~ David R. Hawkins M.D. PhD
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 Joyful Artist.
In this book, award-winning artist, Reiki master and creativity coach Cassandra Gaisford (BCA, Dip Psych) shares insights into her creative process.
This book expands upon an interview that appeared in 2021 on 123art.Net where Cassandra was asked to share:
• How she started
• Some of the stories behind her popular artworks
• Real-life situations that sparked ideas
• The eclectic tools she uses
• Her creative process
• How her art has evolved
• Memorable responses
• And what’s next on the horizon
Hi…I’m Cassandra, the joyful artist. Joy (and colour!) is my passion. Before we jump into this book, I thought you may like to know a little more about me and my creative journey.
Did you know…
One of the unexpected joys of opening my artist’s studio and creating an art gallery this year (Feb 2021) is the fantastic people I have met. I’d never opened or run a gallery before, let alone during a pandemic!
Was I confident? Heck no, I was sh*t scared. But I felt the fear, followed my joy, and opened the doors anyway.
I also wanted to bring joy to others, especially in the wake of all the fear messaging that plagued the planet. As a true champion of the positive power of art, and with a mission to attract people to the area and support local artists, I was excited about the potential of this new initiative.
Showing more of myself in life and art and sharing heaven on earth with tourists, locals and art lovers felt like an exciting new venture. And it was—and still is! I’ve since added workshops and art retreats to my suite of joyful offerings.
I’ll share more about this in a future book, in case it’s something you aspire to do. But you can get a glance into the process of creating art@rangitane here:https://www.cassandragaisford.com/art-rangitane/
Did you know I am allergic to black? I love all colours, I’m just not such a fan of black. I once had a business called The Colour Girl, helping Wellingtonians feel more confident, and happier too, wearing colours that made their soul sing.
I entered an art award once, just for the fun, and won! When they told me I have won the supreme award and thousands of dollars, I said, “That can’t be right. You’ve made a mistake. That other painting was better. That artist should have won.”
No, they said, “The judges were unanimous, they loved yours. It was different.” I used my winnings to join Max Gimblett for a never-to-be-repeated Sumi ink painting class he held in Maui, Hawaii. Hurray!
One of my most ‘colourful jobs,” was working for the Department of Corrections as a Transformational Change Mentor, working with prison managers and senior managers. ‘Thank you for brightening up our day, ” staff used to say. “You’ll like an exotic flower.”
I love to paint barefoot with my canvas on the ground. I especially love to paint outside. I am inspired by Helen Frankenthaler and her pioneering and intuitive colour-field style of painting by soaking the canvas in thin washes of paint. I love entering the painting in this way, with my heart and soul. Born in the sign of Libra, beauty is my muse and it’s important to me that my paintings make people feel happy and uplifted. As Picasso once said, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Peace is also my joy.
Peace Be With You What feels lighter? The best decisions feel peaceful.
This is a card from The Art of Life Inspiration Deck which I am currently creating. All the images are of my artworks, accompanied by an inspiring, uplifting quote that I have written.
The text was inspired by a poem by Pablo Neruda: “Give me the sorrows of the world. I will transform it into hope.” The painting is Hope Springs Eternal and is available for sale https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/…/hope-springs-eternal/
The inspiration for the text was also by rereading an akashic reading by Chris Wilson from 2018, saying: “Moving away from Worklife Solutions. Not going into that old energy. Your vibration is too high; it’s a lower vibration that exhausts.”
Like many readings, I had forgotten it. But on Oct 28, 2021 as we approached the last quarter moon and approached a new moon in Scorpio on 5 November, for whatever reason, I reread the reading. And I was reminded of how I felt in early October 2021, when the domain for Worklife Solutions came up for renewal.
I told my Website developer to cancel it, “just let the whole site go.”
For many years I had been less engaged with Worklife Solutions, but I hung onto it. More from fear of missing or losing out or just simply letting go of something I had created—my very first business.
Despite the fact that I had poured over 15 years into this business and website, that it had been tremendously successful, and the sole source of my livelihood for a large chunk of my working life; allowing me to be the solo parent financially supporting my daughter and putting her through private school; enabling me to build an architecturally designed house; appear in media—and more…I felt, and still do, incredibly peaceful when I pulled the plug.
Having decluttered from my business, some would say ‘burned my ships’ I am now free to put my energy into the higher vibrations which call me—my art-making, powerful creativity and being free to be me!
Earlier this year, I completely revamped my website www.cassandragaisford.com —and this has paid dividends. I’ve reached a wider audience, increase my E-commerce capability, sold more art, generated more passive income—and importantly, I’ve had more fun!
If you haven’t visited, please do—come see the high vibes calling me. Hope does spring eternal when you focus on love!
wonderful and inspiring
“Such a brave decision, so good to hear you could move towards your art and have it sustain you like it has. Wonderful and inspiring.”
~ Candace Mason
Before we head into the interview, Let’s explore why joy is my soul purpose, and how it could be yours too.
What is Joy?
“The two most inspiring life forces are anger and joy – I could write six zillion songs about these two feelings alone.”
Alanis Morissette, Singer & Songwriter
Joy is energy.
Joy is a feeling.
Joy is about emotion.
Joy is one of the highest vibrations we can experience.
Joy is about delight and rapture.
Joy is about jubilation, elation, euphoria, and exultation.
Joy is about eagerness and preoccupation.
Joy is about excitement, animation, and delight.
Joy is about triumph, conscious cultivation, and choice.
Joy is peace and transcendence.
Joy is being wholehearted.
Joy is love.
Joy is many things. What is joy to you?
The above is an excerpt from a book I wrote with my daughter in 2019 when she was feeling low. We wrote to heal. And we did. We had lost our joy and in the process of writing How to Find Your Joy and Purpose, we got our mojo back.
“Where is my soul?’ That is perhaps the only question worth answering, “asks Piero Ferrucci in his wonderful book, Beauty and The Soul. “Each of us answers in his or her own way.”
I was once told I had the soul of an artist. For too long I had been neglecting that. Along came Covid and its pervasive ugliness, and war words of terror and fear. And I went in search of love. As I shared above, joy is love.
I started to list my loves—my love of colour, the colour-field paintings of Helen Frankenthaler and the freedom of abstract expressionism. I wanted to combine my love of art with my love of inspiring and uplifting humanity. Returning to my painting has given me this in spades.
Everyone is capable of joy. Different people are joyful in different ways and about different things. Many people think that being joyful only means being loud, showy and extraverted.
This isn’t true at all. Many joyful people are contained, or quiet or reserved. Joyful people come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Liberatingly, you can pursue your joy at any age and stage of your life. You can even choose to be joyful in the face of great difficulty. This is what I did when in 2020 like so many around the world, we were locked in, locked out, locked away.
I showed up for joy, and joy showed up too. “It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world and with the divine”, says author Isabel Allende. It’s true. Being a joyful artist has changed my life.
Now let’s head into the interview. I hope that my responses ignite joy, peace and playful courage in your heart and your art.
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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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