Featured Artist: Debbie McCulliss

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Yellowstone Bison in Soda Butte Creek

Debbie McCulliss

Artist Locale:  Colorado, USA

Subject Matter: Wildlife and Nature

Medium: Fine Art Photography

About the Artwork: Photographing bison in Yellowstone National Park is on many photographer’s bucket lists. These magnificent mammals are certainly photogenic. The bison is our national mammal and the symbol or the American Wilderness and West. They are about six feet tall and weigh between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds. Despite their size and weight, bison are excellent swimmers, can run up to 35 miles per hour (three times faster than humans), and can jump over objects about five feet high. They have excellent hearing, vision, and sense of smell. Their life expectancy in the wild is up to 20 years.

While feet of snow blanketed the Yellowstone National Park landscape and the temperatures were well below zero in February, I watched in amazement on a hillside as this bison crossed Soda Butte Creek in the Lamar Valley.  

Observing Yellowstone bison showed me why they are symbols of strength, stamina, survival, unity, and a wild spirit, especially in this protected land of unpredictable harsh weather and wind. The protection and recovery of bison in Yellowstone is among the great triumphs of American conservation, although management challenges of today’s bison herds are plentiful. 

There is something for every photographer at Yellowstone in winter-capturing high-contrast or dramatic snow scenes, the animals surviving in harsh conditions, a variety of textures, and simplicity—even stunning black and white images. Yellowstone’s ecosystem allows for it all. 

Bowed Chilkat River Eagle
Bowed Chilkat River Eagle

Artist Statement: Debbie McCulliss, a Colorado-based winter wildlife and nature fine art photographer, travels the globe to bear witness to and record the strength, fragility, beauty, and rhythm of wildlife and nature. McCulliss holds master’s degrees in nursing, science-medical writing, and non-fiction writing. She is also a certified applied poetry facilitator.

Debbie_McCulliss_African Baboon-9399
African Baboon

Artist Bio

Debbie McCulliss, a Colorado-based winter wildlife and nature fine art photographer, travels the globe to bear witness to and record the strength, fragility, beauty, and rhythm of wildlife and nature. 

 McCulliss holds master’s degrees in nursing, science-medical writing, and non-fiction writing. She is also a certified applied poetry facilitator. 

On most weekend evenings in 2016, McCulliss began photographing what became much-anticipated sunsets in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, before noticing two bald eagles perched on a pinion tree about 1500 feet away from her house. She remembers the first day that she tried to capture the eagles flying off that pinion tree. McCulliss made it her goal to capture a sharp image of the eagles’ amazing eyes. Her passion for wildlife photography grew from this singular challenge. 

 She began to research animal behavior and migration, not only for the eagles, but for other animals, such as elk and hawks. Like the eagles, the animals were drawing her further and further into their world. The more she learned, the bigger her photographic world became. With every change of season, she found inspiration in unexpected places. 

 McCulliss continues to master her photographic skills and to capture “the shot.” Today, she craves expeditions to polar regions. While such travel is oftentimes outside her comfort zone and in remote areas, these adventures help raise awareness and broaden her perspective of the world. It’s a privilege to see wildlife in their natural habitat and witness stunning, awe-inspiring, breathtaking landscapes. McCulliss journeys to learn about the history, ecosystems, environmental threats, and conservation efforts of the places that she visits. She believes that showcasing her work and writing for publication helps to increase the public’s awareness of ongoing needs: respect for nature and protection of wildlife, the marine environment, and endangered species. 

 The places she has visited have a powerful presence in her head and heart; she treasures these special places and the creation of stories that teach and art that pleases the senses. Her goal is to create memorable art that inspires conversation, evokes action, or leaves a lasting impression.

Featured Artist Kristen Roskob

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Title: Waiting

Kristen Roskob

Artist Locale:  Arizona, USA

Subject Matter: Portraits

Medium: Graphite, Pastel

About “Waiting: Ever since she was a little girl, Kristen has always had a deep love for animals, especially cats. She has had at least one cat in her life since she was four years old. This drawing was based on a reference photo of her own rescue cat, Dante. This photo was begging to be drawn due to the lighting, expression, and detail in the scratch post.

Dante and his siblings were rescued by a local shelter from an apartment complex in a bad neighborhood. Thanks to this amazing rescue, he escaped the harsh feral life and now lives happily as an indoor kitty with his three other rescued brothers, Winston, Max, and Alister. Kristen Roskob is currently drawing all of them as part of a collection that will be available soon.

