For a long time now Chinese calligraphy and painting has been an important influence in my art.  There is a different sense of the use space and movement in Chinese art than in Western.  I studied Chinese calligraphy in order to better understand this sense of space.

Of course, I am not the only Western artist to be influenced by Asian art, there have been many, including Van Gogh, and Franz Kline.  Also, Chinese calligraphy has not stood still either, and modern Chinese calligraphy has can look quite similar to Western abstract art, as in the painting called Gazing, by Huang I-ming.

As you can see in my painting: Woman; sola, my own oil painting has been influenced by my work in Chinese calligraphy.

In this piece I combined Chinese ink and collage, allowing me to combine aspects of Chinese and Western art, incorporating the flowing lines of Chinese calligraphy and the larger planes of color as seen in Western painting.

This painting is an abstraction based on the Chinese character for the number one, painted with Chinese ink on rice paper.

This painting is was done with acrylic paint on cardboard, in the style of a modern abstract calligraphic painting.

Rothko and Michelangelo

Lucretia, detail of head and shoulders


Robert Ian Najlis

Emergent Phenomena

Robert Ian Najlis


China, Xi’an 2017

MFA Year 1

Chinese Art Influence

Chinese calligraphy and painting has been an important influence in my art

Proportions and Intervals

A quick look at the relationship between figure drawing proportions music intervals. In both cases, and understanding of these relationships is crucial.

Play Space

We also need a place to play, to be spontaneous, to investigate and try things. A place where we are not professional, where we can follow our whims and see what happens.
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