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Figurative Art – From Traditional to Contemporary

Posted on: August 20th, 2022 by Art Leaders No Comments

Five Figurative Artists You’ll Love

Published on August 20th, 2022

Some of the most influential and well-known works of art connect us to the human figure. For example – The Mona Lisa, The Scream, The Birth of Venus – all speak to us through the human figure. Figurative art, whether traditional and representational or contemporary and abstract, creates a human element and a captivating presence in your home. Whether it be an expression, an action, or simply a familiar face, when we look at the human figure on a painting, we are able to make connections to our own lives.

Here at the gallery, we have a wide selection of figurative paintings, prints, and sculptures. Anna Razumovskaya’s contemporary impressionist painting bring us romance, while Gabe Leonards cinematic, story-telling paintings bring us drama. Figurative art from traditional to contemporary can compliment just about any space. Finally, below you will find five of our favorite figurative artworks that can impact any space.

Beauty of Dark by Hessam Abrishami

Beauty of Dark by Hessam Abrishami, Figurative Art from traditional to contemporary

Hessam Abrishami, Beauty of Dark, Ltd. Ed. Giclee on Canvas, 36″ x 48″

Loving the Spin by Anna Razumovskaya

Anna Razumovskaya, Loving the Spin, Hand-Embellished Giclee on Canvas

Anna Razumovskaya, Loving the Spin, Hand-Embellished Giclee on Canvas

Gold Leaf by Kerri Warner

Gold Leaf by Kerri Warner at Art Leaders Gallery

Kerri Warner, Gold Leaf, Mixed Media on Board, 48″ x 72″

Rossetto II by Pietro Adamo

Rossetto II by Pietro Adamo

Pietro Adamo, Rossetto II, Mixed Media on Canvas, 48″ x 24″

Lip Gloss is for Girls by Gabe Leonard

Lip Gloss is For Girls by Gabe Leonard

Gabe Leonard, Lip Gloss is for Girls, Ltd. Ed. on Canvas

Find a piece of art that speaks to you! You can find our contemporary and traditional figurative artists here:  Browse All Artists.

Anna Razumovskaya | Hessam Abrishimi | Kerri Warner | Pietro Adamo | Gabe Leonard

Contact the Gallery for more information on starting your own collection of figurative art, from traditional to contemporary. Additionally, you can follow the gallery on Instagram for gallery updates!

Figurative Abstract Paintings by Rodney E. Denne

Posted on: March 18th, 2022 by Art Leaders No Comments

Artist Spotlight

Detroit Artist Rodney E. Denne (RED)

Published on March 18th, 2022

Rodney Denne is a Detroit artist, known for creating dynamic figurative abstract paintings. Denne creates large bodies of work using both bold, vibrant colors and thick mono-chromatic texture. In his collage and more colorful works, he adds imagery of cars, nature, robotics, and the human body to symbolize grounding. However, in his highly textured black and white paintings, bold abstract figure-like shapes juxtapose delicate background patterns. Through this process, immersive concepts emerge in his paintings. As a result, Denne’s work brings interest, vibrancy, and thoughtfulness into our lives. Denne expresses, “I am nature; a part of all things. I feel my art must come from within.” 

Read Denne’s feature article in the West Bloomfield City Lifestyle magazine, highlighting his artistic inspiration and background. The article is written by Amy Niezur and originally published in the June 2022 issue.

Painting Process  

Denne creates his dramatic pieces with oil sticks and various other medium. This allows him to produce expressive line work and unique imagery. Similarly, in his collage works, he layers a variety of mediums. Subsequently, the layers create a depth that is unique to his work alone. In his own words, “I work on both painting styles at one time. I’m divided by the figure and color, as well as black and white. I find the need to fulfill both desires in the creation of my paintings.”



Heavy With Welcome by Rodney E. Denne

Heavy with Welcome by Rodney E. Denne

Past and Present

Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1971, Denne was drawn to art at the age of four. Memories of his years of service in the US Air Force influence his work. After serving in the military, Denne studied under artist Bob Jacobson. Later, he received a BA in Art and Religious Studies from Saint Mary’s College of California. Later, he then gained gallery representation at the age of 27. He describes himself as an abstract expressionist and a contemporary figure painter. His mid-century modern style infuses with his personal experiences to create dramatic compositions. His emotional, large-scaled figures encapsulate viewers through their textural patterns. Accordingly, each painting has a title that reflects a personal connection to Denne’s past and present.

