(VIDEO) Local Man’s Artwork Displayed in Ford City

George Skamai, in a candid interview, tells about his artistic passion.

George Skamai may be Armstrong County’s commissioner, but his private life has been spent quietly removed from the mainstream hustle and bustle of politics.

In the quietness of his home surroundings in Rural Valley, he is a multi-talented artist, conveying his images using wood-burning techniques, watercolor, line drawings, and much more.

He was at the Ford City Library last night as his artwork was displayed to the public.

Skamai said he spent most of his teenage years as the class artist and class clown.

“Instead of taking notes in school, I would find myself doodling! It was my ability to process. I was doodling, but I was listening. Sometimes I was writing notes, but it helped me to take information in. At the time I didn’t realize it – I just got in trouble for drawing a lot!”

Skamai was known for doodling while he was Chief Clerk in the Commissioners’ office, and even now, as commissioner, has used the margin of his agenda for an occasional rendering of something while he participates in meetings.

At age 18, Skamai created his first wood carving of a hunter and a grouse. His father took it to work with him at PPG Industries in Ford City to showcase it to his coworkers. He came back and said one worker offered him $35 to sell it.

“I never dreamed it would develop to the point where I was producing artwork for (someone else).

Skamai’s artwork included a fourteen-year collection of holiday cards for his former employer. 

Skamai was working for a law firm when he began producing greeting cards for the business.

“I remember the idea the first year – they were going to take a piece of art that I created and turn it into a holiday card and print 3,500 copies. It continued for 14 years. They grew in popularity to the point that we were printing 13,000 cards each year. It was very satisfying.”

Skamai is unique in his talent, in that he has managed to create images that reflect various periods of art in our history.

“Norman Rockwell was an influence. I appreciated what he did – the story he could tell with a single piece of art. He used a technique where he exaggerated features to emphasize the point that he was trying to bring through on his art. I could never take it to that extent because I was working with people I knew. So I didn’t want to make them look like caricatures. But on the fine art, I looked at some of the Renaissance artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo de Vinci. Looking back, I see the influence, but at the time, in retrospect, it was just something that appealed to me and I wanted to reproduce that style.”

Skamai began with wood burning, requiring him to master various disciplines to create the final image.

Skamai saw a reference to this image called “Behold the Man!” and set out to create a wood carving of it, capturing the intensity with every burn of his pen. 

“I always felt that when I was doing portraits especially, that working with wood was somewhat limiting because the wood-burning pen would take the heat more readily over the grain than between the grain. So maintaining total control through that was difficult. It was time consuming. I always thought ‘If I could just do this with a pencil, paint brush, or a pen, I could do so much better.’ ”

His Catholic heritage led him to create wood art of the suffering Christ, the crucifixion, and the Virgin Mother.

Skamai said that although he had a wife and three children, he was able to find time late evening and sometimes into the wee hours of the morning to pursue his passion. Through every season of employment, he has been able to weave his art into his job – even in county government.

“I’m working on something. The cupola of the courthouse (the dome) is in disrepair. One thing I thought about doing was producing a card or a print of the courthouse. I want to take a unique angle on it because there have been enough photographs and drawings of it over the years. If I could do that somehow and get it reproduced, I would like to use the proceeds of it to go toward the repair of the cupola because it is an expensive endeavor – over $250,000.”

If you invite him over for lunch, make sure you have a pen beside his napkin at the place setting. You may end up with a masterpiece from Armstrong County’s version of Norman Rockwell.

109 comments on “(VIDEO) Local Man’s Artwork Displayed in Ford City
  1. Rainbow Rider says:

    Mark , Brokeback , you’re like one of those little heel biting dogs. A small one, like a chiwawa, or a wiener dog. Always yapping and looking for a spot to bite. LOL
    I was at the newest local watering hole this evening, didn’t see you there! Oh, not that I’d know you but I figured if I saw a lonely looking fool, tapping furiously on a phone, with holes worn through the knees of his pants then we’ll….you know, the odds were good.
    I’ll say this too. You remind me more and more of jerry666 . In all the wrong, nutty ways.
    Oh well, those are your problems.
    Did your Mom yell down to the basement yet and tell you it’s time for bed? If so, sweet dreams, hope you dream about bustin’ them Bronc’s and ridin’ bareback, and them camp fires!

