The Naive Expressionist art of Katerina Mertikas is filled with charming outdoor scenes of children playing in all types of weather, including sunny skies, pouring rain, and falling snow. In her brightly-colored paintings, children walk their dogs, skate on icy ponds, and pluck ripe red apples from plentiful trees.
Katerina's artwork glows with a charming sense of nostalgia. Her idyllic scenes embody a whimsical playfulness reminiscent of more innocent times. Through her use of luscious color and alluring compositions, Katerina's artwork draws the viewer into a peaceful world of times gone by.
Read on for an interview with Katerina, where she shares some of her thoughts and experiences with the artistic process.
Where are you from?
I was born in Greece and moved to Canada with my family when I was 3 years old.
How long have you been an artist?
Since childhood art has been a passion of mine, love to draw, doodle, paint and go to galleries and museums and see other fine pieces of art in any country I visit and in Ottawa, Canada we are blessed with the National Art Gallery that I have found inspirational to me.
What is your favorite medium?
Originally as a young child I drew in pencil then progressed to charcoal, then pastels, watercolours and oils. However, acrylics are my choice for a couple of reasons, one being they are water soluble and dry quickly. I ship my work across Canada to many galleries and cannot afford to wait for oil to dry. I also like how I can just wash my brushes instead of using solvents which may be harmful.
How would you describe your art?
I call my art naive expressionism.
I do, still like to try out new methods of styles and have done some florals and abstracts that I love to do to get a new perspective of art and not fall in a rut.
What inspires you to create your naive expressionist art?
Colour and life are my inspiration and knowing that thousands of people own a Mertikas is a wonderful proud feeling I have, and I am proud that I had to courage to not give up and thank the Lord for the strength and health I have been afforded to continue to want to wake up each morning and think of what is next on the drawing board.
What is your favorite subject matter and why?
For the past 20 years I have focused my art on painting mostly outdoor cheerful scenes and all of the paintings have children in them. Being a mom and now a grandma of 4 I have always loved and treasured children as they are the light in the world. Listening to kids playing outside is a favourite sound of mine. Laughter, joy and the energy they have is amazing.
Do you have an art education or are you self-taught?
I am self taught but have read vastly about art and other artists. In high school I had taken art courses and when I was a young mom had gone to night art classes too. It wasn't until my youngest daughter entered kindergarten that I focused on art completely and had to courage to show my work to galleries. Prior to that I would paint and give art to friends as gifts and then started selling to friends later on too.
Encouraged by a friend who was an avid art collector I managed to get the courage to show my work as I said to galleries and they were an immediate success and started off with a bang doing art shows in Ottawa and across Canada.
Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring artists?
The only tip I can give is that if you love what you do, you must always practise your craft and patience and perseverance might lead to sales and gallery acceptances.
Many thanks to Katerina Mertikas for this interview!
You can see more of Katerina's naive expressionist art at her website, http://www.katerinamertikas.com.