The Beauty of Resilience

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The Beauty of Resilience

“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.

Dear friends,

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

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 my Cassandra Gaisford

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:

I’m reminded of all these experiences as I write this blog post. It is the one-year anniversary of my mother’s death and so many painful and shocking experiences have happened in the wake. I am trusting that. something positive will come out of this time, just as it did following the bullying by the gallery owner. I let it all go, wondered how or why anyone would come to my home-based studio and found to my joy, that people loved being in the energy of my joy.


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

Ali testimonial art retreat

My next art retreat is in my studio in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Details here:

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The Beauty of Resilience

The Joyful Artist

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!

P: +64 (0) 21 873 833


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