People often ask where do I grab my inspiration from. So often my inspiration comes from the stories people share with me—their hurts, their pain…and their joy.
In the case of Love Story, it was the story of a man’s love affair with his wife who died from cancer. He said to me, “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 asked him to send me photos of the two of them when they were happiest. I drew inspiration from all their loves (sea, sand, salt, Pohutukawas) and his wife’s love of racy reds.
I also drew inspiration from the beautiful abstract pattern I saw in a photo of the two of them and the dress of his beloved wife. I also threw in a few square shapes, in reference to a checked shirt he had been wearing.Though she passed several years ago from cancer, I wanted this painting to be a celebration of her life. Love Story was such a joy to paint as I know the healing power art can bring, a loving hug during times of sadness and a big vibrant reminder of love that endures.
For reasons, unbeknown to me, Ces never returned to my gallery and never purchased the painting. But I believe paintings find the right people at the right time. I felt so honoured to have been asked in the first place and to be using my gifts to capture such profound love. I was super excited when, several months later, 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.
I’m super excited about the upcoming visit of Jo Seagar to my gallery (art@rangitane) with a group of mid-life adventurers in October this year. And the opening of a new solo exhibition of my abstract expressionist works, Think Pink – using bright, playful colours to enhance mood, positive thinking and wellness. The focus of the exhibition and my works is the healing power of play, colour and beauty and how play matters—especially for midlifers+
Jo Seagar will be preparing a meal in our newly refurbished kitchen and her group of midlife adventurers will be enjoying a painting demonstration and artist’s talk. Take a sneak peek at our gorgeous part of New Zealand in the article which appeared in New Zealand House and Garden>>
Te Ataroa 900 mm x 1200 mm Acrylic on board, framed in Ash by Peter Sharp.
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 such a special blessing. Translated from Maori 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. The colours were inspired by the pretty little pink, white, and green floral dress Te Ataroa was wearing when I met her.
I showed the young couple a photo of the painting and they told me that their mother wept. After exhibiting this painting in a group exhibition, The Beauty of Resilience, just as New Zealand emerged from the first Covid lockdown in 2020, I gifted this painting to the family.
This bespoke piece was commissioned by a family as a ‘statement piece’ to adorn the large white walls of their newly refurbished home. The brief was “we want it to always feel like summer.” Beautifully layered with sensuously sultry glazes of acrylic, Always Summer embodies the new energy of flow, optimism, hope and renewal that our souls ache for after this tumultuous, confining time.
I was delighted when the couple told me during a, particularly wet and stormy downpour how I had exceeded the brief! “It feels like it’s always summer,” they told me as driving rain pummeled their home.
My group exhibition, “Return To Love” featuring botanical photography by Jane Ussher and sculpture by Grant Gallager, inspired a flurry of colourful, heart-inspired paintings.
Return to Love opened Easter Friday and showed until Anzac Day, Monday 26 April 2021.
The exhibition’s name referenced the importance of love, beauty and art in these chaotic times and how needful it is for our mental health and resilience to have this love-inspired beauty around us.
Festival of Colour was created in the studio during the full moon 2021 energy of Libra— joy, happiness, love, beauty…colour gives it all.
One of my great loves continues to be the joy and blessings colour brings to me, especially when I surround myself with colour in my home.
My other loves are painters that inspire me, including Mark Rothko and his large, spiritual, transcendent flow paintings.
Van Gogh and his bold, colourful, healing creations that makes my heart ache.
Helen Frankenthaler and her large, innovative, flow paintings and her quest to capture and create beauty.
Inspiration for your place, at ours…
I am delighted that, while the majority of my works are inspired by tales of sadness and made during the lengthy periods of Covid-imposed isolation, people tell me that my paintings elicit joy and a remarkable sense of hope-inspired optimism.
To create and capture vibrant memories, past and future, and transform sadness into love-infused beauty is my grand passion.
To learn more about the process of this commission you may enjoy reading my blog: https://www.cassandragaisford.com/how-to-commission-a-painting/
Posted in: Blog
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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