Archive for the ‘expressionism’ Category

These are my top 5 favorite artists who have influenced me to want to do art:

1) Pablo Picasso,  Born: October 25, 1881, Malaga, Spain, was one of the most influential artists/painters of the 20th century. To use an analogy, to me, he was like the Bruce Lee of visual arts in that he borrowed, mastered and mixed different styles to create his own-much like Bruce Lee did with Martial Arts. 

Picasso was important to me because at the time that I discovered him, I was hung up on what style of art I should do. Picasso showed me that as an artist, I don’t have to be pigeonholed within one style, I can explore and try anything I wanted. His career shows this philosophy in the way that he started out classically trained doing realistic paintings to doing strange abstracts and creating Cubism later in life. He was the prolific master.

More about Pablo Picasso:

2) Salvador Dali, Born: May 11, 1904, Figueres, Spain, was the most influential Surrealist Painter in art history. His signature style was to take realistic art and mix it in with dreamlike scenery. His famous painting, Persistence Of Memory  is a great example:


Persistence Of Memory depicts melting clocks against a barren landscape. This is just one example of the dreamlike worlds he created in his head.

Today, one can make scenes like this with a computer, but you have to remember, Dali did it with nothing more than his head, hands and heart. He was important to me because he showed that if you want to be technical, you don’t have to stick with plain and boring realism-you can create different, fantastic worlds with it.

More about Salvador Dali:

3) Vincent van Gogh, Born: March 30, 1853 Zundert, Netherlands, unfortunately is probably only famous to casuals for being the artist who cut off his ear and gave it to a woman at a brothel he frequented. Although to the history of art, he was much more than that. But he was a tortured artist who suffered from depression and mental illness and spent many of his last days in a mental hospital painting feverishly. Art was his obsession.

His paintings are known for its bold colors, bold lines and heavy brush strokes. Starry Night was arguably his most famous work:


To use an analogy, if we were talking about Rock music, Van Gogh was like the band Nirvana of his time. If you’re old enough to remember, when Nirvana came along, technical guitar solos with opera like vocals was the order of the day for Rock. Rock had become this technical type of music which required some great technical skill to play. Then Nirvana came along with a crude, raw sound that was based on “feeling” rather than being technical and they changed the face of music.

Van Gogh was the same as Nirvana in that during his time, realistic looking artwork was the call of the day and then he came along with his “crude” raw looking style based on feeling and emotion and made an impact. But unfortunately for him, he wasn’t popular and was often panned and ridiculed by critics . So much so, that he made little to no money as an artist while he was alive.  They saw his work as crude and talent less. I guess there is some justice in that his paintings today sell for millions of dollars.

The duality of van Gogh was that he was a tortured man who felt ugliness and pain in his inner world but brought grace and beauty  into the outer world through his art.  Unfortunately, he committed suicide at the age of 37.

Van Gogh was important to me because he showed that art can come from emotion and doesn’t have to be technically perfect. It can be used for pure expression.

More about Vincent Van Gogh:

4) Katsushika Hokusai, Born: Born: 1760, Edo, Japan.  He was a Japanese artist, painter and printmaker. He was known to use heavy lines and bold colors making his painting almost “cartoon-like” by today’s standards. He’s known to have influenced many Western painters, Van Gogh included. In fact you can see the heavy influence of his art in Van Gogh’s paintings. Hokusai’s most famous work is The Great Wave Off Kanagawa:


When I look at Hokusai’s work I think “style.” He wasn’t caught up in the academia of art and how things are “supposed to look.” Like in the picture of above, he didn’t follow any rules of how a wave is supposed to look in reality. He painted the waves his OWN personal way.

This is what he brings to the table. An artist should have his own personal style.

More about Katsushika Hokusai:

5) Whilce Portacio,  Born: July 8, 1963, Naval Station Sangley Point, Cavite City, Phillipines. He is a comic book writer and artist noted for his work on such titles as The Punisher, X-factor, X-men, Iron Man, Wetworks and Spawn. He was also one of the founders of Image Comics.

I was once a comic book nerd, still am to some degree, and when I first saw Whilce Portacio’s drawings I thought “wow.” There really is no other way to describe it other than that when he draws these comic book characters, they just look extra cool. When you see another comic book artist’s depiction of Spider Man or Wolverine, then look at Whilce’s version you see that his version has that “cool” factor about it. Check out his version of the X-men drawn in pencil:


Whilce Portacio is important to me because his art makes me want to pick up a pencil and just draw. His art sometimes tempts me to try my hand at doing graphic novels. Hmm?

More about Whilce Portacio here:

So these are my top 5. There are other artists that I love as well, but these are the main ones that had an impact on me. Check out their works and enjoy!

-Roz Abellera


This abstract painting entitled Street Spirit, represents the feeling of the big city. In my lifetime I’ve lived in two big cities: Seattle and Las Vegas. There is a certain freedom and spontaneity that you feel when you’re in a big city and this painting captures that feeling for me.

–Roz Abellera



This abstract painting is called The Dance. With this painting, I tried to capture the movement and spontaneous feeling of dancing.

A friend of mine said that he can see the bodies dancing in the painting. But this wasn’t intentional on my part at all. It wasn’t my aim to represent figures. I was aiming for non representational art- art with no meaning;  just a feeling. I was having a Jackson Pollock moment.

The colors were splashed on wildly and spontaneously. I was feeling it- that same feeling you get of “letting go,” when you dance. The feeling of total freedom, of not having a care in the world. That energy. This was my intention: to capture that spirit on canvas.

I stuck to the colors of red, blue and yellow because they are known as the primary colors in art theory. I used them to represent that primal, almost sexual urge to want to move your body to music.

–Roz Abellera

Abstract Art is often misunderstood by those who have no knowledge of art history. For those of you who do Abstract Art, I’m sure you’ve heard the cliché “A 5 year old could have done that.” My favorite comeback to that is “No, a 4 year old could have done that,” just to be sarcastic.

I sometimes love to dabble in Abstract Art because to me it’s all about the improv. I liken it to playing Jazz, if you were playing a musical instrument. You kind of do things “on the fly” without any plans mapped out which is what makes it a lot of fun. There ‘s a certain danger to this kind of spontaneity. It can either lead to a masterpiece or disaster.

This is a great video because it explains Abstract Art  to those who don’t know what it is. It also gives a brief history of art and why the different genres of art came to be.


–Roz Abellera

crossroads 1 blog

In this painting, I wanted to give the crucifix a Modern Expressionist look. I enjoy painting crosses, I think they are aesthetically and structurally pleasing to the eye.

You can see I laid the paint on really thick and in some spots I laid down the paint straight on with a palette knife. I got the technique from seeing a Vincent Van Gogh painting live in person at the Ft. Lauderdale Art Museum years ago. Shamefully, I don’t remember the name of the painting but I do remember how he put that paint on really thick like icing on a cake.

I like the way the thick paint looks and I try to incorporate that technique whenever it fits the painting.

–Roz Abellera

modern 5

This is the 5th piece from the Modern Vibe Series, Modern Vibe 5. Someone told me that this reminded them of African art but that isn’t what I was shooting for.

This started with the Mondrian influence and I went off on a tangent and ended up with something that looks more like a maze. I incorporated yellow and black in this design which is one of my favorite color combinations.

–Roz Abellera