Featured Artists

Artist Spotlight: Alexander Cruz

Alexander Cruz is a painter who conveys a realistic portrayal of the natural world. His landscapes exude tranquility, the vibrant hues of flowers evoke a sense of vitality, and the dignity of his animals is striking. These are just a few of the subjects Cruz adeptly captures in his work. The tangible hyper-realism he presents highlights his mastery of painting, leaving viewers in awe.

Where are you from and where do you currently reside?

Since his childhood, Alexander Cruz showed a natural tendency towards the world of arts. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1975 and still resides in Puerto Rico.

“Puerto Rican Parrot”
16”x 20”
Oil on Convexo canvas

What drew you to become an artist and what type of art do you most enjoy doing?  

    When I was 15 years old I was visiting my aunt in New York in 1990. Two days after my visit my grandmother passed away in Chicago. My aunt decided to go to Puerto Rico for her funeral and I stayed at my cousin’s house. My cousin-in-law Cielo Vazquez was taking some painting classes with a Bob Ross-certified teacher and asked me for help carrying the materials since she was pregnant. There I learned about Bob Ross’s Wet Painting technique. Within my suffering, I wanted to try it and took two classes. Painting helped me ease the pain of loss at that time. When I returned to Puerto Rico I arrived with two new paintings and a new vision towards a real future. I found my passion in life and my parents supported me all the way. For two years I was working on the technique with Bob Ross videos until I decided to call to study with Bob Ross himself. The way he spoke about painting, his love for his profession, and his message that “everyone can learn to paint” and that “Painting is a pursued interest” inspired me. By 1992 I became the only Bob Ross certified instructor (CRI) in Puerto Rico. Since then I found my passion for painting and decided to continue my formal studies with various artists and at the University. I learned different oil painting techniques and studied with different mediums like colored pencils, Pastels, Pencil, Charcoal, watercolor, and acrylics. I specialize in different oil painting techniques and the topics that inspire me the most are nature, especially wildlife. The style of painting that challenges me the most is hyper-realism and I try to achieve it in the different themes I work on; still lifes, wildlife, flowers, landscapes, and portraits.

“Maternal Love”
22”x 28”
Oil on Linen

How would you describe your style? 

    In my 34 years of painting, I have managed to work in different styles from impressionism, surrealism, and expressionism to abstraction but nothing inspires me more than realism. Knowing that I can reach the understanding of thousands of people, that they can enjoy my work even if they do not have studies in the arts and that they feel part of my work, that they can perceive that moment of inspiration and understand the sensitivity that I felt at the moment of the conception of my work; That feeling and that communication without words is something indescribable to me. I perceive myself more as a painting scholar of realism although I respect and admire all artistic styles.

“Manjar Tropical”
24”x 24”
Oil on canvas

What has kept you engaged and committed to your craft over the years?

    From a very young age, I found a passion for painting. In 1992 I founded the Cruz School and Arts Gallery in Puerto Rico. To this day I have already had over 15,000 students inside and outside of Puerto Rico. As a teacher, it is inspiring to be able to teach art to different people and to see the satisfaction and joy that it gives my students to know that they can achieve something so magnificent with their own hands, that feeling of achievement is what keeps me doing what I do. I have always said that art is to help others, inspire others, and is achieved by enriching the souls of others. I have been able to change lives for the good and improvement of society even in countries that do not speak my language. Art is a universal language.

“Among the Bamboos”
16” x 20”
Oil on canvas

How have you grown as an artist in the past five years and what are the major contributing factors to your growth? 

In the world of art, it is not enough to know just drawing and painting. To be a successful artist you must also have other talents and other studies. In my case, when I started my studies at university, I had the opportunity to start in Business Administration where I spent two years. 

I also studied psychology, graphic arts, photography, music, framing, illustration, and design. I compliment all these studies for the preparation of my work, for my students in the classroom, and for customer service in my business. Since I like the field of knowledge, I have also been learning a lot about art techniques and materials and their manufacturing, what each product is for and how you can get the most out of it. With this knowledge, I have managed to get several art supplies manufacturing companies to consult me about their products before putting them on the market. I have also helped create art materials and teach how to use them in different international art shows. Thanks to all my travels and with the slogan “Teaching the World how to Paint” I have received the recognition as Art Ambassador by UNESCO and the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan for teaching kids around the world. https://www.galeriacruz.com/logros-embajadorunesco-english2014.htm

I owe my growth in the art industry to hard work, education, dedication, and love for the profession.

What materials do you most commonly use?

    Although I consider myself to be an oil painting artist, I also work in all other mediums. After oil painting, the other materials that I work with a lot are colored pencils and graphite. Each medium offers you different challenges but oil painting is, without a doubt, my favorite medium.

Can you describe some of your favorite pieces you’ve worked on?

     For several years I have been working with a collection of educational paintings about the birds of Puerto Rico. This collection already has over 55 works of different endemic birds, migratory birds, and introduced birds of Puerto Rico. To photograph these birds I have had to visit different forests, rivers, and lagoons in Puerto Rico with several ornithologists and other scientists. The purpose of this collection is to serve as an education for all those who visit the exhibition so that they can observe and learn more about the birds of Puerto Rico. I have had the collaboration of several private and government agencies such as US Fish & Wildlife, Ornithological Society of Puerto Rico, Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, and Puerto Rico Tourism Company and the collection has been exhibited in museums, convention centers, galleries, and shopping centers. 

To see more about this collection visit this link:


It’s very difficult for me to choose from this collection what is my favorite painting but, if I had to choose, it would be the Puerto Rican Parrot:


In my gallery, all of my paintings have a tag with a QR code that takes you to my homepage. Each painting has a page with educational information about the bird, information about the artwork, and even the recorded sound of each bird.

I also have another collection of oil paintings called, “Flavors of Today and Always” where I present several still lifes in a hyper-realistic style. The fabric is present in all the works since it is something that challenges me to paint. The idea is to present objects that have a story, often personal, but that each viewer makes their own. From this collection I can say that my favorite works are two; “Manjar Tropical” and “Dulces Típicos”:



“Dulces Típicos” 24”x 30”
Oil on Linen

Do you have any advice for up-and-coming artists? Are there any tips or techniques you can offer? 

The world of the arts, like any other profession, is difficult, competitive, and often misunderstood. That is why, to be a true professional, you must prepare, study, practice to the point of insanity and always prove to yourself that you can overcome all your obstacles. Never compare yourself to anyone, know your ups and downs, look for what inspires you, and pursue your goals. Always dream big and never settle for less when you know you can achieve more. Demand yourself and not others, but above all, use your talent to help others. The true artist owes himself to his audience and not to himself. Inspire, educate, advise, surprise, cheer, spark interest, praise, and be someone who turns on a light and not the person who complains about the darkness. Happiness is not a goal, it is a way of life. Live and smile, let art guide you and you will see that it will take you far.

What are your website and social media links? 

Website: https://www.galeriacruz.com/

Facebook: Alexander Cruz Master Artist

Instagram: Alexandercruz_art

Youtube: Alexander Cruz Master Artist

TikTok: Alexander Cruz Master Artist

Linkedin: Alexander Cruz Master Artist

WhatsApp: Escuela y Galería de Artes Cruz, Inc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *