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In the midst of winter…new beeswax works

Date: July 2nd, 2022, Posted by cassandra

One of the many joys of painting with hot beeswax is the amazing fluidity and radiance of the pieces, and also the opportunity to sculpt and create a stunning array of textures. Encaustic art blends wonderfully with mixed media techniques too. I love it! And winter is the perfect time to create a new body of fire-infused work…not only does creating hot wax artworks heat the body but it warms the soul too.

My new collection is building day by day. Here are two pieces from the Allowing Peace collection. The palette is inspired by the peace and beauty of calm, serene whites in various hues. They are at once meditative and transcendental, and as always love infused.

I have been influenced by the writings and teachings of Adyashanti, Osho and Thich Nhat Hanh and my training as a Reiki master—the ancient art of energy healing. And also inspired by the urgent need to create more peace, tranquillity and stillness in our lives.

My Secret is Silence

My Secret is Silence is infused with the naturally rich honey hues of beeswax and textured with a blend of natural pigment of gold and also Titanium. The name “Titanium white” comes from Latin Titan = elder brother of Kronos and ancestor of the Titans, from Greek tito = day, sun. Titanium white is the Strongest, most brilliant white available to artists in the entire history of art. I love the brilliance of this piece…and it smells divine.

1140 mm x 1190 mm x 40mm on board

Framed in ash by Peter Sharp

Click the following link to purchase and see more images of how beautiful she looks in various rooms>>https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/my-secret-is-silence/

My Secret is Silence
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/my-secret-is-silence/

Emptiness Dancing

Emptiness Dancing is beautifully layered with sensuously sultry glazes of textured beeswax, wax crayon, pure pigment and star-studded with quartz crystals. One of the notable uses of crystal geodes is spiritual healing. This piece positively sparkles

1140 mm x 1190 mm x 40mm on board

Framed in ash by Peter Sharp

Click the following link to purchase and see more images of how beautiful she looks in various rooms>>
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/emptiness-dancing/

Emptiness Dancing
Emptiness Dancing
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/emptiness-dancing/

Featured artworks

I’ve recently added a new category to my art collection to showcase new works. Click here to view Featured Artworks .

Don’t forget that you can easily search for art in your preferred colour vibe here, or contact me to discuss commissioning a piece of art that is tailored perfectly for you.

You may also enjoy this blog post, ENCAUSTIC ART: HOW BEESWAX SPARKS JOY

Posted in: Blog

Encaustic Art: How Beeswax Sparks Joy

Date: June 27th, 2022, Posted by cassandra


 “Passion is the fire that drives us to express who we really are.”
 
I’ve had a wee run on my beeswax paintings and encaustic art lately. A lovely lady, well-established in the art world, came to the happy gallery, Art@Rangitane and purchased one of my beeswax and mixed media paintings. “Triumph of Rangitane” was created during a time I was feeling less than triumphant. That’s the power of art—to create a new reality and take us to places we’ve never been. Away with the bees, I guess you could say!













Aroha Rangitane

400 x 400 mm Encaustic (NZ Beeswax) and mixed media on board

Inspired by the misty mornings overlooking Aroha Island, along the Rangitane coastline, in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand.


THE FINISH

The encaustic painting has been created on a durable board with a double coat of UV-resistant flat varnish, protecting the longevity and enhancing the vibrancy of the colours.

It comes ready to hang.

$330

To view and purchase please navigate to:


https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/aroha-rangitane/







Looking for a larger piece? Commissions Welcome.


https://www.cassandragaisford.com/commissions/



A week ago, I had finished a super-sized beeswax commission for a lovely local couple. Read more about this on my blog.
 Read more
Apple Tree Bay
Knowles Commission

Apple Tree Bay is a bespoke work of art commissioned by a couple as a ‘statement piece’ to adorn the large white walls of their newly refurbished Bay of Islands home. 

The brief was to create a truly original and totally sensual beeswax artwork that worked with existing paintings, captured the vibe of their sea and bush view, evoked the beauty of hydrangeas—and above all, oozed joy.

Beautifully layered with sensuously sultry glazes of New Zealand beeswax, Apple Tree Bay embodies the new energy of flow, optimism, hope and renewal that our souls ache for after more than two years of pandemic restrictions and this tumultuous, confining time.

fascinating things about bees & beeswax art

You may love to know that since ancient times, bees. . . especially honey bees, were seen to bring messages from the Divine. They are associated with the soul and bringing the blessing of fertility.

The Greek philosopher Pythagoras believed that the souls of the wise and ingenious passed into the bodies of bees. In many traditions, bees are associated with other world messages, the soul, and heaven. The Celts and Saxons believed bees were winged messengers between worlds. Egyptians thought the bee represented ka, the soul.”

According to Egyptian mythology, when the god Ra cried his tears turned into bees upon touching the ground, to deliver messages to man.

Where I live, in the Bay of Islands, the Manuka flower attracts many bees and a great many successful companies have been founded here. It astounds me how clever, and vital to life, bees are.

I love my beeswax paintings as much as my new collectors love them. Like bees to honey, people have been loving these sensuous artworks. They smell great, look great and are infused with so much love. While I paint the bees fly through the studio. My dad was a beekeeper, so it’s like he’s there too. He used bees to help heal people, treat burns and relieve the pain of arthritis. I’m not saying that my beeswax paintings work on joint pain, but I do feel they relieve the pain of life. And aren’t we all feeling the pain of this ongoing feardemic!

I’m so over it! So it’s lovely when I can go to the studio and fly away from the fear and create something beautiful that makes me happy and brings joy to others.

encaustic painting

Derived from the Greek word enkaustikos which means “to heat” or “to burn”, encaustic is the name for both a type of pigmented wax and the process involving heat by which the coloured wax is melted and later applied to a variety of surfaces.

Encaustic painting, is also known as hot wax painting. The process involves heating beeswax and adding coloured pigments. The results are stunning and create some of the most interesting and varied contemporary abstract paintings. Some of the more famously known ancient works include the Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt (produced around 100 – 300 AD), and the icons of the Greek Art, dating as far back as the 5th-century.

One of the many joys of painting with hot beewax is the amazing fluidity and radiance of the pieces, and also the opportunity to sculpt and create a stunning array of textures. Encaustic art blends wonderfully with mixed media techniques too. I love it!

My Secret is Silence
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/my-secret-is-silence/



scented paintings

Scented paintings don’t just light up the surroundings. They offer several benefits, whether for decorative or wellbeing purposes. Beeswax art undoubtedly delivers aesthetic value and scent to set a nice ambience to an otherwise dull surrounding.

Beeswax paintings are famous for their soothing effect on the body and soul. They help create a peaceful surrounding, making them suitable for one’s health and sanity. Customised art is a product design that makes the painting, a simple object, more beautiful than ever while it helps you destress and relax.

caring for your encaustic painting

Collectors often ask: “Will my beeswax artwork melt?” I assure collectors that it would take extreme heat to harm a painting, and besides, they wouldn’t want to put any fine art in direct sunlight, whether it might melt or not.

To be on the safe side, please keep the painting away from heat and direct sun. Wax melts at 150°. If your painting is melting in your house, you’ve got a bigger problem. Your house is on fire!

To preserve the lustre of your painting, gently buff it with a soft cloth… this will bring out the beautiful luminosity and glow that you fell in love with when your artwork first arrived. This will also reawaken the sensuous scent of honey. 

Encaustic has a rich history, beginning in ancient Greece, when looked after not only does the wax surface remain in superb condition, but its luminosity heightens like a fine wine-improving over time. 

a sample of recent commissions

I love to create bespoke, customised work and create with a range of mediums, including oil paints, acrylic, encaustic, watercolour, gilt and more. I adore the mesmerising colours that come from natural pigments enabling an alchemical relationship between nature and the painting. There is a joy and immediacy to my work too and a direct and absorbing relationship with each piece that is really exciting.

Hundreds of hours of work go into the process of building up the many layers of many of my work. Sometimes a painting can take many years to make and during that process they develop a personality of their own. The minimum lead time on a commission is 3 months but for a large heavily layered piece it is advisable to think in terms of at least one year. I’m trying to capture transcendent beauty and capture this as an antidote to our chaotic times. 

My soul purpose is to create something that uplifts spirits and provides harmony, peace and tranquillity. My style is constantly evolving as I keep discovering new paints and techniques and explore the boundless possibilities of colour. I am committed to taking creative risks and pushing things to the edge of possibility—and beyond. I absolutely love working to a huge scale.

Learn more about the commission process here>>

Dickey Commission

“We love our piece, thank you for involving us in the process, getting to know us and hearing what makes our hearts joyful and warm. We have loved every part of this process.  It smells and looks gorgeous Xx”

Annika Dickey

Steere Coommission

“We LOVE the painting…..the energy is us. Thank you so much❤ We are excited to see it up on our wall.”

Brian Steere

other recent encaustic works

Emptiness Dancing
Emptiness Dancing
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/emptiness-dancing/
Wasabi
Wasabi
Encaustic, (NZ Beeswax) French oil stick, pure pigment on board
455 x 620 mm
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/wasabi/

You may enjoy this video where I share how I created this piece>>

Resilience Rising
Encaustic, and pure pigment on board.
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/resilience-rising/
allowing peace
Allowing Peace
Encaustic, (NZ Beeswax) French oil stick, pure pigment on board 
620 mm x 455 x 50 mm
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/allowing-peace/
Lovin’ The Light
NZ beeswax, pure pigment, oil on board.
400mm x 400mm
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/lovin-the-light/

To view other recent works created in beeswax navigate here—place ‘Beeswax” in the search bar. While many are sold, commissions are always welcome.

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

IN THE MIDST OF WINTER…NEW BEESWAX WORKS

HOW YOU HELP SUPPORT MY MISSION

CAN YOU CREATE YOUR WAY TO HAPPINESS?

IS IT TIME FOR MORE COLOUR IN YOUR LIFE?

Here are some more things you might like:

Uplifting Art by Cassandra
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product-category/art/

Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Courses: 

Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people >>

Play Dates: Online Creativity Workshop >>

Have fun, explore, enrich your life 


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

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Posted in: Blog

Who inspires you?

Date: June 17th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Who inspires you and why? If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that music legend Eric Clapton inspires me for his rebellious courage in speaking out about vaccines and mandates, anxiety and suicide. And for his great song, written by Van Morrison, “It’s got to stop”

And also, one of my muses, Coco Chanel, who suffered such pain and loss throughout her life and still showed up for beauty.

When it comes to writing, Danielle Steele remains a favourite. Why? She’s so relatable—her three doomed marriages (including to an addict); the struggles she endured with her bipolar son who later took his life—and the passion and purpose she pours into all her books to help others have the courage to endure life’s ups and downs. I read the non-fiction book she wrote about her son’s life and was so helped throughout the struggle to support my daughter when she was ill.

I also love that she once had her own art gallery and loves to support fledgling artists and her passion for interior design, too. Danielle inspires me because she writes in so many genres, romance, children’s books, non-fiction and more—and I love that she works on more than one project at a time. Like Danielle, I love to write stories that fictionalise the everyday struggles we all go through—and I love to create happy endings:). I share more about why I love writing romance on my blog.

So, I thought you might enjoy my romance collection—many of them have art-related themes and are all love-infused—perfect for reading on the Summer (or Winter) solstice coming soon. This year, June 21 marks the solstice: depending on where you are in the world, the date marks the longest stretch of daylight or nighttime all year. What better way to celebrate than reading a wonder-filled book? If you’re looking for a book you can enjoy in a single sitting, check out my list of full-length page-turners for the longest day of 2022 — including heartwarming romance, light-hearted and fun, fast-paced suspense, and more.
https://www.molliemathews.com/these-are-perfect-for-reading-in-a-single-sitting-on-the-summer-solstice/

How about you? Who do you admire? Why? How could they inspire you to have the courage and boldness to chase your dreams? 

Posted in: Blog

How to get unstuck and love life again

Date: June 15th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Most of us probably agree that enjoying what we do is essential to achieving big things. It’s pretty hard to succeed at something that bores you or drives you mad. But in the same breath, we can also acknowledge another truth: sometimes, work is just painful. I mean, it’s work, right. By definition, it’s something we have to do.

We’ve all had that sinking feeling that we’re reinventing the wheel or spinning in circles. We’ve struggled while hunting for inspiration, trying to remember what we love or the things that spark joy. We’ve worked hard on a project, only to discover that it hasn’t set our hearts on fire—or even worse, that didn’t pay the bills. And we’ve watched as more distractions crop up, slowly taking over our calendars (and taking our sanity along with them). This all adds up to a lingering, deflating sense of frustration towards life and work.

The truth is, sometimes it’s time to let the old ways die and begin life anew. This is why I’ve recently archived all my artworks and preparing to start a new chapter in my life—and a new series of work.

A New Rose Blooms on a bush
A New Rose Blooms on the Bush
Raw Pigment, Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas
120x180cm
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/a-new-rose-blooms-on-the-bush/

I love what I created in the past, but a new me awaits. And as this card from my Art of Life Inspiration Deck confirms, “It’s time to choose the new energy of flow, optimism, hope and renewal.’ As I write, it’s winter here in New Zealand. But I can choose summery thoughts. I can choose to focus on what I do want to feel and away from what I don’t. We all can.

The text on this card was inspired by the many incantations my special commission, Always Summer, required, and the brief which was for the painting to always feel like summer even when it rained. 

Moods are like clouds. Some float across the clear sky and continue along their way. Others linger and threaten to stay. With an intention to stay in the energy of love, light and peace, we can observe our moods and choose which ones in which to seek refuge. 

We have that power. Even during the bleakest of days in our hearts and minds, it can always be summer.

What are some of your favourite mood-elevating moves? Journaling? Writing? Singing? Working with a therapist? Sharing your worries with a friend? A massage? Practising radical acceptance? Meditation. 

There are so many ways to paint the landscapes of our minds in uplifting, mood-enhancing ways.

I did “a Trump” one night. Something was on my mind, something I was frustrated by, something I wanted to fix. Immediately. Right then. On the spot. At 2:15 am.

Unlike the then President, I didn’t summon others to witness my frustration. I didn’t spread any conspiracy theories. I didn’t blame others. I simply lifted the canvas that wasn’t working and started repainting.

Big mistake! Instead of creating a legacy piece, I ended up with a big mud puddle. The light was poor. The paint wouldn’t dry. The conditions were less than optimal. But I couldn’t let go. I couldn’t quit. And things went from bad to worse.

Is there something in your life right now that’s frustrating you? Does an impulsive drive to fix things make things worse?

Definitions of frustration include:

“The feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something.”

“The prevention of the progress, success, or fulfilment of something.”

I was getting frustrated because what I was trying to do was important to me. I wanted to create something beautiful. The action I took made me question whether I wanted to continue to be an artist. I felt like throwing away my paints.

What I needed to do was change my attitude. Here are a few things I’ll do next time frustration creeps in:

• Remind myself that something beautiful can come from mistakes

• Work with energy—2:15 am is not my optimum time

• Step away. I don’t have a golf course to retreat to, but I did have a nice warm bed.

• Be playful. In the total scheme of life, even a bad day at the easel is better than the worst jobs I’ve ever had

• Be grateful for the successes I have achieved

• Remember to balance work and life. Painting is part of my career combo. Sometimes I need to paint just for me

• Share my feelings with others who can help me recalibrate

• Set some rules—like not painting after midnight!

And last but not least, remind myself that I am the Joyful Painter. Always, always, always work with joy. I’ve set up an Instagram page. If you’d love to see my work as it evolves, please follow me here>>https://www.instagram.com/cassandragaisford/

This has been an excerpt from The Art of Life: Thriving Through Chaos: Insights and Inspiration to Spark and Sustain Your Creative Life. Available in ebook, paperback and hardback from Amazon

Universal Link: getbook.at/TheArtofLifeBook

Posted in: Blog

Why Trusting Your Gut Is The Only Way to Live

Date: June 6th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

“If my work seems difficult to someone not familiar with present trends in painting, it is none the less sincere and dedicated in its intellectual honesty.”

– Cy Twombly

Meet one of my muses  ….CY Twombly. I still remember seeing his ginormous paintings “the four seasons” when I was fortunate enough to visit New York. Wow! I was transfixed. That’s the power of art… to totally stop you in your tracks. Art floats my boat, rings my bells, puts wind in my sails. Who or what does this for you?

One of my clients, I’ll call her Jane, burst into tears during our Zoom coaching session. 55-years young, she sobbed, “Time is running out.”

Yep. It is. Enjoy this week’s blog and discover who and what you truly want to become—before it’s too late.

“There is a voice within, if only we would listen to it, that tells us so certainly when to go forth into the unknown.” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

What do Cy Twombly Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson have in common? The answer is, they trust their intuition. Each one of these people credits this wise “inner guide”, in part, to their personal and professional success, as is the case with so many other successful people.

Just like love, intuition is challenging to define, despite the huge part it plays in our everyday lives. Steve Jobs called it, “More powerful than intellect.”

While Webster’s defines intuition as “quick and ready insight,” you may know it as: a gut feeling, a natural mental skill, a sixth sense, an inner knowing, a feeling, an instinct, a hunch, a premonition, wisdom from a Higher power, a still, quiet inner voice, an inner compass that points you to success and abundance; a gift from Spirit. But however people define it, we all intuitively know just what it is.

“Intuition is a resource that, if nurtured, can lead to increased sales, profitable investments, creative inventions, successful hires, advantageous negotiations, bigger profits, and increased accuracy in forecasting business trends,” writes Lynn Robinson in her book, Trust Your Gut.

