Best Laid Plans

Hello My Friends,

I’ve been searching for meaning in the recent fires, because I’d like to think that they’re more than a random act of destruction. What is the purpose of fire, and what is the greater lesson to be learned from it? Is destruction necessary for rebirth and renewal?

In the absence of answers, I decided to go into the studio and paint. I wanted to do a heart chakra painting to bring in the energies of compassion and love for these trying times.

The color of the heart chakra is green and I paired it with pinks, inspired by the hues of watermelon tourmaline, a heart chakra stone.

The painting looked great while it was wet, but then it started to change as it dried. One of the challenges of this work is letting go of the end result!

While it was wet, the painting was soft, smooth and pretty.

Cassandra Tondro chakra painting

But the humidity was less than 10%, and when it’s that dry, unexpected things sometimes occur. The paint moved and separated in interesting ways, creating a lot of texture.

Instead of a soothing heart chakra piece I ended up with an explosive heart chakra painting! I like it, but it’s so different from what I was expecting.

Cassandra Tondro heart chakra painting

“Giving and Receiving Love,” heart chakra healing painting, 30″ x 30″, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

When have you had to deal with unexpected results, and how did you handle it? Share your story in the comments section below.

In other news . . . tomorrow is the Winter Solstice for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere — the shortest day of the year. Summer Solstice if you’re in the South. I’m excited because for us, the days start growing longer, and I’m ready to move out of the darkness and back into the light. I’m ready to put the fire behind me and move into rebirth and renewal. Let the smoke clear and the healing begin!

Happy Solstice to all of you! Enjoy this special day, be well, and know that you are deeply loved.

With love and appreciation,



  1. I love your work. I have been following you for awhile now and am just fascinated with your art form. I so appreciate what you do and your interpretations are very thoughtful.
    My art form is rust dyeing. I love using silk and cotton. I have the opposite problem as you. My pieces start out looking messy and like they are ruined beyond repair. Yet after this horrific start, beauty and unmistakable creative impressions are found in the finished pieces.
    I often find animals, characters, faces and abstract visions in my work. I can send you photos of the before and after process if you like. I’m sure you will find them interesting.
    A Fan,
    Cindy Shipp

  2. Cassandra, I love how dry weather joined in your creation to take it to the next level, I work in hot wax, encaustic, so when I am unsatisfied with a painting I can paint a layer over it and then scrape back to see what reveals itself now. That can be repeated again and again until I have that “aha moment”, and am smart enough to stop. Whole subjects have been buried in straties of wax, much like a geological layering.
    The whole process is there within the finished work, I often photograph the stages of the process so I have a record of the work. It is fun to read what other artists say about this. Thanks for offeringthis opportunity.
    Joyce Lombard

    1. What a great way to create your work, Joyce, with many layers and then scraping some of them away to reveal others underneath. I’ve seen your paintings, and the effect is luscious! They have a wonderful depth and richness to them. Thanks for sharing your process! I look forward to seeing more of your work and where you go with it from here.

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