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The Science of Happiness and Powerful Creativity

Neurobiologists have found that creating and viewing art results in the release of dopamine—your happy feel-good chemical. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s pleasure and reward centres.

Isolation and stress caused by coronavirus have made many of us feel depressed, fatigued and despondent. Others feel overwhelmed. and lethargic, painting can calm the body to help you feel more grounded and clear in this confusing and overwhelming time.

Happily, scientists have found that creating and observing art can reduce cortisol, known as the ‘stress hormone.’ Creativity, whether you are the creator or the appreciator, releases uplifting endorphins and can even increase hopefulness and heighten your ability to problem solve!

If I’m to label myself it is as an abstract expressionist – expressing often feelings I wish to take away, or rather transcend, like sadness or grief or overwhelm. Replacing them instead with beauty, compassion and transcendence. I hope that people who look at my works will feel the same sense of beauty that I have infused into them as they were created.

Here are a few examples, to illustrate.


“True love” True love is complicated, multi-textured, layered. So it seems appropriate that my current work in progress is taking on multiple dimensions. I never know where or how the painting is going to end, I just work intuitively and try to put my feelings on the canvas. The definition of abstraction, I’ve come to learn, means to take away.

“Te Ataroa” Named after the beautiful baby born to a very proud young couple. They had lost a little girl earlier who passed before she could be held in their arms. Te Ataroa is an added blessing. Translated her name means “the long morning”.

I enjoyed transcending the feeling of sadness into those of spiritual protection, empowerment and joy. “When our mother saw that painting she cried,” the couple told me.

“Serene and beautiful and makes me feel like I’m in a spring garden. Love it!” Another lady wrote.

“A fine work of art—music, dance, painting, story—has the power to silence the chatter and lift us to another world.” ~ Robert McKee Painting, writing and creating, is an opiate for me. Even when I feel sad, when I create I feel transported to a happier realm. My wish is that people who hang my paintings in their home or office will feel happy too.

Commissions are welcome – especially for large scale work. I love BIG!

P.S. Join me for Play Dates—you never know, you may just discover a talent you never knew you had



You can feel like Beth, “I feel excited about my journey so far.”

Too ‘Pooped” to begin Play Dates. I get it! Other clients felt the same when it came to taking time out to nurture their playful selves…

until they found that by doing this they gained more energy, felt less depressed and more excited. Like Beth, who after completing one module shared that as a result, she was making the following changes:

What are you going to stop doing?

Putting other things first which aren’t as important.
Feel less guilty spending time on my work.

What are you going to do more of?

Invest more time in personal growth.
Play at my colour combinations
Set aside more time to play
Explore more techniques in my printmaking.

What are you going to do less of?

Putting my work last on my daily to-do list
Negative self talk
Using my energy in a non-productive manner.


Here is a sneak peek of something I created yesterday in just under 30 minutes….it’s a draft…but I can’t begin to tell you how less stressed I felt after stepping away from my computer



Work in progress “Ode to Georgia O’Keeffe”


I recall reading Georgia saying that she felt that people are so busy …too busy to stop and look at a flower up close and that is what she wanted to give people in her paintings the joy of the beauty of a flower


I hope you enjoy this beautiful orchid which is sitting in my studio and inspired this painting


350mm x 460mm 40mm



ENROL HERE or drop me an email – cassandra@cassandragaisford.com

Posted in: Achieving goals, Art, Art & Creativity, Career & Happiness, Cassandra's Gallery, Client success story, coping with personal problems, Creative Unblocking, Creativity Coaching, New Work, Play Dates

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The Science of Happiness and Powerful Creativity

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
E: hello@thejoyfulartist.co.nz


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