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, I had a range of experiences: telling someone the child they were carrying had anencephaly (lack of skull formation at the back of the head) and would not live, telling someone they inherited the BRCA1 gene and had a very high risk of breast cancer, or telling someone their 4-year-old child who was not developing properly because they had a neurodegenerative disease – eventually got to me.

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 designed, followed by residencies with Nicholas Wilton and Steve Aimone.

My paintings are abstracted naturescapes 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.

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.