Clearing for a Fresh Start

Cassandra Tondro, "Orange Blossom," abstract paintingGreetings Friends,

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks going through everything in my studio and clearing out what I no longer need. It’s sobering. How did I accumulate so much stuff? Some of it I don’t even remember buying.

What is UV Top Coat, and what did I buy it for? How does it differ from UV varnish? And why do I have an entire box of Staedtler 9B pencils? I don’t even use 9B pencils. 6B is as soft as I go.

Clearing stuff out is emotional. There’s a feeling of grief and loss that goes along with it for me. So many projects that I had high hopes for but that didn’t work out. But that’s part of being an artist. I try a lot of different things, many of which don’t make the cut.

The good part of clearing is the feeling of a fresh start without any clutter. I like the new feeling of spaciousness, except for the pile of stuff in the middle of the room that needs a new home. I really like giving things away to others who can use this stuff. That makes me feel happy!

Cassandra Tondro art studio

The rest of the studio feels open, airy, organized and clean — ready for me to get back to work.

Cassandra Tondro art studio

Cassandra Tondro art studio

Cassandra Tondro art studio

I’m letting go of the past and it’s time to move on. New year, new day!

What are you letting go of this year? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,

Painting at top: “Orange Blossom,” 20 x 20 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas



  1. Seeing how neat and tidy everything looks is inspiring. I did a little at the end of the year but need to do so much more. Thanks for sharing your pictures!

  2. Funny thing, Cassandra, I’m doing the same thing. I have quilting things that my fiber art group is gathering to send to the Navajo Nation. Card making supplies will go to school children, etc. It is a very freeing feeling for me. The more I get rid of the more I want to get rid of. Why on earth would I need so much stuff??? I have a strong need for organization in our home. I suppose with a raging virus and instability in our country, organizing is a bit of a way of trying to have some control. I should know better than that!!! But overall it is great to be in the middle of my “big purge”!!! Thank you for sharing your prospective as well.

    1. Hi Susan. Yes, I’m the same way — the more I get rid of the more I want to get rid of. Like you said, there’s something very freeing about it. I like paring down to the bare essentials. The only thing I haven’t gone through is all of my house paints, because I just can’t face that yet. It’s a big job, and they’re difficult to get rid of. So be it. I’ve done everything else.

      Good point about wanting to have control. I feel that way, too. And there’s so little we have control over, especially right now. It’s unsettling.

  3. Oh, thank you for inspiring me! I’m trying to move things around and get rid of so much stuff. It is overwhelming. (If you are a mixed media person you collect EVERYTHING!) Your studio looks great!

    1. Hi Sherry. Yes, I also collect a lot of stuff. As artists, we’re sure that we can use it for something someday! It’s hard not to collect a lot of stuff, because stuff is what my art is made from. But then it becomes overwhelming, and there’s too much stuff to deal with. Have fun with your clearing!

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