Pillows and Totes

I’ve been having a lot of fun creating new paintings for a line of decorative throw pillows and designer tote bags.

The totes bags are are available in three sizes ranging from 13″ x 13″ up to 18″ x 18″ and are made of soft, durable polyester poplin fabric with a one-inch black strap. The artwork is printed on both sides of the bag.

Cassandra Tondro Designer Totes

The throw pillows are available in six sizes ranging from 14″ x 14″ up to 26″ x 26″ and are made of spun polyester poplin fabric. The artwork is printed on both sides of the pillow with a concealed zipper and removable insert for easy cleaning.

Cassandra Tondro Decorative Pillows

These same images are also available as prints on canvas, acrylic, metal, paper and wood in sizes ranging from 8″ x 8″ up to 48″ x 48″.

 

Cassandra Tondro Canvas Prints

You can see all of these colorful new pillows, totes and prints on my website.

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Learning Curve

Do you ever have those times when nothing seems to be working out? I’m in that phase now!

I’m developing a new body of work, and I thought the first two paintings in the series turned out quite nice. Not perfect, but a good start.

Cassandra Tondro, "Magnetic North," abstract painting

“Magnetic North,” 30 x 30 inches, iron oxide and repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

Cassandra Tondro, "Biosphere," abstract painting

“Biosphere,” 30 x 40 inches, iron oxide, graphite and repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

Maybe it was beginner’s luck. Since then everything looks awful, and I can’t seem to bring them around and make them look OK. Here are my two most recent disappointments.

Cassandra Tondro, painting in progress

Painting in progress, 30 x 30 inches, iron oxide, graphite and repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

Cassandra Tondro, painting in process

Painting in progress, 30 x 48 inches, iron oxide and repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

They’re not similar, but they have a similar problem — not enough contrast. In the first painting it’s the overall contrast — everything is an even gray. It’s because the painting wasn’t working out, and I decided to see what would happen if I put a thin layer of gray paint over the whole thing. Not such a good idea, but then you never know until you try it.

In the second painting it’s a problem of not enough contrast between the two large circles on the sides and the background. Also, the two large circles are too busy, but if I bring them down and make them less busy, it’s going to be a problem of not enough interest.

There’s often a large learning curve when developing new work. You see the finished paintings, and they look fabulous, but what you don’t see is the many rejects that led up to those few good ones.

Onward! I haven’t given up, but I’m definitely in the throes of frustration. I may have to set this work aside and focus on something else for a while. Sometimes it helps to put it away and then come back to it later with fresh eyes.

Leave a comment and let me know what you’ve been struggling with lately.

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Art From Scrap

I was up in Santa Barbara today, and I stopped by a fun art supply store called Art From Scrap. They sell everything from leather scraps to fabric remnants, yarn, beads, wooden pieces, used canvases, frames, kitchen stuff, and scientific equipment as well as all sorts of things I couldn’t identify. The store is packed with interesting possibilities. It’s all there to be repurposed for art, and it’s very inexpensive.

Art From Scraps

Art From Scraps

Here are some of the fun things I found there. Old slides. I’m sure there must be some use for these.

Art From Scraps

Old maps. I’ve seen people do some interesting artwork on maps.

Art From Scraps

Old cards. These would be great for collage.

Art From Scraps

Old National Geographic magazines. Also good for collage.

Art From Scraps

Lots of wine corks.

Art From Scraps

Brilliant yellow plastic bottle caps.

Art From Scraps

They also have a gallery upstairs where they show artwork made from the leftover stuff that they sell. And they do children’s birthday parties in this room, which sounds like it would be really fun!

Art From Scraps

Check it out if you’re in the Santa Barbara area. They’re only open Thursday-Sunday. Art From Scrap, 302 E. Cota Street, Santa Barbara.

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Experimental Leaf Prints

I’m working on some experimental leaf prints for a new tutorial, which means a lot of trial and error. These aren’t what I would consider “successful” leaf prints, but aren’t they beautiful in their own way? I love abstract art!

Cassandra Tondro Leaf Print

Cassandra Tondro Leaf Print

Cassandra Tondro Leaf Print

Cassandra Tondro Leaf Print

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Vote for Your Favorite Art!

There are big changes happening with my art, but I don’t know what they are yet. I feel the inkling of something slowly bubbling up inside of me. More to be revealed!

In the meantime, I’ve been doing some experimental paintings, and I’ve started on three very different series of work. I thought it might be fun to share them with you, and let you vote for your favorite.

Look through the paintings, and then vote for your favorite series using the link at the end of this post. You can add additional comments, if you’d like, and I’ll let you know the results of the vote in my next newsletter.

The first group of paintings is the “Chaos and Comfort” series. This highly expressive and emotional work explores the feelings elicited by challenging times. Click here for more information about these paintings and to see them larger on my website.

Cassandra Tondro "Chaos and Comfort" art

Next up is the soft and sweet “Trending Now!” series of work, which reflects the hashtag trends I would like to see on social media. Click here for more information about these paintings and to see them larger on my website.

Cassandra Tondro "Trending Now!" paintings

The last group of paintings are unfinished and in progress. I call them the “Unearthed” series, and they are created by sanding through many layers of paint and adding geometric designs to raise vibrational frequency.

