As a child, Tara Keating could always be found drawing, coloring and piling little sticks together. Later, she explored a variety artistic endeavors including theater set design, fiber arts, paper-making, sculpture and performance art. After many years as a factotum, she returned to the studio in 2016. Currently she is exploring Process-Oriented Abstraction and Contemporary Landscape Painting.
With a focus on composition, color and mark-making, the artist builds complex surfaces using multiple layers of acrylic paint that feel expressive, tactile and leave room for individual interpretation.
Keating uses a variety of techniques involving glazing, loose brushwork, dripping, scumbling, and drawing along with subtractive processes such as scraping, gouging and erasing in her paintings.
The artist regularly works on paper to explore techniques and ideas and to experiment with motion and mark-making. Her paintings and drawings continue to evolve.
Sometimes representational and sometimes more abstract, many of Keating’s canvases explore nature in and around the city. Inspired by Lake Michigan, parks and gardens, her paintings attempt to translate her personal moments of wonder into both small and large-scale celebrations of the natural world. Her more abstract work investigates ideas related to order, energy, repetition, and visual perception.
Keating’s first solo show, entitled The Reclaimed Landscape: Celebrating the Natural Beauty of Chicago's Southeast Side (2022), focused on post-industrial sites undergoing environmental remediation and habitat restoration at the Ford Calumet Environmental Center in Chicago.
"I am inspired by color, beauty and light in the world around me. Although I live in an urban environment, nature is everywhere and it charms me. "
"I enjoy the process of creating and manipulating paint on the surface of canvas and panels. The process of creating abstract work allows me to get in touch with my subconscious mind and explore mark-making, movement and ideas that sometimes remain ineffable. It is this attempt to communicate the sublime that feels magical to me."
In addition to being a painter and mixed-media artist in Chicago, Keating is also a gardener and birder who likes to travel by bicycle. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in painting and drawing from the University of San Francisco. She shares her process, ideas and the development of her work in the monthly newsletter Studio Notes. More of her paintings can be found on her Instagram feed @Studio.Keating.
Review of the Exhibition https://natureinchicago.wordpress.com/2022/08/03/art-exhibition-celebrates-the-natural-beauty-and-rebirth-of-chicagos-industrial-southeast-side/