Cat Tesla

View Work by Cat Tesla

“My work includes both ethereal landscapes and abstract designs. The subjects I choose to paint are organic, either originating from Mother Nature, or inspired by her.

My career began in Human Genetics. For 20 years I worked at Emory University seeing patients in genetic clinics. Averaging 500 patients a year. Because of the stress, I turned to yoga, hiking, and mindful meditation. My brain found peace in nature. I studied art in the evenings after genetics clinic – a degree in graphic design then followed by residencies with Nicholas Wilton and Steve Aimone.

My paintings are abstracted nature-scapes created using wax crayon, acrylic inks, oil pastel, graphite, & custom glazes. Beginning with an automatic drawing in graphite, translucent layers are applied, followed by more mark making and more layers.

Chrysalis is the name given to the butterfly’s stage of growth where it is enclosed in a hard case just before it bursts out as a butterfly. The “Chrysalis” Series is about transformation. Similar to the butterfly’s sheltered stage of being or growth, this series mirrors nature’s vibrations of unfolding. Beginning with an automatic drawing in graphite, translucent layers are applied, followed by more mark making, and more layers. There is a response to the previous gesture: it may be more of the same or total obliteration. Birth, growth, death, rebirth. There is tension and equilibrium occurring at once. Visual poetry. The “Chrysalis” Series was originally inspired while hiking in Serbia, Croatia, and Montenegro.

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.”

Tesla’s paintings are exhibited in select galleries located in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and the U.K. She currently lives and works in Atlanta, GA.

Cat’s work is in public and private collections worldwide, including the permanent collections at the University of Miami and University of Seattle, the U.S. Federal Reserve, Fed-Ex, Sedgwick, Hill-Rom, Scripps Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, and KRG Capital. Tesla’s work has also appeared in numerous publications, including four covers of the medical journal Genetics in Medicine (including one with the lead research article written by her), in addition to Southern Living magazine, Art Galleries and Artists of the South, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, American Art Collector, the Emory Report, and Studio Visit magazine. Tesla’s artwork has also been exhibited in two shows at the Knoxville Museum of Art in Tennessee.