My intention for 2021 is to feel excited. Excited about me. Excited about you. Excited about art, writing, life—the ups and the downs. I’m feeling particularly excited about living in the energy of Midlife Magic…getting over the stresses of 2020 and making this next decade my best yet.
It feels exciting to be a discovery painter and to allow my art to speak to me and take me to places I have never been. I credit lyrical abstract artist Emily Mason for this insight.
I am working on a new series inspired by nature and the poetry of Pablo Neruda. On my Kindle I have a book, “Sublime Blue: Selected Early Odes of Pablo Neruda. I love his poetry. It’s lyrical, sensual and heart-filled. Merging painting and poetry feels exciting. Also healing on so many levels. The power of Neruda’s language, (without doubt stronger in Spanish) the sheer alive energy of it, and by the way it speaks to something deep within me awakens my soul.
And I have always loved blue! Green was Pablo’s favourite color, he always wrote in green as he believed it was the colour of hope. I feel the same way about blue. Neruda’s father opposed his son’s interest in writing; but Neruda found support in his school teachers. As http://www.chileculture.org/biography-of-pablo-neruda/ writes:
At age 15 Neruda met Gabriella Mistral who was a teacher in the local girl’s school. She introduced him to the work of European poets and particularly Russian literature which influenced him the most. Because Neruda wanted to hide his publications from his father he chose the pseudonym of Pablo Neruda, all future publications after October 1920 were published under that name. A Czech poet Jan Neruda (1834-1891) inspired the young poet from whom he took his last name. Later he legally changed his name to Pablo Neruda.
Some many great artists were not encouraged by their family—it is their courage to persevere which gives me hope and is in part why Pablo Neruda is such an inspiration to me.
Neruda’s father wanted him to become a teacher. In 1921 when he was 16 and after graduating from high school Neruda moved to Santiago to study Education and French at the University of Chile. He had no interest in pedagogy; his passion was in learning French so that he could read French literature in that language. Upon his arrival he published a series of poems in the university magazine “Clarity” signed as Pablo Neruda. During this period as a student he produced some of his best known work and established his reputation as a poet, he also met Rosa Albertina Azocar who was his inspiration for a series of poems in Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. It was clear that Pablo wanted to pursue a career in writing so his father stopped sending money. In July 1923 the first edition of “Crepusculario” – “Book of Twilights” was published by Clarity Editions of the Student Federation of Chile. The following year, 1924, the first edition of “Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Cancion Desesperada” – “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair” was published by Nascimiento Editors, which would become one of his best-known and most translated works. The publication of “Twenty Love Poems” was notoriously controversial due to its eroticism which led to the publication in “La Nacion” of a letter titled “”Exegesis and loneliness”. This letter explained the creation of the love poem and his frustration at the lack of understanding within the literary critics.
In 1925 he became the director of the magazine “Knights of Wands”. The following year two books were published by Nascimiento; ”Tentativa y su esperanza” – “The habitant and his hope” and “Anillos” – “Rings”. “Crepusculario” – “Book of Twilights” goes on a second edition.
Diplomatic career 1926
As a writer Neruda was facing poverty so he began to look for a job as a consul. Because of his literary achievement and relationships he cultivated as a writer he was able to obtain a consular job in Burma.
So you see, Pablo like many artists, had what I call, a ‘career combo’. While holding down a salaried role, he kept writing, he kept penning the poems that would later make him world-famous.
During the Spanish Civil War and the rise of communism he lost his post because of his political views. He stirred controversy with his affiliation with the Communist Party and his outspoken support of Joseph Stalin, Fulgencio Batista and Fidel Castro. His poetic mastery was never in doubt, and for it he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.
Detail of a painting I am currently working on, “Return to Love”
I love that one line, one sentence, one heartfelt paragraph of prose can convey what the heart feels.
I am revisting my copy of Sublime Blue: Selected Early Odes of Pablo Neruda, and looking for lines I have highlighted and using these, combined with moments of reflection and walking in nature to inspire painting.
The following highlight has sparked my curiosity.
the poet’s role as explorer was to discover and rediscover the many forms of wealth native to the spirit and to return it all mysteriously gleaming to those closest to the source.
“As an active poet,” Neruda recalled, “I fought against my own self-absorption and so was able to settle the debate between the real and the subjective deep within myself.”
Perhaps by drawing closer to Neruda’s poems I will grow closer to my own essence—and the landscapes of my heart and mind. I’m excited to see what I will discover as I merge poetry, painting, purpose and passion through creativity.
Painting, writing and creating, is an opiate for me. Even when I feel sad, when I create, I feel transported to a happier realm. My wish is that people who hang my paintings in their home, business or office will feel happy too.
I was born and raised in Wellington, New Zealand—once voted ‘the coolest little capital in the world’. in 2015 my partner and I left the ‘big smoke’ in favour of a 10-acre lifestyle property, overlooking the sea in the beautiful Bay of Islands. It is this sublime setting that inspires my creativity.
My artistic influences include the master colourists Pierre Bonnard, Max Gimblett, Helen Frankenthaler, Mark Rothko and more recently, Brian Rutenberg. I once had a business, The Colour Girl—inspired by the desire to bring more joy into a world that seemed enamoured with black.
One of my favourite quotes comes from Picasso, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” The power of creativity to positively impact people’s lives is the force that inspires me to create.
I am an award-winning artist, transpersonal art therapist, author, and Reiki master. I infuse my work with positive energy and light.
