Seed writes that Cretara is a "narrative painter who comes from the heart, Cretara's work fuses the personal with the theatrical, and channels emotions ranging from nostalgia to tenderness to indignation." Asked about his experience as a young painter traveling to Italy on a Fulbright, Cretara comments: "Confronting the work in person I felt that I was communicating directly with the artists, especially with Andrea del Sarto and Pontormo. There was no sense of childhood nostalgia at all. The formal, technical and content ideas were so interwoven, especially in their drawings, that all I could think of was, "I want to work with that level of complexity too." I analyzed, studied and asked the works questions unceasingly."