We’re excited to introduce you to Florida abstract artist Cat Tesla. Check out the interview below to get to know Cat and see more of her abstract art.
Florida Artist Cat Tesla
How would you describe your artistic style?
Contemporary abstract and nature-based abstraction.
What’s the main inspiration for your art?
Nature is my muse. Her colors, shapes, lines, textures. I start each painting with a ritual: taking a hike or sitting outside, doing mindful meditation and then beginning.
What is the biggest goal you try to achieve with your art?
My collectors tell me that mine is the painting that they come home to and say “ahhhhhh”. I try to combine areas of strength with softness, and expressing the feeling of being in nature.
What’s your favourite thing about being an abstract artist?
Communicating with color, line, and form makes for an interesting day at the office. Abstraction is about having a conversation with the canvas. You’re not forcing an idea (“today I’ll paint a tree”). Instead, you’re exploring. You’re reacting to the marks previously made. As you continue, your problem solving skills will kick in in order to make the composition and colors work.
Why abstract art and not other mediums? Have you always created abstract art or did you start out creating other styles?
I started my career painting landscapes and seascapes. After a few thousands of these paintings, I was ready to move into a new place, somewhere more exploratory.
If you could describe your art in three words, what would they be?
Light, Airy, Happy
What’s one thing people might not know about you and/or your art journey so far?
I didn’t go to college for art. Instead I have a master’s degree in Human Genetics and worked as a genetic counselor for 20 years. (There was overlap between my genetic and art careers.)
Did you always know you’d be an artist or how has your art journey progressed?
When I was getting ready to go to college, I had academic scholarships and also an art scholarship for the first year. I declined the latter. We didn’t know anyone who was making a living as an artist. An art career seemed nebulous in the 1980s. Though I loved working in genetics, I never stopped painting. Eventually, the desire to paint overtook anything else and I left my genetics career.
In your opinion, what’s the most important personal characteristic needed to embark on a career as an artist?
What advice would you give up and coming abstract artists?
Start your email list today and try one thing everyday that scares you in your painting.
Do you have any favourite podcasts or books that you love and that have contributed to your journey as an artist?
I love all of Steven Pressfield’s books, but especially “The War of Art”. Another is “Art and Fear”, by Ted Orland and David Bayles.
As for podcasts, there are too many to mention. My current top 2 are: The Independent Artists Podcast and The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks.
What’s your most fulfilling and enjoyable experience as an artist so far?
Connecting with people who love art and helping other artists thrive.
Where do you see yourself and your art in 5 years?
In 5 years I’d like to have finished and published a book I’m working on, and focusing more on helping other artists with their art business. Oh, and maybe a museum show, too.:)
What do you love most about abstract art?
Do you have any favourite quotes?
-Vincent Van Gogh
A final note from Cat:
To the artists out there: just begin. You’ll never feel ready, you simply have to start.
To the art collectors out there: thank you for “getting” us. As artists we work alone in our studios, putting ourselves onto the canvas for days, weeks, or months, adding layer after layer, expressing our hopes and dreams, seeking connection with our viewers. It’s the same place you stand when you examine the finished work. We walk together.