Connie Karleta Sales

Contemplative Artist, Poet, Advocate;

living with Neuromyelitis Optica; a rare autoimmune disease predominately affecting her optic nerves and spinal cord.

Currently residing and working in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Connie is a contemporary figurative and miniature landscape artist, working predominately in mixed media and digital painting. Having limited use of her body, she paints mostly with her eyes using eye gaze technology and by holding her brushes and pens in her mouth using a mouth-stick.

Born. 1973. Dallas, TX. Graduating from Southern Methodist University, Connie studied summers in Taos, NM and abroad at University College, Oxford, England. Currently represented by dk Gallery in Marietta, GA, her work is also available through 33 Contemporary in Chicago, IL. Exhibited nationally and collected internationally, most recently her work and a video of her painting process using her eyes, will be archived in a time capsule on the Moon through the Lunar Codex founded by Samuel Peralta.

From an early age, Connie lived with the aftermath of rape, molestation, and psychological torture; taping her words and images underneath her clothes and discarding them in alleyway dumpsters. As an adult, she survived cancer, and now lives within the new norm of a progressive, autoimmune, neuromuscular disease, Neuromyelitis Optica, affecting her Optic Nerves and Spinal Cord.

Writing and drawing still serve as a catharsis. Describing herself as the house poetry built; drawing her words within observation she finds truth, and in truth, Connie finds the transcendent stories of building beauty in her world.

Naturally drawn to contemplative life, Connie has studied and practiced various forms of contemplative prayer/meditation since 1998. Centering prayer and lectio/Visio Divina are at the heart of her current practice; layering in Insight/Vipassana Meditation and Dharma study through the traditions of Theravada Buddhism.

Connie fell in love with landscape painting when studying in New Mexico, and in 2005 began painting miniature, at first for practical reasons and continued as she found miniatures to be a very intimate way of connecting with others.

She explores and navigates her world through art. It is how she knows herself and gets to know you. Her best form of communication . Today, the once shy and timid girl, enjoys sharing her work, teaching intuitive forms of drawing/prayer, and advocating publicly on issues of violence, mental illness, and disability.

Fragile and strong, my art echoes the vulnerability and resilience of the human soul.
It slips between the thin spaces in our lives and emerges as beauty out of ash.
Today, beyond the ash of torn bits of papers past rises drawing as living beings;
words breathing as phoenix in redemption song. – CKS