Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Holidays!

"By the Sea I", acrylic on birch, 36"x24"

"Christmas gift suggestions: 
To your enemy, forgiveness. 
To an opponent, tolerance. 
To a friend, your heart. 
To a customer, service. 
To all, charity. 
To every child, a good example. 
To yourself, respect."
~Oren Arnold

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

From a Dream

Maybe I ate too much on Thanksgiving, or the after dinner drinks really did a number on me. But since last Thursday, I've had some interesting dreams. One where I'm walking through a garden that reminds me of Costa Rica but it's really Spain or Chile (you know how you just know this in dreams), under a trellis filled with vines with flowers that are blooming as I walk through. The air is soft and humid but not thick. Leaves and hints of flowers are close and saturated, then distant and smoky. I couldn't stop thinking about it all weekend so I worked it out on the canvas and created this new painting entitled "Free Spirit".
"Free Spirit", mixed media on 3" deep canvas

Friday, November 18, 2011

Shop Local: Buy Art

For this holiday season: art makes a great gift!! My studio will be open on Black Friday (Nov 25, 11am-3pm) and Small Business Saturday (Nov 26, 11am-4pm). When you purchase using your AMEX card on Nov 26, you'll get a $25 statement credit!
 Other upcoming studio events:
-First Thursday ArtWalk, December 1, 6-9pm
-Holiday Open House, December 3, 11am-4pm
There are sooooo many good reasons to shop local:
  • shopping local has 3X the economic impact than shopping at corporate big-box stores 
  • mass-produced items from big-box stores are transported from far-away factories - - in trucks, boats, and planes 
  • my artwork is hand-made and created by me!
    (Now that's green. :)
  • you'll get a free art print with every purchase made at my studio on Nov 25th, 26th, and Dec 1st and 3rd (while supplies last)
  • on December 3rd, I'll be raffling off an original painting (worth $550):  you don't want to miss this!
Please join me:
Cat Tesla Studio, Tula Art Center, Suite D-2, 75 Bennett St NW, Atlanta, GA 30309

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Installation of "New Day" Series

Check out my "New Day" series paintings that were recently adopted - here's an install shot. (And, yes, they are going to raise them up a bit higher on the wall so people can sit on the bench :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's Shopping Time!!!

Yep, it's already that time of the year. Hard to believe, really. And you know you have people to buy gifts for that you have no frickin idea what to get them. So here's a thought:  be smart, buy art!! To make it easy, I'm putting a little something special together for you at my studioa holiday open house on Saturday, December 3rd, from 11am-4pm. There'll be lots of great gift options as well as an art raffle - - where you could win a gift for yourself or that special someone (and they better be special or you should just keep it for yourself :).  More details to come in an upcoming invitation! If you haven't signed up to be on my mailing list, now's the time to do it! 

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Seeing Red

For some reason I'm on a red kick. Got a commission with a red color palette, did a small painting in reds for a fundraiser, and just covered a canvas in shades of red yesterday in my studio. Felt good.

With cooler weather in Atlanta, we had our first "comfort food" meal of the season last night:  a roast cooked for 12 hours in the crock pot, rosemary potatoes, carrots, and buttery dinner rolls.

Taking my dog Ruby for a walk this morning before heading to the studio - love this fresh Autumn air. Can't wait to see how this season plays out in my paintings.

Here's to welcoming all the goodness that Fall brings!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Is Everything Bigger in Texas?

I try not to post things like "I'm walking down the street with my latte".  But (here I go. . .) I do have to tell you, I just baked some banana bread and it smells great!  Bananas, vanilla, walnut. Yum.

I wonder if the banana bread is bigger in Texas? I'm heading that way this weekend for the Bayou City Art Festival in downtown Houston so I hope to find out. Putting my cowboy boots on now.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New from the Studio

Fresh off the easel, new paintings! This set is part of my Meditation Series; these are entitled "New Day".

Monday, October 3, 2011

Wanna know how to loosen up your paintings?

When I'm traveling around to art shows, I meet a lot of people, many who are artists themselves. One of the questions I get over and over goes something like this:  "I paint tight and detailed and can't seem to loosen up. How do you do it?"