Furthermore, he claims to be a product of urban and suburban environments. In effect, such duality is infused in his work. Denne states, “Within the background of my paintings, I use the images and words of mysticism, religion, myth and the Divine unknown.” He draws influence from the mid-century European art movement COBRA. In addition, his work also falls in line with artists such as Paul Klee, Franz Klein, Bob Thompson, CY Twombly, Jean-Michael Basquiat, Pablo Picasso, and William De-Kooning.

The works of art that give Denne international recognition reside in select fine art galleries and private collections throughout the United Sates as well as Europe. You can stay up to date with his latest works by following our Facebook or Instagram page


Exposed by Rodney Denne (RED)

Exposed by Rodney E. Denne (RED)

Figurative Abstract Commissions

Rodney E. Denne uses unique methods to convey strong statements in his figurative abstract paintings. Denne offers custom commissions for clients. These striking paintings work well with a variety of decor. A bold colorful painting will liven up your space. Conversely, a more neutral black and white painting adds texture to your space. In essence, Denne will be sure to create something remarkable for you. Currently, Denne’s work is available exclusively through Art Leaders Gallery

Family Triptych by Rodney E. Denne


Custom Commissioned Artwork – The Perfect Home Addition

Posted on: December 9th, 2021 by Art Leaders No Comments

Custom commissioned artwork – could it be exactly what’s been missing from your home?

Published on December 9th, 2022

We all know the feeling – you search and search for the perfect piece of art to tie a meticulously curated room together, and just when you think you’ve found it, the size isn’t right. The color that you thought was the perfect shade of blue looks way too dark once you get it home. While it can seem like an impossible task, finding the perfect artwork for your space can be as easy as measuring a wall or bringing in a paint swatch to Art Leaders Gallery. Custom commissioned artwork could be the solution you have been searching for.

Custom painting for a client to match her window treatments

The importance of finding the right artwork

Art has a unique ability to take an ordinary room and turn it into a luxurious space. You should look forward to spending time in every room in your home. Art sparks emotions of excitement, tranquility, and inspiration. The perfect piece of artwork exists, sometimes it just hasn’t been created yet.

K. Nari

Bohemian Daisies by K. Nari

Why choose commissioned artwork?

At Art Leaders Gallery, several of our artists offer custom commissioned artwork for clients. If you fall in love with a particular painting, but the size is too small, this may be a great option for you. For example, an artist can make a similar custom painting, but in a larger size to fit your space. If you love a certain artist’s style, but you are looking for something with pops of color to match your window treatments or accent chair, chances are, the artist can make a custom painting in your colors.

Our local artists are very timely in creating custom commissioned artwork for clients. Many artists guarantee their work. For example, you will not be obligated to purchase the commission if it is not what you expect. However, this has never happened. Oftentimes, clients are shocked at how perfect a piece turns out. It’s hard not to love a painting when it meets all your specifications and still turns out better than you could have imagined. If you have fallen in love with the work of an artist who is not local, the artist will send photos of commissioned artwork for approval before it ships. This will ensure that you get exactly what you want.

Bending Steel Series by Ken Rausch at Art Leaders Gallery

Bending Steel Series by Ken Rausch

How to get started choosing your own custom artwork

Our artists welcome commissioned work because it means that you love their work enough to ask them to do something special just for you. You receive one-of-a-kind, unique, handmade artwork specific to you and your home. It doesn’t get more personal than that. At Art Leaders Gallery, we walk you through the whole process from beginning to end. We can photoshop artwork into your space for your consideration. In this sense, you can get an idea of what the work will look like in your home. We help you choose the correct measurements, communicate with the artist, and send you photos for approval. In addition, we offer in home consultation as well as delivery and installation. It has never been so easy to get the perfect fit for your home. Let us help you find your perfect match by stopping into the gallery and scheduling your consultation today!

For more inspiration, follow us on Instagram and Pinterest

Top 5 Holiday Gift Guide

Posted on: November 17th, 2021 by Art Leaders No Comments

Top 5 Holiday Gift Guide

The Holidays are right around the corner, and nothing says ‘thoughtful’ quite like artwork. Choose a unique gift to suit an individual’s taste and personality. This will result in one of the most meaningful gifts of all. Gifting artwork is a wonderful way to add to the art collection of someone you love. Likewise, it can inspire appreciation for the arts in someone who has yet to discover the wonderful impact that art makes in enhancing the richness of everyday life. If you love the idea of giving someone a unique gift that they are sure to love for years to come, check out our top 5 holiday gift guide below.

