Roberta Kritzia is an artist of her travels, having spent the last twenty-seven summers painting and sketching her way through the Italian regions of Umbria and Tuscany on the painting tours she conducts for groups of twenty students. She talks of being inspired by the classical painters and captivated by the colors of the Renaissance artists. She connected with the master artists of the Renaissance period when she studied under Theodore N. Lukits,t the Art Center College of Design and UCLA, and later with the internationally known art instructor Glenn Vilppu, commonly referred to as "the living Raphael."
Kritzia created artworks as a child, and viewed her artist family as role models, particularly her father and uncles. Her life is a rich tapestry of influences, coming as much from the family's background as illustrators at the famous Push Pin Studios in New York as from her travels and former art teachers. "I never felt any pressure to be an artist, but I did have an urge to create," she says.
Kritzia needs to have an intense connection with her subject before starting to paint, but she also gives great importance to technique. An earlier art teacher taught Kritzia that art is visual music, and every student must learn to read the notes. Kritzia considers composition, color, drawing, and painting as parts of that music, and feels that they should be as significant to every artist. She paints with thirty-four mixed colors and their tints, and feels that this technique has given her an advantage over artists who squeeze out three or four colors onto a palette.
Nature is also a great teacher, as well as a painter. Since moving to Arizona from Los Angeles, Kritzia has been studying the effects of morning light on objects and can see why artists are profoundly influenced by the Arizona desert. She has found the art here to be heavily influenced by the desert sun and much more Western-oriented than that in Los Angeles.
What advice would Kritzia give to aspiring artists? "You must take responsibility for your work and believe in yourself," she says. She sees too many people taking years of art classes, and believes they need to stop the classes and start creating art. Kritzia tells artists to build their studios, concentrate on what their teachers have taught them, and practice their drawing skills before starting to paint. And the most important thing to remember? Believe in your art.