Thankful for Art

Cassandra Tondro abstract painting

Greetings Friends,

What’s your earliest memory of art?

For me it’s when I was five years old and had to go to kindergarten. I say “had to go,” because I didn’t want to go. I was quiet and shy, terrified of being away from home, and scared of the other children.

I had a very kind teacher who a few of you also know — Mrs. Taves (?) at Will Rogers Elementary School in Santa Monica. I don’t think that’s the correct spelling of her name, but maybe some of you will remember and can help me out. Mrs. Taves introduced me to the easels covered with large sheets of paper, and glorious colors of paint.

From then on, art was my refuge, and I only wanted to paint. My memory is that I didn’t do anything else but paint in kindergarten, although that might not be 100% accurate.

I felt safe when I was painting. I could retreat into my own inner world, and nothing else mattered. I didn’t have to interact with anyone, and there were no expectations except to spread color onto paper. It was bliss.

Do you think that affects how I feel about art today? Yes, I think there’s definitely a connection. Just walking into my studio gives me a feeling of great comfort and peace. I don’t even have to pick up a brush. Just being in there is enough to make me feel happy.

In the United States it’s Thanksgiving week, and I’m thinking about how grateful I am for art. I’m grateful for a lot of other things as well, but art is on my mind right now. There have been many times when art has saved me.

Where do you find refuge and comfort? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May your days be filled with gratitude and cheer.

With love and appreciation,

Painting at top: “Rock Paper Scissors,” 40 x 40 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas



  1. Art was my way of communicating things I could not find through other means. So in a way it was also a comfort to me–a completion. There were things out there that seemed so important and no one was paying attention to them. :) I am grateful, too, Cassandra! Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Hppy Thanksgiving, Heather! Interesting that you used art as a way of communicating. For me it’s more of a refuge from the world! I guess we all come at it from different directions, and we’re lucky that we have it.

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