Dallas Green

“However, for the first time in her life she truly feels like she’s doing what she was always meant to do.”

Artist Bio

Mr Beel

Kristen Roskob is a self-taught photo-realistic portrait artist who lives southeast of Phoenix, Arizona. She loves capturing the expression and emotion of living beings. She is inspired by other artists, photographers,illustrators, as well as her own family. Her work consists of a combination of custom commissioned portraits and original fine art intended to inspire and provoke emotion.
Following a 15 year-long career in web development, Kristen is currently re-emerging into the art world. She became involved in art again after her chronic pain conditions became too much to manage in tandem with the high-stress work of IT Consulting. A full-time corporate job was no longer possible with her conditions, so she quit the corporate world and turned back to art. This became a fulfilling way to cope with the chronic pain and despair, while allowing her to regain the confidence she lost.
For the first time in her life, she truly feels that she is doing what she was always meant to do. That drives her to continue pushing and evolving her art while being an inspiration to others.

Featured Artist: Andrew Lincoln Nelson

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PhytoBorg 3

Andrew Lincoln Nelson

Artist Locale:  Arizona, USA

Subject Matter: Astrobiological Landscapes

Medium: Graphite Pencil

About this Piece: “Phytoborg 3″ (Graphite on Bristol board, 18″ by 24”) is part of a series of drawings (“Surreal Evolution / Living Machines”) that depict astrobiological landscapes. A “Phytoborg” is a vegetative life form that fuses machine and living plant-like elements. These vegetative machine-plants might be post-technology life or exo-biological forms of life. The spheroid “tree” in “Phytoborg 3” is organic in appearance, but is covered by square shapes that suggest a machine or non-biological origin. The surrounding ground in the drawing is covered by spongy fungus-like mounds that continue toward the horizon. These might represent some alien mono-culture landscape, but the mounds have slightly different morphologies.

This drawing is one of the most space-filling and corporeal early drawings in the Surreal Evolution series of graphite drawings. Subsequent drawings in this series use semi-realistic arid landscapes as backgrounds to provide scale and context to the machine plant-creatures. Phytoborg 3, however, has a background of fungus-like mounds that stretch back to the horizon. This could be an exoplanet or maybe a strange future Earth.

Phyto Ost2

Artist Statement: My work includes detailed graphite pencil drawings of landscapes containing machine creatures, plant-animal hybrids and other conglomerations that might be found in the distant future or on other worlds. Many of the landscapes are drawn from southwestern deserts, waterscapes, and mountains, but others reflect a less Earthly aspect. These drawings focus on post-technology ecosystems containing self-sustaining technological artifacts. What would feral technology do if it were left to its own devices to spawn and reproduce long after its biological creators had passed away, maybe millions of years in the future here on Earth or perhaps on some alien world with unclassifiable fusions of biology and machine?

These drawings give speculative visual answers to the question above. Are there commonalities among all possible forms of complex life? Art through the ages has explored the unique nature of human experience. But is our uniqueness really our most important aspect? Maybe what makes us alive is more important than what makes us human. When we look at a natural object with a complex structure we often feel some kind of affinity or fascination even if we don’t know exactly what we are looking at. For instance, a close-up image of a bone fragment or of a complex fungus is mesmerizing, somehow compelling to the eye. These drawings depict objects or things that are un-named and unknown to the viewer, but the underlying structures are familiar in a complex organic way.

Plantimal 2

Artist Bio

Andrew Lincoln Nelson is a US artist working in Arizona. His art includes detailed drawings of creature-like machines and strange plants in barren or alien landscapes. This artwork explores biology-technology fusion, time and distance scaling and the relationship between patterns at the micro and macro level. Conceptually the subjects of these drawings tend toward the surrealistic. In contrast, the execution is realistic and contains elements of photo-realism landscape rendering. Born and raised in Wyoming, Nelson drew, built and sculpted machines and strange creatures throughout childhood. During his teen years he studied painting and print making but continued to focus on drawing. He attended the Evergreen State College in Washington and studied art, artificial intelligence and philosophy. Later, he received a degree in engineering from North Carolina State University and entered into an academic career, publishing research in robotics, artificial intelligence and cell biology.

