Small Pleasures

Hi Friends,

I have never heard it as quiet as it was here on Easter Sunday. Many of the remaining businesses were closed for the day, and very few people were out. The silence was lovely.

It reminds me of when I was a child and everything was closed on Sundays. I’m thinking we might want to go back to that! It’s nice to have one day a week of relative peace and calm.

I’m enjoying the slower pace of life during the shelter-in-place order. There’s time for reading, naps and leisurely walks. I can sleep in late, and there’s no need to rush. I have time to contemplate and even daydream.

I still have concerns, as I’m sure you do, too. But there are also some enjoyable aspects to slowing down and doing less.

Here’s an interesting article written by Julio Vincent Gambuto about what may be coming next, once the shelter-in-place orders end. I especially like the paragraph at the end of the article:

Take a deep breath, ignore the deafening noise, and think deeply about what you want to put back into your life. This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare and truly sacred (yes, sacred) opportunity to get rid of the bullshit and to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives richer, what makes our kids happier, what makes us truly proud.

I thought you might like to see one of the collage pieces I worked on this week, with details about how it developed.

The feeling I was going for is that there’s still beauty in the world, despite everything that’s happening. I first put down an underlayer of blue and turquoise images, to peek through and complement the top layer of pink, yellow and orange.

Cassandra Tondro, "Social Isolation," collage art coronavirus

It was too bright, busy and unfocused. I decided to draw a grid of graphite lines to take it down and perhaps pull it together a bit.

Cassandra Tondro, "There Is Still Beauty in the World," collage art

That did make it less bright, but it was still unfocused. I used white spray paint and a stencil to create a large central image. The stencilled white was too well defined, so I sanded it down to make it more obscure, which had the side benefit of revealing cubist forms within the white.

Cassandra Tondro, "There Is Still Beauty in the World," collage art

“There Is Still Beauty in the World,” 16 x 20 inches, mixed media on canvas panel

What small pleasures have you found during this time? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,



  1. Hello,
    Loved the end art! You and I were thinking the same, about how it is a time of rest. I talked about it Tuesday night on my Prayer Night, I step in one night for my niece who is the creator of Inspired Living. It is easy to keep saying yes and get to busy, but so glad you are taking this opportunity to slow down and listen. Tomorrow I go back to work, I have been off on a 14 day quarantine, not sure if I am ready, but got to go. I just really want to stay home plant stuff and make art, but that day will come, I hope that is what I am working for.
    Life is changing and we are making history with our decisions. Enjoy this time! Keep making art you have much to say. Stay safe.
    Your Friend from Iowa,
    Kim Moore
    Oh yeas we had a dusting of snow last night :)

  2. Hi Kim. Snow in mid-April? That seems unusual. But then the weather everywhere is unusual now! I hope you continue to find time for yourself and your art as you return to work. It is hard to balance everything, but we do the best that we can. Thinking of you! Be well.

  3. I really enjoyed this newsletter. Seeing the stages of your process and your detailing of what problems you were solving at each stage, and how, really taught me something. I feel like too much of a neophyte to be able to do what you described, and I’m mostly using watercolor, but just to get the idea will, I’m sure, come back to me in many ways. The message of the work really came through in the final version. Chris

    1. Thanks, Chris! Glad you enjoyed it. It’s really just a matter of trial-and-error, and working on a piece until it looks good to me. I try to remember that there are no mistakes, and I just keep going forward until the piece is done.

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