Artists of Note | Jacquelyn Kammerer Cattaneo

A gift to give

Jacquelyn Kammerer Cattaneo, Rio Puerco on the Road to Black Hat, pastel, 11 x 17.

Jacquelyn Kammerer Cattaneo, Rio Puerco on the Road to Black Hat, pastel, 11 x 17.

This story was featured in the November 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Landscape and portrait artist 
Jacquelyn Kammerer Cattaneo still lives about six blocks from where she grew up in Gallup, NM—a place she believes is as beautiful as any place she’s ever been, and she has traveled enough to make comparisons: Russia, Greece, Italy, Brazil, and Egypt, for example. And although you might not find plein-air scenes of St. Petersburg or renderings of Michelangelo’s statues in her portfolio, her travels have significantly influenced her work. Through travel, Cattaneo says, “You become seasoned. You begin to understand what you have.”

The artist, who works primarily in pastel these days, says that while she doesn’t have a favorite subject to paint, she is infinitely inspired by light. “The light is the most important entity in depicting any subject,” she says, “whether it is a person’s face or a gorgeous landscape.”

Humble when speaking of her work, Cattaneo acknowledges its limitations but also its importance. For a year after the loss of her son, she says, she could not paint. “Finally I had this epiphany,” she says. “I had this nagging guilt to get out there and produce in my studio because I had something to say and something to give.” What she realized, in the end, was that she had a responsibility to share her work because it brings people joy and comfort. At its essence, she says, “It is nothing more than the depiction of the beauty that I have witnessed.” —Laura Rintala

Cattaneo’s artwork is available at

Featured in the November 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art November 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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