Art is sentimental. Every time the recipient looks at the artwork, they are reminded of you. As a result, they will cherish and appreciate a work that they may not have picked out for themselves. Art is a timeless gift that will last more than a lifetime. It is enjoyed not only by the owner but can be enjoyed for generations as a family heirloom to be cherished throughout the years.

Published on November 17th, 2021

1. Houston Llew Spiritiles

Houston Llew Spiritiles are handcrafted with glass and copper. These beautiful tiles are the ultimate sentimental gift. For instance, they commemorate many of life’s memorable occasions. In addition to beautiful imagery, each beautiful Spiritile tells a story, with a quote that runs along the outer edge of each tile. Each tile can stand alone or be hung on a wall. They are collectable fine artworks that celebrate special moments in time. To learn more about Houston Llew Spiritiles, click here.

A few of our favorite Spiritiles are:

“What if I fall? Oh, but what if you fly!” – Erin Hanson
Take Off – #164

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with family” -Anthony Brandt
Family Tree – #223


“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where once there were only walls.” – Joseph Campbell
Secret Garden – #261

 Click here to see our full collection of Houston Llew Spiritiles.


2. Thad Markham Fruit Sculptures

Thad Markham’s fruit sculptures are perfect for the person in your life who loves fun and has a wonderful sense of humor. For example, with his Out of the Bowl series, Markham literally brings fruits and vegetable to life. Each sculpture is hand painted and meticulously designed. Markham creates fun and whimsical sculptures that add joy and life to any space.

Last Tango Before Breakfast by Thad Markham at Art Leaders Gallery, voted “Michigan’s Best Fine Art Gallery” is located in the heart of West Bloomfield. This full service fine art gallery is the destination for all your art and custom picture framing needs. Our extensive inventory of art includes styles ranging from contemporary to traditional. The gallery represents international, national, and emerging new talent as well as local Michigan artists.

Last Tango Before Breakfast

Peace of Pie by Thad Markham at Art Leaders Gallery, voted “Michigan’s Best Fine Art Gallery” is located in the heart of West Bloomfield. This full service fine art gallery is the destination for all your art and custom picture framing needs. Our extensive inventory of art includes styles ranging from contemporary to traditional. The gallery represents international, national, and emerging new talent as well as local Michigan artists.

Peace of Pie

orange, lemon, lime, chili, and lime dancing

Happy Hour

Click here to see our full collection of Thad Markham fruit sculptures.

3. Borowski Glass – Adorable Holiday Gifts

Borowski Glass Studio began in the early 1990’s by a father, his three sons, and their love for the art of making glass. Therefore, all Borowski glass sculptures are constructed of meticulously sourced fine Polish glass. From this glass, the most bold and whimsical characters are born. Consequently, these avant-garde sculptures are the perfect marriage of fine art and fun.

Snippy Queen in Yellow by Borowski Glass Studio. Art Leaders Gal

Snippy – Small Paperweight

Kiwi – Paperweight

Moonky – Sculpture

Click here to see our full collection of Borowski Glass.

4. Ancizar Marin Colorful Climbers as Gifts

Ancizar Marin creates bold, colorful, and exciting climbers, winter athletes, and koi fish that interact with one another and your space. First, each figure is handcrafted with fiberglass and volcanic rock. Next, it is painted, and signed by the artist. Each one of these active athletes is customizable in pose and color and can be arranged however you like in your space.

Colorful Wall Climber #17

Winter Athlete: Half Pipe Snowboarder

Colorful Koi Fish

Click here to see the full collection of climber poses and colors.

5. Art Glass Accessories

Art Leaders Gallery is proud to offer a wide selection of carefully curated art glass. These unique glass sculptures are both visually stunning and sentimental. As a result, they make the perfect addition to a mantlepiece or displayed in a curio cabinet.

Stephen Schlanser’s Literature Book
Kiln Fired Glass in Gold or Silver Leaf with various text options.

Click here to see more from Stephen Schlanser and learn more about his unique artistic process.

Harold Lustig’s Optical Crystal Cubes
Di-Chroic, optically pure K-9 Crystal available in multiple sizes
$195.00 – $2,500.00

Click here to see our available collection of Optical Crystal.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more holiday gift inspiration!



The Floral Still Life: Its Stems and Roots

Posted on: June 26th, 2018 by Art Leaders No Comments

The Floral Still Life

Published June 26th, 2018

In this month’s exhibition we’re celebrating flowers and their appearance in various artwork styles from traditional to contemporary. The roots of this subject matter, so to speak, lie within the still life.