 His later academic work was devoted to evolutionary computing applications for autonomous robots and artificial life. This research and academic writing has served as a prominent conceptual drive for his artwork. For the last 15 years, Nelson has focused on drawings of unearthly machines and hybrid machine-plant-animal creatures (“Phytoborgs, Surreal Machines and Osteoborgs”), with work being exhibited in both scientific and fine-art venues. His drawings are done entirely by hand using traditional drawing techniques with graphite pencil and drafting eraser. Although his earlier research was computationally intensive, he now uses only hand calculations, slide rules from the mid-20th century, and projection and camera-obscura-like techniques from the Renaissance era. He also occasionally constructs simple drafting tools and creature-element models and uses many objects taken from nature for surface and texture references.

Art Trends in 2023

Art Trends in 2023

Greetings, art enthusiasts! As we step into 2023, it’s natural to wonder what artistic styles are capturing the attention and adoration of both artists and gallery-goers. While trends in the art world are ever-evolving, I’m here to offer insights from a gallery perspective into the types of art that are currently in the spotlight. So, grab your creative glasses and let’s explore the popular art styles that are making waves in 2023!

Contemporary Realism:

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in contemporary realism. This style combines technical skill with a modern twist, depicting subjects with incredible attention to detail and lifelike precision. Contemporary realist artists are pushing boundaries, capturing moments of everyday life or exploring surreal and thought-provoking concepts, all while maintaining a strong connection to traditional techniques.

Abstract Expressionism:

Abstract expressionism continues to hold its ground as a popular art style in 2023. This movement, which originated in the mid-20th century, emphasizes spontaneous and emotive brushwork, bold colors, and non-representational forms. From large-scale canvases to mixed-media installations, abstract expressionist artworks evoke raw emotions and invite viewers to interpret and connect with the artist’s inner world.


In an increasingly fast-paced and cluttered world, minimalism has emerged as a refreshing art style. Embracing simplicity, minimalistic artworks often feature clean lines, neutral color palettes, and sparse compositions. By stripping away unnecessary details, minimalism invites viewers to focus on essential elements, creating a sense of calm and contemplation.

Digital and New Media Art:

With the rapid advancement of technology, digital and new media art have gained significant traction in recent years. These innovative art forms encompass various mediums, including digital painting, video art, interactive installations, and virtual reality experiences. Artists are leveraging technology to push boundaries, challenge traditional notions of art, and create immersive and engaging experiences for viewers.

Contemporary Photography:

Contemporary photography continues to captivate audiences with its diverse range of styles and approaches. From documentary photography to conceptual and experimental techniques, photographers are pushing the boundaries of storytelling and visual aesthetics. The accessibility of digital cameras and social media platforms has also contributed to the democratization of photography, making it a popular choice for both emerging and established artists.

Mixed Media and Collage:

The world of mixed media and collage art is thriving in 2023. Artists are combining various materials, such as paper, fabric, found objects, and digital elements, to create visually dynamic and multi-dimensional artworks. Collage allows for experimentation, juxtaposition of disparate elements, and the creation of narratives that transcend traditional boundaries.

As we dive into 2023, the art world is buzzing with a rich tapestry of styles and expressions. From contemporary realism to abstract expressionism, minimalism to digital art, and everything in between, artists are pushing the boundaries of creativity and captivating audiences worldwide. While these art styles are currently in the spotlight, it’s important to remember that artistic preferences are subjective and ever-changing. So, whether you’re an artist seeking inspiration, or an art enthusiast exploring galleries, embrace the diversity of artistic expression and allow yourself to be moved by the myriad of styles and stories that await your discovery.

Four Tips To Get Your Art Noticed

Four Tips To Get Your Art Noticed


As artists, we pour our hearts and souls into our creations, longing for them to be seen and appreciated. In a crowded art world, standing out and getting your work noticed can be a challenge. However, by studying successful examples and adopting effective strategies, you can increase your chances of gaining recognition for your art. In this blog post, we’ll explore actionable tips and draw inspiration from artists who have successfully captured attention and made their mark in the art world. Let’s delve into the secrets of getting your art noticed!

Develop a Strong Online Presence:

In today’s digital age, establishing a strong online presence is crucial. Create a professional website or portfolio that showcases your artwork with high-quality images and compelling descriptions. Engage with social media platforms frequented by the art community, such as Instagram or Behance, to share your work, connect with fellow artists, and reach a broader audience.

