“An interest in the subject; something you want to say definitely about the subject; this is the first condition of a portrait. The processes of painting spring from this interest, this definite thing to be said. Completion does not depend on material representation.”
Henri James, The Art Spirit
I’ve been deep-diving into The Art Spirit and it sustains and inspires my creativity. I agree with Henry James something has to catch our interest in from there is something we want to convey. For me at the moment everywhere I look surrounded by nature I see paintings of trees and flowers and hills. They are like spirits calling to me to paint the essence; to share the light; to convey the beauty. Even my Valentine’s roses which are now drooping and perhaps to others are beyond their best, to me are even more beautiful then they were the day they arrived. I took a photo the other morning and tucked it in the notes app on my iPhone called, ‘painting ideas” and filed it under the name love blooms.
These are the paintings you see below.
Beauty is fleeting, so it’s a potent reminder of the moment when the man who loves me with all his heart delivered a dozen roses as I sat in the garden writing. It’s this moment the potent power of love I wanted to capture and infuse and share in my abstract pieces.
It’s been hot, hot, hot up here in the Far North and many people are suffering. Which is exactly when I love to turn to art. As Picasso once said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
The day my Valentine’s roses arrived we had been devastated by the loss of some precious Nikaus due to a drainage issue. We had to dig up our hard-fought-for grass.
I’m working on a new series called “a hot summer”. We are experiencing one of the worst droughts this century in The Bay of Islands and so many of the hills and pastures are golden tinder brown. Tempers are frayed with the horrendous heat, as people run out of water, and the financial pressures that drought brings.
The painting on the right aims to express this mix of volatility but if you look carefully there are the violet and golden rays of compassion, hope, and healing. And that is the reality of life …we must express our anger, our hurts, and our fears, but we must not permit these low vibrations to overstay…This is why I have infused my paintings with the golden rays of healing, hope, and home.
Have you heard the saying “It’s like watching paint dry”?
What I love most about abstract colour field expressionist painting is akin to what photographers feel when they put their negatives into the developing emulsion and wait patiently as the image reveals itself. It’s quite exciting.
“Learn to trust and let things happen,” Abraham Hicks once said. This style of painting fits perfectly with my new resolution to cede control and place more faith in trust in the spiritual laws of the Universe.
Like when it rained on my painting—just when I thought it was ‘perfect’ and I had finished my drought inspired series. Guess what? The rain came!
The painting movement that most resonates with me is abstract expressionism, but also the French impressionists who strove to capture light. And then there’s a spiritual aspect of flow which is why I love painting with fluid sweeping water infused with passion and pigment.
In my fiction and self-empowerment books, I create word paintings. And I am always delighted that people tell what they feel when they read my words. For my love-inspired fiction, they tell me that it was such a welcome distraction and so entertaining. That they felt they were really there—wherever the scene was set. And I love it (and still do) when people write to me and tell them how my words offer hope and healing.
“Just keep writing your love stories, it keeps me young at heart and I wish I could just start my life over to make the right decision about what you need in your life.” – Istella.
But now it is to painting I return for I tire of sitting before the computer all day. I want to sit amongst nature and be in my studio amongst paints and pigments and colour.
As my partner reminded me, “the thing about beauty is its essence is often a momentary, fleeting thing, and not everlasting.”
Most importantly, I want to paint with authenticity—to infuse my works with my spirit. My soul. My heart. This is the reason why, when people try to copy other people’s works, the art lacks soul. This one moment of transcendent beauty that the original artist created, is instead approached with an analytical brain that seeks to replicate. But a copyist can never replicate the magic that came from the cosmic heart from whence it was created.
Since writing this post in the summer of 2020 I am thrilled to share my exciting news! I have opened Art@Rangitane—a gallery in my artist’s studio where I live in Rangitane, The Bay of Islands New Zealand.
IN TWO WEEKS I WILL BE OPENING THE DOORS OF MY STUDIO AND INVITING YOU INTO MY WORLD, MY HEART SPACE AND MY DREAMS.
I have been working non-stop to finish brand new works in time for Waitangi weekend, Saturday, February 6 to Monday, February 9. They will be available to view on my online store next week so watch this space!
The art will be affordable. There will be smaller pieces and larger ones too.
Saturday-Monday, February 6th—8th 11:00 am – 3.00 pm174 Rangitane Road (back drive)Rangitane Loop RoadKerikeri
Free Entry, Easy Parking
Collectors are welcome to view by private appointment.
I DO HOPE YOU CAN COME ALONG!!
For those ready to explore the playful freedom of Abstract Art. Play Dates is my 6-week online course that I’ve created just for you!
I invite you to join me on this self-paced abstract adventure across 6 different units and over 20 different lessons. The 6 units will inspire you with the following teachings:
The course includes videos, resources and audio files you can enjoy over and over again.
You don’t need to be an experienced artist to enjoy this course. I am self-taught all the way! Learning for yourself is one of the great joys and freedom of creativity. The University of Life has taken me a long way—winning prizes, selling work in galleries to important collectors; solo and group exhibitions and finalling in the prestigious portraiture award with my first-ever portrait; and learning the spiritual art of Sumi painting in Maui with internationally celebrated, New York-based, artist Max Gimblett.
And, guess what? All the time I was playing. Experimenting. Trying things out. Just for fun! Joseph Campbell was right when he said, when you follow your bliss, door open for you wouldn’t open for anyone else.
About 3 years into my painting journey…
…I remember thinking ‘I’ve lost my mojo. My art isn’t speaking to me.”
The incessant comparing myself to others who had some kind of “voice. ” I just couldn’t express myself. In 2012 won the Supreme Prize in a prestigious art award. I had a successful exhibition, selling several thousands of dollars of art. People loved the Sumi ink series but I KNEW there was something more inside me, something I wanted to articulate with my painting…something more joyful.
Learn more about Play Dates here>>https://www.cassandragaisford.com/play-dates/
In 2010, the American Journal of Public Health published a review titled, The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health. You can find it here.
Here are some of the findings regarding the impact that visual art activities had on the patients studied…
I know from my own personal and professional experience as an art therapist and counsellor, and as an anxiety-sufferer, that these benefits (and many more not listed) extend to almost everyone. Who doesn’t want to reduce stress and anxiety, increase positive emotions, and reduce the likelihood of depression?
Furthermore, the impact of art (including music, writing, and other artistic activities, can be evidenced in your physical body as well. In fact, this study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine used writing as a treatment for HIV patients found that writing resulted in “improvements of CD4+ lymphocyte counts.” In short, the act of writing actually impacted the cells inside the patient’s body and improved their immune system. In other words, the process of creating art doesn’t just make you feel better, it also creates real, physical changes inside your body.
With COVID still creating havoc, and many more people feeling isolated and literally cut off from others when you create more art: the health benefits of creativity are too precious to ignore.
If you like my work you can support me on Ko-fi>>ko-fi.com/youinspireme
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Uplifting Art by Cassandra
Here are three more things you might like:
Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.
Have fun, explore, enrich your life
Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.
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I am an artist, storyteller, intuitive guide, mentor and Reiki master. All my creations are infused with positive energy , inspiration, and light. I believe in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform your life. My greatest joy is helping your realize your dreams. That makes my soul sing!
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