Rediscovering the Journey

Hello Friends,

Since last week’s revelation that I want to make “spectacular” art, I’ve been thinking about what that means. What exactly is spectacular art? What makes some art spectacular and other art unimpressive?

Art is subjective, and what I find appealing may or may not be anyone else’s cup of tea. It makes the pursuit of “spectacular” somewhat meaningless, since there’s no agreement or way to measure the quality of art.

That leads me back to where I started. As always, my best bet is probably to make the art that most intrigues me at any given time — the art that ignites me and makes me feel alive.

I find it helpful to remember that art is more of a process than an end product. For me it’s a practice of experimentation and discovery, as well as self discovery. Rather than producing something specific, I try to stay focused on the journey and let go of end results.

As much as I’d like to create “spectacular” art, it’s really not about that. It’s about discovering who we are, what we have to give to the world, and how we’re going to share that.

I created the two paintings below last week. They’re about the beauty in destruction, decomposition and decay — things that are broken, fractured and imperfect — a theme that comes up often in my work.

Are these pieces worthy of being called “spectacular?” Maybe not, but I enjoyed creating them. In the end, that may be what counts more than any hierarchical designation.

Click on the images below to see these paintings in a browser.

Cassandra Tondro, "Fade," abstract painting

“Fade,” 20 x 20 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

Cassandra Tondro, "Fracture," modern art

“Fracture,” 10 x 20 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

Join me for the opening reception of “Love” at the Ventura County Government Center on March 13th! I have three paintings in the show, and I’d enjoy seeing you there.

February 28 – April 7
Opening Reception Friday, March 13, 5:30-7pm
Ventura County Government Center
Hall of Administration, Atrium Gallery
800 S. Victoria Avenue
Ventura, CA

What art takes your breath away? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,



  1. Hello Cassandra,
    Fade made me think of a forest, creating a feeling of calm, and isn’t that what our art is about is the feeling we are getting across and I loved your comment, we do it for us not for the ones buying our art. Hope the show goes well!! Look forward to hearing more about your adventures. Your friend in Iowa, Kim

    1. Thank you, Kim. Yes, and sometimes it’s hard to remember that the art is for ourselves and not so much for people buying our work. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of making art that I think will sell, and it never works out well!

  2. I agree. One has to be very conceited to believe that s/he can make “spectacular art” don’t you think? For me the only thing that is spectacular is NATURE, no artist will ever be able to create such incredible diversity of shapes, colors, patterns, and composition as nature can.
    What I call an admirable piece of art is one that let me sense the passion that the artist included throughout the process of making the art work. An intellectually, even if almost perfect rendered work leaves me cold.
    The pieces I could refer to as spectacular are- Gruenwald “Alterpiece” “Guernica” by Picasso, the “3d of May,” Saturn Eating His Children,” and the “Capricious” by Goya. Those artists managed to go against the established art norms, and reflect the atmosphere of the time. They are the opposite from (art for art sake.)

    1. I like that word – admirable. That’s very good. Two of the artists whose work has moved me to tears are Jay Defeo, “The Jewel,” at LACMA and John Register’s hauntingly stark interiors.

Leave a Reply to Cassandra TondroCancel reply