Participate in Exhibitions and Art Events:

Actively seek opportunities to showcase your work in exhibitions, art fairs, and local galleries. Submit your artwork to juried shows or competitions that offer exposure to a wider audience and potential buyers. Engaging in group shows or collaborative projects can also amplify your visibility and networking opportunities within the art community.

Build Relationships within the Art Community:

Networking and building relationships within the art community can open doors and create opportunities for your art to be noticed. Attend art-related events, connect with other artists, curators, gallerists, and art enthusiasts. Join local art associations, attend workshops, or even consider collaborative projects that allow you to establish meaningful connections.


Leverage the Power of Storytelling:

Art has the ability to tell stories, evoke emotions, and connect with people on a deeper level. Share the stories behind your artwork, your creative process, inspirations, and personal journey as an artist. Craft compelling narratives that resonate with your audience, creating a stronger connection and making your art more memorable.



Getting your art noticed requires a combination of strategic actions, authentic storytelling, and active engagement within the art community. By developing a strong online presence, participating in exhibitions, building relationships, and telling compelling stories, you can increase your chances of gaining recognition and creating a lasting impact. Remember, success may take time, perseverance, and continuous refinement of your artistic voice. So, take inspiration from these successful examples, adapt their strategies to your unique style, and let your art shine in the spotlight it deserves.

Mystical Wonders Art Competition Call for Entry

Blue Koi Gallery is delighted to announce the call for entries for our upcoming exhibition, Mystical Wonders: A Fantasy Art Exhibition. We invite all talented artists to submit their awe-inspiring fantasy artwork, showcasing the enchanting realms of dragons, fairies, magical creatures, and mythical lands. Get ready to explore the world of fantasy through the eyes of the artists who create it!

Learn more and Apply by July 28th, 2023

Mystical Wonders: A Fantasy Art Exhibition

International Abstract Art Competition- Call for Art


Juried Art Competition

abstract competition banner

The Blue Koi Gallery is excited to announce their “Abstract” International Juried Art Competition. This competition is open to all art mediums, styles, and skill levels.  All applicants must be 18 years or older and submit 5 original pieces that adhere to the theme of  “Abstract”. Submissions will be judged based on technique, interpretation of the abstract theme, originality, and artistic merit. Cash prizes up to $200 will be awarded to winning artists

Learn more and apply: https://koisartistaward.com/abstract-juried-art-competition/

Open Call for Art to the Still Life Art Competition

Still Life Call for Art

Still Life

Juried Art Competition

Blue Koi Gallery is proud to announce their Still Life juried art competition that is open to artists from all over the world! All applicants must be 18 years or older and submit 5 original pieces that adhere to the theme of  “Still Life”. Submissions will be judged based on technique, interpretation of the theme, originality, and artistic expression. Cash prizes up to $200 will be awarded to winning artists.  We are looking forward to seeing your creative submissions soon!

Learn more and Submit here

Building an Effective Artist Portfolio: Showcasing Your Work

Building an Effective Artist Portfolio: Showcasing Your Work

As an artist, one of the most powerful tools at your disposal is a well-crafted portfolio. Your portfolio is a visual representation of your artistic journey, showcasing your skills, style, and creativity. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting your artistic career, building an effective artist portfolio is crucial for attracting attention, making a lasting impression, and opening up opportunities. In this blog post, we’ll explore key tips and considerations for creating a portfolio that effectively showcases your work and captivates potential viewers.

Define Your Purpose:

When embarking on the journey of creating your artist portfolio, taking the time to define its purpose becomes a crucial step. Understanding the primary objective of your portfolio allows you to align your efforts with your specific goals and target audience. Consider the various possibilities: Are you seeking to attract potential clients interested in commissioning artwork? Are you hoping to secure gallery representation, where your portfolio will serve as a representation of your talent and style? Are you preparing to apply for exhibitions or art competitions to showcase your work to a wider audience? Or perhaps your aim is to share your artwork online, connecting with art enthusiasts and fellow artists through digital platforms.

Each purpose carries its own unique considerations, and by clearly identifying your goals, you can tailor your portfolio to effectively communicate your intentions and captivate the intended audience. For example, if your focus is on attracting clients, your portfolio may emphasize commissioned works, personalized projects, or art that aligns with specific themes or industries. On the other hand, if you’re seeking gallery representation, your portfolio may emphasize your artistic voice, the coherence of your body of work, and the potential for exhibitions or collaborations.

