Featured Artist Roann Mathias

Artist Roann Mathias shares a boldly colorful portfolio of abstract paintings to delight the viewer. Find more of her art on her website.


bold abstract landscape by Roann Mathias

“Mystic Skies” acrylic on wood panel, 12″ x 12″


Creating art has always been an important part of my life. I grew up in the visually vibrant city of New Orleans. There are explosions of color everywhere, from brightly painted houses to huge flowering plants. That instilled a deep appreciation of color and nature in me.


colorful abstract landscape by artist Roann Mathias

“Shrouded Peak” acrylic on wood panel, 20″ x 20″


This early connection to the vibrant colors of my hometown is my inspiration to work with a vivid palette and hold deep appreciation for the organic beauty of the natural world. In addition, my mother is also an artist, so making art was a daily part of my childhood.


vibrant abstract painting by Roann Mathias

“Spirit on the Water” acrylic on wood panel, 12″ x 12″


In college I took several semesters of art classes and continued to take workshops after that. My original passion was calligraphy, and I worked professionally in that field for 20 years. Because of my previous art experience, I was able to combine calligraphy with hand painted illustrations to augment the text. Those years laid the groundwork for what has become my current style of painting.


bold abstract painting with lettering by Roann Matthias

“Changing the Rules” acrylic on wood panel, 24″ x 24″


As a calligrapher it is natural to venture into other art forms, like book binding and collage. Eventually I found my way into mixed media, combining letterforms, collage, and acrylic mediums into cohesive pieces. Teaching was a natural extension, so I began a teaching career that has lasted almost 30 years.


layered abstract painting by Roann Mathias

“Edge of Wonder” acrylic on wood panel, 18″ x 18″


In 2014, I started a graduate program in fine art. While I knew how to paint, it was never the primary focus of my work. As I started to explore painting during graduate school, a transformative shift occurred, inspiring me to integrate lettering into abstract art.


Bold abstract painting with letters by Roann Mathias

“The Color of Thought” acrylic on wood panel, 18″ x 18″


Central to my creative process is the inclusion of concealed, hand-lettered text within my paintings. The words are not meant to be legible, but provide a textural backdrop for the rest of the painting.


Abstract collage by artist Roann Matthias

“Nostalgia” acrylic and collage on wood panel, 12″ x 12″


The technique that I use to incorporate lettering into my paintings is to apply an acrylic medium called light molding paste over a hand-cut stencil of my own writing. When the stencil is removed, it leaves behind a raised area of letters. Once that is dry, I can paint over it or apply glazes and use a rotary sander to reveal some of the previous layers. I repeat the painting/sanding sequence until I am satisfied with the piece.


abstract painting by Roann Matthias

“Esoteric Language” mixed media on paper, 16″ x 20″


There was another pivotal moment in the evolution of my work. Several years after grad school I took another painting course which unlocked design principles that I should have known, but somehow didn’t. The concepts were value and contrast, something that had always been missing in my paintings. This new information propelled me to explore abstraction in new ways and led me to where I am today.


Roann Matthias invites you to follow her on Facebook and Instagram.



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  1. I enjoyed viewing these. Edge of Wonder is my favorite.

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