Featured Artist: Kelli Bechtel

Snow Leopard, colored pencil on paper.

A Wildlife Artist, Kelli Bechtel creates realistic renderings of wild animals. She uses paint, graphite, watercolor and ink, but favors the intricate quality of colored pencil. She focuses on endangered species, to promote their conservation through art.

Tiger, oil on canvas.

Kelli has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing from Kendall College of Art and Design. Passionate about animals from a young age, her academic career has always looked to representing them well through her artwork. She is skilled in “bringing her artwork to life and making it jump off the page.” She enjoys creating themes based on groups of animals, such as big cats. Kelli also likes to feature creatures that may not be popularly known. Educational and stunning, her art reflects on the importance of wildlife in our world.

Kelli Bechtel currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her colorful, detailed illustrations remind viewers of the beauty of wildlife. You can find her on facebook, instagram, and her website.


Featured Artist: Rob Penning

Rob Penning, an art educator of 33 years, creates surreal paintings and three-dimensional works that the mind of the viewer. He creates geometric worlds in his paintings that alter reality in a way that viewers immerse themselves into the canvas.

With a Undergrad and Masters Degree from Calvin College, Penning is the master of his medium. Featured in ArtPrize, the three-dimensional works he creates involve mixed media and influence of Pop Art and Metarealism. From the artist statement for The Odd Magic of Albert and Myna, the artwork “plays with the relationships between banality and truth”. Penning explores the human condition through his art. Topics include forgiveness, love, joy, loss, and time.

Rob’s paintings are of great magnitude, inviting the viewer to almost fall into them. The way he distorts perspective and uses bold colors to attract the eye create a world between reality and abstraction.

You can find Rob Penning’s work at Sleeping Bear Gallery, as well as numerous galleries across Michigan.


Featured Artist: Amelia Polder

Self-taught and self-made, Amelia Polder is an up-and-coming acrylic and watercolor painter, whose style and color reflect the bright happiness her content emulates. Living on a farm in Lee County, Virginia, she draws much of her painting inspiration from the environment around her. 

Primarily painting images of nature, farm life, and even coastal settings, Amelia’s paintings contain a serene quality in the impressionistic brushstrokes of her work. Her acrylic paintings appear textured and contain depth, while her watercolor takes on a quality that takes advantage of the lightness that watercolor demands. Her favorite subjects are farms, animals, seascapes and children, expressing the lighthearted quality these subjects contain in her painting style.

Amelia sells both originals and fine art prints globally, as well as takes on commissions and custom paintings. You can find Amelia on Instagram and on Etsy.


Featured Artist: Brian O’Leary

Main Stage by Brian O’Leary

Brian O’Leary produces beautifully dynamic street photography that reflects on the decay of architecture. Primarily photographing in Flint, Michigan, his urban landscapes include sharp focus, clarity from foreground to background, and a distinct interest in abandoned buildings, as well as industrial scenes.

Longfellow by Brian O’Leary

Self-taught and born in Flint, his familiarity with the area works to his advantage. “In 2013 I picked up my first DSLR camera and began to train my eye and perfect my photographic skills.” Quick to hone in his skills, his personal style quickly became recognizable. East Village Magazine’s article about O’Leary discusses his style of “dynamic symmetry” which he strives to achieve in his work through patience and observation. Inspired by photographers Vivian Maier and Henri Carier-Bresson, he emulates their in-the-moment street photography and conscientious detail.

Full Automotive Plant by Brian O’Leary

Working security at the Flint Institute of Arts, O’Leary has been able to study all the paintings for inspiration, and transfers this into his photography. Hoping to pursue more photography and film in the future, he has been featured in Buckham Gallery, with hopes to gain more recognition the more he produces art.

Brian O’Leary is featured on Fine Art America, Flickr, and can be found on Instagram.


Featured Artist: Carla Bank

Using bright, bold colors as vibrant as her personality, Carla Bank paints in a way that expresses pure joy. Born in Mexico City and raised in Cancun, she incorporates her Mexican identity into her work, as well as experiments with “geometric abstraction and a return to paintings that are highly detailed and recall a sense of place”. 

Carla has a background in Graphic Design, trained in Guadalajara, Mexico. Exhibiting nationwide, she shares her work with the masses, and finds happiness in meeting those who love her art. “I attribute my success to genuine passion and the tireless pursuit of excellence”. Traveling nationally to attend her art shows, Carla also travels internationally, allowing herself to “experience art from every continent,” constantly learning and growing from her experiences, and translating them into her art.

Carla can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and through her website.


