto Snow by Michael Hoffman to highlight the soft, natural elements of this living room. I love how the piece mimics the symmetrical lines of the beautiful wood beams and pulls colors from the stone fireplace behind it. It adds a touch of color and movement, while still reflecting the calm energy of the space.


Michael Hoffman, Kyoto Snow, Oil on Panel, 60 x 60 inches

Michael Hoffman: View more Work | Inside the Studio

New Rubell Museum Opening in DC

Courtesy of the Rubell Museum


The Rubell Museum is a new contemporary art museum opening October 29th 2022, located at 65 I Street in Southwest DC. The opening exhibition will feature two of the most notable and respected art collectors expansive collections with world-renowned artists.



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Who are the Rubells?

Don and Mera Rubell started collecting art in 1964. It was soon after they were married, when Don was in medical school and Mera was teaching. The couple began collecting on a budget of $25 a week, their focus on newer, unknown artists. They developed relationships with artists and personal connections with the art through frequent visits to artist’s studios. Some recognizable artists that flourished since the early Rubell purchases include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Rashid Johnson, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Yoshitomo Nara, Cecily Brown, and Mickalene Thomas. 

When purchasing art, the Rubells tend not to rely on art advisors for their acquisitions. They instead love to take risks and go off of their intuition and emotional connections to the art and artists. The Rubells continue this collecting style to this day, with their ever-growing collection which has around 7,200 works by more than 1,000 artists.


Kehinde Wiley, Sleep, 2008, at the Rubell Museum in Miami (Flickr: jpellgen)


Becoming a Museum

In 1993 the Rubells decided it was time to share their private collection with the public. The desire became reality when they opened the Rubell Family Collection in the neighborhood of Wynwood in Miami.The Rubells value their collection and wanted a great space to house the collection and share it with the community. The establishment of the museum inspired a rapid growth in the area, turning the neighborhood into a prominent art and design district.

With their collection swiftly expanding, the museum was relocated in 2019 to a 100,000 square foot space in the Allapattah neighborhood and rebranded as the Rubell Museum. The museum dedicates space to long-term shows and short-term exhibitions, all from their collection.

Since the initial opening in 1993, the Rubells have organized 50 exhibitions, loaned thousands of works to institutions nationally and internationally, and published dozens of scholarly volumes.



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New Developments

This fall, the Rubells are bringing their robust collection to DC for the people of the nation’s capital to enjoy. The residents of DC will receive free admission. The museum will be located less than a mile from the city’s other distinguished art museums, such as the Hirshhorn, National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and The Phillips Collection. 

For more up-to-date information you can visit the Rubell Museum DC.


Insider Edit: What Jenna’s Loving

Working with art has always been a dream of mine and I feel so lucky to be surrounded by art everyday. As an Art Consultant, I have the privilege of connecting artwork with people in a meaningful way that allows them to explore who they are and then express who that is to the world around them.

Here are some pieces that I am in love with right now!

Emily Filler, Paper Bouquet XIV, Mixed Media on Paper, 30 x 22 in.

Emily Filler | Paper Bouquet XIV

Although I am not a professional artist, I have enjoyed making collages for many years and I think that is why Emily Filler’s work is so fun to me. I love her sense of composition and her total upending of what we expect from the classic “still-life”. 

Filler: View More | On the Wall


Beatriz Simón, Sun & Flower, Mixed Media on Canvas, 40 x 40 in.

Beatriz Simón | Sun & Flower

Beatriz Simón’s paintings always captivate me. Her ability to capture tranquility and energetic movement in the same painting is so exciting to experience. Although abstract, her work always feels so personal and recognizable. Something about them just makes me feel playful and light. 

Simón: View More | On the Wall


Hyunmee Lee, Abstract Alchemy #1, Acrylic on Canvas, 30 x 46 in.

Hyunmee Lee | Abstract Alchemy #1

Striking and muted, Hyunmee Lee’s paintings carry your eye across the canvas and invite you to investigate each of her brushstrokes. I love how you can see her calligraphic influence throughout her works. She knows when to let colors breathe and how to balance them, making her bright yellows just pop off the canvas. 

Lee: View More | On the Wall

2 Art Ideas for a Sophisticated Dining Room

Texture is in! Whether it’s the finish or the imagery, our art consultants looked to texture to add some interest to this modern and sophisticated dining room. Take a look at what they chose below.


Pezhman’s Boudoir Reflections II adds the perfect amount of softness to this geometric and striking dining room. The texture of the art contrasts nicely against the clean lines and hard surfaces within the room. It adds just a touch of color, while still maintaining the monochromatic feel of the room.



Pezhman, Boudoir Reflection II, Mixed Media on Canvas, 61.75 x 49.75 inches

Pezhman: View more Work | On the Wall


I chose Tom Chambers’ Hidden Away for this sophisticated neutral and texture-filled space. The sharpness and detail of his imagery complements the design and tones of the space, while his subject matter—the natural stones, moss and leaves—add even more texture and extends the tactile nature of this room.  