You are born with this inner knowing and when you listen to it and act on its wisdom you are guided unfailingly towards your hopes and dreams. Whether you act on your intuition is another thing.

Why don’t some people listen to their intuition in business?

In a world that seems to value logic and facts over emotions and feelings, to follow one’s heart, or listen to your intuition, can seem foolhardy to many people. Perhaps this is because intuition, like spirituality, can’t be seen or scientifically measured.

Many people may tell you that you need to think rationally and use your head, not your heart, in order to gather the “facts” and “evidence” you need to make “sound” decisions.

But the truth is that your mind can’t always be relied on, especially when you are about to make big changes in your life. The rational mind likes to play it safe.

It can “fool” you into doubting your abilities or make you catastrophize about how things will turn out. Things can get out of control and the smallest concern becomes a mountain of anxiety.

“If I start my own business I won’t make any money, I’ll lose my house, I’ll be out on the street, the kids will starve,” and other similar negative thoughts. Thus the unhelpful, self-sabotaging script may come into play.

This is where intuition can help. Your ‘in-tuition’, is your inner teacher, your wisest counsel, your most supportive ally.

Some of us have the ability to tap into intuitive guidance more easily than others. But, like any skill, the more you practice using it, the better you will get.

Listed below are just a few reasons why intuitive intelligence is a skill you should master.

Trusting your gut in business (creative or otherwise) will help give you:

  • Confidence when you have nothing to go on, and no concrete experience or information on which to base your decision.
  • Clarity in the face of a tsunami of choices and possibilities.
  • A faster ability to make the right choice, rather than becoming bogged down in months or years of analysis.
  • Awareness of self-employment opportunities you may not have considered.
  • Inspiration to get going.

The Infinite Intelligence of Your Subconscious Mind

“The infinite intelligence within your subconscious mind can reveal to you everything you need to know at every moment in time and point in space, provided you are open-minded and receptive”, writes Joseph Murphy in The Power of Your Subconscious Mind.

“Within the subconscious mind, you will find the solution to every problem, and the cause for every effect. Because you can draw out the hidden powers, you come into actual possession of the power and wisdom necessary to move forward in abundance, security, and joy.”

Sounds great! How do you gain this knowledge? By tapping into the power of emotions and listening to your own infinite intelligence.

This is where the subconscious mind rules—it’s the storehouse of emotions, unlike the ego and conscious mind that rationalizes everything it can.

The rational mind has its place, of course. The trouble is, all too often it dominates, very often talking us out of or into things that rob of us of joy and fulfilment.

Is intuition better than concrete, measurable facts?

That depends! Some decisions require logic and analysis. The rational information necessary to easily make the right decision may be readily available or easy to source.

But there are times, especially when launching a business when you have nothing, or very little, verifiable information. That’s when knowing how to access, listen and act on your intuition can be most helpful.

When I launched my first product, a set of 40 inspirational cards which I named The Passion Pack, in 2011, my business partners asked me, “Do you think it will sell?” I had acted on an inspired idea without any market research. I honestly didn’t ‘know’, but in my heart, I felt The Passion Pack would inspire others too. “Yes!” I answered, more confidently than I truly felt.

And my intuitive hunch proved right. When speaking at a conference of teachers and educators about the power of passion, I briefly mentioned my idea, and we were swamped with advance orders before we’d even finished producing The Passion Pack. I’d never even thought about marketing it to schools.

In 2016 I listened to my intuition again and released The Passion Pack as a book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love. It’s available in print and paperback from Amazon if you are curious >> getBook.at/Passion

Steering you the right way

President and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post Arianna Huffington writes in her bestselling book, Thrive: “Even when we’re not at a fork in the road, wondering what to do and trying to hear that inner voice, our intuition is always there, always reading the situation, always trying to steer us the right way.

But can we hear it? Are we paying attention? Are we living a life that keeps the pathway to our intuition unblocked? Feeding and nurturing our intuition, and living a life in which we can make use of its wisdom, is one key way to thrive, at work and in life.”

Tuning in to Your Intuition

Listed below are some tips and strategies that will help you feed, nurture, and tap into your inner success coach:

The body barometer. The body never lies. Your body language is one of the primary ways your heart and intuition guide you. When you are in tune with your intuition you are more likely to experience:

  • A feeling of limitless energy
  • A feeling of weightlessness and lightness
  • A feeling of being happy and motivated
  • Excitement, zest, and animation.

These signs are all clues to your passion. Passionate feelings are the ways your intuition guides your decisions about what is right, given who you are and who you want to be.

Action Questions

What signs does your body give you when you are being true to yourself?

What warning signs does your body give you when you are off track?

Meditation—for cultivating inner power

“Meditation is not just blissing out under a mango tree,” says French Buddhist monk and molecular geneticist Matthieu Ricard. “It completely changes your brain and therefore changes what you are.”

Quietening your overactive mind through mindfulness training techniques like meditation is a wonderful way to boost your intuition. Meditation helps you to take control of your mental chatterbox and create some quiet space, so you can hear the voice within. This changes how you respond to what’s happening in your life, and increases your ability to tap into a higher level of wisdom when making decisions.

Science has proven that when people meditate they alter their brains in a good way—lowering stress levels amongst many other important things. Ridding yourself of self-limiting thoughts, controlling your reactions, discovering an inner contact with a creative source, and having more creative insights are just a few of the other benefits that can flow. The whole experience is primarily one of wholeness, rightness, and power.

Steve Jobs, a lifelong practitioner of meditation, confirmed the connection between meditation, creativity and business success: “If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things—that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more.

“Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline. You have to practice it.”

There are many forms of meditation, including breathing meditations, walking meditations, Buddhist Meditations, Transcendental Meditation and more. Whichever form you choose, the main thing to remember is that its benefits are only a few breaths away and the only thing you need is your attention.

Meditation can be done in short bursts of time, even while on the bus or train. To really be of benefit many people recommend meditating first thing in the morning, and towards the end of the day, for 20 minutes each time. You may already feel pressed for time but the benefits of creating some space in your diary will pay dividends.

Strategies to quiet your mind and rejuvenate your soul
Get your FREE copy of Meditation Tip Sheet

Surf The Net

Meditation can shape our brains for the better. Watch this video on YouTube—you’ll see the incredible results verified by science. http://youtu.be/m8rRzTtP7Tc

I’ve been meditating for over 35 years now and love it. And while it can be challenging to find time during busy or stressful periods, it really is the key to boosting creativity, harnessing intuition, building resilience, and creating a calm and happier outlook in general. These are all important factors in maintaining the energy and focus to create and sustain business success.

Ask open, generative questions. Intuitive information reveals itself more easily when you ask yourself open questions such as, “How can I begin to bring more money into my life?” or “What business or self-employment opportunity could I choose that will be both fun and financially rewarding?”

Don’t try and force a reply. Your intuition will reveal the answer in a variety of ways.  There’s no one right way to receive its wisdom. It may come in the form of a hunch, a gut feeling, an inner voice, an image, or in a dream.

What questions do you want answers to? Prompt your intuition by writing down some good open questions. For instance, if your biggest concern about going into business is handling the legal and taxation matters, you could ask, “Where can I find someone to help me deal with legal and tax stuff?”

Pay extra attention over the next three weeks to special “go-incidences” or insights. For example, as I forge my artistic career, my gut told me to contact the owner of the local beauty spa. She loved my idea of having an exhibition in her spa and promptly helped hang the paintings. The one I created with her colour palette instantly sold. What are the odds! The others, inspired by my muse are in prime spots—easily enjoyable by her clients. I love that the paintings are hanging in an environment where beauty is the core philosophy.

And there’s more good news. Saatchi Art is showcasing my work! So exciting. The following quote by a fellow artist inspired me to take my work gloriously global

One of the things I was asked to do was to create a bio and share my story.

As David Lynch writes in his wonderful book, Creating Big Fish, “Life is filled with abstractions, and the only way we make heads or tails of it is through intuition. Intuition is seeing the solution—seeing it, knowing it. It’s emotion and intellect going together.” He further adds that stress kills intuition.

Create some space. If you’re constantly stressed and always wishing for more time, money, freedom, or energy, you need to create some time for “sacred idleness.” All those signs of stress are signals from your intuition that it’s time to slow down. Take a comfort break. Give yourself the rejuvenating gift of some time off to reflect on your life.

What do you truly want? What fills your soul? What can you let go of? What are the blessings in your life? These are all questions to ask your intuitive guidance system. Listen to the answers, reflect, and act.

Listen to inner wisdom now, pay attention to intuitions, feelings, and hunches. They’re not random responses generated by the brain and nervous system to keep them busy, but data from the unified field that surrounds you.

“Everything we ever need to know is in this field, to be revealed at exactly the right time. The more deeply we pay attention the quicker the messages are received and the more effectively we can act upon them,” says intuitive astrologer, Sarah Varcas. “There is a lot of information available to those willing to listen, watch and learn.”

Hot Tip! Taking the time to meditate, write, and dream new dreams will pay off in a big way and is an important step in creating the abundant, peaceful and prosperous life you deserve.

Action Questions: How Can You Meditate?

What steps can you take to learn more about meditation?

How can you create some space for “sacred idleness” in your life? What can you let go of?

Call Upon Your Archetypal Symbol

Another way to embrace your intuition is to call upon archetypal symbols. According to renowned psychologist Carl Jung, archetypes are inherited memories represented in the mind as universal symbols and can be observed in your dreams.

Jean Wiley, a self-employed Professional Intuitive Astrologer agrees. “10 years ago when I was really struggling with how to find my voice, swimming in that river of conformity, and hiding so much of myself for so long, what I would do was dream of David Bowie.

“He didn’t come to me in my dreams, but he was my symbol. He was everything that was authentic and envelope-pushing, and innovative and interesting, and thumbed his nose at everything that was conventional and conforming. And I would dream about David Bowie and I would wake up in the morning and I would feel better.”

Action Question: Who Can You Call Upon?

Who could you call upon to give you courage, direction, and strength?

If you’re looking for additional instructions on how to connect with your archetypal symbol I recommend the advice of Deepak Chopra, and especially his incredible book The Spontaneous Fulfilment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence.

I would also recommend Lynn Robinson’s book Trust Your Gut: How The Power of Intuition Can Grow Your Business

What and Who You Truly Want to Become

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking,” said Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc. “Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. It already knows what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

The reality is that many people spend their lives ignoring their real calling, their passion, and their true path with heart. Decisions based purely on the analysis of the cold, hard, objective facts ignore what it is to be human, to be fully alive. If you want to wake every morning looking forward to your life, then getting in touch with your emotions is a vital part of any decision-making and planning process.

Intuition is the Gateway to Your Authentic Self

“Your sixth sense is your authentic self,” says intuitive author and business psychic Sonia Choquette. And this authenticity is the thing you want in business. It’s what attracts others to you, and it’s what sets you apart in the crowd. There’s no one else like you in the world. When you trust your intuition, you trust your SELF.

Intuition is the language of the soul speaking through the heart. Your intuition may not make logical sense, but it makes heartfelt sense and speaks to your need to be whole and have integrity. Intuition rather than logic offers a way to break out of old struggles, mindsets and limitations, and reach the clouds.

Look For and Heed the Signs

There’s a lovely scene in a movie called Man On A Wire about a high-wire walker Philippe Petit, who, while reading the newspaper in France, experienced a lightning flash of insight.

Staring down at an article about the proposed building of the World Trade Centre he knew what he wanted to do and become—the first, and the only man, to walk across New York’s World Trade Centre, supported by nothing but a wire stretching across the twin towers. 1,368 feet above Manhattan!

At the time, the buildings, later destroyed in the 2011 attacks, were still only in the concept and design phase. But Philippe ripped out the newspaper cuttings and set about planning how he would make his dream come true.

Inspirational people are like vitamins for our souls. Philippe’s pursuit of passion is inspiring on so many levels. Not only did he succeed, but he also excited so many others.

Barry Greenhouse, for example, an insurance executive at the time, served as the inside man, spicing up his life in the process. His intuitive daring and courage also captured moviemakers, who later brought this amazing feat to international screens.

The film of Philippe’s quest was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Festival. In February 2009, the film won the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film, the Independent Spirit Awards, and the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Philippe Petit’s, and the movie’s success is further testament to the power of passion and listening to your intuition.

You may not have such ‘lofty’ or death-defying aspirations, but if you listen to your intuition you will summon the courage, drive, passion, and fortitude to pursue your own path with heart. Perhaps you too will inspire people and meet with the success others only dream of.

What can Philippe teach you?

  • Listen to and follow your intuitive spark of excitement
  • Surround yourself with people who believe in your dreams
  • Minimize distractions—maintain absolute, unswerving focus
  • Be playful, whilst being safe
  • Let go of your safety net. Trust your skill and preparation
  • Commit your all—put everything on the line if necessary
  • Do what you love
  • Practice. Practice. Practice
  • Design a fail-proof strategy
  • Leave nothing to chance—this is your life we’re talking about
  • Just do it!

Trust Your Gut to Grow Your Business

Lynn Robinson, an international expert on intuition in business, speaks from personal experience how trusting her gut attracted clients overnight and gave her the confidence to quit her job. She writes in her book, Trust Your Gut:

“My fledgeling intuitive consulting business began 20 years ago as the result of intuition. I walked into a funeral service for a friend who had just passed away. I heard an inner voice saying, “Sit there.” My attention was drawn to an empty seat next to one of the few people in the room I didn’t know.

Always a believer in trusting these auditory messages, I sat next to her. The short version of the story is that my seat-mate turned out to be a reporter for The Boston Globe newspaper. She wrote a story about my unusual consulting business. As a result, over 300 people called me to request my services and my new career was born.

When I met the Boston Globe reporter, I was still working as an operations manager for a software company. Gaining over 300 clients virtually overnight might be some people’s idea of a dream come true. To me, it was anxiety-producing. I was fearful of giving up my “normal” job, with benefits and a weekly paycheck, to be out on my own as a consultant. “Could I keep both jobs?” was the question I asked myself as I drifted off to sleep.

When I awakened in the morning, I had to laugh. In my dream, I was out on a lake in canoes. Yes, plural! I had one foot in one canoe and the other foot in another canoe and they were headed in opposite directions! I took that as a very clear sign that I wasn’t meant to begin my consulting business while holding on to my day job. I gave my notice that day and never looked back.”

Listening to your inner self is a very important part of re-creating and strengthening your authentic or true self.

Knowing how to slow down and tap into your intuition or “inner knowing” will help you not only gain greater self-mastery and control but also give you some essential tools to have on hand to help you ride the winds of change and to strengthen your sense of self.

What You’ve Learned

  • Intuition is ‘knowing’ without having any idea why you know it. It’s different from thinking; it’s different from logic or analysis. It’s knowing without knowing
  • Many successful people trust their gut and act on their intuitive guidance in business
  • Your intuition is your inner guide and is more powerful than intellect. It will help you make good decisions
  • Intuition is a resource that, if nurtured, can lead to great business ideas, increased sales, profitable investments, creative inventions, successful hires, advantageous negotiations, bigger profits, and increased accuracy in forecasting business trends
  • Trusting your gut in business will help you have: confidence when you have nothing to go on, and no concrete experience or information on which to base your decision; clarity in the face of a tsunami of choices and possibilities; the ability to make the right choice faster, rather than becoming bogged down in months or years of analysis; awareness of self-employment opportunities you may not have considered; inspiration and courage to start
  • Strengthen your intuition by tuning into your body barometer, meditating, resting, spending time in nature, and asking your higher Self, open generative questions.

What’s Next?

To succeed in your career and business, you need to be visible and capture the mind and hearts of your customers. Marketing is one way of making sure people know who you are, what you do and how to find you. It’s not a dirty word. Done well, it’s an art.

Are you ready to show your work?

This is an edited extract from Midlife Career Rescue: (Employ Yourself): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late” by Cassandra Gaisford. To purchase your copy and learn how to follow your passion to prosperity, from Amazon, click here: getBook.at/EmployYourself

To enjoy  your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here:  https://books2read.com/u/4EkWlM

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/mid-life-career-rescue-employ-yourself

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

Is it time to bring out your playful side? Unleash your inner child

Point of Change. Rewriting his Career in His 60s and Beyond—Brett’s Reinvention Story

 Why Being Inspired Matters: The Spontaneous Fulfillment and Healing Power of Joy

 

Did you know you can enjoy and be inspired by my most popular and successful books on audio? In less than 15 minutes you could be listening to your way to a new life!

Check out the following written and narrated by me.

