“We offer a world obsessed with velocity the gift of slow seeing and slow thinking, perhaps the most sublime gift one human being can offer another. We are dreamers. Our job is to glow in the dark, and the world needs more people who glow.” ~ Brian Rutenberg.
I love the above quote by Brian Rutenberg. It reminds me of my “why”—to show up for joy when the world can seem so dark. Art can and does have a profound impact on our health and wellbeing. Today I drew the following card from my The Art of Life Inspiration Deck
Instantly I was transported to the group show I was invited to exhibit in called, “The Beauty of Resilience” at The Little Black Gallery, Kerikeri. It opened on 8 September 2019 which was just after we were emerging from the first of many lockdowns.
I had just begun painting again, in large part to save my sanity during those insane days, months and years.
It was exciting to exhibit my works and more exciting to see some of my truly original artworks sell to new collectors. An unexpected setback in the process of this exhibition later inspired me to create my own art gallery and exhibition space on my 10-acre property overlooking the sea.
The Awakening Dawn Abstract Landscape artwork by Cassandra Gaisford, 2019 SOLD
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama once said, “Negative thoughts are like weeds, but positive thoughts are like flowers—they need nurturing every day.”
Agnes Martin said, “Beauty and perfection are the same. They never occur without happiness.”
Paulo Coehlo, the author of The Alchemist, once said: “Know what you want and try to go beyond your own expectations. Improve your dancing, practise a lot, and set a very high goal, one that will be difficult to achieve. Because that is an artist’s million: to go beyond one’s limits. An artist who desires very little and achieves it has failed in life.”
My stretch goal, my flowering thoughts, and my point of happiness is painting and sharing my art and heart.
So was excited to be taking part in this, my second group exhibition. The first one was in 2012…(too long ago). It was themed on joy. This time the theme was The Beauty of Resilience. It is still so appropriate for these times. A powerful reminder of the beauty and power of art to provide hope and healing and happiness.
As always there is a story behind every painting, more so with my piece Resilience Rising, which illustrates the card I drew today from The Art of Life Inspiration Deck.
“Setbacks don’t have to knock you flat. Bounce back. Find another way to be and do what you love.”
Resilience Rising, Encaustic, and pure pigment on board, Cassandra Gaisford, 2019
I created Resilience Rising especially for the Beauty of Resilience Exhibition. The night before the opening, after spending the whole day helping the gallery owner hang all the artists work, unbeknown to me, was removed and put in the back storage area . She told me that there wasn’t any room for it, which was a lie. I have no idea what motivated her to hide this love-inspired work away but I insisted, politely, that it be put back on display. It sold on opening day. The experience motivated my partner to help me set up my own gallery, Art@Rangitane. “I don’t like the way she bullies you,” he said to me.
In this video, I share how, and why, I created an art gallery from home during the lockdowns, empowered my life and created more joy for others: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gGbgRqooOY&t=11s
I’m reminded of all these experiences as I write this blog post and recall the story around my latest painting, Field of Love. I created this piece not long after the anniversary of my mother’s death as I processed the many painful and shocking experiences that have happened in the wake of her passion. I trusting that something positive will come out of this time, just as it did following the bullying by the gallery owner. Perhaps, as so many other painful, heart-wrenching times have been, it will be the gift of my own spiritual awakening.
Field of Love, Oil on Canvas, Cassandra Gaisford, 2023
“As a representation of the giving energy, God created the concept of love; and as a representation of the receiving energy, He created the concept of gratitude. So love is the active giving energy, and gratitude is the passive receiving energy. If we were to express these two energies in colours, love is pink and gratitude is green.”
-Dr Masaru Emoto
Field of Love is inspired by nature, particularly the mauri, or “life-force” and playfulness of water and the large field of grass stretching out towards the sea at our beautiful home in the Bay of Islands.
The painting is embodied with so many loving memories full of gratitude for happy times and joyous moments (particularly during the COVID-19 years when fear threatened to steal everyone’s joy). Dining alfresco with friends under the stars, laughing and dancing, barefoot on the grass, listening to our native birds (the Kiwis), at night as they foraged for food, and, of course, all the smiling faces of visitors and collectors to my happy gallery, Art@Rangitane.
It is also inspired by the work of Dr. Masaru Emoto, who once wrote that water is embodied with the dual spiritual energies “love and gratitude.” He once noted that “love is pink and gratitude is green”.
Green is also the colour of the heart chakra and, of course, Mother Earth, Gaia. The heart chakra is an essential energy centre within our body’s subtle energy system. It is located in the centre of our chest, near our heart. The heart chakra is associated with love, compassion, empathy, and connection.
In the overlapping worlds of sound therapy and spiritual healing, the Heart Chakra is also typically associated with the note of F or F#. This bowl is one I gifted myself this month and vibrates in note F with 432 Hz. I love to play it in my studio when I am creating my art and along with Reiki energy, infuse my paintings with high vibrations which promote joy, optimism, warmth, cheerfulness, compassion, and healing.
When the heart chakra is balanced and harmonious, it can positively impact our overall well-being. It allows us to experience and express love, both towards ourselves and others. A balanced heart chakra promotes feelings of inner peace, joy, and acceptance.
To nurture and balance the heart chakra, various practices can be beneficial. These may include meditation, visualisation exercises, practising acts of kindness, engaging in activities that bring joy and fulfilment, and cultivating self-care habits—including walking barefoot on the grass. These practices can help promote emotional healing, enhance our sense of well-being, and foster a loving and compassionate approach to life.
Taking care of our heart chakra is a continuous journey of self-discovery and growth. It is an opportunity to deepen our understanding of love, compassion, and our connection to the world around us.
Numerous studies also reveal that gazing at a painting of nature can bring these benefits indoors, reducing anxiety and increasing wellbeing
Field of Love is from my Sky Fall Exhibition, where I showcase works created after leaning into beautiful flow during the co-creation with Spirit process. Field of Love has a definite feel-great, magical vibe.
I hope you enjoyed this little story about Field of Love and the inspiration behind the painting.
In this video, I share how I created an art gallery during Covid and created more joy for others
I have absolutely loved sharing my joy with others, during my art retreats. I ran the first one last year, when my mother was ill, and I had gone to care for her so that she could return to her home. Teaching art during this time topped up my energy and gave me strength and it was so nourishing to inspire others.
I especially adore that I was able to inspire Ali who had dreamed of painting but been too afraid to give it a go. Listen to what she had to say, below
My next art retreat is in my studio in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Details here:
Posted in: Blog
I am an artist, storyteller, intuitive guide, mentor and Reiki master. All my creations are infused with positive energy , inspiration, and light. I believe in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform your life. My greatest joy is helping your realize your dreams. That makes my soul sing!
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