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The Picasso of the Pacific

Art Therapy By Donna Hope Blas

There once was an artist who traveled the world…but then, The Pandemic. The end. Kidding!

I’d like to introduce you to one of the island’s favorite artists. He’s had art studios all over the world. I’m talking studios in exotic locations: Palau, Bali, Japan and Guam. His art adorns homes worldwide including Miami Mansions. He’s had exhibitions in Houston, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Miami, New York, Palau, Germany, New Caledonia, Western Samoa, and Spain to name a few.

Please meet Mark Dell Isola, the Picasso of the Pacific.

During our interview, I got a glimpse of this traveling artist’s lifestyle. Looking around his art studio (which has an amazing view of Tumon Bay to boot), I saw the simplicity of his lifestyle. The minimalistic nature is evidence of a person ready to hop on a plane at any given moment. Perhaps he will just pack a bag and off he’ll go to his next adventure. I asked him where he would go first. He responded, “Palau.”

If you think of other traveling artists, you’d probably think of Pablo Picasso. The Great!

Reputation-wise and skill-wise, Mark would be comparable to him on this side of the world. Respect!

Mark has a unique style of art just as Picasso did. His work has a fluidity to it. It’s elemental my dear Watson. Fire, water and earth are some of the themes in his artwork. The islands influence his work.

When he travels, Mark told me, he usually gets inspiration from his surroundings, the environment. That makes sense, right? Normally, you look outward for inspiration.


If you’re a traveling artist, what do you do when there’s a pandemic and you can’t travel?

Can anything good come out of nothing? The nothingness of being barricaded at home. Confined to one place. No more traveling to Wonderland or Neverland. What good can come out of these hard times? Well, let me tell you. This pandemic has challenged us all but good things can come out of difficult times. I am living proof of that.

During the Great Depression (not that I was born during that time) these things were invented: sliced bread, scotch tape and chocolate chip cookies. When we are forced to adapt, we do. There is no choice.


Here are some of the good things that came out of the recent pandemic: telehealth, better online schools, food delivery and outdoor dining! Did I mention I dined beach-side the other week! Mmmhmmmm. Amazing things are happening. We’ve leapt decades into the future. We work virtually now, anywhere in the world.

Even Mark Dell’Isola has had a pivotal point in his art journey during this pandemic. He expressed to me how the pandemic changed the way he creates inspiration (for his amazing artwork.) It’s no longer external but internal. Mark said he gets his inspiration from within now. He described it as a process of "regurgitating.” It comes from within and then he spits it out onto canvas. That’s totally transcending. Next level art mastery.

Donna Hope Blas is a restoration & 3-D artist. She is a certified therapeutic art life coach and entrepreneur. She was born and raised on Guam. Send feedback to

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