 

Mid-Life Career Rescue: The Career For Change

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Mid-Life-Career-Rescue-Audiobook/B07Z5CCD4C

 

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Mid-Life-Career-Rescue-Audiobook/B07Z5BL9NB

 

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Mid-Life-Career-Rescue-Audiobook/B07Z5CDFKV

 

 

How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

 

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Passion-and-Purpose-Audiobook/B07Z5C7YHK

 

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Passion-and-Purpose-Audiobook/B07Z5BSXD7

 

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Passion-and-Purpose-Audiobook/B07Z5C4MS6

 

How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Joy-and-Purpose-Four-Easy-Steps-to-Discover-a-Job-You-Want-and-Live-the-Life-You-Love-Audiobook/B08NWHSS4C

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Joy-and-Purpose-Four-Easy-Steps-to-Discover-a-Job-You-Want-and-Live-the-Life-You-Love-Audiobook/B08NWJ7PSG

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Joy-and-Purpose-Four-Easy-Steps-to-Discover-a-Job-You-Want-and-Live-the-Life-You-Love-Audiobook/B08NWJ6S69

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/how-to-find-your-joy-and-purpose

 

The Little Princess

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WPH2KML

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WXPMFGC

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WYGKB5R

The Little Princess Can Fly

Audible UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Princess-Can-Fly-Transformational/dp/B086VST2H6

Audible USA: https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Little-Princess-Can-Fly-Audiobook/B086VV4Y4G

Audible Australia: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WYGKB5R

I Have To Grow

 Audible UK:

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/I-Have-to-Grow-Audiobook/B07Z4NBMDR

Audible USA:

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/I-Have-to-Grow-Audiobook/B07Z4M81QY

AudibleAustralia:

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/I-Have-to-Grow-Audiobook/B07Z4M81QY

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/audiobook/i-have-to-grow-1

Audio versions are also available from all online bookstores and also libraries

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Courses:

Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people>>

Play Dates: Online Creativity Workshop>>


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

Posted in: Blog

“Miss Beautiful” Abstract Expressionism Intuitive Art Tutorial and Commission Process

Date: June 5th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Miss Beautiful
Mixed Media on Cavas
1215mm x 600mm

In this video, I share some of the inspiration, artistic process and behind the scenes footage involved in creating my latest commission artwork—Miss Beautiful.

I hope you love it. If you do, remember to like and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

You’ll see me working on a 1215mm x 600mm canvas using mixed media, acrylic, and gold leaf. Discover how daubs, smears and drips of colourful paint have been applied with a brush, the brush handle and the tips of my fingers to add sensuality to the piece. You’ll see artist demonstrations, and a timelapse of my art being created and finished.

I loved everything about creating this gorgeous piece … including a surprise visit by the couple during the creation process. “Can I have more green,” the wife asked. “You can have whatever you want,” I said. I love that part of the commissioning process.

“How about a little bit more paint there?” The husband suggested. I handed the brush to him and said “Go on, add your flourish.” And he did! And now his love-infused energy is within the piece which will hang above their bed.

Cy Twombly is regarded as one of America’s great abstract painters. His stunning irises, roses and other floral-inspired works were created in the 60s when he was living in Rome. When I visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York many moons ago his giant canvases of abstract flowers had a profound impact on me—I fell in love instantly. 

The feeling has never left me. It’s with profound gratitude that I have gained the same reaction from people who have seen and begun collecting my work. Twombly’s paintings ripple with life and colour in large part due to the vigour and immediacy with which the paint was applied, and also the diluting of paints to a watercolour consistency which allowed for drips and runs.

I employed a similar technique in this work, and like Twombly love to paint with child-life spontaneity. This is why it was fun to make changes to the painting in line with the couple’s wishes while they were in the studio.

You can view the finished artwork here:https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/miss-beautiful/

Here’s a quick round-up of my 3 latest blog posts:

CAN YOU CREATE YOUR WAY TO HAPPINESS?

NOW THE TRUTH IS COMING OUT

LIVING IN COLOUR: FIJI OPEN FOR HAPPINESS

As always, I hope you find something of value in them.

Posted in: Blog

Can you create your way to happiness?

Date: May 31st, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Connect With Inspiration Every Day

Are you an established artist, a hobbyist, or someone fascinated by artists, their creative process and their lives? Whatever your motivation there’s something for everyone in my new release, The Art of Life: Thriving Through Chaos (Insights and Inspiration to Spark and Sustain Your Creative Life).

In this book, I share insights into my creative process and the exact strategies I use to stay sane (arguably!) in a world gone mad.

Can you create your way to happiness? My answer is a resounding, ‘yes!’ Isabel Allende once said, “Write what should not be forgotten.” The Art of Life: Thriving Through Chaos is part memoir, part reflections on living and creating during a pandemic and part sharing the inspiration and process behind my ‘happy’ paintings.

I began to write The Art of Life: Thriving Through Chaos in 2020 to uplift myself during the tsunami of stress, fear, and division energy created during the pandemic. As with all my self-empowerment books, I write to inspire, heal, encourage and cheerlead myself and others to keep being rebels with a cause—to show up for love in a world enamoured by war.

The Art of Life expands upon the themes introduced in my oracle-inspired guidance cards which I produced while the world was in the throes of the global Covid response,  The Art of Life Inspiration Deck. Each chapter features a work of art created by me, which I have paired with an insightful quotation and an expanded interpretation.

My hope for you, dear friend, is that in reading this book you will be encouraged, emboldened, and energised to start collecting art or begin creating too.

Sometimes all it takes to radically transform your life is one word, one sentence, one painting or one powerful but simple strategy to ignite inspiration and reawaken a sense of possibility.

Like Cynthia who wrote to me after receiving my newsletter, “I’m just sitting here trying to reply through blurry eyes full of tears after having a good cry & wondering where I lost myself & thinking how much I miss my happy bubbly self…That was just beautiful.  Thanks for sharing that with me.

Sometimes uplifting words, received at the right time, can reawaken our hearts and set us forth on a path of inspired change. I feel the same about uplifting art. This is why I’ve also included images and links to my paintings in case one of my available works sparks happiness and you would love a piece of my joy in your home—or would just love to enjoy on the pages of this book.

This isn’t another self-help book; it’s a self-love book. It offers ways to increase your resilience and stay in the high vibrational energies Dr David Hawkins spoke of— love, peace and joy. From these energies comes the power to live fearlessly and create a life worth living.

The Art of Life: Thriving Through Chaos will help you:

• Discover why showing up for love is an antidote to stress

• Feel inspired and uplifted

• Boost your happiness and sense of wellbeing

• Super-charge the confidence needed to make an inspired change

• Inspire and sustain your creativity

• Rediscover joy and love life again



NEW RELEASE! EXCLUSIVE TO AMAZON

Nurture your happy bubbly self. Purchase this book today!


Universal Link
mybook.to/TheArtofLife


I was asked recently whether my new book is available as a paperback and hardback. I’m delighted to confirm it is now available through Amazon in paperback here—https://www.amazon.com/dp/1990020747. Hardback here—https://www.amazon.com/dp/1990020755

I love ebooks but there’s nothing quite like the magic of holding a book and turning the pages in your hands. Plus, I know you’ll love the full colour images of my paintings that inspire everything!

Audio coming soon!

I drew a card today for Jo who purchased the set of cards which inspired this book—The Art of Life Inspiration Deck. Below is an excerpt from the book where I expand upon the messages of the cards—as you’ll read this same card inspired profound changes for a coaching client recently.







Embrace optimism to manifest the beautiful

results you desire.

The card which I drew for a coaching client recently from my Art of Life Inspiration deck inspired this chapter. She was struggling with ‘dark’ thoughts and despairing about her (as yet) unsuccessful job search activities.

We manifest where our minds go. If we want magic things to happen we have to embrace mindful optimism and a positive expectancy.

“How?” you may ask. Affirmations, collecting positive feedback others have said, self-soothing self-talk, and keeping our minds and hearts on what we want and off what we don’t, are just some of many effective strategies.

You may like to think of this as mind food. Real diet is important too and keeping resilience and optimistic thoughts high by practising self-care, meditating, exercising and more. A wellness strategy which I employ is keeping my vibes high by writing gratitude lists and making room for joy.

Detoxifying from low vibe people and situations are other ways to stay beautiful. Working with a coach who can support you works wonders too. “I feel so much calmer and confident,” my client said after the call. She also decided to buy The Art of Life Inspiration Deck to help keep embracing optimism.

The artwork is Beautiful. It was created when I was feeling a little low during Covid lockdowns in 2020. Because painting in high vibe colours is my passion, creating art always boosts my spirits.

Painted intuitively, fluidly and beautifully with great sweeps of my favourite colours, mixing hues on the board all while singing and dancing! I try to keep things loose and lovely. A definite uplifting vibe to brighten and cheer.

That’s how I create my paintings-I am communicating with them vibrationally… loving them, singing to them… freeing them from overworked perfection…sending them with love into the world.

Beautiful

Acrylic and a whole lot of love on board

1140 mm x 1190 mm x 40mm

https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/beautiful/


P.S. Please share with your artist, author, photographer…creator friends. 

Posted in: Blog

The Art of Life: Thriving Through Chaos

Date: May 31st, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Connect With Inspiration Every Day

Are you an established artist, a hobbyist, or someone fascinated by artists, their creative process and their lives? Whatever your motivation there’s something for everyone in The Art of Life: Surviving Through Chaos.

In this book, award-winning artist, Reiki master and creativity coach Cassandra Gaisford (BCA, Dip Psych) shares insights into her creative process.

  • Do you struggle with staying positive in a seemingly toxic world?
  • Do negative thoughts sometimes take a stranglehold on your mood?
  • Is life stressing you out?
  • Would you love some inspiring, easily actionable strategies to help you feel better instantly?

From the best-selling author of The Joyful Artist, Mid-Life Career Rescue, Stress Less and How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, Cassandra Gaisford’s (BCA; Dip Psych) latest book is filled with sweet soundbites to help you build optimism in the wake of life’s tsunami of stress.

The Art of Life: Thriving Through Chaos doesn’t turn a blind eye to negativity, rather the strategies in this book will help you control the way you react, reduce worry and look for the silver linings, passion and purpose behind events, people and situations.

In The Art of Life: Thriving Through Chaos, you’ll find actionable strategies that can make an immediate and lasting difference in how you deal with life events that would otherwise drive you to negative thinking.

If you are an established or aspiring artist, or curious about the artistic process, The Art of Life: Thriving Through Chaos will raise your vibration and empower your life with creative inspiration.

Can you paint your way to happiness? Cassandra’s answer is a resounding, ‘yes!’

“My hope for you, dear friend, is that in reading this book you will be encouraged, emboldened, and energised to start collecting art, or begin creating too.”

Nurture your happy bubbly self. Scroll up and purchase this book today.

BONUS.
Excerpt: The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life

The Art of Life Book



Paperback and audio coming soon

Reader Reviews

“Inspiring and uplifting.”

“Motivated me to show up for joy.”

Click the BUY NOW links below to get your copy today.

EXCLUSIVE TO AMAZON
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B2RRFXVH


Universal Link
mybook.to/TheArtofLife

Posted in: All Books, Creativity Books

Now the truth is coming out

Date: May 19th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Dreamy
1105mm x 770mm
Mixed media on canvas

Art is more than just a pretty face…the truth is art is so healing

This abstract floral painting is so dreamy—hence the name. It is from the Soften Series. Created as the world was reeling from the economic, physical and emotional fallout of Covid-19 the Soften collection embraces GO-LOV 20, the antidote to fear offered by Neuroscientist Dr Joe Dispenza.

As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Without love, what is there?”


“Soften” offers an antidote to life’s harsh edges. Created with passion and infused with love the palette embodies pinks, lavenders, ethereal warm whites and soft greens.

If you are lucky enough to be in my hood this weekend, it is on view during the Bloomin’ Mad exhibition this weekend, Art@Rangitane 12-3 or from my online shop – can ship everywhere!  


A little insight into the inspiration behind “Dreamy”.



Clients often ask me, “What inspired your painting?” In fact, recently, a new collector from Sydney who purchased When Love First Tasted Your Lips, asked me about Dreamy. I realised I hadn’t even put the painting on my website…let alone written her story. Tracey this is for you!



I shared this on my Instagram page at the time of creating this piece:

I’ve been feeling really distressed about some news I read recently in mainstream media about the tragic death of three little girls who had only been in New Zealand for such a short time. I found I couldn’t get them out of my mind and it was making me feel really down and I thought ‘you know what I’m going to put my energy and my focus over here and I started to think about a beautiful peaceful place that I hope that they have now found.’

I hadn’t been painting for a while and I noticed I was starting to feel stressed with all the sad news in people’s lives. So this time when I came to the studio and painted I followed UK astrologer, Pam Gregory’s advice and resolved to make high-frequency energy my obsession and create from a really high place.

Recently, in 2022 Pam started a movement called #lookwhatlovemade to provide practical examples of what love has created.

In my Instagram videos, you’ll see I love to paint in a pink dressing gown during the cooler weather:).

In this video, you’ll see me create Dreamy. I take a painting I’ve already created and completely change it. Many artists throw out paintings they don’t love, they find fixing and finishing tricky because everything seems lost. 

In this video, I’ll show you how to trust throw caution to the wind, listen to your instincts, follow your heart, and remind yourself ‘you’ll make it’. And if you don’t? You can always paint over the bits you don’t like or start again. I also share how to find your voice and the stories you wish to tell. I will upload other videos as I progress. You can learn to create your own abstract botanical painting by watching this video and also be taking my in-person and online classes.

As you’ll see, I like to throw paint around. The point is to keep building up your layers and create playfully, fluidly and push through the fear of ruining everything—with curiosity, child-like wonder, and fun. 

You can see a previous video of this piece where I imbue the canvas with intention and begin with a sloppy wash of grey here—https://youtu.be/mUATYfkOU_s

In-Person Art Retreat In the Bay of Islands, NZ June, 2022

Would you like to experience the joy and freedom of abstract painting? Learn to paint colourful, joyful abstracts with award-winning artist Cassandra Gaisford. Small, social, in-person workshops.

Hi, I’m Cassandra, The Joyful Artist. My art and creativity workshops are known for being colourful and fun, and ever-so-slightly messy. While I do lots of demonstrations, I don’t teach you to paint like me…I teach you how to paint like YOU! You’ll learn through the creative process to find your own voice and style in your art. Creative expression is so healing!

ALL LEVELS. NO experience is needed.

LEARN MORE AND GRAB YOUR SPOT


Looking for something bigger or in a different colour wave? Commissions are welcome. Imagine having a painting in the colours, size and feel-good vibe you want! I’ve just finished a new commission which my new collector loves. I’ll share news about this soon!


Dreamy is for sale…take a little bit of my heart with you…

Posted in: Blog

Living in Colour: Fiji Open For Happiness

Date: May 15th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

“You are feeling through your art

but you are not feeling through your life.”

~ Daniella

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know I’ve been drafting a book during the Covid pandemic entitled, Who Stole Our Joy? For over two years we’ve been marinated in the grey and black swamp of fear. Singing and dancing were even banned for periods in countries like Australia. Importantly, so was travel.

Our last holiday had been over 26 months— one pandemic ago

After more than two years of being closed off from the world, we were yearning to rediscover the joy of exotic places and our love of leisure (i.e. taking a break!). Our last holiday had been over 26 months— one pandemic ago.


The Art of Life Inspiration Deck
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/the-art-of-life-inspiration-deck/

As I shared on my previous blog, back in March 2020 when we were deliberating whether to go to Tonga, signs of Covid-19 were distant rumblings on the horizon. A friend, who is very senior in the Foreign Ministry, said with no small degree of urgency, “If you are going to go, go now and hurry home.” We had no idea that the closure of New Zealand borders was imminent.

Back in New Zealand in 2020, everything seemed normal. Yet when we arrived in Tonga the customs people there were dressed in full-body blue protective suits. It seemed strange. Surreal. A little over the top, we thought then. Someone close to our Prime Minister told us she had said, “It’s just media hype.” New Zealand remained unvigilant.

How things changed. Travel quickly became a thing of the past. If you did get away post-March 2020, chances were you would not be allowed to return back to New Zealand. You would be locked out of your own country—regardless of vaccine or health status. Either that or you would have to endure lengthy, expensive, freedom-limiting quarantine stays in confining, repurposed hotels.


So in April 2022, when it was announced that travel could recommence and self-testing would become the new return-home standard, we leapt at the chance to get away for a major reset. We needed a change. We needed to feel joy again.

“Where should we go?” my partner asked.

“Fiji,” I said, instantly. “It’s our happy place.”

Open for happiness

In April 2022, while the New Zealand Prime Minister visited Singapore, Japan and other countries, affirming, “New Zealand is open for business,” Fiji took a different approach. Recognising that for 26 months, global citizens had experienced extreme anguish, this tiny pacific country reopened for happiness. And they delivered generously!

Open for happiness

Happiness is good for business. I share more statistics on the power of happiness in my career change and life transformation book, What Makes You Happy. Tourists returned in droves. When we arrived in Nadi it was like arriving on a different planet. Or rather, as though we had time travelled back in time. Cries of “Bula!” chorused everywhere. “Welcome home! We’re glad you’re back.”

And glad they were. With no social security system Fijians were left to fend for themselves. “I didn’t have any work for over two years,” the father of three who checked out our rental car told us. “It was very, very tough.”

Seeing tourists again made Fijians very happy.

Like Fijians, having money to pay my bills and afford my lifestyle makes me happy. How quickly we forget 2020, when the world stopped and business dropped in the blink of an eye. Layoffs. Furloughs. Forced pay cuts. The worst. Some governments, including New Zealand, bailed out their people and corporations with interest free-loans, deferred repayments, and printed money. Some commentators are noting that the toll is about to climb. Bailouts won’t happen again. Inflation is on the climb. “It feels too much like 2008,” Tim Denning.

As I write, New Zealand is still closed to most of the world. Not until late July will we open to the rest of the world. Things are going to get ‘bumpy’ to say the least. If the last few years have taught us anything is that you have to go for life while you can—at any moment, not of your own doing, someone, something, can whip it away.

Cling on for the ride—and hang onto happiness.

What makes you happy?

