The Serendipity Paintings

Greetings Friends,

I’ve just finished a complete body of work — eighteen new pieces — painted, stretched, varnished, photographed and added to my website with descriptive text. It’s a large undertaking that has been many months in the making. It would be wonderful if it could end with an exciting exhibition, but there are no shows here right now because of COVID. So the work sits lined up on shelves in my studio, waiting for its moment in the sun.

You’ve seen some of the paintings at the top of these newsletters the past few weeks. I thought I’d share three of my favorites with you and tell you a bit more about them.

This first piece started out with black and a deep reddish-brown. But when I applied the brown, it was too dark, and I lost the detail of the black. So before it was dry I washed a lot of the brown off, and now I really like the way it looks. It reminds me of ancient hieroglyphs or mystical cave paintings.

It’s titled “Ibex et al” because of the figure on the left that looks like a goat head on a human skeleton. An Ibex is a wild mountain goat. There are also other interesting images in this piece that look like bats, insects, skulls and silhouettes of human figures. That’s where the “et al” part of the title comes from.

Cassandra Tondro, "Ibex et al," contemporary art

“Ibex et al,” 36 x 48 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

Next up is a painting titled “Aperture.” This is one of the pieces that looked better on the back side of the painting than the front. You can see shadows of the front showing through in the white areas. I like the unexpected shapes in this piece and the open, negative space. I also like the bluish-grays with just a hint of complimentary rust orange here and there.

Cassandra Tondro, "Aperture," abstract art

“Aperture,” 24 x 30 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

The third painting is very different from the first two. It started with a lucious ultramarine blue and then I added a deep forest green. The two colors were too similar, and it didn’t look like much until I came in with the third color — bright pink. Then all of the colors popped!

The patterns in this piece remind me of a wild abstract expressionist painting, and thus the title, “Rave On.” I was thinking of the Buddy Holly song by that name. It seems like an appropriately quirky title.

Cassandra Tondro, "Rave On," contemporary painting

“Rave On,” 30 x 40 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

You can see all of the “Serendipity Paintings” on my website. The series is titled “Serendipty” because of the process I use to create these works of art. It’s a process of letting go and letting serendipity take over, which I see as a metaphor for our times — letting go and feeling content regardless of the external circumstances of our lives.

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas if that’s a holiday that you celebrate. For the first time in my life I’ll be home alone on Christmas Day because COVID is rampant here in California, and my family decided it’s probably better not to get together. I was also home alone on Thanksgiving Day and all other holidays this year, and I’m kind of getting used to it!

What are your plans for the holidays? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,



  1. I think Cassandra,you have come up with a real nice new collection.Ya an exhibition would be appropriate.
    I hope it’s time will come.

  2. We are in the same position here in the south east of England – all our plans to be with our families for Christmas were revoked only a few days ago, by law, so I shall not be on my own, but with just my husband, instead of with my son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and grandson. But we make the best of it, what else can you do?
    Your paintings have obviously taken a great deal of thought (despite the Serendipity headline) and a lot of work – I really like Rave On, it is beautiful, love the colours!
    Hope you manage to have a good Christmas and New Year, despite all the restrictions. Very best wishes to you ❤

    1. Thank you, Jill. Yes, I heard that you have a new strain of the virus in England, one that is even more contagious. Worrisome indeed. Hope you have a lovely Christmas and New Year, too. Best wishes, Cassandra

  3. I’m in love with a number of these: Dawn of a new day, Imitating life, Healing light, Winter’s Eve, Tangled up in Blue. These. are the ones that remind me of beautiful days or evenings, or, like “Healing Light”, seem to have a message.

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