Featured Artist: Neela Ahmed

Neela Ahmed recently graduated from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. She graduated with a bachelor degree in communications as well as a degree in digital art. Neela used our fine art printing services as she was developing her BFA solo exhibition “Colored Landscapes.”

The inspiration behind the exhibition was the landscape of her home. Each illustration suggested a certain time of day, similar to Monet’s Rouen Cathedral series. Her intention was to present one continuous day exploring time of day through color. Neela was heavily influenced by Thomas Danthony, whose illustrations use color and shadows to suggest form. She was also influenced by WPA style posters.

Acording Neela, “My favorite part of my design process is scouting. I work from photographs, so going out hiking and exploring the outdoors is fun to get the perfect photo to use for my designs. I mainly work with Adobe Illustrator, but will use Adobe Photoshop on occasion. I use the photograph to create the lines and shapes in the program, and find that using exaggerated color makes for a more interesting composition.”

Balanced Rock

“Balanced Rock is an illustration that comes from a trip to Big Bend National Park I took in the summer of 2019. I’ve always loved hiking and great views, and when I hiked to this spot it was my first time visiting it. I was in awe at the beauty of nature’s formations.”

Kokernot Field

“Kokernot is a semi-pro baseball stadium in Alpine, Texas. It has been called the ”Yankee Stadium of Texas.” It hosts the Alpine Cowboys semi-pro team, as well as Sul Ross’ Lobo baseball team. The venue has a rich history, and has a special place in my heart as one of Alpine’s best views.”

You can find Neela Ahmed’s artwork for sale here. And you can follow her instagram and facebook pages to keep updated on her work!


Featured Artist: Rachel Oakley

A Dangerous Feeling

Rachel Oakley is an acrylic painter based in Michigan. Her work is bright and vivid, allowing colors and shapes to create motion and emotion. With duo bachelor’s degrees in Studio Art and Marketing from Oakland University, she is skilled in painting, photography, and journalism.  

Rachel paints with intention of “celebrating the color of existence.” She sees the world in a pixelated, technicolor way, due to the condition known as Visual Snow Syndrome. She uses this as a strength in the color application and pointillist techniques she employs in her paintings. She explores ways in which to see the world differently, yet also creates realistic renderings with conceptual backgrounds.  

Reality Tunnel
The Fountain of Love

Rachel’s vibrant personality and optimism toward life are reflected in her artwork. Her interest in math is noted when her paintings contain multiple lines and shapes that divide the realities featured in her imagery. Rachel is dedicated to creating visually stimulating paintings that “elicit joy and wonder in nature, geometry, and mathematics”.


Featured Artist: Mary Sayre

As a member of the Ocean Artists Society and an artist for Ocean Geographic Society, Mary Sayre’s passion for aquatic life is evident. Painting oceanic wildlife as early as ten years old, Mary creates illustrative paintings with oil on canvas and, most uniquely, acrylic on marble. Her selection of marble as the foundation to her work stems from an interest in the color and texture that marble provides to add depth to her paintings. 

Green Turtle on Coral Reef by Mary Sayre

Mary Sayre studied Illustration at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, MI. She proceeded to live on the island of Port Aransas, TX to study reefs, fish, and participate in dive exploration and sailing to completely embrace her passion and inspire her paintings. Mary combines “fascinations with art, scuba diving and marine ecosystems” to raise awareness on the environmental protection of aquatic life. 

Sunset Serenade by Mary Sayre
Clownfish Indonesia by Mary Sayre

Featured Artist: Mary-Catheryn Baker

Scarlet by Mary-Catheryn Baker

Mary-Catheryn is the founder of Copper Corners Art in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She creates her work with a focus on how art can influence a home. Coming from a background of artists in her family, she began painting with the intention to enhance her own home with artwork that she felt a connection to. Her paintings consist of bold brushstrokes and bright colors that evoke emotion or meaning to the viewer. One could say the positive energy of these paintings reflects her own personality! The subjects of her work are primarily animals, as she shares a strong connection to nature from her upbringing in South America. 

Peace of the Brave by Mary-Catheryn Baker

Here is what Mary-Catheryn says of her own work:

“I paint the cows that roamed our sidewalks, blocking our car in the garage and making me late to school. I paint the moody pigs that napped under our neighbor’s mango trees. I paint the chickens that slept at night, snuggled in the trees. Each painting that I create is vibrant, colorful, textured, and intricately layered. Countless hours are dedicated to crafting each piece of art. I strive to portray a balance of realism combined with loose abstraction, causing one to compliment the other. My goal is for people to feel a connection with my paintings in a meaningful and unique way.”

Show Off by Mary-Catheryn Baker