The actual answer for me is that it's just how I paint. In fact, when I have to paint tight and detailed I feel like someone is strangling me. And I hate when that happens. So here's 4 approaches that will help you to loosen up when you paint. Try one or more and let me know if it helps!

  1. use a large brush or palette knife (emphasis on LARGE)
  2. paint using your non-dominant hand
  3. have a drink (or do something to take the edge off :) After all, it's paint and canvas. There'll likely be many others so don't worry so much. The painting police won't arrest you if you mess it up.
  4. stop at 90%. This tip is actually something that my colleague Bob Burridge recommends, so I can't take credit for this one. Bob also teaches some wonderful workshops to help you loosen up (click the link for more info).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How will you change the world?

"Arrival" by Cat Tesla
Photo courtesy of Pfortune Art & Design, Inc.

"New Horizons" by Cat Tesla
Photo courtesy of Pfortune Art & Design, Inc.

When you ask someone what they do for a living, rarely will you hear them say "I want to change the world by doing  __________".  Instead they usually respond with "I work at such-n-such". For me the answer is that I'd like to change the world with my art - - by spreading a little beauty, a little joy, a moment of respite.

I believe this is what art does - it heals. Art connects with people on an emotional level and creates a vibe in a space that can make you feel joyful and uplifted. This is evidenced by the use of art in healthcare. Who wants to look at an ugly white wall when they're going to the doctor for an exam? You're probably already a little anxious to begin with and the last thing you need is to feel more uncomfortable. Lately there's been a surge of artwork being installed in hospitals, medical centers, and assisted living centers. This is because we all want to feel good - - or at least better. Particularly when we're sick.

Last weekend I met an art consultant who utilized some prints of my art in a sleep lab testing center. I've been told my artwork is relaxing. . . .but this really made me laugh! I sure hope the patients relax - - and then wake up again to enjoy my art.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hello Fall

Cat with her parents
The weather is finally cooling off here in the Atlanta area and for me my energy is renewed. There is much to be grateful for. I do my best to live in the moment (not always easy, to be sure). The art walk at my studio last week was wonderful! There were lots of people browsing and buying art, and I had some amazing conversations with folks about the importance of beauty in our lives. Treating yourself well, and surrounding yourself with what makes you happy - - pretty simply ideas but too often ignored.

My parents visited over Labor Day weekend and we had a blast! I'm lucky, I know. So many of my friends have lost their parents or their parents don't come to visit them.

I painted in my studio most of Labor Day and reflected on how much there is to be grateful for.

Art is the river that runs through my life. I drink from it as often as I can to refresh myself.”  - Loretta Marvel

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

3 Reasons to Celebrate

Cat at the Port Clinton Art Show
Reason #1:  my art show in Chicago was fantastic! Thanks to everyone who came out to the show and to my collectors who support my work - I am very grateful to you all!

Reason #2:  this Thursday, September 1st, from 6-9pm, is the first ArtWalk of fall at the Tula Art Center! I'll be celebrating in my studio with fresh new paintings and a few open bottles of wine. . .and, there'll be some of Atlanta's favorite food trucks parked right outside. Please join me for an evening of great food, wine, and art!

Reason #3:  Lather, rinse, and repeat. Insert reason #1 & #2 here.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Jazz & Art from the Heart

Ali Becker
 A few weeks ago I was asked to partner with a young 7 y.o. artist by the name of Ali Becker to create a work of art to auction off at this year's Art & Jazz fundraiser for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). My new friend Ali was born with multiple heart defects and has had 2 open heart surgeries as well as other procedures at CHOA in order to keep her healthy. Congenital heart defects are the most common structural birth defect, affecting 1 out of every 125 liveborns in the United States. Ali's parents have been through an extremely emotional and difficult time during her short childhood. Thanks to the physicians at CHOA, Ali and her heart are in tip-top shape!

She was a delight to have in my studio where we created the painting "Art from the Heart", 36"x36", acrylic on gallery wrap canvas. I painted the landscape in the center, while Ali painted the "frame" and sides of the canvas.

Please join us on September 24th at the Bill Lowe Gallery in Atlanta, and place a bid on our painting!! Click here to purchase tickets.

