Who are you and how long have you been an artist?
My name is Greg Skrtic and I have always considered myself an artist. From early childhood I was interested in any type of creative activity, but learning how to draw superheroes from comics was my greatest joy. Later, in high school and college, I took extensive courses in human anatomy and anatomical drawing which fed my need for depicting the human form in my artwork.
What medium(s) do you work in & why?
As an art teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia, I work in all mediums but for my personal work I am currently working primarily in Acrylic on Canvas. In my youth, and later in college, I was a failed watercolorist—I could never just let the paint spontaneously do its thing. I opted for pen & ink on paper to fulfill my need for total control. After a few years of only working in black and white, I took to experimenting with acrylics—first on paper and then on canvas. I find that with acrylics I can satisfy my need for control and still produce, in full color, the images I have inside my head.
What is your creative process like?
For me, painting is an obsession. When I begin a painting, my obsession is red–angry, creative, passionate. Red is the time I am more than likely to experiment with new techniques and color combinations, working with broad strokes. As I settle into the painting, my obsession turns to green–calm, deliberate, sedulous. Green is when I am more analytical about the work, keeping an eye to compositional concerns and aesthetics.
What is the best art-related advice you’ve received?
“A painting is never finished—it simply stops in interesting places.”
What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?
Currently, my biggest challenge is balancing my creative time as an artist with both my family life and my work life. Being a public school teacher with 10 weeks off in the summer helps, but it gets harder and harder each year to return to work in the fall!
Choose one piece that you currently have on display at Artomatic and tell the story of that piece:
Many of my paintings are inspired by recurring dreams of my infant daughter who passed away almost 14 years ago. The young women depicted in the paintings are of the daughter I will never see, except in my dreams. Isolation, solitude, and a bright light in the darkness are all recurring themes. In the painting, “She Was…”, acrylic on canvas, 66 x 38 inches, a young woman sits in a field of late summer vegetation and underneath a purple sky. Her eyes are focused on a stem of delicate Baby’s Breath flowers she holds in her hands. She is safe in the clearing but a darkness looms in the nearby woods.
What is your favorite part of the Artomatic experience so far?
I love hanging out in the area where my artwork is on display, 4th floor #7-222, and talking with other artists and visitors to ARTOMATIC. I also love the diversity of artworks on display at ARTOMATIC—there truly is “something for everyone!”