Just for Fun

Hello Friends,

Some of you wrote last week and said that you didn’t like my “Dark Night of the Soul” painting. Wonderful! I love it when I get a reaction.

First, let me explain that a dark night of the soul is not necessarily a bad thing. It may feel disorienting and uncomfortable, but it often precedes significant change. It’s an opportunity to slow down and examine who we are now, at this stage of our lives, and what we want to do next.

And let me also remind you that the primary purpose of art is to communicate something — a thought, an idea, a feeling, or a story. If the painting is expressing something that bothers you, it might be worth a second look to try and figure out why.

So-called negative emotions are somewhat taboo in our society. We’re not supposed to have them let alone talk about them. But the truth is that we all have these emotions from time to time. Keeping them hidden can leave us feeling isolated and alone. Expressing our feelings is not a sign of weakness. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable shows courage and strength.

For those of you who didn’t like the dark night painting, I have something bright and cheery to show you this week. I spent a day in the studio playing around with collage, and it was so much fun!

Bear in mind that I’m no collage artist, and I don’t know how to do it “right.” I just did it any way that I could with whatever I had on hand. The papers are torn and wrinkly, and I like the imperfect effect. It’s on target with the message of this piece. It’s messy, just as life is messy.

I used women’s magazines for the collage, which provide so much fodder for commentary. The piece is titled “Mixed Messages.” I think you’ll see why.

Cassandra Tondro artist collage

“Mixed Messages,” 24 x 36 inches, collage on canvas

Detail images of the piece:

Cassandra Tondro artist collage

Cassandra Tondro artist collage

Cassandra Tondro artist collage

Cassandra Tondro artist collage

I highly recommend collage! It’s fun to get lost in the bright colors of the images and the absurdity of the text.

What fun and playful things have you done this summer? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,



  1. Cassandra,
    There isn’t much to say re: “Dark Nights” except that many of my family are going through the same experiences right now. You are to be commended for allowing your feelings to be visible, proving that you and they are not alone in this. What we do to keep the demons at bay with our ‘hobbies’ can be the best therapy there is.

    Keep you spirits up and make more beauty.

    Mary Ellen

    1. Thanks, Mary Ellen. I’ve been through “dark nights” before, and I always come out better on the other side of it. So I’m not afraid of them anymore. In fact, it’s kind of exciting, because I know that transformation is in the works, and I’m eager to see what that will look like.

      There’s a great book on this topic titled “Dark Nights of the Soul” by Thomas Moore, if you or anyone else is interested in learning more.

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