The still life grew in popularity, especially in northern Europe, during the 17th century. The intention of the still life at this time was to teach a moral lesson. This was to remind the viewer of the transience of life. Each bloom was imbued with a personal, cultural, or even religious significance. Wilting flowers reminded the viewer of mortal life, lilies indicated the Virgin Mary, and pink roses signified love, etc. Despite their beauty and significance, “floral still life” as a subject matter remained at the bottom of the painting hierarchy, trailing far behind grandiose history paintings.

“ . . . Even if the painter of flowers need not make the same studies to make or conquer the same difficulties as the history painter, does that mean flower painting is a lower or more limited genre?”—a review of the 1817 Salon

In the 19th century, French realists and impressionists alike began to move away from painting still lives as Memento Mori/Vanitas artworks and began to paint scenes of everyday life –their objects and subjects –for their own sake. This shift was very unpopular; the painting was no longer edifying –just beautiful. Can you imagine a time when the impressionist “still life” was considered “modern” and ruffled the feathers of traditionalists? To best appreciate this genre, it’s important to understand that even the simplest subject matter faced criticism.

“(The) poor fabricators of still lifes, who have been so violently disbarred just when they least expected it . . . [T]hey are multiplying at an alarming rate. The rats in the Paris sewers are less numerous and less menacing. If the academic order ever crumbles, it will be because the still-life painters, down below, have gnawed away, one by one, at its foundations.”—Critic Jules Castagnary, writing about the Salon des refusés in 1863

Here are some quotations from the floral artists from the 1800s to help give some context to this genre (and perhaps redeem the critics’ harsh reviews with some romanticism). Enjoy this behind-the-scenes glimpse of still lifes and their hidden roots!

  • “I am following nature without being able to grasp her, I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” – Claude Monet
  • “I must have flowers, always, and always.” – Claude Monet 
  • “A painter can say all he wants to with fruit or flowers or even clouds.” – Edouard Manet
  • “How right it is to love flowers and the greenery of pines and ivy and hawthorn hedges; they have been with us from the very beginning.” – Vincent Van Gough
  • “I am working at it every morning from sunrise on, for the flowers fade so soon, and the thing is to do the whole in one rush.” – Vincent Van Gough
  • “What seems to me to be one of the most important things about our movement is that we have freed painting from the tyranny of subject-matter. I am free to paint flowers and call them flowers, without having to weave a story round them.” – Pierre Auguste Renoir 
  • ” . . . I think that nothing is more difficult for a true painter than to paint a rose, since before he can do so, he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.” – Henri Matisse

How to Smell the Roses at our “In Bloom” exhibition

Posted on: June 26th, 2018 by Art Leaders No Comments

In Bloom Exhibition

This week marked the start of our “In Bloom” exhibition here at Art Leaders. We look forward to celebrating floral art in all its forms –each painting as unique as the flowers they represent. But before we get too far into this exhibition, I wanted to offer some tips for appreciating the details during your visit in the gallery this month –a quick lesson in “slow looking”.

Despite the fact that the 70-plus paintings are of the same subject matter –the bouquet –they each offer so much beauty and interest when explored more carefully. Here are some ideas for how to prolong that quick glance into a slow look. You might be surprised at what beauty unfolds before you when you spend time with a single painting.

Published June 26th, 2018

How To

1. Scan the painting. I know, I know –I told you to slow down and now I’m telling you to “scan the painting”, but we can’t help of course but to take it in quickly at first, so do it. Scan the painting from left to right and top to bottom. Where does your eye fall within the painting? What grabs you as you eye wanders?

2. Get Close –so close that the painting becomes out of focus. From this perspective, try to figure how the artist created this piece of art one paint stroke at a time.

3. Step Back. How does the composition change when you step back a few feet? How do those details interact with each other to make the whole?

4. Consider Color. Spend some time with our flowers painted in the impressionist style. Chances are you’ll find multiple colors –perhaps the entire rainbow –within a single petal.

5. Seek out Details. Bugs like flowers too –can you find any hiding within these paintings? How about dew drops, perfectly poised to roll off smooth petals? Whether it be a tiny ant or an ironic swath of color –the beauty of each painting lies greatly in their details.

We hope to see you this weekend or throughout this month to enjoy our flower exhibition. Come in to practice your “slow looking” –after all, we can only appreciate life’s beauty when we take the time to stop and smell the roses. Check out Andrii Afanasiev’s work here. View updates from the gallery on our instagram page!

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West Bloomfield, Michigan 48322




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