Jazz & Art from the Heart
September 24, 2011, 7-10:30 pm

Bill Lowe Gallery
1555 Peachtree St, #100
Atlanta, GA  30309

Ail & Cat with their finished painting.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cover Art

The Editor-in-Chief of the medical journal Genetics in Medicine contacted me a couple of months ago, asking if they could use one of my painting images ("Morning Mist", 24"x48", m/m on canvas) for this month's cover. Here it is! It's nice to know the world of genetics still loves me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Save the Date: Thursday September 1, 6-9pm

Mark your calendars for the fall Studio Tour at Tula!

Thursday, September 1, 2011, 6-9pm at the Tula Art Center, Atlanta, GA

You’re invited to go behind the scenes!

Tula is about meeting the artists, seeing them in action, wandering around their studios, and experiencing that world apart where the artist pauses to envision and create. It’s a richer and more personal experience than your typical gallery visit. Enjoy savory treats from local food trucks. Come on in and smell the paint!

Ongoing: Atlanta Photography Group presents “Anna Skillman Selects”.

Anna Skillman, owner Jackson Fine Art, has curated a dynamic show for exhibition in the APG Gallery in conjunction with Atlanta Celebrates Photography, the annual city-wide highlight of photography.

Opening: Cat Tesla Fine Art presents “Abstracting the Landscape”, a collection of acrylic and mixed media works that celebrate earth and sky, ranging from the completely abstract to ethereal landscapes, all capturing a sense of place.

Opening: Clara Blalock presents a new body of work generated with a more powerful visual energy. Stop by and see these large abstract paintings.

Opening: New paintings inspired by a new partnership! Ellen Bayley, Karen Lawrence, and Ann Rhodes celebrate the opening of their new studio in suite N-2.

Opening: Gallerie D presents new works in oil and acrylic by 4 regional artists: Cheryl Alifeld, Fran Scher, Diane Shaftman and Lynn Tolleson...paintings of beauty and mystery and stories to tell.

Opening: Studio E-1 presents Patricia Ellinger’s new line drawings of historic figures in color and black and white, Wendy Adams’ still life and seascapes, and Paula McInerny’s fresh new palette knife paintings.

Ongoing: Studio G-1 presents new paintings by Isabelle Lamar, Kate Pendleton, & Mimi Shaw

Opening: Studio K-1 presents new works by Judie Jacobs and visiting artists Aiming Sun and Dave Lambeth.

Enjoy the start of fall at Tula with Good Food & Great Art!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fresh Paint

New works from the studio, fresh off the easel:
"Garden Veil I", 24"x24", m/m on birch

"Garden Veil II", 24"x24", m/m on birch

Monday, July 25, 2011

Are you cool?

I'm cool now that the A/C in my studio is fixed. What a difference 20 degrees makes! Here's a preview of one of the paintings I've been working on, entitled "Emerald Cove".

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Be sure to turn off all heat sources

I'm in the studio yesterday and my A/C wasn't working. It kind of died. At first I thought I was just having my regular waves of hot flashes. But no, there was just no cold air coming out of the vents. After contacting the repair guy (who I'm meeting up with today - - keep your fingers crossed), I sweated it out a little longer to finish a section of a new painting (I'll post images soon - well, as soon as I'm cooler :).

When I got home I decided to surf around regarding A/Cs and found that there is actually a "WikiHow" article on "how to cool yourself without air conditioning". One of the steps is to "turn off all heat sources".  Really? Someone had to write that out as a "step"?

Perhaps the obvious isn't so obvious. As a kid I remember our A/C going out and Dad having perfectly round beads of sweat running down his angry red face while he "took a look". Meanwhile Mom told him to call the repair guy and the arguing ensued. Dad versus the repair guy. You already know how this one ends. We sweated it out over the next couple of days until Dad was worn out and the repair guy could come out. I remember Mom cooking dinner on the stove (one of the heat sources highlighted on WikiHow). Like many Dads in the 60's, my Dad was ready to eat when he walked in the door from work everyday at 5:30pm and Mom never missed a beat. But maybe they missed a step?