Off the top of my heart here are some of the many things that make me happy:

  • Bright, energising colour
  • Warm climates
  • Friendly people
  • Creating in all its guises (writing, painting, photography etc)
  • Beautiful food
  • Stunning views
  • Luxury accommodation and travel
  • Reading paperbacks
  • New experiences
  • Swimming in the sea
  • Inspiring others
  • Working for myself in a location-independent business from anywhere in the world
  • Making new colourful friends
What makes you happy
What Makes You Happy.

I share ways you can find what makes your heart sing in my career change and life transformation book, What Makes You Happy.

My new ‘Irish’ ‘ friend, Anne

I took a little box of watercolour paints and some pads of watercolour paper and set an intention to go on a digital detox, just as I did when I travelled to Tonga back in 2020.

Spending time painting played a large role in switching off my devices. I was so prolific while I was in Fiji. Fiji inspired me and reawakened my love of vibrant colours.

Because of the many, many times that we have been loyal guests of the Warwick In Fiji We were extremely fortunate to have been introduced to the hotel manager and given a room upgrade to a presidential suite. I had plenty of room (and privacy) to paint, including a balcony with a sea view and a garden room too.

The housekeeping staff took great delight in seeing my tally of daily paintings. I can still see their astonished smiles and the chorus of “Miss Cassandra! Miss Cassandra!” which followed me around the resort.

Warwick In Fiji is our favourite place to stay. They have an adults-only pool and beach area which I love. Plus they cater to families so wonderfully too. Plus it’s only a short two-hour drive from Nadi, making it easy to maximise your time on holiday. We love to rent a car which gives us absolute freedom.

I purchased six books, including a few second-hand ones, before I left. Some from authors I knew, and a few new to me. Like Delia Owens and her book, Where the Crawdads Sing. Which I absolutely loved! Having leisure time away from household chores like cooking and cleaning and running a 10-acre property left me with precious free time to read all my books. Pure bliss!

I also enjoyed Hunter Biden’s memoir, Beautiful Things. As a former therapist and author of books to help people overcome alcohol addiction, I was fascinated by his story of recovery. President Biden’s son opens up about the trauma of his mother and sister’s death when he was young, his addiction to crack, his romantic relationship with his sister-in-law and the new love that halted his cycle of despair. I’ve always believed love is the drug that often leads to healing.

Topping up the creative well

me painting in Fiji 2022
Me painting in Fiji

Recently I discovered the exciting work of Aida Tomescu. In an interview, she shared how getting on a plane and travelling tops up her inspiration well.

As one reviewer wrote, “Although Tomescu’s work is completely abstract she has a sense of colour and surface texture that might have envied. The yellows and reds in this exhibition are ferocious, the blues and greens are like a vision of the world from beneath the surface of the ocean.”

Fiji and her clash of vibrant colours had a profound impact on me. I became emboldened. Alive. Excited. I hadn’t felt that way in years. When I returned to New Zealand, just in time for Mother’s Day I decided to create an exhibition and share some of my Fiji-inspired works

My partner indulged my need to go on long drives and photograph the rainbow of colours with which Fijians paint their homes.

No sober depressing greys or sterile whites. Fijian homes sing ‘Out with sadness and in with joy’. . .oranges, pinks, pacific blues, and gorgeous greens…amongst other colours vie for attention

This earlier work, “New Leaf” created in 2020 was part of my New Beginnings series. A year later it caught the eye of a lady who had grown up in Fiji. If you look closely you can see the word ‘love’ infused in the canvas. This also took on special significance as her mother had recently died and it reminded her of the love she felt for her mum. She brought it instantly.

New Leaf
Acrylic on canvas
901mm x 901 mm
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/new-leaf/

My client was so delighted to be reminded of the happy memories that the banana yellows and verdant tropical greens evoked, she took this photo of me with her new painting when she came to pick it up from my working studio and gallery, Art@rangitane.

“YOU WILL HELP OTHER PEOPLE THROUGH YOUR ART.”

~ Daniella

Me with new leaf

I was so happy to be able to give my collector’s the gift of joy and reawakening wonderful memories. My new collector will feel these happy vibes every time she gazes at her painting in her home.

New Leaf in new collector’s home

“Learn to live mad from the heart”

Bagwhan Rajineesh

‘Crazy For You”…One of my Fiji-inspired colour-vibes

Crazy For You
600mm x 900mm
Acrylic on canvas
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/crazy-for-you/

What does sustainability mean in the world of art? What does “green” mean, when it comes to creating organically? In some circumstances, there’s a clear answer, for example repurposing a canvas and recreating art in a blaze of nature-inspired colours. This is exactly what happened when I returned from my trip to Fiji—the background morphed from black, to dark green, to lime!

Crazy For You
Crazy For You
600mm x 900mm
Acrylic on canvas
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/crazy-for-you/

“Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.”

John Lennon

While I was away another new collector who had seen my work on view at Ake Ake restaurant confirmed she would love to commission a colourful piece of ‘happy art’ from me. Like me, she too has many happy memories of Fiji. I’m sure some of these gorgeous colours will seep into her customised painting. You can follow the commission process on my Instagram page> https://www.instagram.com/cassandragaisford/

Here are a few more inspiring colours of Fiji

Sweet Surrender

Not long after I returned from Fiji a painting saturated in sunny yellows emerged from me, Sweet Surrender. I couldn’t resist sneaking out another painting for my ‘Bloomin’ Mad’ exhibition which opened on Mother’s Day, May 8, 2022, a few days after I returned from Fiji. Created in a moment of passion, I decided to name this yummy piece “Sweet Surrender.” It definitely has a Fiji ‘banana’ vibe!

Sweet Surrender, 2022
Acrylic on canvas 
 76 cm x 76 cm x 4 cm

It’s my choice to be joyful. I’m giving up on sorrow

As an intuitive artist following my inner joy, I know the magic in painting (and in life) is to remember that you just have to surrender to it and just go with it. In the end, despite much frenetic energy, ( including reworking an earlier painting) there really is a calm in the whole concept of Sweet Surrender.

I also love the following: “It’s my choice to be joyful. I’m giving up on sorrow”,  Trevor Hall, Jupiter’s Call. 

This is why I’m The Joyful Artist creating happy art. You may think,” gosh how does that help anyone?” but it does …believe me I know from the 20 years I have spent as an art, couples and child therapist, that creating art helps with anxiety and despair and depression and I know people who receive my paintings tell me how much joy they bring to their lives so that’s how I show up. I bring the gift of colour. Fiji brings this gift of colour too.

Sweet Surrender. was created in the aftermath of a stressful life event, and as with all my paintings, I seek to shift the energies. So I created with joy as I flowed with grace. The painting was also inspired by the beauty of nature—a force reawakened while in Fiji.

Beauty will save us all. 

Somewhere along the way in my fifties, I discovered the work of Helen Frankenthaler… I loved the way she embraced a childlike love of beauty and her call to ‘let er rip’ – to embrace spontaneous joy in colour. I devoured her bio and found a kindred soul.  She had a very traumatic childhood and suffered from anxiety and sadness and found release in her paintings.

“Each crisis, if properly realized, can turn into production,” she wrote. Twenty days later, with the freedom and curiosity of a child, she painted what is regarded as her greatest work, Mountains and Sea.  As Alexander Nererov writes in this biography of Helen Frankenthaler, Fierce Poise, “The painting recalled the freedom that Helen’s sociology professor Erich Fromm had espoused, “We all know what a spontaneous act is and may have some vision of what human life could be if these experiences were not such rare and uncultivated experiences.”  

Fromm saw the opposite of this freedom all around him in his adopted country, the USA. I feel history repeating all around me currently in the wake of the pandemic restrictions. I wanted to feel more love, less fear and to help others achieve happiness too.  I set an intention to make child-like spontaneity my new norm.

Capturing, creating and collaborating with others the beauty of childlike play has become my passion and joy. I love painting on the wing and seeing people moved by spontaneity, joy, and ultimately life itself.  A large part of the joy in creating Sweet Surrender was finger painting! Remember when dug our hands into paint and squealed with joy as the paint oozed through our fingers? Sweet Surrender is infused with this joy.

finger painting
“Even your fingers are a work of art.”

This painting and others in the Bloomin’ Mad (Botanical Art) Series are a call to embrace happiness, love, hope and healing in our lives to live with the purpose to uplift ourselves and each other. The collection is embodied with love, positive energy, Reiki spiritual blessings and tremendous vitality which is peaceful, enlivening and enlightening at the same time. These works of heart will bring joy to any home or office.

Pretty Gorgeous

me and pretty gorgeous
Pretty Gorgeous, 2021
270 cm x 150 cm
Acrylic on canvas
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/pretty-gorgeous/

Fiji and it’s happy colour palette have always influenced my art subliminally, it seems. This painting, Pretty Gorgeous, is another of my flow paintings…my biggest yet!

The inspiration for the name came quite simply from the first remark the fantastic framer I entrusted with stretching the raw canvas onto her final frame, Peter Sharp, said. As he unrolled the canvas from its roll, he grinned and said,  “pretty gorgeous!”

Do you agree? Is she pretty gorgeous?!💜💙 I painted this for an audience of one—Me!

“Reminds me of an iris in bloom” ~ Rachel Barber

“Very Gretchen Albrecht.”

The joy of creating abstract paintings is the many meanings and beauty people find in them. This painting came from the landscapes of my mind…but I love that Rachel found a flower there. And it was lovely that someone also noted the influence of one of the artists I admire, New Zealand abstract painter and sculptor, Gretchen Albrecht.

Picasso once said, “a painting is just another way of keeping a diary.”In this case, I was seeking freedom and liberation. Unable to travel freely at the time of creating this my painting, Pretty Gorgeous, took me to places I have both been and never been:)

We are all colours that are constantly changing, we evolve every day, we vary every minute, and it is fun to reflect why these expansive ‘flow’ paintings feel so different to me. Because my mood is constantly changing, the colours I am drawn to are constantly evolving too.

Gorgeously layered with a sensuously saturated palette of cerulean blue, tropical greens, radiant yellows, and flourishes of vibrant lavenders, Pretty Gorgeous embodies the new energy of flow, optimism, hope and renewal that our souls ache for after the tumultuous, confining time of Covid lockdowns.

I love this reminder by Dr, Hawkins about the power of art.

“Great works of art, music, and architecture that calibrate between 600 and 700 can transport us temporarily to higher levels of consciousness and are universally recognized as inspirational and timeless.”

~ Dr. David Hawkins

testimonial art

Not long after returning from Fiji,(less than one week after returning) a lovely lady who was finally able to travel to New Zealand from Australia to visit her family, purchased one of my radiant flower paintings When Love First Tasted Your Lips.

In this video, I share a little about my creative process, where I gain my inspiration and the many ways art speaks to our soul. You’ll see me working on a painting which recently sold, called, “When Love First Tasted Your Lips”.

Clients often love the story behind the painting. In part, this is why I created this video. I hope you love it too.

My Digital Detox Fertilised my Creativity

Being away from social media, newspapers and fear-mongering press was amazing for my creativity. Along with painting, and photography, I took time out to write. Somewhat appropriately the book I was working on and pretty near completed is The Art of Life: Thriving Through Chaos.Insights and Inspiration to Spark and Sustain Your Creative Life.

This book is part memoir, part reflections on living on a pandemic and part sharing the inspiration and process behind my paintings. Isabelle Allende once said, “write what should not be forgotten.” I write to inspire, heal, encourage and cheerlead myself to keep being a rebel with a cause—to show up for love in a world enamoured by war.

My hope for you, dear friend, in reading this book is that you will be encouraged, emboldened, and energised too. Like Cynthia who wrote to me after receiving my newsletter, “I’m just sitting here trying to reply through blurry eyes full of tears after having a good cry & wondering where I lost myself & thinking how much I miss my happy bubbly self …That was just beautiful.  Thanks for sharing that with me.

Sometimes uplifting words, received at the right time, can reawaken our hearts and set us forth on a path of inspired change. This book expands upon the themes introduced in The Art of Life Inspiration Deck. To purchase this uplifting deck of cards navigate to my online store: https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/the-art-of-life-inspiration-deck/. Sign up to my newsletter to be the first to know when The Art of Life: Thriving Through Chaos. Insights and Inspiration to Spark and Sustain Your Creative Life is released.

As I share in my popular Midlife Career Rescue series of career change and self-employment books, you don’t always need to quit your current line of work to experience more happiness. As Laurie’s story below highlights, sometimes you just have to re-engineer where, how and when you do your work. Energy goes, where energy flows. If you’re not thriving, identify your stressors and make a change for the better. Doing this many years ago enabled my partners and I to operate location independent businesses. Writing, painting and creating in Fiji and other exotic locales has always been the dream.

I made a fun video shoot before packaging “When Love First Tasted Your Lips” to her new forever home in Sydney today.

You may enjoy this video from Dave Rubin where he discusses the life-changing magic of going on a digital detox

Go for it-when you can

I hope you enjoyed this colourful travel tale. In late April 2022, we made a bold dash for freedom and experienced the life-changing magic of taking 12-days out of the world. It’s never enough! But having these memories and sharing this story with you, and the art that our travels inspired will keep this experience blooming in my energy field for a lifetime. Stay tuned for our upcoming news of any even bigger change. Sign up to my newsletter for news of my upcoming art and book releases, including:

The Art of Life: Thriving Through Chaos. Insights and Inspiration to Spark and Sustain Your Creative Life. And A Week Out of the World. – a celebration of life, unexpected joys and treasures that even the simplest encounter can yield of meeting people, of thousands of FTEs, (first-time experiences) and wandering down unfamiliar paths.  This book follows my daughter and post a similarly stressful time as we travelled across the Pacific, to Samoa many moons ago.

Sign up for my email list and receive a free gift: http://eepurl.com/huqe1T

Posted in: Blog

“When Love First Tasted Your Lips” / intuitive process/how paintings speak to us

Date: May 9th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Hi, I’m Cassandra Gaisford, The Joyful Artist. In this video, I share a little about my creative process, where I gain my inspiration and the many ways art speaks to our soul. You’ll see me working on a painting which recently sold, called, “When Love First Tasted Your Lips”.

Clients often love the story behind the painting. In part, this is why I created this video.

“When Love First Tasted Your Lips” was inspired by the writings of Anais Nin and the reminder that something better can emerge after a painful ending.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ` Anais Nin

The title was inspired by a line from a poem by the Persian poet and mystic, Rumi. “When love first tasted the lips of being human, it started singing.”

Layered in sultry glazes and gestural sweeps of colour, the palette embodies vibrant pinks, love-hewn reds, wonderful whites, glorious golds and sunny yellows, When Love First Tasted Your Lips speaks to the heart.

910mm x 910mm

Acrylic on canvas

This painting is sold. Commissions are welcome. https://www.cassandragaisford.com/commissions/

Paintings mentioned in this video

When Love First Tasted Your Lips

You Are Like an Exotic Flower

Sweet Surrender

View more abstract botanical artworks 

https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product-category/art/floral-series/

To purchase The Art of Life Inspiration Deck (one or more…most excellent gifts), please navigate to my online store: https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/the-art-of-life-inspiration-deck/

Posted in: Blog

Botanical / Intuitive Art – Process with Cassandra from the middle (to nearly the end)

Date: May 9th, 2022, Posted by cassandra


 How do I create?


Dear friends, I thought you may enjoy this Botanical / Intuitive Art – Process with me, where I show how I create one of my gorgeous botanical abstract floral from the middle (to nearly the end)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1duFy0abYA

This video is about how to keep going. . . playfully and intuitively. In this video, I’m working on a 902mm x 902mm canvas. You’ll see me tackle the middle. Many artists find the middle tricky because the end is not yet in sight.

In this video, I’ll show you how to trust your gut, follow your heart, and remind yourself you’ll make it. And if you don’t? You can always paint over the bits you don’t like or start again. I also share how to find your voice and the stories you wish to tell.

I will upload other videos as I progress. Perhaps you’d love to paint? Maybe you have attended one of my classes? You can learn to create your own abstract botanical painting by watching my process.

As you’ll see, I like to throw paint around. The point is to keep building up your layers and create playfully, fluidly and to push through the fear of the middle with fun.



A similar painting to the one in this demonstration is heading to Ake Ake restaurant today, to replace one that sold. Pop in if you are in Kerikeri and enjoy a super yummy meal and glass of wine. You deserve it!

This painting has sold, but others are available- or consider a special commission piece. I promise to make your heart sing!

VIEW MORE OF MY FLORAL WORKS HERE>>

Hi, I’m Cassandra Gaisford—an award-winning artist, bestselling author and creativity coach. I love painting in the style of abstract expressionism inspired by nature. I create flowers and landscapes using acrylic paints, watercolours, encaustic, pastels and pencils (and other art-making tools).

I am fortunate to live in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Follow all my creative adventures on Instagram or Facebook (links below). Feel free to ask questions below and let me know what part of the episode was most helpful to you.

Sign up for my email list and receive a free gift: http://eepurl.com/bEArfT Thank you for watching! I hope you find my videos inspiring and love my work.

You can also find me here: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cassandragaisford/

(this is the best place to see all my artwork and behind the scenes videos, etc.) Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Powerful-cre…

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B016LGWES2

PLAY DATES Would you love to explore a new hobby or resurrect one you’ve neglected? Is stress draining your joy? Would you love to do something—just for fun? Or are you a pro who has lost their mojo? Whatever your reasons, whatever your motivation, no matter how experienced or inexperienced you feel Play Dates is perfect for you.

