Artist George Petrella

The Basics:
-Born and raised in Fredonia (Chautauqua County,) New York
-Oil Painting Lessons from age 11 to 18 from Ray Baker, Dunkirk, NY
-Fredonia (NY) HS- Robert Rayl and Agnes Peterson
-Bachelor’s in Art Education from Buffalo State, 1975
I was fortunate to have professors who were also internationally renowned artists. These included Lawrence Urbscheit, Joseph Piccillo, Swietlan Kraczyna, and Marvin Bjurlin. Working with Mr. Kraczyna in his home in the hilly olive groves outside of Firenze was one of the most profound experiences of my life. In addition to those gentlemen the professor who had the most influence on my current work was Buffalo State’s Saul J. Horowitz. It was he who taught me many of the techniques I use today. It was also Mr. Horowitz who suggested I try portraits.
-Master’s in Art Education (Computer Graphics) Buffalo State, 1997
-Taught: Center Moriches (NY) Middle School, 1975-1976
             Brocton (NY) Central School, Secondary Art, 1976-2007
Night time in Siena’s Piazza del Campo.
I hope the brushes don’t have lead in their finish. I’m already too heavy.
A thought about music: Rock and roll as we know it was born in the 50's. Although I was too young to distinctly remember, I remember this; my mother was into it. I remember her standing by the counter packing our school lunches and turning up the radio and saying "listen to this song." We had a record player and lots of albums. Music was ingrained in me from the very beginning. This morning I wanted to put on something different while I painted and I grabbed Buddy Holly's greatest hits. There are many rock historians who believe that without Buddy Holly all the rest would never have happened. The best part is that when you crank up the volume on Holly it does the same thing to you as anybody else who came afterward. I don't think my paintings can happen without rock and roll.

Most of the time I listen to:
 SiriusXM Satellite- Underground Garage, Deep Tracks, Outlaw Country
My ladies: Carlyn, Patty, and Jessica.
Family portrait courtesy Paul Douglas Studios
After teaching high school art for thirty-one years at a small western New York school I have retired from the profession and have begun a second career as a painter. Because of my daily classroom work helping students, I feel I have spent the last three decades “practicing.” Along the way I have completed a number of paintings, perhaps far fewer than I should have. My intention is to make up for lost time.

I started doing Native American portraits in the early ‘80s. I was a landscape painter when a college professor used portraits as a vehicle to teach me some new techniques. I had completed a few child portraits when one of my students wanted to do a pencil drawing of Chief Wolf Robe. I knew immediately he would be the subject of my next painting. His face was a landscape! Chief Mo-See-Ma-Ma-Mos was my second Native American portrait and I completed Dr. Whirlwind a full ten years ago. I’ve recently finished “Apache Scout” and have started Yellow Shirt. You can check these out in my Works In Progress link.

How I ended up doing umber and white monochrome paintings is a bit of a long story, but I do have portraits and landscapes in full color. I intend to post as many of my paintings on this site as possible, if and when I can acquire quality photos of my work (they’re scattered around the country.) In the meantime, I’m trying to paint everyday and hope to publish updates often. I also have limited edition prints for sale. Work_In_Progress/Work_In_Progress.htmlshapeimage_7_link_0
Put this playlist on shuffle and crank it up. Just try to keep your feet still. What’s this have to do with painting? Everything.