Tom Chamber, Hidden Aviary, Photograph on Aluminum, 49 x 49 inches

Tom Chambers: View more Work | Inside the Studio | On the Wall

Frame Your Future (Or Your Past)

When it comes to framing, we love unique and personal projects. From photos, to special keepsakes, to memorabilia, we relish in finding ways to best display the things that mean the most to you. With a shadowbox frame (a completely customizable enclosed display box) we can mount just about any object(s) inside.


Project Inspiration: Tarot Cards

One of our recent favorites is this shadowbox frame featuring a client’s artful tarot cards. The cards feature playful line drawings by artist Niki de Saint Phalle, and we were instantly inspired by their colorful beauty. We couldn’t be happier with how the display turned out!



How We Did It

We arranged the cards playfully in their numerical sequence and let them “cascade” to fill the optimal size space we were trying to achieve.


Next we discussed matting, glazing and frame selections. We chose an anti reflective acrylic glazing, which in most light, looks like there’s “no glass.”

With the prominent color theme of magenta and royal blue in the cards, we chose a sapphire silk mat as a back drop. For some added pizazz, we opted to use a magenta silk mat for the inside shadow box sides of the simple silver cap frame. This allows for just a glimpse of this contrasting color as the viewer sees the piece on the wall.



After we selected our mat and frame, we decided to play some more! For a layering effect, we added a variety of raises to create a sense of the cards floating within the space. (We mapped out the different raises on the diagram below.) With this method, the raised cards easily overlap with other cards and cast shadows on the mat. This technique allowed for an exciting and interesting arrangement of this tarot card set.




Once hung on the wall, the dynamic composition came to life and added a fun element to the client’s space.



Have a framing project in mind? Reach out to your nearest gallery to get started!

Emily Filler: Spreading Joy

Straddling the line between the real and the imaginary, representational and abstract, Emily Filler‘s work evokes a sense of joy and imagination—reminiscent of a childhood spent in the garden. Influenced by her daily walks through the city to her studio, she transforms photographs, textiles and paint into collage-like pieces that feel as if the materials belonged together all along.

Learn more about the Toronto-based artist and her studio process below.



What is your studio space like, and how does it affect your process?

My studio space is in an old school, so it has nice big windows and high ceilings. I’ve been in there for about 8 years now. The space I had before had no natural light and much lower ceilings. So being in my current space really changed my work – it got larger, brighter and more experimental.

It is much messier than my apartment, but I don’t like to have everything perfectly organized in the studio. I do a lot of collage work and I find collage works much better when you can see a lot of things at once – so rather than keep everything super tidy I like to have a lot of things lying around. It’s happened many times where a small piece of paper or canvas that I’ve had just sitting on a table (or the floor) for months is the perfect thing to finish off a piece.

But overall I think it’s an inviting space, even with small messes here and there. It’s also in a residential neighbourhood (since it’s in an old school) and on my daily walk there I pass through a lovely park and get to take in some beautiful front yard gardens in the summer which is really nice.



What does a typical day in the studio look like for you?

I like to really take my time in the morning – have coffee, do some yoga, answer emails, and I typically only get to the studio after lunch. I like to have a big lunch so that I don’t have to take many breaks once I get there and get into it.

Everyday I have a certain goal in mind of what I’d like to accomplish. Even if you don’t always manage to get it all done I find it’s helpful to have an idea of what you’d like to do. So once I arrive I start working right away and just sort of get lost in the work. I am always surprised at how quickly the time goes. I like to listen to podcasts while I work. I used to listen to music but lately I find it a bit distracting. I usually work into the evening—I find I do my best work in the late afternoon / early evening. I am not a morning person, ha! I always clean all my brushes and sweep before I leave so that everything will be nice when I arrive the next day.



Where do you acquire all of your different collage materials?

I make most of my collage materials. My father has a very lovely garden with a lot of different types of flowers in it. In the summers when I go to visit him he lets me pick a bunch of flowers to make bouquets and then we photograph them. I take these photographs to a printmaker I work with and then we make them into silkscreens which I cut up and use as collage pieces. It’s a pretty extensive process but it’s also really fun to see how the flowers make their way from my father’s garden and into my paintings. Every once in a while I will find beautiful old wrapping papers or images from old books or catalogues but most of the actual collage pieces come from this process I described.



How has your work evolved over the years?

I have used floral imagery for many years now, maybe like 16 years, but my work has evolved a great deal. The collage element is one thing that was added about 6 or so years ago. Before that I liked to use certain photo-transfer methods and before that I just painted and occasionally added some paper to the work.

I went to a school where we weren’t so much formally trained in how to use materials but rather encouraged to look at things and experiment. So a lot of the methods I use evolved through my own experiments. I would say though that from each series I’ve made over the years I carry all the small things I have learned so that my current work is in a sense an accumulation of many different elements and techniques.


What do you hope viewers see in your work?

I like for people to see whatever they want. Even I see different things in a piece if I look at it from year to year. Overall I hope that my work makes people feel good. Often people will tell me my work makes them happy which, to me, is the nicest compliment. The world can sometimes be a bit bleak or challenging, so it makes me feel good if I can brighten things up a bit and spread a little joy.


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