For those ready to explore the playful freedom of Abstract Art. Play Dates is my 6-week online course that I’ve created just for you! I invite you to join me on this self-paced abstract adventure across 6 different units and over 20 different lessons.

I’m excited to show you so many things! Whether you are a beginner, experienced or a pro who has lost their flow, I can show you how to loosen up, how to create art that speaks, art you love. I can help you take your art to the next level. Would you love to play?

SIGN UP HERE: https://www.cassandragaisford.com/playdates/

Posted in: Blog

How you help support my mission

Date: May 8th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

“Give me the sorrows of the world. I will transform it into hope.”

~ Pablo Neruda.

Pablo Picasso once said, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life. It’s one of the reasons I opened my art gallery during Covid and started painting again during the pandemic. I’ve also been holding art classes in-person art classes which people have loved. “It’s taken my mind off Covid,” “I’ve been so lonely, it’s lovely to connect with others,” are some of the comments I’ve received from people who have come along for playdates in the gallery.

Over Easter, two lovely ladies called into my gallery Art@Rangitane to see my art during my recent Easter Art Retreat They had seen my latest abstract floral paintings hanging in Ake Ake. This is a lovely restaurant set amongst a vineyard and one of my favourite places to dine here in the Bay of Islands. Judy and Chris, the owners of Ake Ake provide the ultimate dining…and now, fine art, experience.

As a result, one of these gorgeous gals has commissioned a bespoke painting to suit her home – and more importantly how she wants to feel…happy!

Commission a painting customized to your size and vibe
https://www.cassandragaisford.com/commissions/

Not long after, a gorgeous lady was dining in Ake Ake and purchased a painting she saw hanging there. When Love First Tasted Your Lips was near their table and the purchase decision was made in a heartbeat. I love that my new collector shared that this is the first painting she has acquired by a ‘serious artist.’

On Mother’s Day, I met Tracey, my beautiful new collector on holiday from Sydney visiting her family. They made a special visit to see me in the gallery. People love meeting the artist I have found and learning more about the urge to create.

Visitors to the gallery

“My sister fell in love at first sight with your painting ‘When Love First Tasted Your Lips’” her sister, Claire told me when she called.

The two sisters shared with me, how tough all the lockdowns had been on them, how isolating and lonely the time had been…as it had for so many. Recently I read a poignant article about how our mental health can suffer dramatically by being isolated. Paintings keep me company. Paintings make me happy. As they do my collectors. It’s why I call myself The Joyful Artist. I show up for joy – an antidote to fear.

This video, was created by a wonderful man who, with his wife, commissioned Always Summer

and purchased Festival of Colour explains more about what inspires my creativity. “When it’s winter, I paint summer.”

“Great works of art, music, and architecture that calibrate between 600 and 700 can transport us temporarily to higher levels of consciousness and are universally recognized as inspirational and timeless.”

~ David R. Hawkins M.D. PhD

Tracey new collector

WHEN LOVE FIRST TASTED YOUR LIPS
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/when-love-first-tasted-your-lips/

I know how comforting a beautiful soul-inspired painting can be. This is why both my chosen charities, Women’s Refuge and Hospice NZ, are close to my heart.

Women’s Refuge

@womensrefugenz is my chosen charity to donate to for people who purchase my paintings or join my creativity workshops. You may like to know that each painting sold or enrolment made helps empower a victim of family violence by offering a safe, supportive place to stay.

I have known from an early age what it is to feel terrorized in your own home by people whose love ignites into hatred, aggression and violence. I know how it feels to have to flee, to seek safe refuge in a strange house, to no longer have a home. And I know, the strength kindness, caring and compassion can bring—and the power of beauty to help us transcend our pain.

Thank you to all my collectors who have purchased my art, and people who have taken my art workshops for helping me support this vital cause. Together we help make a difference.

Hospice New Zealand

I have also donated and will continue to, pieces to Hospice New Zealand. I remember what a bright light Hospice was offering respite care to my stepfather during his last months. I’ve also created bespoke works in memory of loved ones who have been lost to cancer.

Artworks like Love Story. The short brief for this commission was compelling…”I would love to commission you to conjure up an exquisite piece of art…Love all the vibrant memories my special lady brings. Love, sea, sand, salt and pohutukawas.”

I was super excited when celebrity chef Jo Seagar visited my gallery in the Bay of Islands and became the new owner of this love-inspired work. The constant love story in Jo’s life has been her work for Hospice New Zealand. For over 25 years, as their ambassador and Patron, she has been raising funds and public awareness of their very important work.

Bloom
My painting Bloom was selected for the cover art and auctioned to raise funds for Hospice NZ

And I have also given away artworks that touched people soul. Paintings like Te Ataroa

Te-Ataroa-The-Long-Morning
Te Ataroa
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/te-ataroa/

Te Ataroa was inspired by and named after a beautiful baby who was only three months old when I saw her while she was with her mum shopping for groceries. The young couple had lost a little girl who, a year earlier, was stillborn. Their new daughter Te Ataroa was a blessing. Translated her name means “the long morning”.As I painted the artwork I imagined Te Ataroa’s sister shining down from heaven, sending her family endless kisses across the morning sky. 

Let your happiness be your muse for a while rather than your pain

Help support my cause

Consider taking a fun and uplifting art class with me>>https://www.cassandragaisford.com/workshops-around-the-globe/

Or purchase one of my high-vibe uplifting artworks>>https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product-category/art/

Posted in: Blog

I surrendered and this happened…

Date: May 8th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Sweet Surrender

Sweet Surrender





I couldn’t resist sneaking out another painting for my ‘Bloomin’ Mad’ exhibition which opened on Mother’s Day, May 8, 2022. Created in a moment of passion, I decided to name this yummy piece “Sweet Surrender.


Finger painting is such fun!


As an intuitive artist following my inner joy, I know the magic in painting (and in life) is to remember that you just have to surrender to it and just go with it. In the end, despite much frenetic energy, (including reworking an earlier painting) there really is a calm in the whole concept.
 
I also love the following: “It’s my choice to be joyful. I’m giving up on sorrow”,  Trevor Hall, Jupiter’s Call
 
This is why I’m creating happy art. You may think,” gosh how does that help anyone?” but it does …believe me I know from the 20 years I have spent as an art, couples and child therapist, that creating art helps with anxiety and despair and depression and I know people who receive my paintings tell me how much joy they bring to their lives so that’s how I show up. I bring the gift of colour.
 
Sweet Surrender was created in the aftermath of a stressful life event, and as with all my paintings, I seek to shift the energies. So I created with joy as I flowed with grace. Also inspired by the beauty of nature. Beauty will save us all.

Texture Sweet Surrender
Yummy Texture – oozing joy


 
As I have shared with some of you earlier, somewhere along the way in my fifties, I discovered the work of Helen Frankenthaler… I loved the way she embraced a childlike love of beauty and her call to ‘let er rip’ – to embrace spontaneous joy in colour. I devoured her bio and found a kindred soul.
 
 
She had a very traumatic childhood and suffered from anxiety and sadness and found release in her paintings. “Each crisis, if properly realized, can turn into production,” she wrote. Twenty days later, with the freedom and curiosity of a child, she painted what is regarded as her greatest work, Mountains and Sea.
 
 
As Alexander Nererov writes in this biography of Helen Frankenthaler, Fierce Poise, “The painting recalled the freedom that Helen’s sociology professor Erich Fromm had espoused, “We all know what a spontaneous act is and may have some vision of what human life could be if these experiences were not such rare and uncultivated experiences.”
 
 
Fromm saw the opposite of this freedom all around him in his adopted country, the USA. I feel history repeating all around me currently. I wanted to feel more love, less fear and to help others achieve happiness too.
 
 
I set an intention to make child-like spontaneity my new norm. Capturing, creating and collaborating with others the beauty of childlike play has become my passion and joy. I love painting on the wing and seeing people moved by spontaneity, joy, and ultimately life itself.
 
 
This painting and others in the Bloomin’ Mad (Floral Art) Series are a call to embrace happiness, love, hope and healing in our lives to live with the purpose to uplift ourselves and each other. The collection is embodied with love, positive energy, Reiki spiritual blessings and tremendous vitality which is peaceful, enlivening and enlightening at the same time.
 
These works of heart will bring joy to any home or office.

*****************************************************************

BEST MOTHER’S DAY EVER!

SOLD! WHEN LOVE FIRST TASTED YOUR LIPS






So far, I’m having the best Mother’s Day this year! LOL. (Every day should be Mother’s Day. We rock!) First I received a lovely call and message from my daughter expressing how proud and happy she is to see me painting again and making so many people happy. And thanking me for encouraging her to follow her passion❤️💕

Then today I met a beautiful new collector on holiday from Sydney visiting her family. They made a special visit to see me in the gallery. People love meeting the artist I have found and learning more about the urge to create.

“My sister fell in love at first sight with your painting ‘When Love First Tasted Your Lips’” her sister, Claire told me when she called.

The painting had only recently been hung at Ake Ake restaurant and winery here in The Bay of Islands.

Clients often love the story behind the painting. Here’s a little blurb, from the inspiration which was the writings of Anais Nin and the reminder that something better can emerge after a painful ending.



“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Anais Nin



Layered in sultry glazes and gestural sweeps of colour, the palette embodies vibrant pinks, love-hewn reds, wonderful whites, glorious golds and sunny yellows, When Love First Tasted Your Lips speaks to the heart.

910mm x 910mm

Acrylic on canvas

Thank you Tracey for loving my painting and inspiring a sister piece (my yummy yellow floral: “Sweet Surrender.”)



You can view more of my flower paintings here>>




Have a beautiful day!


Posted in: Blog

Bloomin’ mad about flowers: Mother’s Day release

Date: May 4th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Who doesn’t love flowers?

I’m bloomin’ mad about flowers. Flowers are my joy and obsession. I couldn’t resist releasing my Bloomin’ Mad series in time for Mother’s Day.

Crazy For You

This piece is called “Crazy For You” because I’m crazy for bursts of bright, happy, soul-enriching colours. 

Painted under the new moon in Aries (31 March 2022) this painting surprised me, morphing from a background of black as dark as a new moon night, into a fiery rainbow of colour. They are such gorgeous flowers.




Layered in sultry glazes and gestural sweeps of colour, the palette embodies vibrant pinks, love-hewn reds, wonderful whites, glorious golds and sunny yellows, When Love First Tasted Your Lips speaks to the heart.



Hot House Flowers
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/hothouse-flowers-2/

Oranges, yellows and reds always make me feel happy. How about you?
“Hot House Flowers.”



“Open for Happiness”
740mm x 840mm

I adore painting in watercolours. Aren’t these ‘water flowers’ so deliciously happy. I love the embossed gilded frame too! This one and my new Fiji inspired blooms aren’t on my website yet. Email me at cassandra@cassandragaisford.com if “Open for Happiness” speaks to your heart.

$3000 NZD


I was super inspired by all the exotic flowers in vibrant colours while in Fiji. Who wouldn’t be? I was like a child in a candy store. Below are some of the pieces I painted while on holiday. They are all  A4 sized works 21 x 33 cm which you can frame to suit your vibe or I’ll happily arrange. $320 NZD. To sit amongst the books or hang alone.



“Some Days Sing Yellow” 






“Everything’s Just Peachy”




“The Muse”


 “Through the Eyes of Georgia”

Pioneering abstract artist Georgia Okeeffe produced a substantial body of work over seven decades. She is most revered (by me and many others) for her close-up and personal paintings of flowers. She sought to capture the emotion and power of objects through abstracting the natural world, which is the force which inspires me to create too.

You can view more of my flower paintings here>>




I hope you have a lovely day. And if you need expedited shipping or to have a piece sent with a Mother’s Day note, or purchase a gift voucher I’m happy to oblige. Just write a note in the comments section of your purchase or email me at cassandra@cassandragaisford.com

Have a beautiful day!


Posted in: Blog

How to hang a painting

Date: May 3rd, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Collectors often ask me questions about how best to hang a painting. Yesterday, a gorgeous lady who is commissioning a bespoke piece of art to brighten her bedroom asked, “What height should a painting be hung at, there seems to have differing views??”

The key here is differing views. No painting hangs in the same spot. However, the general rule for hanging pictures is that they should be at eye level. But what does eye level mean? To me, I like my painting edge to align 1’3rd down from the height of my eye. But sometimes other factors influence how and where to hang a painting.

Because the painting my client is commissioning is for her bedroom some things she may wish to consider include:

  • How the painting will look when she is lying in bed
  • How it will look when she is walking past the painting
  • Where is her eye drawn to
  • What is the distance from the ceiling and floor and other walls – will the painting look in proportion?

For example, when hanging my painting Pretty Gorgeous, the ceiling and floor height dictated how high and how low the painting could hang. I also had to consider the ‘knock-on-effect’ of a kitchen cupboard which opens outward. One of the many joys of commissioning a painting is being able to customise the size and dimensions to suit the room.

Pretty Gorgeous
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/pretty-gorgeous/

For a smaller beeswax work in the scullery, I had the same issue with an opening cupboard. I would have liked to hang the painting higher but had to work around the limitations of the space. I wanted to centre it so I placed it where it is, rather than move it to the left.

Wasabi
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/wasabi/

For my new collector, she had a couple of pesky light switches in the way of where she wanted her painting to hang. For this reason, a standardised, off-the-shelf, canvas wasn’t going to work. Her 600m x 980mm canvas will work perfectly.

Sometimes you find the perfect painting and then you scurry around and find the perfect spot to hang it. This was Donna’s experience. She came to my gallery and fell in love with this fun and slender beeswax artwork.

Dance With Life
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/dance-with-life/
festival and 100 x 100
Festival of Colour
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/festival-of-colour/

Festival of Colour fitted perfectly in a new collector’s recently renovated home and enjoyed a party.

Here Comes The Sun
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/here-comes-the-sun/

Here Comes the Sun flew all the way to London and reminds this homesick family of The Bay of Islands every day.

Commissioning a truly bespoke painting

I was super excited to receive these photos recently from Annika and Tony, new collectors who commissioned two paintings to celebrate the renovations of their Kerikeri home. The large painting pictured here is beeswax and pure pigment fused by fire. The second painting is an abstract landscape. Both are inspired by the view from the kitchen and living area which leads out to sea and bush views.

They both have loads of warm, cosy vibes in loved- up colours… Perfect for stormy autumn nights and approaching winter days.

When considering where to hang the painting, and also the final size, I mocked up the sizes in brown paper and suggested they ‘live’ with the paper painting for a while, tack it to the wall, and make adjustments as needed.

Annika and Tony

Mocking up to get a feel for size and scale

Apple Tree Bay
Knowles Commission
Apple Tree Bay
1800 x  1200 mm
New Zealand beeswax and pure pigment on board

Sometimes I like to use a special artroom app to help clients visualize the size of the paintings that are considered and possible looks as to how and where to hang them. Often I ask clients for a photo of the room where they would like the artwork. Where possible I visit them at home.

Ray and Di Knowles visited my gallery and saw Annika and Tony’s commission piece and wanted to buy it from me. I had already visited their home and I knew the colours needed to be different to really compliment their furnishings and their feel-good vibe and unique personalities. Plus, I would never sell a painting that someone had commissioned from me!

Look how different they are! I always take a brief before starting a new piece. In this case was to create a truly original and totally sensual beeswax artwork that worked with existing paintings, captured the vibe of their sea and bush view, evoked the beauty of hydrangeas—and above all, oozed joy.

Beautifully layered with sensuously sultry glazes of New Zealand beeswax, Apple Tree Bay embodies the new energy of flow, optimism, hope and renewal that our souls ache for after more than two years of pandemic restrictions and this tumultuous, confining time.

I was delighted when the couple came to view the finished work in my studio Art@Rangitane and it was love at first delight 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨❤️🐝🌈.

In this video, I share Di’s reaction.

Sometimes you change your mind

Sometimes it’s not until you hang a painting that you get a feel for what’s right. In the image below, the painting was too high. What told me? My intuition. It just bothered me. I’ve now hung it 20 centimetres lower and it ‘feels’ right.

Passion
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/passion/

Co-Create a painting with me

I love to create bespoke, customised work and create with a range of mediums, including oil paints, acrylic, encaustic, watercolour, gilt and more. I adore the mesmerising colours that come from natural pigments enabling an alchemical relationship between nature and the painting. There is a joy and immediacy to my work too and a direct and absorbing relationship with each piece that is really exciting. Plus my clients love co-creating a painting with me that fits them perfectly. Learn more about the commission process here>>

Posted in: Blog

Why you need the power of passion to follow your heart

Date: April 28th, 2022, Posted by cassandra


 “Passion is the fire that drives us to express who we really are.” 
 
People often ask me, “How did it all start for you in the world of art, and how do you merge these together?”

From the age of 4, I would spend holidays with my grandmother, Mollie. My grandmother had a very traumatic childhood and spent her childhood in foster care. As a young woman, she taught herself to paint, and she passed this joy to me. Together we would paint watercolours and oils and laugh and play. Mollie found tremendous joy and healing through many creative outlets, and I am happy to say she passed this gift of creativity to me.

My parents, like many of their generation in the 1980s, did not think it was possible to make a career in the arts. They forbid me from studying art at college and I was steered into commerce. Looking back, I see now how a grounding in business is a very helpful tool to have. But for many years I neglected my creative calling.

