YabYum Seven: Tara Catalano

Tara Catalano 01

All photos courtesy of Tara Catalano

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Tara Catalano and I am a local Phoenix abstract expressionist painter.

How did you get your start?

I was born an artist creating with anything I could get my hands on. My creativity inspired me to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from ASU but I never really pursued art as a career. I was never encouraged to do so or told that it was actually possible. However, in 2007, while married and depressed, the book The Secret and my new baby son inspired me to pursue painting with a business mindset unapologetically. This profound pivot in my mindset and spiritual makeup changed my life forever in the most remarkable of ways.

Tara Catalano 05

When Spirit Calls

What inspires you?

Spiritually and emotionally, I am inspired by my internal calling to paint. When I feel the calling, I surrender to my muse and paint intuitively. I don’t know the reason I am called to paint until after the painting is complete. The painting’s message is usually echoed in reality by the way it shifts me internally or by the way viewers are inspired by its energy. It’s an internal phenomenon that is really hard to put in words.

Physically, I am inspired by interior design and decorating. I love to imagine my art work in urban, contemporary spaces. Also, I love degradation. I love the way rusted metal, concrete, and paint decay. There’s a natural beauty to the way it changes and I believe degradation is a beautiful metaphor for life. I also love to create juxtapositions such as pairing gritty next to pretty or rough next to calm. My favorite artist is Rothko so I am inspired by big bright blocks of color as well.

What do you like about AZ?

I love the Arizona desert and I think it’s the most unique, spiritual, and healing landscape in the US. I can get lost in the desert while hiking, running, and biking for a long time. I equate the desert with church as it brings me peace and healing.

Colleen Malley Schwartz 01Where can we see you(r) work?

My work is for sale at ArtQwest Gallery in North Scottsdale, at various Pita Jungles in the valley, at various yoga studios, and online at taracatalano.com.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I want to stand in line at the grocery store and see my artwork on the cover of Phoenix Homes & Gardens. LOL. I want my art business to thrive financially so I no longer need a day job. I want to connect to more interior designers so that my art can hang in big corporate and hospitality settings. Also, I see myself writing a book. I’m not a natural writer and it actually scares me to death. However, I believe I discovered wisdom along my journey of life and it would be a disservice to the world if I didn’t share it. Having a painting in Sara Blakely’s or Oprah’s home would be quite the accomplishment too!

Tara Catalano 02

Gritty and Pretty

What is your mantra?

Do what you love!


Tara Catalano 03

Into the Dusk

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Sky Break

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