When I was a kid, I would lie on my back amongst the tall grass behind my family’s home, a few yards from the little creek that ran through the field, and I would stare at the clouds. It’s a mundane activity, but an inspiring one. I could gaze at those slow-moving puffs of clouds and see all sorts of shapes and figures in them. Somewhere along the way, my thoughts would meander, I would slip in and out of sleep, and I would be refreshed. Greg Glowka has a similar slant.
“When I was a kid, I would go to my grandpa’s place and fish in his old pond. And from as early as I can remember, I would stare at where the sky would meet the horizon, and it would just float my boat. I could do it day in and day out, and I do it to this day. So I’m always staring at the horizons, and it’s just something about the beauty of the Hill Country. And it’s always captured my attention and demanded my efforts. That’s my favorite part of my paintings…it’s putting in that little blue sliver on the painting…I could do that over and over and never tire of it.”
A lifelong artist, Greg has been putting that “little blue sliver” of the horizon on his landscape paintings since day one. “The man that lived across the alley from me when I was a kid was the brother of Porfirio Salinas, who was a pretty famous bluebonnet artist back in the day. I was exposed to his art early on, and my other neighbor was an artist, and I would poke around these guys’ garages, and it made my mouth drop. And so I doodled. And doodled some more. In the 7th grade, I got ‘Mono’ and spent the entire time sketching. Somehow I got into those ‘starving artist’ shows, and I loved every minute of it.”
With such a strong propensity for art, Greg’s parents saw early on that he had a future with his creativity. “My dad was my biggest supporter. He would always tell me – ‘You are so lucky. You’ll never have to get a real job. You don’t even know how lucky you are.’ And even my mom got into it. She would always applaud my efforts, and it just motivated me to do another drawing.” After high school, Greg attended San Antonio College for graphic design courses. “No sooner than I started classes, I got a job doing graphics work for a local company. I was kind of a oneman graphics department. And I painted the owner a landscape as a gift, and she told me that I should be a full-time artist. So she told me to take some art classes at UT, and she would pay me the same salary for half the workload if I’d take classes. So for 2 or 3 years I took and re-took classes on art. I couldn’t get enough of it. Finally, I entered an art show, and was accepted. At the same time, the graphics job went away, and so I was flying as a full time artist for the first time. Nanette Richardson Fine Art Gallery agreed to show my work, and they were selling.”
After moving to Bulverde, Greg began to focus heavily on his art. “I’d run a painting into Nanette, and by the time I got home there would be a message on my machine saying that it had sold. It was wonderful. So during this time in Bulverde I really began to focus exclusively on the art and hone my skills.”
With any solitary activity comes its challenges. “I moved out to Fischer a few years back, and I love the hell out of it. However, the loneliness is tough. It’s the hardest part of my job. I spend so much time by myself painting, and sketching. And the next thing I know, I haven’t talked to anybody the entire day. So a few years back I burned out. I just wasn’t inspired. So a friend worked at a golf course, and got me a job mowing the fairways. I think I made $8 an hour. I quit after a short bit, but I tell ya, if I could make $80k mowing lawns, I’d do it in a second. Accountants work their entire careers, then freak out and run off to become painters or musicians. So maybe I’ll do the opposite. After a lifetime of this, I’ll burn up and mow lawns for a living. Who knows!” Greg laughs.
Utilizing the beauty that God has supplied him with, Greg works daily to capture it on canvas. “I’m trying to get more into Plein-Art paintings. It’s the act of taking your canvas out to the source of the painting, and doing the art right there. Normally I take photos, return to my studio, and paint. I need to just go out in the field, sit down, and paint. It’s good for me, and it’s good for my art. It keeps it fresh.”
Greg is currently on display at the Nanette Richardson Fine Art Gallery and the Fredericksburg Art Gallery. You’ll also find him sitting in a field atop one of the majestic hills surrounding his studio in Fischer, fighting off the solitude, and enjoying the endless inspiration.
“I love the hell out of my little house up in Fischer. I miss the conveniences sometimes of being closer to San Antonio, but as we all know, that cursed town is coming closer to each of us everyday. As for now, I paint and create, and have a conversation or two with a goat.” For more information please visit www.gregglowka.com