Radical Self-Acceptance

Hello Friends,

Last week I saw a detail of a beautiful painting posted on Instagram by artist Louise Fletcher, shown below. I love the movement and colors of this piece as well as the intense feeling of emotion.

My first thought was, I want to paint like that! I took note of the strong contrast, the small areas of complementary colors, the neutrals against the brights, and the spontaneity of the marks.

Louise Fletcher art

But when I went to the studio and tried to paint like Louise, it didn’t come out looking like her work at all. I felt like a failure until I realized that I can’t paint like anyone else. Louise’s work is lovely, but it’s not my colors, my marks, nor my style.

The two pieces below are how my work looks. These are both 36″ x 48″ and in process.

Cassandra Tondro art

Cassandra Tondro art

The first few layers looked flat, so I decided to put a glaze on top. The glaze adds depth, but they’re not done yet. I want the pattern to recede into more of a background so I can do some imagery on top.

Cassandra Tondro art

Cassandra Tondro art

This is the hard work of radical self-acceptance. Not comparing my art to other artists’ work. Finding my own unique ways to express what I want to say. Not being swayed by what others think of my work.

Radical self-acceptance is a lifelong pursuit for each of us. It’s the difficult task of determining and accepting who we are as opposed to who we think we should be.

We are each unique, and we need you to be you! We don’t need your attempt or my attempt to be like anyone else.

How does radical self-acceptance show up in your life? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,


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