In my thirties, I was very lucky to have been able to stay in New York and to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was even luckier because I unexpectedly rediscovered a passion I had forgotten while I was there. I share the following excerpt from my Passion Journal at that time (which, incidentally, was bright red!) in the hope that it illustrates some of the strategies I encourage clients who I mentor to try.

‘To see these paintings makes my heart sing, my eyes sparkle, and a smile settle upon my lips. I feel a shortness of breath and my heart rate quickens. I want to take them all in. I love the ones with texture so rich you can almost feel the paint. I have to stop myself from reaching out to touch them. I am flushed with excitement and a thirst that cannot be quenched.’

And so it was that my ‘body barometer’ reminded me of the deep joy and love I feel when I paint. After reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way I set myself a challenge to create and sell my art through galleries. I thought it was a great confirmation of the power of passion when an art gallery owner, who exhibited and sold some of my paintings not long after I returned from New York, said to me, ‘You have a rare ability to capture an emotion.’

This makes my soul sing!

I was super happy when the first portrait I ever painted finalled in New Zealand’s most prestigious portraiture award. It was of my grandmother, Mollie. That’s the power of following your passion, doing what you love, having the courage to try new things, showing your work and listening to your heart!

LEARN MORE ABOUT MY CREATIVE INSPIRATIONS ON MY MEDIA PAGE—you’ll find a link to an interview which appeared in an art magazine:

Posted in: Blog

FIELDS OF COLOUR: FOUR-PART VIRTUAL ABSTRACT PAINTING WORKSHOP

Date: April 15th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

This is fun! I was approached yesterday by a photographer who had seen my Easter in-person art retreat Create Amazing Abstracts classes being advertised.

“I have funding for a book about pavlovas, and we are looking for artwork to accompany the text,” she told me.

This enterprising photographer went on to ask whether participants in my art class might like to create paintings inspired by our iconic Kiwi desert.

“I will photograph them professionally for free, and people will receive a copy and the best images may be included in my book.”

The idea sounds yummy. So yummy that today, Good Friday, I’m going to have a play with some ideas of my own before the first class starts on Sunday.

P.S.

Couldn’t make it to the Bay of Islands for my in-person class? I’m excited to bring you a ‘virtually live’ online workshop!

What: Fields of Colour: Four-Part Virtual Abstract Painting Workshop

When: Every Saturday in May from 10 am to 1 pm NZT (New Zealand time)

Where: Online, in the comfort of your own studio or home.

We’ll meet via Zoom for several hours during each of the 4 sessions during the month of May. I’ll be interacting with all attendees and with each participant individually.

BONUS: You’ll receive access to the recordings of each session and a free digital copy of my book, The Joyful Artist: Freeing the Artist Within

Click here for all the details and to sign up. Don’t miss out on the EARLY BIRD SALE—ends 19 April!

Posted in: Blog

Playing with colour

Date: April 8th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Need more yellow in your life?

Yellow is the colour of happiness, fun and play. Pioneering American Abstract Expressionist artist Helen Frankenthaler, who lost her parents tragically and later married an alcoholic, once said, “I need more yellow.” 

Seeing yellow makes us smile 🙂

I’ve felt the need for more yellow, mainly when I looked at the south-facing laundry that receives very little light. In The Southern Hemisphere, as New Zealand heads into the darker months of autumn and winter, accentuated by changing the clocks and removing the gains of daylight saving, putting some pops of bright, happy colour on the walls is a fantastic way to transform your home, mood and life. Perfect too for the warmer vibes of spring and summer.

When I create my paintings, I begin and end with play. I throw out all the rules and use whatever tools feel great. In fact, I rarely use a paint brush. I have no rules about what I must do, where things must go, or how the process should end. Life has too many restrictions already. Instead, I follow my heart and devote myself to play.

“I could never play,” people have told me. “How do I start? Where do I begin?” Many people believe or have been taught that you have to plan your painting and then execute your plan. There is no room for happy accidents. Some people even think they could never paint at all. This is why I love teaching and sharing my joy for abstract expressionism, painting intuitively and following your feelings.

When I first started painting abstracts I knew I wanted to express myself and my feelings. But I didn’t really know what I wanted to say or how to say it or even where to start. Putting something that you feel onto the canvas? How? 

I’ve been there, I know the feeling. For years, I didn’t even believe I was creative. And I actually feel that’s why many people feel stuck and fearful and too scared to even begin.

In my classes and in this video, I share ways to play with paint and have fun with colour. You’ll see me working on a new colour field painting, “Be The Sun”, from the start to almost the finish. Subscribe to my newsletter to see the completed work once I’ve added in a few more layers

“Be The Sun.” 2 m x 1.8 m

Acrylic on canvas

The Joy of Creating Just For You

Whether you’re commissioning a painting just for you or creating one to express your feelings (as I so often do) art of the gift you give yourself.

In this video, I share the surprising joy I found in playing with colour and creating a painting—just for me! I discuss getting started, expressing emotion, variety in colour and composition, and why art offers hope, healing and resilience. I share how I created my large abstract landscape, “Pretty Gorgeous” – from getting started to finishing — and how she got her name.

Do you have a large white wall at home? Could your home and life benefit from a playful colour uplift? This painting is for sale.

me and pretty gorgeous

Looking For More Inspiration?

You may also enjoy this book about my creative inspirations: The Joyful Artist: Freeing the Artist Within

EXCLUSIVE TO AMAZON

JOIN MY EASTER CREATIVITY RETREATS

INCREDIBLE EASTER CREATIVE WRITING RETREAT—LEARN MORE>>

CREATE AMAZING ABSTRACTS—LEARN MORE>>

If you can’t make it in person you don’t have to miss out. Learn to create amazing abstracts from the comfort of your own home: https://www.cassandragaisford.com/category/online-courses/

Have a beautiful, playful and colour-filled day

Posted in: Blog

The Five P’s of Life – Patience, Persistence, Perseverance, Passion, and Purpose

Date: April 4th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

 

The best thing I can tell you? It’s one word. Persistence.

~ James Patterson, author

 

Knowing when to quit is one thing; knowing when to persevere another

Is the success you crave taking its sweet, merry time to arrive? Knowing when to quit is one thing; knowing when to persevere another. Whether it’s the weight of obstacles you face, the setbacks and the disappointments, the successes others seem to achieve more speedily, or the critical feedback from others who are impatient to see more evidence that you’ll make it—never give up. Never, never, never give up.

Many prosperous authors’ most enduring successes took years and years to achieve. Nora Roberts is probably the most successful romance novelist on the planet. Thirty-four of her titles are sold every minute and she earns an estimated $US60 million a year! But her success didn’t happen in 6 months, a year, or even three. I’ve written a blog on the power of persistence—read it here.

She started writing back in the 1980s for Mills and Boon and then morphed into mainstream romance fiction—and other genres. So, I really shouldn’t be discouraged when the three romance novels I published this year haven’t filled my coffers with gold. Looking back, I also shouldn’t have been discouraged by the feedback that I received early in my career that “my characters were dysfunctional.” Instead of targeting Mills and Boon, the reviewer suggested that my romances seemed better suited to mainstream women’s fiction—a path Roberts also pursued.

Along with Roberts’ commitment to writing characters she can personally identify with, it is her work ethic and her prolific output that really defines her. “Whatever I’m doing, I get very guilty if I don’t put a good day’s work in. I’m not one for making excuses. I had this Catholic upbringing. I was taught to finish what you start.”

A prodigious work ethic, cultivated talent, commitment to finishing what she starts, over four different pen names, writing in a variety of genres, perseverance, and persistence are amongst the many things which have made her one of the world’s most prosperous authors.


If you’ve been following me for a while now, you’ll know I have a pen name too. Mollie Mathews where I write love stories in the romance genre. As Cassandra Gaisford, I am known as The Joyful Artist (for my happy, feel-good paintings) and by readers of my self-empowerment non-fiction, as the queen of uplifting inspiration.

Award-winning, perennial bestselling author Jodi Picoult is the author of over twenty books, the last five of which debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Her books have been translated into thirty-four languages, and four have been made into television movies, while another, My Sister’s Keeper, was made into a film starring Cameron Diaz.

“I had over 100 rejection letters from agents. Finally, one woman who had never represented anyone in her life said she thought she could take me on. I jumped at the chance. She sold my first novel in three months,” says Picoult.

Both authors, and others like them, wouldn’t be where they are now if it weren’t for their grit, persistence, and patient perseverance.

Similarly, many other successful people across a diverse range of occupations and industries have discovered the value of patient perseverance.

 

In fact, the five P’s of Life – Patience, Persistence, Perseverance, Passion, and Purpose, are the foundation of many peoples success.

 

A failure at 65, Colonel Sanders was world-famous and wealthy at 80. His father was a miner and his mother worked in a shirt factory. Harland Sanders had to give up school in the sixth grade because he was so poor.

He eventually opened a small hometown restaurant in the Kentucky hills. All looked well until the highway was rerouted, and he lost everything. He was 65 at the time and faced with a future barely surviving on social security, his motivation to try again kicked in.

“My government is going to give me a hundred and five dollars so I can eke out an existence. Surely there is something I can do for myself and other people.”

Tapping into powerfully creative questions like this unlocked the key to what would be his major success—his mother’s secret chicken recipe.

Turned down by numerous restaurants at the time he turned potential failure into another inspired idea—franchises. It was an instantaneous hit, and the rest is history!

 

Acting on an inspired thought

 

Fifty-five-year-old Rhonda Byrne’s life was at an all-time low. Twice divorced, her father had just died and her career was in crisis.

That was until, acting on an inspired thought, she created the DVD The Secret and later produced a book, both of which went on to become some of the biggest-selling self-help resources of all time.

At the heart of Rhonda’s inspirational series of products and resources is the law of attraction.

“Everything in your life is attracted to you by what you are thinking,” Rhonda says. “You are like a human transmission tower, transmitting a frequency with your thoughts. If you want to change anything in your life, change the frequency by changing your thoughts.”

 

Take a leaf from Rhonda’s secret to success and change any stinkin’ thinkin’ that may be lingering. Answering the following questions may help:

1. What results are you currently experiencing that you would like to change?

2. What thoughts would you need to change?

3. What thoughts would remain the same?

4. What things supported you in maintaining a positive state of mind in the past? How could they be helpful now?

5. Can you think of some other strategies to help you keep your mind on what you want and off what you don’t want?

 

Mining for Gold

When you are thinking of patience, perseverance, tenacity, passion, purpose, and success who comes to mind?

Who or what can help you to manifest more persistence? How can you keep your mind on your vision, your body moving towards your dreams, your heart warmed by the joy you will feel when you finally achieve success?

Identify three ways to strengthen your persistence by strengthening your willpower and self-discipline.

 

This is an edited extract of Change Your Mindset: Millionaire Mindset Makeover by Cassandra Gaisford. To purchase your copy and learn how your thoughts affect your success habits read the book here

Amazon: viewbook.at/ChangeYourMindset

Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Nook, and iBooks: books2read.com/u/bP56wz

Crazy For You

P.S. The image is the cover of my newest romance – a fun and flirty read set in my own part of the world, Russell, in the magical Bay of Islands. Coincidentally, it’s also where my parents spent their honeymoon and where my mum tells me I was conceived!! 

Sometimes you just need an easy read with an endearing heroine and a plot that’s a nice break from reality. My new feel-good novella Crazy for You offers precisely that. The storyline follows two strangers, Liberty and Alessandro, who meet in a honeymoon hotel and take a chance on each other: big, small, life-saving and life-changing.

Perfect for weekday or weekend reading.


Reader reviews

“Very cute short story. Liberty and Alessandro are immediately attracted to each other. Well written with vivid descriptions. Good epilogue that neatly tied everything together. I enjoyed this quick read.

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

NEW RELEASE: PLAY DATES: INSIGHTS AND INSPIRATION TO SPARK AND SUSTAIN YOUR CREATIVITY

WELL, THIS IS EXCITING. . .

WOULD YOU LOVE TO WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR STORY?

Here are some more things you might like:

Uplifting Art by Cassandra
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product-category/art/

Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Courses: 

Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people >>

Play Dates: Online Creativity Workshop >>

Have fun, explore, enrich your life 


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

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Incredible Easter Creative Writing Retreat

Date: March 30th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Write, Finish, Publish your stories. Earn passive income while you sleep.

Do you have a book inside you bursting to come forth? Would you love to learn to write a story or memoir, publish a book or sample the joy of writing?


With over 25 years of experience in the writing and publishing business, in fiction and non-fiction, mainstream media, and expertise as a creativity coach, I have helped aspiring and established writers from around the world write, finish and publish their stories.

In this 2-day intimate writing retreat, I share my writing and publishing secrets. Participants will be guided through all the steps that are essential to tell stories they are proud of. Those who want to learn how to self-publish their stories and generate extra income will benefit too.

Leverage off my publishing experience as a newspaper columnist, bestselling self-empowerment, mainstream fiction, children’s, romance author and publisher.

Capture Stories. Craft Memories. Share your heart. Change your life.

ALL LEVELS. NO experience is needed.

Two-day Workshop—Easter Friday and Saturday 15, 16 April 2022


You’ll discover how to:

  • Develop your idea
  • Tell your story
  • Trust your instincts
  • Discover your voice
  • Overcome the fear of judgement
  • Work with your inner critic
  • Create a new source of income

And more!

Where

The retreat is held at ART@RANGITANE, a beautiful, Inspiring Location overlooking the sea just 12km from Kerikeri, In the Bay of Islands

Investment

Only $695 NZD
Inclusive of all materials. Morning and afternoon tea, a light lunch and a glass of bubbles to celebrate the end of each day will be provided.


Afterpay and Paypal available


Join this course by emailing me. Cassandra@cassandragaisford.com. BE QUICK Only 9 spaces for 9 special people.

I HOPE TO SEE YOU HERE!

P.S. You may also be interested the painting retreat over Easter—Create Amazing Abstracts

Posted in: Blog

How to reality test your fears

Date: March 25th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Dear readers,

If you’ve been following me for a while now, you know that a daily spiritual practice I love to follow to begin my day intentionally is to draw an oracle card, Today, I drew card 23 from The Passion Pack, Reality Test.

“Don’t buy into the myth that being passionate about your work is a dream obtainable by only a few,” the card guides me. “Reality test your own and/or others’ beliefs or fears. Look for examples of people who are earning an income from pursuing their passion. Talk to people already working in areas they are passionate about or doing the job you want to do.

Who could you talk to?

What “facts“ do you need to check out?

How could you test your reality further?


Today, for example, I was reading about the Oscar award-winning actor Adrien Brody when he revealed that his first love was painting. Early in his career, Adrien applied to go to art school but he wasn’t accepted and was instead admitted to study acting. Recently he returned to painting but he still combines this passion with the one that currently pays his bills. Adrien’s story provides a good reality test that you don’t have to buy onto the myth that you can only do one thing to be successful, happy, or do what you love.

Similarly, Anthony Hopkins, also an award-winning actor, returned to painting to help him swap his addiction to alcohol with a new obsession. He was surprised himself to find that he was exhibiting and selling in art galleries. It was something he said he never imagined would ever happen.


This is another great example of reality testing the belief that you may have that you have to be formerly qualified or trained to be successful. It’s also evidence of the power of love and doing something that you are interested in, obsessed by or just cannot wait to do.


I talk more about how to combine your passions in my book Midlife Career Combo. I also cover the topic of new beginnings. In the last two years, so many of us have experienced new beginnings of careers that we may have left voluntarily or were forced to. Either due to health mandates, lockdowns or because economies changed. But during these times of loss new seeds also sprouted.

I’ve shared some of the success stories of my clients in other posts. Clients like NAOMI BARTON. Naomi enjoys a career combo. After leaving her career in teaching during the first wave of Covid, she is now an audiobook narrator, author and producer. She is the author of An Unexpected Journey: a Covid-19 Tale.

Naomi’s story of midlife career change in the wake of Covid-19 is so inspiring and I know it would be a great help to many people who dream of self-employment but think it is something that only people with great wads of money, or more courage than a lion, could ever do. You can read the post here>>

Recently I was contacted by a person to appear in an interview series that she is putting together a 7-day video-chat series called, “Women Succeeding from Scratch: Re-engineering your life, love and career in your forties.” 

It got me thinking about some of the changes in my own life coming up as I inch closer to my 60s. Yikes! There, I said it! During the pandemic, I started writing a book I’ve entitled Who Stole Our Joy. The theme is about what it felt like to be going through this pandemic as The Joyful Artist—a highly sensitive person, creative and therapist as so many of our freedoms were eroded. I’m sure it’s a story many can relate to. In fact, people have asked me to please, please write this book.

And while I found my joy in opening my art gallery and creating art workshops and having Play Dates with people recently I felt my joy waning. To say that the last two years have been nothing short of stressful for so many people doesn’t even begin to capture the trauma. But I wanted to be rebellious by showing up for love, not fear,

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.

My partner would like to make a move. Having grown up in Uraguay, a Spanish speaking country, he’d like to go somewhere other than New Zealand. Somewhere they speak Spanish and the culture is vibrant. Right now, we’re exploring the South of Spain. It’s an exciting thought—but of course, not without its uncertainties. But then if the last two years have taught us anything, very little can be predicted. We would keep a smaller home where in New Zealand as our families are here. But we are committing to change.

I once read, for great things to happen we have to burn our ships. And so the beautiful home where we have lived for eight years is on the market. We don’t know exactly where we are going, or what we will do, but once again I am inspired by my muse Madame Clicquot, whose champagne is one of my favourites, it’s time to again act with audacity. A willingness to take bold risks. It’s the same risk-taking we took when we made the bold leap from Wellington.

