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Style Magazine

Joey Cattone

Mar 01, 2013 08:11AM ● By Style

Photos by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.

Art, by nature, is as much of a reflection of the person who created it, as it is of the person consuming it.

Even when a portrait seems as true to life as possible, the artist is giving you the world as they see it. Though it may be nearly imperceptible, this is what separates artists from photographers, especially when it comes to artists with a knack for photorealism like Joey Cattone.

Her professional career began after high school, but she can still recall the first time she happened upon the true magnitude of the artistic talent she possessed. “I was eight when I discovered I could draw,” the El Dorado Hills-based artist says. Away at camp for the summer, she explored her artistic leanings in the “art shack” and attempted her first portrait. Cattone says it was then that she took stock of her abilities and said to herself, “Wow, I can do this!”

A self-taught prodigy from a long line of painters and artists, the desire to create runs strong through her veins. Cattone spent years creating portraits on silk, painstakingly applying layer after layer of dye until the full image had been realized. Yet, she became frustrated by the lukewarm reception of her work in the art community. “I wanted to be a fine artist, not a crafter,” Cattone shares.


One of the things she loves about her current medium is the way fluid acrylics on watercolor paper mimic the feel of the dyes on silk. Cattone says the unforgiving nature of the acrylics, and their permanency once applied to the paper, adds to the thrill of the creative process. Her recent works are a hybrid of impressionism fused with realism, but Cattone doesn’t like to be pigeonholed stylistically. “People want to know that that’s your style,” she says. “I just get bored of doing the same thing. I feel my work is still evolving.”

Though a small percentage of her work is done from photographs, most of Cattone’s paintings stem from ideas that come to her spontaneously, inspiration often striking when she least expects it. “It just happens to be whatever comes into my head in the middle of the night,” she says of her choices for subject matter.

Yet, Cattone says she’s eager to capture the beauty of her natural surroundings. “I would like to do more scenery of our local El Dorado County,” she says. “People want to relate to art; whether it’s abstract or real, you’ve got to feel connected,” she says, explaining art that is recognizable and captures moments the viewer has enjoyed or places they have visited, makes the strongest impact.

Her works span from actualized still life to abstracts, and sometimes they become a mixture of the two. As a featured artist at The Wine Smith in Placerville, she will have a collection of wine-inspired paintings and vineyard landscapes available for viewing in their tasting room as part of the Third Saturday Art Walk this month.

Visit for more information.