New Orleans

​Digital Painter

​Mike Cetta

Born and raised in Bklyn, I'm a true native lover of my wonderful diverse city. For me NYC is the true realization of the essential idea of America: a place built and inhabited with the sons and daughters of immigrants refecting a cultural and ethnic diversity that speaks to that idea. I consider myself a Robert Kennedy (my hero growing up) progressive democratic liberal. I worked for NYC public schools as a therapeutic social worker for 35 years. Because I always worked for particular schools and with all students I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to develop a group model based on my version of what is now commonly referred to as Social and Emotional intelligence.This began at Curtis HS in Staten Island  where in what was then known as the Skills Center I was able to develope a group model which later was used in the creation of Cascades, a alternative HS in the lower east side of Manhattan where I was one of 3 co-directors. I was incredibly fortunate to have had a wonderful career with the Dept of Ed and my life was immeasurably enriched by the contact with literally thousands of NYC kids and the many friends I made over the years with collegues. Since my retirement I have continued my therapeutic work, including group work, with both adults and children in my private practice.


I began taking pictures after 9/11 of everything I knew and loved: people, kids, and especially street scenes. In 2009 I met Tim Shelbourne online who was in the early stages of starting an online school for digital painting and knew immediately that this is what I was looking for: a way to paint using my photos as the reference images. I've been involved with Tim and the school,TAQ, ever since and owe a huge shout out to him for all that I've leaned and continue to learn.Tim has also become a good friend even though we have never met (he lives in England) a real tribute to one of the positive things about social media.I now consider myself a digital painter (more to say about that in another post) and paint in a style that is true to how I experience the world around me. If my work has any artistic merit it's because I've been able to successfully communicate that vision enough to resonate with those who view it.....but that is for others to determine...my job is to stay true to that vision. I've also become, I believe, over the past 4 yrs with lots of hard work and excellent private instruction somewhat of a decent amateur violinist....proof that you're never too old to lean anything, lol.....


I live in Park Slope, Bklyn with my wife and my 2 wonderful adult daughters near by...and of course my granddaughter (2 more on the way ....lucky me.