Cate Rangel {E} Fine Artist Feature

Cate Rangel  {E} Fine Artist Feature

by Christina Diaz

A self-taught artist from Los Angeles, painter Cate Rangel creates work that is full of personal meaning. They are not images of her physical self, but psychological mirrors that are a mix of boldness and fragility, and highlight the power and beauty of the female figure. I’ve been a fan of Cate’s work for quite some time and am excited to share her aesthetic talents with the readers of {E}.

Q: What, or who, got you interested in art?
A: I think art came to me naturally, but my mom was the first person to really encourage and push me. We had one of her paintings hanging in our house and I remember always starting at it and wanting to be able to paint like she could.

Q: Were you artistic as a child?
A: Yes, very much so. I spent a lot of time drawing and painting and doing any type of crafts I could get my hands on. My favorite things to draw were faces, animals, and things from the garden.

Q: Are you self-taught or did you attend a trade school?
A: I took a couple foundation courses in college, but for the most part I am self-taught. I’ve never taken any figurative drawing or painting classes. Lately, I’ve being watching a lot of demo videos of artists I admire. I’m actually learning a lot from those.

Q: How long have you been painting?
A: I have been painting for about 10 years and only really started getting serious about it about 5 years ago.

Q: How has your art e-volved over the years?
A: My art has change quite a bit over the years. The subject matter hasn’t changed much, but my style has changed a lot. I started out painting very stylized and whimsical portraits, but over the years I’ve worked toward a slightly more realistic painting style. I am always trying to push myself to improve and learn new techniques.

Q: What do you enjoy most about painting? Least?
A: What I enjoy the most about painting is being able to do what I love daily and for this to be my career. One of the things I like the least is the financial struggle. That can be super stressful at times, but it is still worth it in the end.

Q: How would you describe your artwork?
A: I mainly do portraiture and figurative paintings. I’ve heard my work described as both dark and surreal, but I do not feel it is dark.

Q: What inspires you?
A: My surroundings, music, family, visits to museums and art shows, the ocean, friends, photography, emotions… inspiration comes from many places.

Q: Whom are some of your favorite artists and why? Both ink and fine art.
A: One of my favorite artists and earliest influences is Andrew Wyeth. I grew up seeing his artwork in our home and I’ve always felt a strong connection to it. I feel like he painted with such private and deep emotions. I also love Frida Kahlo for her honesty and raw emotion. I read her bio a number of years ago and was struck by her strength and drive to keep painting while enduring such pain. Lately, I’ve also been inspired by John Singer Sargent’s and Anders Zorn’s brushwork and use of light and color. A favorite contemporary artist is Korin Faught. I really enjoy her interesting use of multiples and use of light; I also love the work of Jeremy Lipking and Sean Cheetham. A few of my favorite tattoo artists are Kim Saigh for her beautiful floral work, Nikko Hurtado for his portraiture, and Carlos Torres for his black and grey realism.

Q: If you weren’t an artist what do you think you would be doing?
A: It’s hard to imagine doing anything else, but I would probably be in some sort of creative environment.

Q: Where and when did you get your first tattoo? Who did it? Tell me about this first ink experience.
A: I got my first tattoo in a small shop in Hollywood when I was 16 or 17. I can’t remember the name of the artist. I was with some friends who were getting some work done and I decided to get a small rose on my back. Sadly, the lines have blurred and it now looks more like a pinwheel than a rose.

See more of Cate’s work at

Cate Rangel {E} Fine Artist Feature