What Does It Mean?

Cassandra Tondro collage

Hi Friends,

Does all art have deep meaning? Does some art have more meaning than other art, and does it matter?

The prevalent art world view is that significant art comes from a lofty concept, such as art with a socio-political message. But what if there is no concept? What if the artist is just playing and having fun? Is that a valid reason for creating art? Is playful art any less important than conceptual art?

I think what’s important is what the art says to you and what meaning you derive from it. You can especially see this in abstract art, where everyone who looks at it interprets it differently. What you feel when you look at the art might not be what the artist intends, but it’s your personal experience of the art that matters. What does the art say to you, and how does it make you feel?

My process for creating art is to take all of the information, conversations, experiences and emotions of life and let them transform me so that I can then channel those feelings into my art.

For the past year it has been the experience of the pandemic that has informed my art, and I’ve gone through several different phases and bodies of work during that time.

The first phase was my “Surviving Lockdown” collages, a response to the coronavirus and the trauma of lockdown.

Cassandra Tondro collage

“At a Loss,” 16 x 20 inches, collage on canvas panel

Next it was my “Healing the Heart” collages, because I felt a need to bring love, compassion and understanding to myself and the world.

Cassandra Tondro collage

“Dream Weaver,” 14 x 11 inches, collage on wood panel

In late summer and early fall I created my “Serendipty” paintings, while feeling lighter, happier and free.

Cassandra Tondro art

“Fall Shadows,” 36 x 36 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

Then I started on my “Birth Death Renewal” series last winter  — quiet minimalist paintings that exude a sense of peace, stability and calm.

Cassandra Tondro art

“In the Dark,” 24 x 24 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

For me art is an ongoing process of listening, feeling, responding and patience. I have to let the ideas and inspiration propagate up through the ethers and come to me. It doesn’t work so well if I try to force it, rather than allowing it to happen.

What type of art resonates with you? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,

Collage at top: “Abundance,” 14 x 11 inches, collage and colored pencil on wood panel


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