Cat Tesla


My work includes both ethereal landscapes and abstract designs. I am intrigued by texture, color, and the juxtaposition of shapes. My interest may have started in childhood when my mother taught me to sew clothes for my dolls and (eventually) myself. I can still spend hours in a textile store though I rarely sew anymore.

The subjects I choose to paint are organic, either originating from Mother Nature, or inspired by her. I begin my mornings with meditation and then to my studio to paint. Landscapes/organic images emerge after applying a dozen or so thin layers of glazes over gesso. One goal with my work is to transport the viewer into a realm of calm and respite, or perhaps to recall a memory of a favourite place or loved one. My visual vocabulary seeks to communicate the indescribable serenity and healing experienced from nature. Centuries ago the Persian poet and mystic, Rumi, put it simply: “Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don't claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent.”

Many people often wonder “where” the scene is from in my ethereal landscape paintings. I believe they originate from my subconscious, imprinted by imagery from years of hiking, exploring, and sitting at the water's edge in prayer.

I enjoy experimenting with different materials and combining them in unexpected ways, turning my art studio into my personal laboratory. One of the hallmarks of my “Outside of the Box” Series of paintings is to integrate clay tiles into their design. At the beginning of each year at a local ceramic studio, I make several hundred small clay tiles that I call “cookies”. They live together in my studio and eventually find a home on a painting. Once I have painted the textural domains, it is easy for me to see where the cookies belong.

Paintings are often born from the proverbial blank canvas or small thumbnail sketches. My preference is to work without an exact plan and see what happens. I think this is the best way for the truth to reveal itself.

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. Yogi's 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.


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