I’ve been having fun embracing my shadow side and working with things I regard as ‘ugly’. As I wrote in an earlier post, (How to take something ugly and make it speak up for you….) I was listening to an audiobook by Nancy Hill M.D., The Artist’s Journey: Bold Strokes To Spark Creativity. Nancy offered an exercise where, rather than turn away from ugly, we embrace it and love it. When I lived near Peter Jackson in Wellington I used to hate graffiti. I also hated black – Wellingtomnians wear TOO much of it (in my humble opinion). I also loathe rubbish people chuck out their cars and a host of other things.
Here is a list, of things I have, and may still do, consider ugly, in no particular order:
I rose to the challenge and created some new works, embracing the ugly. Many of my works are inspired by abstract expressionists. For example, the beauty of bold crawls and graffiti-inspired works of CY Twombly. Also the colour field intuitive paintings of Helen Frankenthaler. And where would I be had I not experienced the pure joy of training with Max Gimblett in Maui who introduced me to the spiritual flow of Sumi ink, quatrefoil and the shine of Expoxy resin?
I’m happy to say, my experiment with embracing ugly has heralded unexpected joy – and beauty. Just as Nancy promised.
“And when the “ugly” painting emerges, will you value it? Will you see that “ugly” paintings come into your life bearing gifts if only you’ll receive them? Make room for both the paintings you love and the paintings that scare you—the ones you see as threatening. Make room for “ugly” paintings so you can create the deepest work of your life. Trust yourself to explore the things that scare you. These are the unexpressed, unexplored parts of yourself where your unlived dreams reside. This is the realm of play, improvisation, and pure creativity. This is where the magic is.” *
hanging on my wall at home waiting For a lucky new owner who loves this mixed media creation as much as I do
“Every line is the actual experience with its own unique story” ~ Cy Twombly
Mixed media, oil crayon, acrylic, passion
“I never really separated painting and literature” ~ Cy Twombly
Mixed media, oil crayon, gold leaf, acrylic, passion
Canvas 760mm x 1200mm
Handcrafted in New Zealand
Do what you love! One of the things I love most about encaustic painting, molten beeswax, is the way the honeybees comes to the studio while I am working. This is a close-up of a new work created during global ‘rest time’. Called ‘GOLOV-20 In honor of the new movement sparked by Dr. Joe Dispenza. So much loving energy! So much healing:) so much joy
Another from my Word Painting series, I’ve included it in my ‘uglies’ because of the imperfection. But do you know what, I love, love, love this ‘blemish.” This was my first attempt at using epoxy resin, which turned from disaster to delicious. Well, I think so anyway. (it set too fast because I warmed it out and used a plastic vessel for the pour)
Gesso, acrylic and vinyl polymers, epoxy, aqua size, Japanese pink coloured pigment, epoxy resin on board
Oh, I received some lovely feedback about my ‘ugly” paintings:)
“Your beauty shines through even in your ‘ugly work’!!”
Would one of these paintings look fab in your home or office? All paintings are for sale. Find out more and check out more of my work here>>https://www.cassandragaisford.com/gallery/
And another thing about falling in love with black. I wrote and illustrated a children-adults-book called, Lulu is a Black Sheep.
This book was inspired by the realisation that I too am a black sheep. I’ve never felt I belonged in my family. I was always, and still am, criticised, shunned, and blamed when I don’t walk to their beat. And I’m nearly 55 years young! Sometimes they’re good. And sometimes they’re not. But love them anyway, and I’ve learned to act in a different way.
I woke in the night in the early hours of day three of the COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand, and I heard a kiwi outside. Hearing the kiwi call out last night, reminded me that they must feel like black sheep too. Our national birds are not like other birds. They have funny bodies, are nocturnal and they cannot fly. I love that kiwis embrace who they are and don’t try to change.
They’ve learned to adapt to stay alive, and at night they forage, and shuffle, and sing with great happiness and joy.
I created this book for my younger self. I made this book for you and your children. I wrote this book with love, and happiness, and glee.
Read this book at bedtime, at times of stress or pain or joy! I hope you find this book a great treasure trove of comfort. This book is always here for you—no matter what!
Stay in your bubble, dear readers. Follow your truth. But most of all keep being your beautiful self.
I am proud to find beauty in ‘ugly’ and to help others do the same in my wellness-based approach to my work as a holistic therapist, energy healer, Reiki Master, artist and self-empowerment author who is not afraid to challenge the status quo. I believe, as Picasso does, that “art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life” and is healing for the soul.
If you like my work you can support me on Ko-fi>>ko-fi.com/youinspireme
Lulu is a Black Sheep
To purchase on Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/LuluBlackSheep
To purchase on Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/lulu-is-a-black-sheep-1
To purchase on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/mqvO66
Audible . . .coming soon
Tags: change careers, Changing careers, creative unblocking, creativity, Finding Joy, mid-life career change, motivation, overcoming obstacles, passion, personal transformation, real artists don't starve, Reinvention Stories, resilience, stress less
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!
RECENT BLOG POSTS