Cassandra Tondro "Unearthed" abstract art

Cassandra Tondro "Unearthed" abstract art

The size of the “Unearthed” paintings shown above are left to right, top to bottom: 30 x 24 inches, 24 x 24 inches, 24 x 24 inches, and 40 x 40 inches.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE PAINTINGS!

I hope you’re doing well and enjoying a fun summer! Thank you for participating in this experiment, and for your support of my work.

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Partial Pushed Painting Technique

Here’s another idea for the pushed abstract painting technique. On this piece I’m going to show you how it looks when you let some of the underpainting show through. I started with a reddish-brown latex underpainting on an 18 x 18-inch canvas.

Cassandra Tondro DIY painting project

The color palette of leftover house paint I chose for this piece is reddish-brown, rust, gold, yellow, light green and grass green.

Cassandra Tondro painting color palette

I poured each color of paint onto plastic on the floor, but not as much paint as I would normally use. Notice that the paint doesn’t completely cover the 18 x 18-inch area I have marked off on the plastic.

Cassandra Tondro abstract painting

I laid the canvas face-down onto the paint, and I DID NOT press it into the paint. I just laid it down gently and then pulled it back out of the paint, pulling from the top of the canvas. This will leave air pockets between the canvas and the paint, which is where the underpainting will show through.

Cassandra Tondro abstract painting technique

Here’s the finished painting. The large dark brown areas are the underpainting showing through.

Cassandra Tondro abstract art

If you’re not familiar with this abstract painting technique, check out my Create Your Own Original Abstract Art tutorial available for immediate download. This is a fun and easy technique anyone can use to create amazing abstract art. No art school training required!

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Mauve Mistint Challenge

I recently found this mauve paint on the mistint shelves at Home Depot, and thought it would be fun to see what I could do with it. Maybe it will give you some color ideas for your own work.

Cassandra Tondro abstract painting in progress

The mauve is a subdued color, so I paired it with some brights and some complementary colors: purple, turquoise, rust, olive green and lime green. I like to use unusual color combinations for my paintings

Cassandra Tondro abstract painting in progress

Here’s how the paint looked poured onto the plastic, before pressing the canvas into the paint.

Cassandra Tondro abstract painting in progress

And here’s how the finished painting looks after being pulled straight up out of the paint. The lime green paint was a little watery, and spread out more than the other colors. It also created a lot of bubbles in the painting. This piece is 18 x 18 inches, and it’s titled “Primordial Life.”

Cassandra Tondro, "Primordial Life," abstract art

Here’s the second pull from the same pour of paint. Notice that with the second pull the colors have become softer and more blended, and there aren’t as many bubbles This painting is 20 x 10 inches, and it was pulled from the top edge of the canvas. It’s titled “Early Bloom.”

Cassandra Tondro, "Early Bloom," abstract painting

Once the leftover paint on the plastic is dry, you can peel it off and reuse the plastic.

Cassandra Tondro abstract painting in progress

If you’re not familiar with this painting technique, you may want to check out my Create Your Own Original Abstract Art tutorial available for immediate download. This is a fun and easy technique anyone can use to create amazing abstract art. No art school training required!

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New Tutorial – Create Your Own Original Abstract Art

I’m excited to share my latest tutorial with you, Create Your Own Original Abstract Art. I take you step-by-step through the easy-to-learn process I developed to create my Organic Series of paintings using leftover house paint. I share helpful tips for successful paintings, and you’ll be making your own amazing abstract art in no time.

This is a fun project for both children and adults. First I show you how to create the paintings yourself, and then I explain how to adapt the project to small and large groups. It makes a great classroom project for about 30 children, and can also be done at large outdoor fairs with hundreds of people.

The illustrated Create Your Own Original Abstract Art tutorial is a PDF file available for immediate download, and is for everyone who would like to learn a special technique for creating original abstract paintings.

Cassandra Tondro abstract painting tutorial

Cassandra Tondro abstract painting tutorial

 

Check out the new painting tutorial now!

 

My previous two tutorials are also available: An Introduction to Leaf Prints on Paper and A Study of Leaf Prints on Paper.

Keep me posted, and let me know how these tutorials are working out for you!

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New Unbleached Euro Flap Envelopes for Leaf Prints

I’m kind of excited about these new unbleached Euro Flap envelopes from LCI Paper. They have little bas relief lines running across them, and the unbleached color is a warm natural tan.

Cassandra Tondro Leaf Print art

Look how beautiful they look with a leaf print card printed on a Fabriano Medioevalis card blank (affiliate link).

Cassandra Tondro Leaf Print art

So elegant! I highly recommend.

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New Painting “Harmony”

I thought I’d share this recent painting with you before it ships off to its new home in San Antonio, Texas. It’s titled “Harmony,” and it’s part of a new series of work.

Cassandra Tondro abstract painting "Harmony"

I really like the open quality of this painting, the bright colors, and the interesting balance of the design. It’s 36 x 12 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on natural unprimed canvas.

Cassandra Tondro contemporary painting "Harmony"

My best paintings are the ones that come together easily, without having to think about them too much. I think that’s the secret to creating great art — learning to turn off our critical minds!

“Harmony” is sold, but “Ascension,” from the same series, is available.

Cassandra Tondro abstract art "Ascension"

“Ascension” is a beautiful painting in its simplicity and grace, with a Zen-like quality. It’s 24 x 18 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on unprimed natural canvas, and ready to hang with or without a frame.

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