Red Deer, Alberta - Canada
Mediums: Acrylics, Pastels
Style: Sport Art
Favorite Quote: “Give me a canvas, and I’ll paint you an illusion!” – Joe Versikaitis
Favorite Book: I’d Rather be in the Studio by Alyson Stanfield
Favorite Movie: Cars 1 and 2
I am a self-taught artist with visual art courses from the Medicine Hat College, Brooks Alberta Campus.
I acquired a degree in Computer Graphics and Dynamic Media with a distinction in the Print Media / Marketing, from Applied Multi Media Training Center in Calgary, Alberta.
These days my artwork consists mainly of paintings of National Hockey League and Canadian Football League players.
I have been honing my artwork since I was a kid but seriously since 1988. Hockey has always been an inspiration field for my work. I still remember the first time I watched hockey, that was back in 1972. We just moved to Brooks, Alberta from Venezuela. The first game that I seen was being played by the Brooks Tubers. The atmosphere with the crowd in the arena and the game on the ice got me hooked. The goalie for the Brooks Tubers at the time was a gentlemen by the name of Pat Donovan. It amazed me how he could stop that rubber bullet and still be ready for the next shot. Also the speed of the game blew me away. Back then the arena had chain link fence around the back board and every time the players would skate by you could feel the wind.
My idol was and will always be Ken Dryden. I must of drawn him thousands of time and I wished I had kept those drawings!
Do you have a job besides being an artist?
I have been working in the oil industry for the past 10 years. I work in the Wireline Service. We provide our customers with various ways to service their oil or gas wells.
What are you trying to convey to viewers through your art?
I want my viewers to understand how and why I create my work. I explain to them how I came up with the idea of the painting and what inspired me to go forward. An example is my painting “ Huf “ John Hufnagel – Calgary Stampeders head coach
I use my own photographs, sketches, my computer, and equipment to authenticate the art piece.
If I do a sketch I will redraw that image back onto the canvas. For most part I will layout whatever size the piece is going to be on my computer using Photoshop. I then use my screen as a guide and transfer that image to my canvas.
I always start on the person head (face). I want to get that bang on. There is no room for errors. I work it until I am 110% satisfied. I use equipment and jerseys to authenticate the image further. I usually spend any where from 200 to 250 hours on a piece. CRAZY!
I believe being at a game, experiencing the action from a sideline point of view, taking my photographs, doing a few sketches and creating my artwork is my inspiration. It’s like I own that image or a time in that players life. Writing about my experience is in my mind the icing on the cake. People relate the painting to the story. This is why I love what I do.
I had a showing when I first started to paint seriously back in 1987 and nothing since then. I believe that my website is my exhibition.
How have you been selling your art?
I sell my work to the players themselves. Hockey teams have picked up a few of my pieces.
I always try to correspond with team management for permission to approach players.
What do you do to promote art online?
Through my web site at www.versikaitis.com , Linkedin , Facebook , my Blog at http://versikaitis-theartofsport.blogspot.ca
Sports Artist Stephen Holland – He is my mentor.
I had several phone conversation with Stephen throughout my art career. He inspired me to pursuit my art with the CFL.
2008 Canadian open art competition First place winner in Acrylic excellence. The piece is called “Miikka Kiprusoff” (below)
Do you have an embarrassing moment in your life?
Too many to mention… After creating a painting of Trevor Kidd from the Calgary Flames, I had the opportunity to show it to him down at the Saddledome. After practice we got together in the locker room. As I was standing there I had asked Trevor if I could get a photo of him and I. While my friend took the picture I stood on Trevor’s toe.
They lost the next game and a week later he got traded.
Continue to create and showcase it to agents, professional players, and to keep my collectors happy.
Advice for Artists
Create your own style and then Marketing, marketing and more marketing
Red Deer, Alberta - Canada