Cat Tesla - Meditations on Art

July 27, 2019

Cat Tesla - Meditations on Art

In Her Own Words...

It is said that a cat has 9 lives. I'm on my 3rd!

Creativity was encouraged in my family. I began making Birthday cards for my grandmother with paints and crayons at the age of 4 -I even put a "Hallmark" card logo on the back! My painting and drawing continued and I won many awards throughout my schooling. When it came to college, I had a one year scholarship from the Kansas City Institute of Art, as well as academic scholarships. I loved both art and science so it was a difficult choice.

I began with science and obtained my undergraduate degree in Biology and a Master's Degree in Human Genetics. For 20-years I was on faculty at Emory University in Atlanta, seeing patients in a genetics clinic. I never stopped painting and creating, however...

In Her Own Words...

It is said that a cat has 9 lives. I'm on my 3rd!

Creativity was encouraged in my family. I began making Birthday cards for my grandmother with paints and crayons at the age of 4 -I even put a "Hallmark" card logo on the back! My painting and drawing continued and I won many awards throughout my schooling. When it came to college, I had a one year scholarship from the Kansas City Institute of Art, as well as academic scholarships. I loved both art and science so it was a difficult choice.

I began with science and obtained my undergraduate degree in Biology and a Master's Degree in Human Genetics. For 20-years I was on faculty at Emory University in Atlanta, seeing patients in a genetics clinic. I never stopped painting and creating, however...

Ten years into my genetics career I went part time in order to pursue my art. I quit twice after that, but they worked around my art schedule so that I could stay in genetics a bit longer. My art career was moving quickly forward, and after awhile, I had to quit my genetics job for good. I have been a professional artist for 22 years.

There is no such thing as a "typical day"! Most days I dedicate to the studio and turn my phone completely off. I work 10-hour studio days. It's the only way for me to get into a flow state. Other days are for meetings, business emails, and phone calls. My husband Simo is my business partner and studio assistant. I couldn't live without him!

I have 2 studios: one in Atlanta (in a suburb called Chamblee) and one at home. The studio in Atlanta is set up to show my finished works and also has an area for me to work on smaller paintings. It is a studio in a building of artist's studios. My home studio is a daylight basement with 9' ceilings and French doors to the outside; it is where I work on my larger paintings. I have a large wall where I paint, as well as a moveable wall that I can paint on both sides of. This way, I can work on 3 large paintings simultaneously. It is more stimulating to work this way, rather than focus on just one.

There's also a large room for varnishing/wiring/shipping work, another for photographing, and one for storage of finished works. The convenience of a home studio is that you can paint in your pajamas in the middle of the night when you wake-up with an idea...

The Meditation Series is an atmospheric landscape series, influenced by my mindful meditation and yoga. I work from my imagination as I'm not trying to create a specific scene or place, but rather, a sense of sky, water, land, a breeze. I use acrylic and oil glazes to create this series. Collectors tell me this series is the one when they return home at the end of the day it makes them say: "Ahhhhhhhh. . . . .."

The Chrysalis Series is also an interpretation of how nature feels. It is much more colorful and has layers and layers of mark making on the canvas - so there is a lot more energy to it than the Meditation Series. I use a variety of materials to create this series: graphite, ink, oil pastel, acrylic, oil glazes, wax crayon, and oil stick. So this series is a bit more mixed media than the Meditation Series.

In 2015 I was hiking at a national park in Croatia, and was enamored with the combinations of colors. The beauty of the waterfalls, in addition to everything blooming, made me want to put paint to canvas. Nature was bursting! When I returned to the states, the Chrysalis Series was born! 'Chrysalis' is the pupa stage of a caterpillar, just before the butterfly emerges. Scientists don't fully understand specifically what happens in the Chrysalis to produce the beautiful butterfly. That idea of renewal and transformation is what inspired my Chrysalis Series paintings.

In our minds we know what a hike looks like, or a garden, a meadow, or a waterfall. But what do they feel like? That feeling is what I'm conveying in my painting.

Once these conditions are met: the works are painstakingly recorded in our state-of-the-art database system (including advanced location tracking) and extensively photographed by Lucy and the image processing team. With extensive ‘macro’ detail shots utilising the Canon EOS 5DS camera: these shots not only form the basis for internet and print promotions: but form a visual record of the work at ultra-high resolution.

Finally; the works that aren’t immediately selected for the gallery walls (or better still, immediately dispatched to a lucky collector) are archived in our temperature controlled ‘vault’. Stored upright, fully surrounded in custom high-impact expanded rubber: the securely stored paintings are routinely checked and rotated onto gallery displays to ensure they remain in mint condition.






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