  2. mark says:

    Oh, I have plenty to do Champ, but helping you take that first step was worth ALL my efforts and time spent. Calling you Champ is premature but I think you will take the GOLD! These are for you!

  3. Rainbow Rider says:

    You have a very humorous, and quite inaccurate, way of interpreting my posts Brokeback.
    Have you nothing else to do?

  4. mark says:

    Rainbow! I can`t believe it! Do you know what you just did?! With the exception of accusing me of watching a movie that I have never seen, you posted a reply explaining a reason for your behavior on the KP! This is the first step! This is a breakthrough for you! Jerry6`s love for you has made a crack in the Rainbow`s bubble! Hallelujah there is hope for you yet! Come on out with the rest of us Rainbow. We won`t bite/bully/ridicule you anymore. What a GLORIOUS day this IS!!

  5. Rainbow Rider says:

    Wow! What a rant Brokeback Mountain Mark! Humor combined with envy! Really though, in spite of your ridiculous version, I just return the treatment that I get from others. Ten fold I hope! You keep a messin’ !

  6. mark says:

    Oh my no! I am but a mere rookie when it comes to bashing others. But I must offer thanks to you for showing me, and all the posters here, how to childishly bash/humiliate/ridicule others. If you notice on many/most forums, the WOMEN are by far the most brutal/childish/combatant/foul of all posters. Hmmm, RR a woman? When the voting comes, I`ll have to give you my vote “Champ”. Some day I`ll be able to tell my grandchildren that I sparred with the “Champ”, “Chump” “Chimp”. You may want to solicit a publisher for your book!

  7. opie2 says:

    Lol. That would make Mark all tingley

  8. Rainbow Rider says:

    Brokeback Mountain Mark , until you mentioned the existence of the kp plastic trophy I was unaware that there was such a thing.
    →→However I’d vote to award it to you!←←
    After receiving it you could then shine it all up!
    I hope it’s shaped in such a way that you can make full ‘use of’ it for your enjoyment!

  9. mark says:

    Copy/pasting things others say is getting…yaaawn…boring RR. Try to step it up a bit or you`ll never “win” the KP plastic trophy. I heard it is going to be awarded soon so stay tuned. I`ll bet there will even be a ceremony to award it! You`re getting all tingly, eh? Your initiating the use of the cute little arrows might be the edge you will need to “WIN WIN WIN” the KP trophy! You go Rainbow! Go!!

  10. Rainbow Rider says:

    “Mark February 17, 2018 at 10:26 AM
    Nice to see Jerry6/Worthingtonman/Jorn and Cartman back commenting.”
    Nice to see you back commenting too. If you don’t respond after every single post it creates a void in the whole blog.

  11. Rainbow Rider says:

    “RR LOL”
    What caused your opinion to change from this.
    To this
    This love affair between RR and Jerry6 – what does that have to do with Local Man’s Artwork Displayed in Fjord City?
    There’s no love affair. I’ll entertain anybody that wants to tangle, as you should already know.
    So, how can you keep crying about your taxes if you can still take a vacation to Myrtle beach?
    Did you pay your fines yet? Threaten anybody lately?

  12. jorn jensen says:

    This love affair between RR and Jerry6 – what does that have to do with Local Man’s Artwork Displayed in Fjord City?

  13. mark says:

    Nice to see Jerry6/Worthingtonman/Jorn and Cartman back commenting.

  14. Rainbow Rider says:

    Jerry666 , you lied! By the way , You owe me an apology. You said that I pointed out your misspelled word when I did not do that.
    I’ll just keep toying with you for as long as you like.

  15. jerry6 says:

    Rainma, fooled you I didn’t leave yet. Couldn’t help myself. Do you live on a farm with goats? Another time you said something to me about eating goats or some crazy thing. Again, I am not giving up on reforming you. Love ya

  16. mark says:

    Who? wAt dA?

  17. Rainbow Rider says:

    ” I won’t be on here for a while ”
    I’m sure that I can speak for everyone and say, we’ll miss you.

