About The Artists

Denise Marta-Burch

Denise studied illustration at the Academy of Art in San Francisco and the Art Institute of Southern California in Laguna Beach, where she explored a variety of styles and techniques. Denise has applied her skills to commissioned murals, portraits and hand-painted furniture as well as visual displays for retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue. Denise's work appears in private homes, corporations, schools and fitness clubs.

For her studio work, Denise creates both delicate watercolors and bold acrylic paintings with subjects drawn from nature and observation. Recently relocated from California to the beautiful Ozark mountains, she is currently working in her new studio surrounded by wildlife in the woodlands she loves.

Ray Marta

Award-winning artist Ray Marta was born and spent his early years in Butte, Montana. He moved to the San Francisco bay area as a youth, where he studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts and the Academy of Advertising Art. 

After serving in the Army Air Force during World War II, Ray enjoyed a long career in Oakland, CA  as the Art Director for both the Oakland Tribune and his own design agency. His work in the fast-paced newspaper business demonstrated his mastery of an impressive range of illustrative styles, from cartoons and courtroom drawings through portraits and editorial illustrations. 

Ray passed away in 2006, but leaves a lasting legacy through his portfolio of distinguished and varied work.

Michelle Marta-Drake

Since earning her BFA degree from San Francisco State University, Michelle has enjoyed working in a variety of art fields, such as fabric and stationery design, mural and decorative art commissions, illustration and teaching. This varied and colorful career has not only kept her on her toes, but has also contributed to the expressive style of her own studio paintings.

Her current body of work focuses on the diverse landscapes of California, where she was born and raised. From the shores of the Pacific and the redwood forests to the mountains of the Sierras and Yosemite National Park, Michelle is grateful to have explored these awe-inspiring wild places. For Michelle, art and nature are entwined in reverence to life.

"In nature, I find peace.
In making art, I express my soul.
In sharing my work, I become whole."