Monday, July 11, 2011

New Shows, New Galleries

  • The Studio Gallery in Grayton Beach, FL, is now carrying my work - be sure to check it out!
  • Please join me this weekend on the campus of Penn State for the Central PA Fine Arts Show - - it's a new one for me this year.
Other than that, I'm frickin' hot.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer in the Studio

More than a decade ago I was painting florals. Encouraged by a friend to revisit this subject and inspired by all that blooms in my garden, here's a couple new ones fresh off the easel:

"Just for You, I", mixed media on 36"x36" gallery wrap canvas

"Just for You, II", mixed media on 36"x36" gallery wrap canvas

Friday, June 10, 2011

You've Gotta Love This

So I'm back in HOTlanta from Philly and just thinking about the whole Rittenhouse Square Show experience. Philadelphia is such a mix for the senses:  you've got the history, the architecture, the well-heeled women in shiny modern skirts with frilly blouses long lashes and a dab of red lipstick walking by on their way to the office, tall dark and handsome 20-somethings in their suits who look like they've just walked off the pages of GQ, mixed in with a few homeless, a few drunks, and a guy with a monkey on his back. A 40ish guy wearing shorts and t-shirt was walking around Rittenhouse Square with a stuffed monkey on his back - (the monkey's) arms hanging around his shoulders, the body hanging low on his back, past his shorts. He had the same attitude as the younger GQ guys, but wore a monkey instead of a suit.

A totally drunk-as-a-skunk guy, reeking of alcohol and fresh burp smells saunters into my booth and looks around at all of the paintings rather closely. He focuses in on my "Outside of the Box" series of paintings, passes them, circles around, and returns. He smiles and exits my booth, presenting his swaying stinky self in front of me. "Hiya, I like the boxes. I work in concrete and are those concrete?" (nope, they're wood) "But I could make the boxes out of concrete and they'd be heavy (really?) since they're concrete but I could make them". He smiles, proud of his epiphany. "But I could make them. They'd be heavy" (where have I heard this before?). He stumbles along, smiling to himself.

An older gentleman with a chunk of baby-fine hair sticking up in the back walks into my booth carefully examining the artwork. He is thin-framed and delicate, his footsteps silent. Like an inspector of sorts, he goes from one painting to the next, then passes in front of my artist statement, tilts his head back and scrunches up his nose, squinting. He reads it word for word, circles around, looks my way and nods, and exits. Joins his wife and daughter who were waiting for him. I see them continue walking the show. A few booths later, he backtracks through the flow of traffic and approaches me. "Are you Ms. Tesla? I wanted to tell you that I like that you stated in your artist statement that the divine is within us all. I've always believed that."

You've just gotta love Philly. The Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show is a gem:  not just because of the city and it's cast of characters, but because this city knows and loves art.  My "morning meditation" abstract paintings on paper nearly sold out, along with sales of paintings on birch and canvas. Thanks to all of my new collectors in Brooklyn, New Jersey, and downtown Philly!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'll take an abstract painting with my morning coffee, thank you

It's been wonderful to be home and back in the studio for a full 2 weeks. Feels luxurious. The warm weather, sunny skies, and singing birds are great inspiration for my morning meditation. My days are beginning with an abstract painting on paper, and, of course, my morning coffee. Usually these meditative abstracts pile up over time in the studio and don't get out much. This year they'll be traveling with me to Philadelphia for the Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show. Come on out and visit me there, booth #101.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Artwork

Check out 2 of my latest paintings, finished just in time for the "Art on the Square" show this weekend in Belleville, IL. Hope to see you there!

"Vista", m/m on  48"x60" gallery wrap canvas

"Sanctuary", m/m on 48"x60" gallery wrap canvas

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Upcoming Shows

Please join me at one of these upcoming shows in the Atlanta area:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Fever?

Lately I've been doing a lot of experimentation in the studio in an abstract direction - - perhaps it's a need to express the sheer joy that the warmer spring weather brings or the sheer joy of living? Who knows, but it feels great - maybe I've got spring fever? Here are some of the works in progress at my studio -

4'x6' chunky palette knife painting with tons of texture

4'x6' organic painting with lots of layering and movement

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How I lengthened my life in 2 afternoons

Some of you already know that my husband Simo was unexpectedly diagnosed with colorectal cancer 10 years ago at the age of 41. It was a COMPLETE shock at the time. He's always been healthy and had no known family history of cancer. Thanks to our thorough and astute primary care physician, however, what he thought was hemorrhoids (come on, we can talk about this!) turned out to be a 3.5cm tumor that had to be removed immediately followed by 6 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation. Simo had loads of side effects to nearly everything thrown at him and it was a rough year to say the least. He has since completely recovered.