In Feb 2021 our home was featured in New Zealand House and Garden. As the article notes, It takes courage to transform a vision into reality. Check out the article and be inspired by our story of reinvention. You’ll see some of my art and see how I gave my vision for my art gallery an early plug, before it was even created! It’s here, Art@rangitane where I hold my fun and fabulous art workshops. I hope you can make it for my upcoming Easter Workshops>>

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

HOW TO FIND JOY DURING TIMES OF CHAOS

HOW TO DISCOVER YOUR DESTINY

I PULLED THE PLUG ON MY SAFE, SECURE ROLE DURING COVID

HOW TO CHOOSE LOVE, NOT FEAR

Here are some more things you might like:

Uplifting Art by Cassandra
https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product-category/art/

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Posted in: Blog

NEW WORKS!

Date: March 22nd, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Layered in sultry glazes and gestural sweeps of colour, the palette from my Bloomin’ Mad Collection embodies vibrant pinks, optimistic oranges, and sunny yellows…perfect as we head into a change of season.

I love flowers and am known for my flowery dresses. This name for the work above, “You Look Like an Exotic Flower” was inspired by my time working at Rimutaka Prison (!) when, as I walked across the yard, a prison guard yelled out to me, “You look like an exotic flower.”

Flowers brighten and uplift – even the most inhumane environments. This is a definite high-vibe, feel-happy piece

You Look Like an Exotic Flower
910mm x 910mm
Acrylic on canvas

To view or purchase>>

When love

When Love First Tasted Your Lips

910mm x 910mm

Acrylic on canvas

To view or purchase>>


FREE DELIVERY THROUGHOUT NEW ZEALAND

Posted in: Blog

How art inspires my love stories

Date: March 10th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Dear friends,

If you’ve read many of my romance novels (written as Mollie Mathews) you’ll know that art inspires my stories. Recently with all the war-mongering and ongoing fear-pandemic I’ve been returning again to the comfort I find in people who create beauty in the world.

I was reflecting the other night about all the conflict in the world and recalled something the great Italian artist Giorgio Morandi, reputed to be one Italy’s finest still-life painters, once said, “there is beauty in opposition”. It struck me as such a powerful and liberating attitude to live and love by. I used these sentiments in one of my romance stories, The Italian Billionaires Christmas Bride.

In 1915, Morandi joined the army but suffered a breakdown and was indefinitely discharged. He retreated from people, the world—their warmongering and their conflict—and sought solace in the beauty of inanimate objects. His paintings are revered for their tonal subtlety in depicting simple subjects, which were limited mainly to vases, bottles, bowls, flowers and landscapes.

morandi

I love the still, silent, metaphysical beauty of his work. I thought I’d share a scene, where my heroine confesses her own love for his work—and introduce the hero and heroine in opposition, but also shared joy:

CHAPTER 11

Her comment was met with stony silence. Not a muscle in his hard, handsome face moved as she strode ahead. Max’s walk was purposeful with a controlled, yet impatient, strength to it as he led her through the villa. Clearly, he was in a hurry to be rid of her.

Issy slowed her pace deliberately, gasping audibly as she walked past walls lined with priceless artworks she’d only ever seen in borrowed books and on the Internet.

‘This place is like a museum. It’s immaculate,’ Issy said, as she followed him past a living room double the size of a luxury hotel lobby, opening out to a massive wrap-around deck with panoramic views of the sea. The vibrant turquoise hues of the ocean spreading below contrasted with the starkness of Max’s mood. ‘You must love coming here,’ she ventured.

‘I don’t have time for holidays,’ he said. ‘I have full-time staff to ensure it is available all year round for friends or family who may want to relax,’ his tone was flat as though the thought of chilling surrounded by so much beauty didn’t excite him one little bit.

His footsteps were silent on the smooth marble floor, contrasting with her sandals clacking noisily as she quickened her pace to keep up with him. Friends with benefits no doubt, Issy thought. She didn’t know a stitch about his love life but she didn’t have to be a NASA scientist to guess that a man as handsome and wealthy as Max would be inundated with beautiful women offering their services.

Suddenly she froze, her heart pounding, as they walked down a glass panelled hallway toward a painting as small as the Mona Lisa.

‘Oh, my gosh,’ Issy’s breathing raced as she stepped closer, her nose almost pressed against the canvas as she traced every ethereal brush stroke. ‘Is that a Morandi?’ she gasped, her voice a high-pitched whisper. To anyone else the painting would just be a collection of ordinary objects—bottles and jars standing stoically against a muted background, but in the hands of a master even the ordinary could be elevated to transcendent beauty—and equally as potent.

Max’s grave mood lifted as his eyes followed the source of her attraction. He touched his mouth, drawing attention to his sensuous lips as he nodded.

She gasped, mentally computing that a painting of this worth was beyond anything she would ever experience up close in her lifetime. Her heart hammered with equal measures of thrill and fear, as though at any moment a security guard would command her to step back beyond the rail, or escort her from the house, except there was no barrier rail. And for the next few days at least, this house of treasure would be her home.

Rummaging in her bag, she whipped out her camera ‘May I take a photo?’

His gaze narrowed as his dark, fierce eyes riveted to her. He nodded. ‘Paintings should be appreciated.’

She took several photos then turned to him. ‘Gosh, this is like being in an art museum. We’ll never see paintings like this in New Zealand, and there’s no way I’ll ever get to Europe, not on my wage.’ Startled by the strange glint in his eye, she threw her attention back to the painting again.

‘It’s true when they say his paintings can transport you. Like you could fold into them and escape reality,’ she said. Nothing she was feeling was even close to reality, she thought achingly aware of her energy pulsing in tiny quivers toward Max as she stood in front of him. Not a muscle in his body moved as he stood like concrete, his broad shoulders rigid, his posture stiff, yet she sensed he felt the magnetic energy pulse between them too.

It was as if Morandi had infused the bottles with an aura-like energy, which seeped from the painting blanketing them both.

Max stood like a sentry, slightly at a distance, behind her like the stoic blue-black bottle and the fine white vase in the painting, touching but not touching.

He turned to her, his normally cool blue eyes now a penetrating black. ‘Is beauty the bringing together of opposites to make one?’ he said.

His unexpected question threw her. Whether he was speaking of the white and black bottles in the painting, or of their own obvious differences she didn’t know, but she found herself wishing recklessly it was the latter.

‘Opposites attract,’ she ventured, her voice catching as she watched the sunlight glance off his waves of dark hair, then move across the surface of his face, tracing the muscular lines of his strong cheekbones, the indentations of his dimples, before settling on the black-silk-like fibre clinging to his powerful chest. ‘There must be a reason for that.’ She forced a laugh, noticing with alarm that it sounded more nervous than confident.

There was a reason why the energy sparked and cracked and hissed between them. A reason she would never, could never, explore. ‘I know Morandi believed finding beauty in opposition would create a happier world,’ she said, steering the conversation to safer ground.

‘You are well informed.’ His eyes glistened with vitality as though he was both surprised and impressed with her level of knowledge.

‘Actually, I studied art history at college, briefly,’ she said, softly. ‘Something my parents reluctantly indulged. I remember being captivated by Morandi’s work. He was one of Italy’s finest still-life painters, but I never in a zillion years thought I’d ever see the real thing.’

‘You said, briefly,’ he paused, inviting her to go on.

Issy hesitated, aware that he was asking all the questions, and once again she was hogging the ear time when really the roles should be reversed. But perhaps in the sharing of what appeared to be a mutual passion she might learn a little about him. It would be the only passion they could share, she thought, willing her throbbing pulse to slow.

‘I was at college, young and dependent on my parents, we needed money. Art wasn’t an indulgence we could afford.’ Issy’s chest felt tight as she relived a part of her childhood she preferred to forget. ‘There’s no money in art”, they told me. “Get a real job. Keep it as a hobby”, blah, blah, blah.’

She forced a smile as she looked at the painting, ‘It’s ironic when you realize how much money these artists earned when they followed their passion. But anyway, it was what it was. And I wanted to please them. So, as you know, I went and trained as a clinical psychologist.’ She shook her head and gave a humourless laugh. ‘I thought it might help me figure out my dysfunctional family.’

Max studied her intensely, the gleam in his eyes acknowledging her disillusionment. ‘Perhaps I should have studied psychology too,’ he said, a weariness in his tone that came not just from tiredness, but from life. ‘But now you’re an art therapist. It is difficult to remain true to yourself and your philosophy. I respect that.’

There he was complimenting her again. His tone was so earnest Issy felt herself blush. Being understood and appreciated felt too good. And too foreign. And that was the problem she thought helplessly. Talking like this was merging the personal and the professional together dangerously. Two forces in opposition like oil and water which a sane person, a professional person, knew would never mix.

Only she wasn’t sane, she acknowledged. Not anymore. Not with him being so kind. Not with those sexy dimples indenting as his lips curved into a kind smile. It was easier to keep her distance when he was aloof and remote.

She looked away, knowing she must dismiss his comment as politeness not interest in her for fear of wanting something that would never be hers.

Him.

Cultured people like Max were raised to be polite and she mustn’t let herself think he was in the slightest bit interested in who she was as a person. But he was a good listener, and as rare as it was for someone to focus on her for a change it felt nice. She could share how art made her feel, find out what moved him and still maintain a professional distance.

‘It’s incredible how a painting can affect you,’ she said. ‘It’s completely out of your control. My heart is racing, the hairs on my arms are tingling like crazy. I feel inspired and breathless, and light-headed,’ she said. It was the painting, not him, definitely not him that was creating all these crazy physical sensations, she thought, surprised by the powerful emotions cascading through her.

‘Can you believe, my eyes are pooling, like at any moment I might cry. You know, it’s almost like the feeling you have when you’re in love. Is that why you purchased this painting?’ she said.

His eyes focused on her with razor-like intensity, sending shivers racing up her spine.

‘Art is not about emotion. Art is about power.’ His head jerked backwards sharply.

‘Oh, yes,’ she said, pleased that on this point they agreed. ‘The power of art, as Picasso once said, to wash from the soul the dust of everyday life.’

His lips twisted in a wry smile. ‘You are a romantic Ms. Riley. It is very sweet. But also naïve. The power of art, Ms Riley, is about money. Possessing what others covet and can never afford.’

Issy felt blood roar through her chest as she looked at the imposing man standing beside her. ‘No! Art is about feeling.’

‘You know, I actually think you believe that nonsense,’ he interjected. Max stepped toward her, encroaching upon her physical space until they were both nearly touching like the bottles in the painting.

Issy stood her ground, lifting her chin toward him as he stood over her. Was he really so emotionally blocked that he could feel nothing? ‘What happened to make you so unfeeling, so hard, so cynical?’

‘Life, Miss Riley. Life.’

‘Don’t you believe in love?’

‘Love,’ he grimaced, staring at the cold blue bottle in the painting, ‘is a business construct manufactured by salesmen and marketers to manipulate people like you.’

‘Have you always been so cynical?’ Issy challenged. ‘Love is a feeling. Like art is a feeling,’ she shrugged. ‘It’s hard to describe in words, but you know it when you sense it. It’s a warm, fantastic, life-giving feeling. Like eating ice-cream in summer, only without the calories.’

‘A feeling,’ Max snorted. ‘Another vague, nebulous, overused concept. I love that dress. I love those shoes. I love that painting.’ He turned toward her, looking directly into her eyes as though laying down a challenge.

‘I love you.’ His words delivered with icy hard detachment splintered through the warm air. His shoulders straightened sharply, ‘See how easy it is to say?’

He sounded cold, far more bitter than she’d expected, but something about the way Max strode stiffly toward the edge of the deck and stood gazing out at the blue sea, a pensive frown on those beautiful dark brows, made her wonder if perhaps even he thought he’d gone too far.

‘Show me a love that lasts,’ he said, turning to her at last.

What could she say? She’d notched up her Guinness Book record of impermanent affairs of the heart, the cancelled wedding her most public failure. But she wouldn’t tell him that. Not yet. Not ever. She could barely bring herself to talk about it with anyone, let alone a client she hoped to impress with her togetherness.

‘So we agree on something,’ Max said, filling the silent vacuum, ‘I’ve never felt it, never found it, never fantasized about it and I never will. Feeling is a distraction I can’t afford.’

‘Who did that to you?’ She said, wondering how a man who seemed to have everything, had so little.

Max flinched, his jaw hardening in steely resolve. ‘I’m a realist.’

‘If you don’t have love,’ Issy pressed, ‘or at least the hope of love, what do you have?’ She stepped toward him, concern widening her eyes. ‘Max?’ she whispered, probing for his reply

‘Work. I have work. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll take you to your private bure. I’m sure you’ll find the peninsular villa to your liking. You won’t be disturbed. I only ask that you show me the same courtesy.’

Adrenaline spiked in her chest. He was banishing her. ‘But what about the session I have planned for today?’

fiji

Did you enjoy this excerpt? 

This story was written during a wonderful time in Fiji. I decided to set the story there. It seems like such a lifetime ago, especially now that travel to foreign shores seems so far away now.

But you can travel to paradise in your imagination when you read this beautiful “opposites attract” love story.

The idea for this story was sparked when I read about a very successful Italian fashion tycoon who said, ‘My biggest regret is that I gave my life to my job.’ It struck me as very, very sad.

I wondered why he had chosen to live his life this way. Despite all his wealth, all his mansions around the world, and all the ‘fans’ who adored him for the identity he had carefully cultivated, he loved no one and no one loved him back for who he truly was.

Although he never said it outright, he’d thrown himself into his work following the death of his life partner. His work was pure escapism—protecting him from feeling the pain of loss again.

He’d originally trained as a medic but after experiencing the horrors of war, he sought refuge in a fantasy world.

As a child, he’d loved the glitz and glamour Hollywood offered. After a brief stint in the war where he witnessed the deaths of friends, he found an escape from the harshness of reality returning to the fantasy of Hollywood

I wondered what sort of woman would be able to touch this frozen man at the deepest level? Everything in his life was controlled measured, predictably precise. I wondered what if the darkness of the past, his unhealed wounds began to impact his work, stifling his creativity and threatening to destroy everything he had fought so hard to achieve?

I wondered what if, as part of his recovery, he was forced to spend time with a woman so opposite in every way to the order he imposed in his life? And what if this woman was a children’s art therapist? A woman unimpressed by the fame and fortune he’d amassed, but who believed strongly in the power of play, fun, and spontaneity—things he considered reckless.

What if this woman had the power to transform his life, and he hers—but they were both afraid. Hearts have been broken, love lost, trust betrayed. What if this woman had her own wounds? Don’t we all?

What would it take to make all the masks fall? To be vulnerable? To risk it all? What would it take, in spite of the fear, to believe you deserve, you want, you need to give love a second chance?

I hope you love this story as much as I loved writing it.

Praise for THE ITALIAN BILLIONAIRES CHRISTMAS BRIDE

“A good read that takes you away to a tropical island to experience the steamy heat of two people determined to stay single in case they get hurt again. Max, a sexy, jaded Italian multi-billionaire meets up with Issy, a playful children’s art therapist who has recently found out her fiancé was having an affair. Although I was initially skeptical as I usually go for historical romances, I’m glad I trusted my friend’s recommendation because this book was delightfully compelling. The emotional vulnerabilities and character quirks combined with the sexual tension kept the pages turning. A frisky novel to curl up on the couch with or take away on your next trip.”

~ Pauline Roberts

“This was a fun read I really enjoyed. It’s perfect for a lazy weekend. This is the first book I have read by this author but it won’t be last. I can’t wait to be more.”

~ Poppy

“Beautifully written. The author’s vivid and descriptive writing style pulled me into a world I never wanted to leave. I loved the connection of art between two very different people and the healing it brought them both. A Very beautiful story!”

~ Hugh Harrison

“I joined Max to make the slow journey from betrayed broken-hearted individuals to the trusting and loving couple they become. Molly Mathew’s writing transports you to places she is describing where you can kick back and relax for a while as this endearing story unfolds. Her characters soon become visible through her careful picture-building. Readers will like the Kiwi vernacular Issy invoices every now and then, and I think readers will enjoy getting to know the strong characters and the beautiful islands we’re visiting. The author also tucks in some great life advice for everyone telling in the telling of this charming story. I hope you enjoy this book, too. I did.”

~ Alfie Rues

“I loved, loved, loved this book. An instantly gripping, compelling and fun read. Escapism at its best. I couldn’t put the book down and read it in one night. With exotic backdrops like Italy and Fiji and passionate characters, it made the perfect holiday read. Can kindness thaw a cold heart? That’s the question Mollie Mathews poses in her book about second chances and learning to love again.

Issy is a funny, compassionate art therapist who wants to escape Christmas after her jerk of a fiancé cheated on her. Even though she only works with troubled children she agrees to take on a last-minute client for her friend and business partner. What she doesn’t know is her client is hunky fashion house CEO Massimilliano Balforni. Sparks fly and it’s an attraction Max vows to deny. He doesn’t want Issy and her coloured pencils from bringing the wounds of his childhood to the light.

Mollie Mathews skillfully creates a gripping dynamic between Issy and Max that sensually blends their animosity with undeniable attraction making the tension soar. I definitely recommend this book.”