Select Your Best Work:

In the realm of portfolio building, the adage “quality over quantity” reigns supreme. It is far more impactful to showcase a thoughtfully curated selection of your best pieces rather than overwhelming viewers with a vast quantity of artwork. When choosing which pieces you include, its best to consider:

Cohesive and Visually compelling

The key to capturing the attention of viewers. Consider how each piece relates to one another in terms of theme, color palette, or conceptual approach. By creating a visual narrative within your portfolio, you guide the viewer on a journey through your artistic evolution and creative vision. Strive for a harmonious balance, allowing your artwork to flow seamlessly from one piece to the next.

artist woking on portfolio Pinterest Pin

Demonstrate Versatility and Artistic Growth

Including a variety of mediums, subjects, and sizes showcases the breadth of your artistic skills and reveals your ability to explore different artistic avenues. This diversity not only captivates the viewer but also illustrates your ability to adapt and thrive in various creative challenges. It provides a well-rounded glimpse into your capabilities, leaving a lasting impression on those who engage with your portfolio.

Organize and Structure

When it comes to presenting your artwork, thoughtful organization and structure within your portfolio can greatly enhance the viewer’s experience. It’s essential to create a logical flow that guides the viewer through your work, allowing them to engage with your art in a meaningful and coherent manner.

Chronological Order

This method offers a glimpse into your artistic progression and evolution over time, showcasing how your skills, style, and ideas have developed. This chronological arrangement can be particularly effective when demonstrating growth and milestones in your artistic journey.

Theme Focus

Grouping artworks that share common subjects, concepts, or visual motifs creates a cohesive narrative that strengthens the impact of each individual piece. This thematic organization can help viewers connect with your art on a deeper level and appreciate the underlying messages or emotions that tie your work together.

By Series or Project

This method allows you to highlight your ability to work within a unified concept or explore a particular theme from various perspectives. Presenting your work in a series format encourages viewers to delve into the depth and breadth of your artistic exploration, revealing the intricacies and nuances within each body of work.

Pay Attention to Presentation

Invest time in presenting your artwork in the best possible way. High-quality, well-lit photographs or scans are crucial to accurately represent your pieces. Consistency in terms of background, lighting, and image quality across all images helps maintain a professional and cohesive look. Consider using close-up shots to highlight details and textures, and ensure that the colors are accurate to the original artwork.

Craft an Artist Statement

Craft an artist statement that is concise, engaging, and well-written, effectively conveying your artistic intentions and philosophies.

In your artist statement, aim to encapsulate the essence of your artistic journey and the driving forces behind your creations. Reflect on the motivations, ideas, and experiences that shape your artistic practice, and articulate them in a clear and compelling manner. Consider sharing insights into the concepts, themes, or emotions that often permeate your work, helping viewers connect with your art on a deeper level.

Consider Presentation Formats

Portfolios can be presented in various formats, depending on your goals and target audience. Traditional physical portfolios can be useful for in-person meetings, gallery submissions, or art fairs. Alternatively, digital portfolios and online platforms offer the advantage of easy sharing, global reach, and interactive features. Explore options such as websites, online galleries, or social media platforms to showcase your work effectively in the digital realm.

Seek Feedback

The journey of an artist is a continuous process of growth and discovery. Seeking feedback, evaluating your portfolio, and staying open to experimentation are all integral to this journey. Embrace the insights and opportunities for improvement that arise, using them as stepping stones toward realizing your artistic potential.

Final Words

Building an effective artist portfolio is an ongoing process that requires careful consideration, curation, and presentation. It serves as a visual representation of your artistic journey, capturing the essence of your style, skills, and creative vision. By defining your purpose, selecting your best work, organizing effectively, paying attention to presentation, crafting an artist statement, considering presentation formats, and seeking feedback, you’ll create a compelling portfolio that showcases your work and captivates viewers. Remember, remaining open to experimentation is key to artistic development. Allow yourself the freedom to explore new techniques, subject matters, or concepts, and be receptive to innovative approaches in your portfolio presentation. Adapt your presentation based on the feedback you receive and the personal goals you set for yourself, pushing the boundaries of your creative expression.