Cat Tesla is a prizewinning American painter whose vibrant abstract works have been exhibited internationally and are held in numerous permanent collections. Working as a genetics researcher, Tesla balanced her love for science and the arts by working in the lab by day and exhibiting her paintings by night. Her large abstract canvases are inspired by a love of nature, creating textured universes using acrylic, inks, graphite, wax crayon, and oil pastel.
« Art is evidence of our existence, communicating emotion where words fall short. For me, painting is the most life affirming thing to do. »
In the mornings, the sky calls to me. I stumble outside to breathe in the day. Cerulean blue and a thousand shades of green greet me as I walk from the house to my studio here in Florida. Geckos dart, birds call, rabbits scurry. I collect sticks, leaves, and petals on the way. These sounds, sights and textures are my beginning. Painting connects me to a time in my youth of endless playing. The excitement of a new day. Making masterpieces out of mud. As I stand before the canvas, my daily questions are the same: what does this painting want to feel like? What could be? I’m an explorer on the canvas. I love building layers using painting and drawing, scraping back, then adding more, and pouring glossy translucent glazes over the surface.
My artwork provides the viewer with a bold graphic element from a distance, but up close they’re rewarded with rich organic details and texture. I use my whole self, mind and body, to create my work. Reaching high and stretching across. I combine the strong and the soft, the smooth and the rough, the thick and the thin. Things we’re all made of.
Since the COVID 19 Pandemic I find myself drawn to painting more and more abstractly, with small hints of nature peeking through. Painting is a deep dive act that happens within oneself, with a goal of pulling out something beautiful for the world to connect with. This has become even more important to me since an early diagnosed breast cancer was resolved, leaving me grateful and even more focused and motivated.
Everyone has gifts from the Creator. I believe it is the duty of each to share our gifts with the planet. My paintings are a brave look inward – revealing what lies beneath both literally and spiritually. Yogis call it the “divine flame” – the spark that motivates you in life.
In Buddha’s words, “Look within, thou art the Buddha”, while Jesus taught us that “The kingdom of heaven is within you”. For me, painting is the most life affirming thing to do.