Best Up-And-Coming Visual Artists In Seattle

April 14, 2014 6:00 AM

Credit: ThinkStock

Art is so subjective. What is one person’s trash is another’s treasure. How do you rank one artist over another? In Seattle, new artists are practically born everyday. Some stick around for a while and others fade away. Here are five fairly new artists to emerge on the Seattle art scene.

Tim Marsden

Tim Marsden is an illustrator creating fun graphics, but his most unique work can be found on the literal streets of Seattle. Marsden has found a way to create art out of discarded objects by just re-creating the object’s look. For instance, he might find a pallet tossed on the side of the street. He turns it into art by drawing cartoonish lines and knotholes on it. He does the same with bricks, making them look like 3-D versions of an artist drawing. Most unique are his “banana peels” created out of metal.

Courtney Lewis

Biologist by day, artist by night, Courtney Lewis is a lover of animals and specializes in creating images of them in a variety of mediums including painting, charcoal, pastels, ceramics and her most popular, pencil sketches. She has found a nice little side business scribbling out pencil pet portraits for her clients with many accolades. Just give her a good photo and a few weeks to play around. Most of her work is straight-forward, but where she shines is when she lets herself go a bit and positions her subject off center or blends the background into the subject, best represented in her pastel samples.

Richard Bulman

Born into an artistic family in Spokane, Richard Bulman strives to “instill in another the beauty I find in life; whether it be through color, texture or line,” he says on his website. His art centers on painting and jewelry-making using different textures and mediums. His paintings consist of pencil sketches, water colors and oil paints. “My approach to picture making is unusual in that instead of choosing one medium to explore a subject with, I use several mediums to explore different aspects of a subject,” Bulman said. Often times, Bulman will do a piece as an etching, and then go back and do the art again in a variety of mediums. His jewelry making shows off his love of stone.

Related: Best Year Round Art Walks in Seattle

Toni Wheat

Working out of Chehalis, illustrator Toni Wheat is in awe of the world around her and aims to make a statement about worshiping God in the process. Focusing on pen, ink and mixed media, Wheat creates images of the world around her as she sees it. She considers herself to be an “Urbansketcher,” who draws anything from still-life, realistic animals to the whimsical. She tends to capture the moment much like a photographer, but instead of using a camera, she uses her pen.

Gretchen Fuller

Mosaic artist Gretchen Fuller certainly has a unique view of the world seen through broken glass. She creates unique, one-of-a-kind mosaic portraits and functional art from broken pieces of glass. She uses stained glass, tile and other discarded items to create her art. Also, she isn’t very shy about her dumpster-diving skills for just the right piece of tile or glass, and what she turns them into is simply amazing. Most unique are her portraits of pop culture icons like Adam West as Batman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and singer Kurt Cobain. She also dabbles in portraits of animals, garden art, sculptures, house numbers and fireplaces.

Related: Best Ceramics Classes For Adults In Seattle

Jeffrey Totey is a freelance writer living in Seattle. He has a love for the arts and is a student of pop culture. He covers stories about the performing arts, theater, museums, cultural events, movies and more in the greater Seattle area. His work can be found at

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