Creating Under Pressure

Hi Friends,

I’m working on deadline to create several new paintings for an upcoming show. Some people work well under pressure, and I’m not one of them!

I thought it would be best to stick with what I know and can do well for these pieces. It doesn’t seem like the time to try something new, given the time constraints.

The theme of the show is “Defining Beauty,” which is mercifully broad. For the first piece, I decided to create a Disneyesque triptych that looks like a fantasy world with bubbles and fairy dust. The paintings-in-process below do have that look, but it feels like too much, and I don’t like the way the center panel turned out. I might have to re-do one or all of them.

Cassandra Tondro, abstract painting

Now I’m wondering if I should create work that’s more edgy — more along the lines of seeing the beauty in something ugly. Are these paintings too expected and safe?

Whatever I decide to do has to come together quickly, or not. The worst that can happen is I won’t be in the show, and that’s not the end of the world! I’m tired of the pressure. Time to back off, play, and see what wants to emerge.

When do you risk or decide to play it safe? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.



  1. Cassandra, I admire your work and think you could save this by repainting the center panel. Move panel 1 to the center and place “new” panel on the left. Use more orange and yellow on the re-do panel. Just suggestions. I paint in the same “genre” as you and love your use of natural materials!

    1. Thanks for your suggestion, Deborah. I’d love to see your work. Do you have a website? This piece looks kind of flat to me. I’m thinking the whole thing needs a re-do. Maybe it can be saved. I’ll play around with it and see.

  2. Spontaneity is the way to go, accept both the beauty and ugliness in however it turns outgo with your intuition it will be fabulous and free

  3. I like this Cassandra tho I also like Debora Taylor’s idea…you may end up with a set of six all usable for your show…All the best for the prep and the show.
    I’ve joined with a friend to show some of my Encaustic work… It’s in a Gallery about an hour from home (Queensland Australia) for the next month. I thank God I have family support ( Husband) . Prayers for strength and wisdom as you prepare, Liz

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