Beginner’s Mind

Cassandra Tondro poured painting

Hello Friends,

I got to play in the studio last week! When trying something new, I do my best to approach it with Beginner’s Mind — letting go of preconceived ideas, and an attitude of openness and experimentation.

I could feel resistance about the materials. I’ve been wanting to try a technique where silicone oil is added to acrylic paint to create open cells, but I work with leftover house paints, not acrylics. Would it work with latex paint?

I thought I should try it as directed first, to get a feel for how the process works, before branching out on my own. It was a struggle to get myself to use acrylics, and in the end, I don’t think the results were that great. This is definitely not as easy as it looks on the YouTube videos!

Cassandra Tondro poured painting

Cassandra Tondro poured painting

Later I tried the same technique using house paints, and the paintings look better. Maybe there was a legitimate reason for my resistance to using acrylics, but I had to try it for myself and see. All of these pieces are on 12-x-12-inch canvas panels.

The three paintings below were created using five colors of house paint — black, white, magenta, lime green and orange. It’s interesting how different each one turned out even though they were made using the same colors and the same technique.

Cassandra Tondro poured painting

Cassandra Tondro poured painting

Cassandra Tondro poured painting

I can’t wait to try this on larger panels! The silicone oil definitely adds interest to poured paint.

When do you find an attitude of Beginner’s Mind to be useful? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,



  1. Love the. Texture, how long do the mixed paints take to dry out?

    I guess the difficulty is having some degree of control on how thefolours blend?

    I am going to try it out using paint from hypodermic needles to gain control of the blend/flow. The only problem is that my workspace is outside, and at the moment it’s cold out there.

    Keep smiling


    Yes, I have my website up and running. I tried loading your website box, but I kept getting a message ‘entera URL’. Weird?

    1. Hi John,

      That URL for your website doesn’t work, which may be why you couldn’t enter it as a URL.

      I like that I don’t have control over this process! When I have too much control, the work isn’t interesting. I’m a big fan of serendipity and spontaneity!

      The paints take quite a while to dry — about the same as house paints without silicone in them. It depends on the weather. It’s been damp here lately, and these took about three days to be mostly dry, five days to be completely dry.

      Looking forward to seeing how the process works for you!

      1. Hi Cassandra

        My website is I did point out some time ago that this web page lark was a bit beyond me, hence the 6 months it’s taken to get here.

        Your paint/silicon work is very good. It reminded Jeff something I created 2nyears ago with a similar technique. I will email a photo separately for your perusal.



  2. I really like the new work‼️
    Keep it up, I think you are on to something.
    The paintings remind me of nebulas and the last one of an alien planet.

    1. Hi Rita! The only thing I added to the house paint was a little silicone oil, like 5 drops to a cup of paint. I also added a little water to thin the paints if they were too thick. And I didn’t add the oil to the black — only the other four colors. Have fun with it!

  3. Bravo for beginners mind! These are beautiful! I am gradually adding to my house paint pallet! I am planning another paint pour day soon! Are these work or arts flip cup pours or your normal technique with added silicone? Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Cindy! These pieces are flip cup pours. I’ve tried using silicone for my regular pushed technique, and they look too busy to me. There’s too much going on. Maybe with less silicone. Have you tried it?

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