(There's always a silver lining to every dark cloud, right? Simo's experience and ideas during his treatment inspired my "Outside of the Box" series of paintings. You can ready the story here.)

Not long after this entire ordeal I went ahead and had a baseline colonoscopy due to my family history of colon cancer. This baseline lets my doctor know how my colon usually looks so that future screenings can be compared to it. The prep wasn't so bad and the reassurance of knowing I had a healthy colon in exchange for an afternoon spent at the doctor's office was well worth it. If you're not sure what's involved to have screening for colon cancer, there's a short video you can watch from the American Cancer Society.

The other afternoon that lengthens my life is the one where I go for my annual mammogram. Again, its not that bad compared to the alternative of getting cancer. If its been awhile since you checked this off your "to-do" list, refresh your memory about breast cancer screening by clicking here.

Yes, I know I said my blog is about my art and my life as an artist. And it still is:  in the past week I have learned about the deaths of 2 of my collectors - one from breast cancer, and one from colorectal cancer. Both untimely, both young. The news has more than rocked my world and I hope it will rock yours and prompt you to get screened for cancer by the end of 2011.

Cancer is all too common. If you're someone who has a relative with cancer, your risk to develop cancer may be higher than the norm. To learn about the genetics of cancer, please visit:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Have you been to this show?

Series 13:  No. 2
My husband and I just returned from the Winter Park Art Festival and all we have to say is "WOW"! What a show! The art is amazing - we were honored to be part of it with our new collaborative body of artwork (see: Weather was perfect and we're pretty sure the entire state was there! Thanks to all who made this a successful show - so many of our mixed media creations found new homes. :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways!

I'm talking about my new studio space, of course.

It's bright, sunny, spacious, airy, and LIGHT.

Makes me smile, sing, and even dance (though not very well; let's just say "Dancing with the Stars" won't be calling my number anytime soon. . . )

To celebrate the love, I'm currently finishing up a 48"x72" abstract landscape painting:  photos coming soon! For those in Atlanta:  you'll get a sneak peek tonight at the First Thursdays Buckhead Art Walk. Directions to my studio at the Tula Art Center here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

3 Steps to Happiness

"Fresh Air", acrylic on 36"x48" canvas
1.  View art:  go to a gallery, attend an art festival, visit an artist's studio.
2.  Fall in love with art. Go with your gut - usually the first thing that catches your eye is "the one". (No, it doesn't have to match your sofa). And . . . if you wake up the next day still thinking about it, it definitely is "the one".
3.  Make it yours! Buy it, bring it home, and ENJOY.

Happiness awaits! To assist you with step #1, please join me at one of my upcoming shows:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Big Reveal: the New Studio Opens NEXT WEEK

As they say, time flies! We're just about finished hanging artwork and (most) everything is ready to go. The doors open next week with a Grand Opening reception Thursday evening, February 3.  And don't forget: special sales pricing is only good through February 5th.  Now is the time to buy the art you love!!!

P.S. It's not too late to receive the special show preview - click here to receive it now (write "add me" in the subject line).

Cat discussing her work with a collector

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Warning: new artwork will have you addicted

(Pictured here:  Series 13:  No. 6)

I have collaborated with my husband Simo on a new body of artwork. Seemed like a good idea, and we hope it's actually a great idea. Art collectors beware:  our friends, neighbors, family members, and fellow artists agree:  this body of artwork may have you addicted! Check it out at:

You can see it in person at the Grand Opening of my new art studio on February 3, 2011.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to Stay Married While Renovating an Art Studio

My husband Simo and I are getting my new studio space ready for the Grand Opening on February 3, 2011. Want to know how to stay married while renovating an art studio? The answer:  when one person is working, it's best for the other person to be. . . somewhere else. Need ideas? Think grocery store, liquor store, and of course, a paint store.

Stay tuned for the big reveal!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Will you rise above the ordinary in 2011?

January is a time of deep reflection - looking back, looking forward. 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.

May 2011 be filled with joy, health, laughter, and the sharing of gifts.

Let go of the old and let it rip!