Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Nothing But Blue Skies

"Nothing but Blue Skies", 36"x36" 
©2013  Cat Tesla

Over Thanksgiving I went to Paris and traveled to surrounding towns along the Seine. One of them was Auvers-sur-Oise, where Van Gogh painted "The Church at Auvers" as well as other famous works. The fields were green and gold and thousands of stalks from long-past blooming purple irises still danced in the breeze. Simple winding paths were everywhere, leading to farms and gardens and a big blue sky filled with sun and puffy clouds. As a first time-visitor, it was magical and inspirational. My guess is it will be the next time, too.

I think there's a lot of magic and inspiration all around us if we just stop to take it in. That's my plan for 2014:  to look deeper and appreciate the now. Increase my powers of observation and appreciation, and really take a good look around.

As I look back at this year, I'm proud of how my work has blossomed and how I've grown as an artist. I just want to keep learning!

Thank you for taking a look at my world. I can't wait to see what's coming next.

Here's wishing you a bounty of beauty in 2014!

 "There is calm, harmony, and music inside of me"  ~Vincent Van Gogh


Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Top 5 Things I'm Thankful For

"As Above, So Below I", 48"x36"
©2013  Cat Tesla
The sun is peeking through the clouds and it's Saturday. I just put the final touches on a couple of paintings and I'm almost done packing for a trip over Thanksgiving. Things are winding down for the year and it's nice to catch up on life.

I've heard recent news of friends diagnosed with serious illnesses, friends whose lives aren't going the way they want or as fast as they want, and others facing loss.

As I reflect on the year so far and my life as an artist, it's really the simple things that I'm most grateful for. The actual list would be much much longer, but here are the top 5 things I'm thankful for:

  • the love of my husband and family (and their patience :)
  • my friends and their amazing selves (where would I be without them?!)
  • a roof over my head and a studio to paint in
  • my health and the health of my family and friends (without your health, nothing much else matters)
  • the amazing Ruby, our very old, mostly blind, mostly deaf dog, who continues to give love because that's all she knows
Here's wishing you peace and blessings for Thanksgiving,

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Look Inside

I've been on the fence for a long time whether or not to do a video about me and my artwork. After receiving encouragement from colleagues and my husband (who is my business partner), I decided to take the plunge. You can view it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cBt4loSZOA&noredirect=1
I think I was hesitant because of the work involved to make a video:  it takes a lot of time! Then there's the part about deciding what to include. How much, how little. This first video may be a bit lengthy as far as videos go, but I think it provides a good foundation and a look inside my practice as an artist.

When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn103820.html#SCWTxlacRUqLwIwu.99
When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn103820.html#SCWTxlacRUqLwIwu.99
When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn103820.html#SCWTxlacRUqLwIwu.99

Monday, October 28, 2013

50 Paintings Under $500

Cat with her non-objective paintings
©2013 Cat Tesla
With the weather getting cooler and the days shorter, you can feel change all around you. I've been looking back on the year in many ways. This year marks my 50th, so it's one of those "big ones" that gives you pause. For me I've felt that some of the things I've been wanting to do, now need to be done (dammit!). One of those things was to get serious about non-objective artwork. To that end I went to an abstract workshop in Maine this August that pushed the door open a bit further for me:  it was the nudge I needed.

Over the past couple months I've taken my paintings on paper from the workshop and added to them, cropped them, and mounted them to birch supports. The larger abstract paintings I did on canvas are now at a framer being stretched for me to finish up, and many other small, fresh, new non-objective paintings on birch supports have been completed. Ideas and concepts are being fleshed out and coming to life:  it's exciting to see the results!

To top it off and to commemorate my 50th, I'm doing an online sale of 50 paintings under $500. Most are the brand new abstracts mentioned previously, while a few are from my "Meditation Series" of abstracted landscapes. This sale will be for a limited time only. Order your favorite painting today!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

You're Not Alone

September Morning  
©2013 Cat Tesla
Isn't it great when you have a good show where your artwork is selling well? There's a sense of thrill, the acknowledgement of people who "get" your visual voice, and all that empty space in your studio when you return home. I call it "the artist's high".

Then there are the shows where you're not feeling the love, where there are more crickets in your booth/gallery than potential collectors, and you're mentally exhausted 2 hours into the show. Self-doubt creeps in, and you're re-evaluating your entire body of work. You drive home from the art show thinking "I suck". Unsuccessful shows - those that don't turn out the way you hoped - happen for a number of reasons. (Poor attendance, bad weather, conflicts in schedules with other events, and regional differences in tastes in art explain much of this.)

I've had plenty of both of the above experiences. And my guess is, so have you. You're not alone. For me, the key to moving forward in both situations is surprisingly similar. One of the first things I do is something active:  gardening, yoga, taking a walk. In one instance I'm exuberant, and the other I'm burning off steam. The next thing I do is jot a few notes in my journal. Again, I might be writing words of gratitude, or I might be sulking and second guessing after an unsuccessful one. (It's hard not to when you've put all that work into a show!) Either way, I own it. Then, I give myself space to drift. This may include laying on a beach towel looking up at the sky and seeing various shapes/animals in the clouds, watching reruns of Seinfeld, doodling, or reading a good book. By the time the sun rises again, I've got plenty of new ideas and I'm ready to get back into the studio and get to work. After all, there are other shows, other gallery receptions, and other opportunities waiting for you.

"As long as you can start, you are all right. The juice will come." ~Ernest Hemingway

"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great." ~Zig Ziglar

:"When artists step into their workspaces they enter a unique and private world of think and do. For some artists, a few minutes are all that is needed to shake off the outside clutter. Others never do and their art may suffer for it. It's my view that a sense of purity and ego-force, unsullied by guilt or anger, is vital to the free flow of creativity and productive work. The result of this clarity is a steady and almost dreamlike flow of one thing after the other. Think and do. Think and do. Think and do."  ~Robert Genn