  18. jerry6 says:

    Rainman, no matter how nasty you get I will keep praying for you. Remember, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I won’t be on here for a while but you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  19. Rainbow Rider says:

    ” Just had company from out of state ”
    Did you serve them some burnt goat?

  20. Rainbow Rider says:

    ” Just had company from out of state. I showed them the blogs on here and they thought rain mans comments were so sweet and cute. They said that guy is a big bully because that’s what they do. They put down others to make themselves look good. ”

    Thanks for helping to make me famous, however, I seek no such recognition.
    I am sweet and cute though.
    But, why would anyone come from another state to see you?

  21. jerry6 says:

    Just had company from out of state. I showed them the blogs on here and they thought rain mans comments were so sweet and cute. They said that guy is a big bully because that’s what they do. They put down others to make themselves look good. I told them I heard you had some issues and so I over look his comments. God bless you and I will keep praying that you receive the help you need.

  22. Rainbow Rider says:

    Opie2 , thanks, and thank the creepy clowns for me too, will ya? It’d be nice if the KP would do another story on the creepy clowns. Maybe you could arrange for an interview?

  23. Rainbow Rider says:

    ” And RR is back!”
    Back? I never left.
    “Here, I have something for you…”
    I’m sure your friend has something for you also.

  24. Rainbow Rider says:

    ” I misspelled weapons. Thank you for pointing that out.”
    Jerry666 , Actually , I didn’t point that out at all…you did.

  25. mark says:

    Jerry, probably wasn`t your intention to change the topic but I bet the “4 commissioners” are glad you took the heat off of them.
    And RR is back! Missed you buddy! Here, I have something for you…

  26. opie2 says:

    Good one Rainbow. Creepy Clowns are proud of ya.

  27. jerry6 says:

    Rainman,, I misspelled weapons. Thank you for pointing that out. I saw it after I sent it. How far did you go in school and any further education? You can’t even do a good argument about a topic and that is why you are always nasty and ignorant on this site. Why can’t you state your point without being ignorant. Again, you have my sympathy.

  28. Rainbow Rider says:

    “I guess until one of your family gets killed by one of these weans, you will say I am nuts and invading your amendment rights.”
    Actually, I thought you were nuts before that……

  29. worthingtonman says:

    You have to pull the trigger for every round in AR 15. I have a 15 round magazine for my Ruger P95. It shoots just as fast as a Ar 15 . The magazine is just as easy to change. You could kill just as many people with a Ruger 9mm in the same confined space. The killer took an Uber to the school. Should we ban Uber? There were many warnings with this kid overlooked, starting with the FBI. Deranged people are going to kill when they want to. If they can’t get weapon legally they will get it illegally . I mean murder is illegal and they font follow that rule. Kids these days are raised on violence. They start mass murdering in their video games at a young age. They have no respect. We are in a world of hurt when this generation takes control of us . I watched a slew of Harvard students sign a petition saying it was ok yo Euthanize old folks . Watch out !!! If you think our world is sick now. Give it 20 years.

  30. worthingtonman says:

    Just to clarify a AR15 is not an assault rifle. Assault rifles are fully automatic and it is extremely difficult to get licensed to own one . Just because it looks like a M 16, which is an assault rifle , does not make it a assault rifle.

  31. cartman says:

    While I have no intention of blasting you, I must disagree with you. By the way, I don’t own an AR-15. The fact of the matter, as I see it, is that criminals and lunatics will always find a way to kill, and abrogating the rights of law abiding citizens will not stop them. At the risk of sounding corny, it was not the gun that did the killing. It was the lunatic at the trigger.

  32. jerry6 says:

    Trump wants to build a wall to keep immigrants out because they are killing people. How many people have been killed by assault weapons compared to illegal immigrants killing people. In Florida, it takes three days to buy a hand gun and a few minutes background check to buy an assault weapon. You will say it is our right to own one of these weapons but it is my right not to be killed by one. McKain and Rubio and Trump and how any others have received money from the NRA for election. You people who own assult weapons can keep them but stop selling them. The only people who need them are the military and the police. I guess until one of your family gets killed by one of these weans, you will say I am nuts and invading your amendment rights. I know this is not the topic on here I am writing under so blast me if you want to. I really don’t care.

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