~ Lauri

p.s. I took the photo below during a Christmas trip to the Warwick Resort in Fiji. You can see how the location inspired my writing. I was also inspired while staying in a beautiful cottage that is for couples only.  The house was called Lomani on an exotic island called Taveuni just off Fiji’s mainland. Lomani” is the Fijian word for love. I fell in love with this idyllic slice of paradise and can’t wait to return someday.

http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/reviews/p274709

img_7538

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The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

To enjoy your copy from Amazon (eBook, Paperback and audio), click here>> getBook.at/ChristmasBride

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3LpDa7

To enjoy your copy from Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride

Audio: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride-the

You may also like:

Ways to make a difference

Why I write romance

Flight of Passion and a change of season

How trauma can fuel your life purpose

How extraordinary love can change our lives

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Posted in: Blog

This is why we need more passion

Date: March 9th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Dear readers, today, while clearing the office, I found, an oldie, but a goodie—The Passion Pack, which I created more than a decade ago. Little did I know, the spiritual awakening that would follow.

As I share in my book, The Little Princess, my love-inspired quest to uplift myself and others would attract envy, attack, and shaming. I think it was Viktor Frankl who wrote, “Those who give light will be burned.”

An Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, philosopher, author, and Holocaust survivor, Viktor’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, was a seminal book in my life—and remains so. As the world marinates in division energy, war, and brutality, many of us are asking, how do we find meaning in the horrors of this world. How can we make beauty from brutality? How can we find joy, as another Holocaust survivor, Dr. Edith Eger writes in her book, The Choice. Like me, Dr Eger is a prolific author. Writing, painting and uplifting others are some of the many ways I show up for love.

The Passion Pack was where one of my most popular books, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, all started. A simple idea with a powerful message – follow your passion! It seemed as reckless then as it does now. But I have learned, when people go low, we need to go high. When they zag, we need to zig.

How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, a concise guide to making the most of your life, began its journey as a set of 40 cards created to help people live and work with passion.

The vision was simple: a few short, easy to digest tips for time-challenged people who were looking for inspiration and practical strategies to encourage positive change.

From my own experience, I knew that people didn’t need a large wad of words to feel inspired, gain clarity and be stimulated to take action.

In coaching and counselling sessions I’d encourage my clients to ask a question they would like answered. The questions could be specific, such as, ‘How can I make a living from my passion?’ Or vague, for example,  ‘What do I most need to know?’

Then I’d ask them to pick a card at random. Without fail, they were astounded by the card’s potent relevance. Disbelieving eyes widened in astonishment as they read either the quote or the main message they received. Many would say, “These cards are magic.”

Orders flooded in from global recruitment consultancies, primary schools, colleges, universities, not-for-profit organizations, financial institutions, and other multi-national commercial entities. I was asked to speak at conferences around the world about the power of passion. It was amazing to see how popular and successful The Passion Pack became, transcending age, gender, and socio-economic differences.

In this era of information obesity, the need for simple, life-affirming messages is even more important. This is why I resurrected The Passion Pack, and transformed the tips and tools from the wisdom of words on cards to those on pages – both digital and paperback. I’ve also released an audio version of How to Find Your Passion and Purpose—narrated by me.

 If you are looking for inspiration and practical tips, in short, sweet sound bites, this guide is for you.

Similarly, if you are a grazer, or someone more methodical, this guide will also work for you. Pick a page at random, or work through the steps sequentially. I encourage you to experiment, be open-minded and try new things. I promise you will achieve outstanding results.

Clive, a 62-year-old man who had suffered work-related burnout, did! He initially thought that creating a passion journal, Tip 10 in this guide, was childish—something other stressed executives in his men’s support group would balk at. But once he’d taken up the challenge he told me enthusiastically, “They loved it!”

These men, and others who have applied this easy and fun manifestations strategy, used their passion journals to visualize, gain clarity, and create their preferred futures. Clive did too. He manifested a very successful purpose-driven coaching business.

Let experience be your guide. Give your brain a well-needed break. Let go of ‘why’, and embrace how you feel, or how you want to feel. Honour the messages from your intuition and follow your path with heart.

Laura, who at one stage seemed rudderless career-wise, did just that. She was guided to Tip 14: Who Inspires You? Following that, her motivation to live and work like those she looked up to sparked a determination to start her own business.  It was that simple.

Following your passion is the key to success

The feedback I’ve received over the years has been a validation of my deepest belief that following your passion is the key to success. This, combined with strengthening your creativity and imagineering skills, is one of the most magical, empowering and practical things you can do to manifest your deepest desires.

As I did back in 2015 when I pursued a dream to publish my books on Amazon. Within days of the release of my first book in the Mid-Life Career Rescue series: ‘The Call For Change’ my book became a #1 bestseller on Amazon in the category of Work-Related Health.  The link to the paperback and eBook is here >> 

And four years on, it’s still selling strong and helping thousands of people all around the world.

Book two, Mid-Life Career Rescue series: ‘What Makes You Happy’  was met with similar success. In less than 24 hours of release, it also became a #1 bestseller. The link to the paperback and eBook is here >>

It’s also confirmation of the benefits of working with purpose and the importance I place on helping people feel happy. Your health is everything! Be sure to value it. Now.

Finding joy – the path to success

“Aren’t you setting people up for failure?” a disillusioned career coach once challenged me when I told her my focus was not on helping people find any job but finding one that gave them joy. I couldn’t help but wonder if she needed a career change.

Thirty years of cumulative professional experience as a career coach and counselor, helping people work with passion and still pay the bills, answers that question. I’m setting people up for success. I’m not saying it will happen instantly, but if you follow the advice in my books, it will happen. I promise.

I’ve proven repeatedly with the successes I’ve gained for clients that thinking differently and creatively, rationally and practically, while also harnessing the power of intuition, and applying the principles of manifestation, really works. In all my books, but particularly in How to Find Your Passion and Purpose I’ll show you why and how.

A large part of my philosophy and the reason behind my success with clients is my fervent belief that to achieve anything worthy in life you need to follow your passion. And I’m in good company.

As media giant Oprah Winfrey once said, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

sweet spot sorkin

Passion’s paycheque

By discovering your passion you will tap into a huge source of potential energy. Pursuing your passion can be profitable on many levels:

  • When you do what you love, your true talent will reveal itself; passion can’t be faked
  • You’ll be more enthusiastic about your pursuits
  • You’ll have more energy to overcome obstacles.
  • You will be more determined to make things happen
  • You will enjoy your work
  • Your work will become a vehicle for self-expression
  • Passion will give you a competitive edge
  • You’ll enjoy your life

“New Zealanders aren’t ready for passion,” an international publishing company told me when I first approached them with my book idea. Incredible! Without passion, you don’t have energy, and without energy you have nothing.

I didn’t let their rejection daunt me. Like Peter Jackson did when people balked at his concept for Lord of the Rings, I backed myself. I answered the call for courage—and with it came media interest. The same thing happened years earlier too—”Self-made story an inspiration to others” the headlines read. Check out the article here>>

I was told a similar thing when I was accepted to speak at an international careers conference in San Francisco. “Selling passion to Americans is like selling coal to people in Newcastle,”  I was warned. Yet I spoke to a full capacity crowd.

Let my experience guide you—other people aren’t experts in your life. Act on your own conviction. Let love, desire, and passion, not fear or ambivalence or apathy, or other people’s projections, propel you forward.

Yet worryingly, research suggests that less than 10% of people are following their passion. Perhaps that’s why there is so much unhappiness in the world.

Again this is why I wrote, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose.

And it’s why passion and purpose are core themes in all my books. And in my life. And why I’m dedicated to helping those who want more passion and purpose too.

An inside look at the cover

The emphasis on energy is so vital that I decided to create my cover using a Sumi ink painting I created in Maui with Zen Buddhist artist Max Gimblett http://www.maxgimblett.com/.  I had won the Supreme Art Award for another painting and decided to reinvest the money to study Sumi ink painting with Max.

The original colour was black, and the painting hangs in my hall, along with three other paintings I created at the time—called The Three Joys.

The 2000-year-old art form of Japanese brush painting is spiritually rooted in Zen Buddhism. Sumi-e’s earliest practitioners were highly disciplined monks.

I can still recall the energy and power of loading the brush with rich red ink and with ‘all mind, no mind,’ breathing deep from my core, and meeting the page.

It’s been great to receive feedback about the cover from readers. “It’s fabulous. Eye-catching and inspirational’, wrote one person.

“I feel I want to read this book now! The red energy swirl suggests an invitation to enter a journey of discovering one’s passion.”

Of course, not everyone loves the cover. But that is my point. Not everyone will endorse what you feel passionately driven to be or do. Do it anyway. As I did, when I  first created The Passion Pack.

31: Fear Of Success. It’s a timely reminder of just how far following my passion has taken me – the shy girl who was once afraid of being seen. The quote is as apt for me as I feel it may be for you:

“Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”

Don’t waste another day feeling trapped. Don’t be the person who spends a life of regret, or waits until they retire before they follow their passions. Don’t be the person too afraid to make a change for the better, or who wishes they could lead a significant life. Make the change now. Before it’s too late.

Here’s to living with passion and purpose!

How To Find Your Passion And Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love, is available from all good bookstores, including Amazon, in paperback and eBook.

Amazon.com

Amazon.com.gb

Amazon.com.au

A little more about The Little Princess.

The Little Princess is a timeless charm that tells the story of a young woman who leaves the safety of fitting in with everyone else, to follow her heart. Be inspired by this journey to transformation and self-acceptance, and self-belief as she learns to overcome the vagaries of adult behaviour. Her personal odyssey culminates in a voyage of self-belief, passion, and purpose.

Guess what?! It’s autobiographical and tells the story of how I was criticized and shamed when I first shared my idea for The Passion Pack. Importantly, it shares what I did to overcome obstacles, heed the call for courage and dare to lead.

I was so thrilled with this early review by a reader in the UK.

“I love everything Cassandra writes, the queen of uplifting inspiration!

This is a little book, the story basically teaches you to have faith in your dreams, stand firm and don’t let others rain on your parade.

We are all searching for purpose and passion, everybody hurts and sometimes we find ourselves on the receiving end of somebody else’s insecurities when they project their anger, jealousy etc onto us.

The old woman who puts the little princess down is really just jealous and stuck in her own life.

The story itself is very short, but there is then a lovey poem to ponder.

Then excerpts from the best bits of Cassandra’s book “Finding your purpose and passion”.. .so you get two little books in one really. Very uplifting and inspiring.”

Grab Your Copy of The Little Princess. Available Now! 

To purchase on Amazon>> 

getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

To purchase on Apple, Barnes, and Noble, Kobo and other online stores>>

https://books2read.com/u/b5709p

This is why we need more passion…

  • Passion powers our conviction
  • Passionate anger can transform the world into a move loving place
  • Passion raises our vibration
  • Passion fuels the embers of success
  • Passion inspires others

The world continues to allow evil because it is not passionate enough. Go forth my friends, advance confidently in the direction of your dreams. Follow your heart—it will not lead you astray.


Posted in: Blog

Photographic Fine Art Flora

Date: March 8th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Marrying my great love of photography and flowers, my images are like paintings to me. Embued with beauty, create walls of love with my new collection. Modern, bright and contemporary photographic fine art — available in a range of sizes. These gorgeous images will make your heart sing.

Sometimes you have to bring a little beauty indoors!

PINK HYDRANGEA – PRINT
FROM $55
PINK & GREEN HYDRANGEA – PRINT
FROM $55
BLUE HYDRANGEA – PRINT
FROM $55

Posted in: Blog

What do you love?

Date: March 8th, 2022, Posted by cassandra




“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”
Rumi

Sometimes when times get a bit heavy it can be really helpful to recall the small loves that fill our hearts with joy.

Here’s a little list of 25 things that make me glad, from my heart to yours. I definitely felt happier after jotting them down. Appreciation is a powerful mood booster too

🌸 Fun and fab flowers
☀️ Summery days and long sultry evenings
🪶 Hearing the birds sing
📸 Snapping photos
🪴 Making and enjoying a beautiful garden

🏠 Architecture and cool design
🏊‍♂️ Swimming in the sea
🌳 Immersing myself in nature
👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨 Hanging out in person with my friends
💡 Living in the light

🧘‍♂️ Meditating and mindfulness
🎵 Singing and dancing
📖 Reading and writing books
🎨 Creating uplifting art
👬 Holding hands
❤️ Snuggling

🌈 Sending love letters to the world
🎨 Play dates in the studio just for fun
🖼 Peoples smiles when they see my art
🌘 Astrology
🍽 Eating out

✈️ Travelling to beautiful places
💕 Colour
🆓 Freedom
🕊 Peace
❤️‍🔥 Passion

Uplifting others is a great way to uplift ourselves. I love to serve as a bright beacon of light, faith and love (especially during these fearmongering times)

Keeping in the energy of love has helped boost my resilience during lockdowns, lockins, lowdowns and the war of fear.

These are just a few simple pleasures that fill my love cup. Will you share some of your loves with me?

Lots of love

Cassandra

❤️💕❤️‍🔥

P.S. I’m loving marrying my great love of photography and flowers, my images are like paintings to me. Embued with beauty, create walls of love with my new collection. Modern, bright and contemporary photographic fine art — available in a range of sizes.

Posted in: Blog

LOVE STORIES FROM AN ITALIAN VACATION

Date: March 7th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

It all started with a dream and a passion for photography. One memorable month in Puglia, Florence, and Milan, Italy. Following my passions created so many memories

It’s the stories and memories that stay with you forever. I hope my series Love Stories from an Italian Vacation transports you back to this little piece of heaven every time you see your favourite print and remember this magical place.

Click on the image to view and purchase

MEDITATORS IN MILAN
FROM $45

Posted in: Blog

Who do you admire?

Date: March 6th, 2022, Posted by cassandra

Dear Joys…I hope this post is a great reminder that, despite all the fearmongering, there are so many ways to lift our vibration. Joy, happiness and love is the greatest rebellion.

One of the other people who I admire is photographer Carla Coulson. Her book, Italian Joy sparked delight. So much so that when she published her photography workshop in Puglia, Italy I jumped at the chance. And now inspired by her Wall of Love photographic prints I’m delighted to be offering my own series of love-inspired fine art prints. I know your walls (home and office) will love these gorgeous vibes. DM to learn more

xxxx

fine art vespa





Who do you admire that works and lives with HEALTHY self-love regardless of the views or opinions of others? Right off the bat, I’m going to say music legend Eric Clapton for his rebellious courage in speaking out about vaccines and mandates, anxiety and suicide. And for his great song, written by Van Morrison, “It’s got to stop”

And also one of my muses, Coco Chanel, who suffered such pain and loss throughout her life and still showed up for beauty.

How about you? Who do you admire? Why? How could they inspire you to have the courage and boldness to chase your dreams? 


Say YES to happiness NOW! It’s never too late to follow your joy and to live a life you love.

“This book is indeed like a shot of espresso… a brilliant inspiring resource that you can pick up when you need some encouragement to keep you moving forward on your journey to success!”

Be inspired by Coco’s formula for success—available as a paperback, hardback and eBook. 

Blank bookcover with clipping path



To grab your copy of the Art of Success from Amazon, click here>>getBook.at/CocoChanel

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3npKQK

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/the-art-of-success-coco-chanel-1

Learn more and read a free excerpt here >>


P.S

allowing peace

Lovely feedback to receive on my new creation, “Allowing Peace”

“A portrayal of peace and harmony in a unique painting.”

Encaustic, (NZ Beeswax) 🐝French oil stick, pure pigment on board

620 mm x 455 x 50 mm

Link in bio to gallery and more about how the crisis in Ukraine inspired this work

May peace be with you

xxxx

Posted in: Blog

The fascinating way bees spark joy

Date: February 27th, 2022, Posted by cassandra


 “Passion is the fire that drives us to express who we really are.”
 
I’ve had a wee run on my beeswax paintings lately. Yesterday a lovely lady, well-established in the art world, came to the happy gallery, Art@Rangitane and purchased one of my beeswax and mixed media paintings. “Triumph of Rangitane” was created during a time I was feeling less than triumphant. That’s the power of art—to create a new reality and take us to places we’ve never been. Away with the bees, I guess you could say!







I love my beeswax painting as much as my new collectors love them. Like bees to honey, people have been loving these sensuous artworks. They smell great, look great and are infused with so much love. While I paint the bees fly through the studio. My dad was a beekeeper, so it’s like he’s there too. He used bees to help heal people, treat burns and relieve the pain of arthritis. I’m not saying that my beeswax paintings work on joint pain, but I do feel they relieve the pain of life. And aren’t we all feeling the pain of this ongoing feardemic!

I’m so over it! So it’s lovely when I can go to the studio and fly away from the fear and create something beautiful that makes me happy and brings joy to others.






Aroha Rangitane

400 x 400 mm Encaustic (NZ Beeswax) and mixed media on board

Inspired by the misty mornings overlooking Aroha Island, along the Rangitane coastline, in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand.


THE FINISH

The encaustic painting has been created on a durable board with a double coat of UV resistant flat varnish, protecting the longevity and enhancing the vibrancy of the colours.

It comes ready to hang.

$330

To view and purchase please navigate to:


https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/aroha-rangitane/







Looking for a larger piece? Commissions Welcome.


https://www.cassandragaisford.com/commissions/



A week ago, I had finished a super-sized beeswax commission for a lovely local couple. Read more about this on my blog.
 Read more

Posted in: Blog

ABOUT CASSANDRA
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!

CONTACT
P: +64 (0) 21 873 833
E: cassandra@cassandragaisford.com

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