Art Therapy Work 2011-2012

Untitled (Future Greets Past As I Pull Myself Out), 2012, mixed media on paper, 72" x 60"
This intensive painting is the culmination of my suffering, the wisdom of my experience, the knowledge of my past, the intent of my future, and ultimately how I healed. This is how I have learned to survive.
To see how I got here, look here.

The Wisdom of Rage, 2012, Spray Paint, gouache, Acrylic and Ink, 20" x 36"

Part of my self-led art therapy process was translating my emotions to imagery. Here depression consumes me as a fire, and yet, I still hold it close to me. I have managed to grasp a life-line inside me, and use the flame to ignite it. This is my survival, progression, evolution.

I'm Sick, 2012, watercolor and gouache, 11" x 15"
It started with the sketch. I was in New Mexico in limbo. I was feeling meh. 6 months later, I was thinking about my degree - Illustration. The word ill. I put myself on a toilet. I'm ill. Mentally ill, physically ill, illustrator. Sick. Sickness in detail here.

The Dreamer, 2012, mixed media, 36" x 20"
This was a commission I did for a good friend. She is a curly-haired free spirit, swimmer, and lover of life, cupcakes, rainbows and unicorns. She wanted something she "could wake up to every morning." See dreamy processes here!

Don't Look Away, 2012, mixed media, 18" x 24"
In this piece, I started with the sketch. It's about how my inner negativity and depression were being reflected physically in my body (my back is hunching in real life and I can't stop it, my joints ache all the time, my toes and feet are becoming deformed).
Here it was time to acknowledge the intimate relationship I have been having with depression and denying for so long. We face each other. I caress it. It grips me. I was becoming it and it was overcoming me. I am transforming under the storm. I cannot look away, I must face everything, run from nothing.
See process shots here!

Flying Lessons, 2012, watercolor and collage, 11" x 15"
This piece I made for my dad for his birthday. One of the contributions to my depression was my parent's divorce at 16. I have struggled for years with forgiveness, resentment and anger and being ok, even though I have felt abandoned at times, especially as a teenager. The background was an attempt to convince myself that I am ok. I painted it about a month before I decided to use it as the background for my dad's piece. When his birthday came around (I usually don't buy gifts for people), I saw this picture in a photo album, and remembered how my dad always told me to follow my dreams. He supported and encouraged me through all my aspirations, inspirations, and lofty goals. Once he even took me to New York to try and become a model. He co-signed my loan to go to art school. He has flown all over the country to watch me swim. He always tells me to do my best. He taught me how to fly. I love you, dad. See the background.

With These Roots, 2011, Ink, Coffee, Spray Paint, Gouache, 24" x 36", Paper

Commission for a friend. Bonsai trees, veins, roots, friendship, love, life: themes.

The Cry, 2011, mixed media, 60" x 40"
It's a build-up of explosive energy that gets released when you contract your muscles during the physical act of crying. Emotional tears, mucus and sound stream from every window in your face. Cold air burns at the top of the mountain as you buckle and realize you have been torn open. There is nothing left to do but to record exactly what happened, exactly as you remember it in order to secure this explosion on the outside of your body. This is true catharsis.
See process and detail shots here!

Everything I Am, 2011, Watercolor & Ink, 9" x 12"

Cassandra Reclining, 2011, mixed media, 30" x 16"

Dreaming of the Organ Mountains, the open space, the enchiladas. This is my ode to the land I know best, the place I grew up, and the place I hold dearest to my heart: New Mexico. See process and detail shots here!

The Motto, 2011, mixed media, 22" x 30"

The Motto goes as follows:
"Who gives a damn about the past, I live for the day, plan for the future, pack a lunch and haul ass."

So here I am, painting my heart out, hauling ass, and I make another statement: My name is Cassandra. I am me, all I give you is 100% everything I am, and I wouldn't ever give you anything less. It's all here in this portrait.

Heaviness of the Brain is Measured in the Heart, 2011, Watercolor, Coffee, Ink, 9" x 12"
See process and detail shots here!

A Traveling Mind, 2011, Watercolor, Coffee & Ink, 9" x 9"

Album art commission by Barrett Wilson, my friend, who's album, A Traveling Mind, is absolutely incredible. Listen here:

The Golden Rule, 2011, mixed media and espresso, 11" x 15"
The Golden Rule goes as follows: "Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you." I think it should go "Treat yourself as you would have others treat you." With kindness, respect, and love. This is all about being genuine. To see the genuine process, go here!

The Words, 2011, Watercolor, Coffee & Ink, 9" x 12"

Collaboration with my cousin Becky's words


Art should reveal the dignity of my unique-ness.
Color is feeling made visible.
Drawing is energy made visible.
Paint is feeling liquified.

The act of drawing represents a commitment to focus on something.
The process of drawing is a way to play with and get to know the various forms of energy it is possible to experience.

The important thing is to begin.


My Self, My Heart, My Soul