I was the supreme winner of the Wai Art Awards, and a finalist in the Adam’s Portrait award. Having participated in various overseas workshops including a Sumi–E ink painting workshop in Hawaii with ex-pat artist, Max Gimblett, my latest works embrace the simplicity of pleasure and personal experiences that create flow and incite joy.
As an intuitive artist with a passion for following my ‘inner joy’, I hope my work captures and celebrates the ‘life-giving’ aspects of art, and leaves viewers with a feeling of pleasure, contentment and peace.
“Your work speaks to my soul in a major way.”
“The pieces inspire such positive feelings.”
“Wow! So amazing to see your pieces in reality. They have so much life in them.”
“Your work has a magical, spiritual quality. I just love them. Really love them.”
You can view my art and purchase my art here: https://www.cassandragaisford.com/gallery/
SOLD “My daughter loved it,” her father told me when he returned to purchase one of my earlier seascapes for her as a gift to take back to Canterbury. It was such a joyful day. It was the first time I had opened my gallery to the public and this man, along with three generations of his family, just happened to see my flag as they drove by on a sightseeing trip.
I love that he purchased the painting (a small diptych, approx 21 cm by 9cm each) as a gift and that it was a surprise and I imagined how excited she will be when she receives the painting she loves. Plus, it’s the painting I did of the view outside the gallery where we had such a great time laughing and talking about art.
This seascape was originally painted ‘en plein air’ (translated as on the paddock!) in 2018 during a stressful home renovation project. Painting is my stress-relief. I find it very meditative and it helps me to self-soothe and enter a different realm.
“Painting is how Spirit speaks to you,” a medium once told me. I try to infuse all my paintings with positivity and light and I feel this is what resonates with people when they see my art.
That makes me so happy. It also makes me happy to see how much joy people gain when they are able to buy direct from the artist. And I felt buckets of joy meeting my new collectors! I’m also super excited to see my Rothko-inspired painting in New Zealand House and Garden. It was another painting created during a stressful time. Except this one is super large. Check out the Feb edition of New Zealand House and Garden… you can see the paintings and it’s an inspiring read where we share how we upped sticks and changed our life.
This year some of the ways I intend to make 2021 my most exciting year yet—and you can too, is by setting audacious goals. You know, the ones that scare the heck out of you—but are exciting too. Several of my scary goals for 2021 include:
As always, I have no definitive plan, just a vision, a dream in my heart and a willingness to start.
“Dream big,” encourages James Patterson, currently the bestselling author in the world. “Don’t set out to write a good thriller. Set out to write a #1 thriller.”
Patterson, whose father was raised in a poorhouse, knows the power of big dreams and passionate perseverance. His first book was turned down by 21 publishers and won The Edgar for Best First Mystery. He also quit a lucrative legal career because it didn’t make him bounce.
Given that science has barely even begun to explore the real potential of the human mind, it’s a funny thing how easily we persuade ourselves of its limitations and settle for less.
You’ve probably caught yourself thinking about a big dream, some inspired course of action, and at some point talked yourself down by saying, “I could never do that!”
Or perhaps you’ve come up with a bright idea about something and then shelved it because somebody said dismissively, “You can’t do that!” or “That’s crap.”
Or perhaps, as I have so often said to myself before reconnecting with my millionaire mindset, “I can’t do this. I can’t write this book. It’s too big. Who do I think I am trying to write such a complex book?”
But how do you really know what you are capable of unless you try?
Paulo Coehlo, the author of The Alchemist, once said: “Know what you want and try to go beyond your own expectations. Improve your dancing, practice a lot, and set a very high goal, one that will be difficult to achieve. Because that is an artist’s million: to go beyond one’s limits. An artist who desires very little and achieves it has failed in life.”
Thinking big demands a long step outside the comfort zone of what you know.
It can feel scary to contemplate stepping out of the space where you feel you know what you’re doing and you feel fully in control.
It can feel frightening to explore what it would be like if you were to leave the comfort rut and attempt to climb toward a new summit. You don’t know for sure where it will lead. But everyone who’s ever made a success of anything started with a big dream.
And you can, too.
Tim Ferris dreams big by adopting and cherishing his beginner’s mind. Rather than succumb to the fear of failure, he changes his mindset, and affirms his love of variety and challenge and being a perpetual debutante.
“Think small, to go big” encourages Gary Keller in his book The One Thing. “Going small” is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do.
“It’s recognising that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter most. It’s a tighter way to connect what you do with what you want. It’s realising that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make a focus.”
When you think too big, achieving success can feel overwhelming, time-consuming, and complicated. Calendars can become overloaded and success starts to feel out of reach. So, people opt out and either quit or settle for less.
“Unaware that big success comes when we do a few things well, they get lost trying to do too much, and in the end, accomplish too little,” says Keller.
“Over time they lower their expectations, abandon their dreams, and allow their life to get small. This is the wrong thing to make small.”
Every extraordinary achievement starts as someone’s daydream. Dream big, become audaciously obsessed, and fuel your verve—pursue the vision that sparkles and get ready to bounce!
Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.
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The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing/Book One: Developing A Millionaire Mindset
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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.
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.
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I am an artist, storyteller, intuitive guide, mentor and Reiki master. All my creations are infused with positive energy , inspiration, and light. I believe in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform your life. My greatest joy is helping your realize your dreams. That makes my soul sing!
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