Lift: Lisa Ridgers & Cat Tesla

22 April - 3 July 2021

After connecting in the Spring of 2020 via social media, we (Cat Tesla and Lisa Ridgers) spent countless hours chatting all things art and the state of the world. As a result, we developed a fast friendship. We are both established artists in our own right, each with over 20 years of professional painting experience and extensive individual careers. We share a similar flair and contemporary style in our painting, as well as a sincere and mutual appreciation for each other's work. We decided
to team up to create a new body of work entitled "Lift" to reflect our
creative response to such trying and difficult times.


Created over the first year of the COVID-19 crisis, the common theme between the two of us was our love of nature, the outdoors and hiking. Many of these activities were the only option for us in an uncertain, new and weird world. This led us to our vision to create a body of uplifting and positive artworks, playful in composition and color, a much needed energy.


One of the biggest initial challenges we faced was our geographical distance. With Lisa in Dayton, Ohio, and Cat in Atlanta, Georgia, our solution was to send the paintings in progress back and forth via courier. For example, Cat would prep two canvases, do the first layer on one, then ship both to Lisa. Lisa would do a first layer on the blank canvas, and the next layer on the one Cat had started, then return ship them both. This dance between Atlanta and Dayton continued for months on end, each of us taking turns prepping two new canvases.


The paintings in the collaborative series of twelve have each been shipped back and forth numerous times. We played off each other's individual mark making, inspiring each other, and built up layers to bring each painting to a state of perfect blended expression.


In addition to creating our collaborative series, we also painted twelve individual works (six paintings/each) that were then sent to the other to inspire their complementary creation. These pairs exemplify each artist's individual mark making and compositional style.


The entire year long experience has provided both of us with not only a great new friendship, but also a fabulous experience of artistic collaboration and a welcome distraction in a time of upheaval and social isolation. We sincerely hope that you enjoy the results of our collaborative experience as much as we enjoyed creating our paintings.