Cassandra Tondro is a Ventura artist who has found an innovative use for leftover house paint ‐‐ she repurposes it for her colorful abstract art. Cassandra rescues the paint from recycling centers before it is disposed of, and by visiting these outlets regularly, she has assembled a palette filled with unusual colors. She has developed several methods of working with the paint, including pouring, pulling, pressing and dripping it onto canvas. While the paint is wet, she often uses tools, washes of water, or her fingers to create imagery. The paint dries slowly, and in the process of drying, serendipitous things sometimes occur, such as bubbles that pop to reveal another color below.
Cassandra Tondro’s paintings have been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad. In addition, her work was selected for the American Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon in conjunction with the Art in Embassies Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Her art can be seen on her website.
We are thrilled Tondro took the time to participate in this Artist Spotlight series for ArtWalk Ventura 2016. Here are her words:
How did you come to be an artist (or sculptor, photographer, musician potter)?
I have always been an artist, but it wasn't until 16 years ago that I began to practice my art professionally. Before that I did other things to "make a living," including computer programming and owning a retail fiber arts store. Now I'm a full-time working artist.
In your eyes, what does ArtWalk Ventura bring to the community?
ArtWalk Ventura is a unique opportunity to see the work of many local artists in a single day. It's fun, and you get to meet the artistsand talk with them about their work.
What are your favorite memories from the past years of ArtWalk?
Last year was fun when it rained while I was walking from John White's studio on Olive to the Museum! Rain in July? Unheard of. Seeing Parson's Guitar Shop on Main Street two years ago was awesome. It's never open to the public otherwise. And I love seeing the artists' studios.
What are you looking forward to this year?
This year is different for me, because I'll be showing my work in one of the PODS rather than visiting the other venues. I'm very excited, because I don't get many opportunities to show my art locally. I've only lived in Ventura for two years, and I'm looking forward to meeting people here who are interested in art.
How would you define your creative process?
I'm kind of a mad scientist. I like to experiment with materials and techniques for creating art. I use unusual materials like leftover house paint and fallen leaves, always with a goal of art that is more eco-friendly.
When do you know when a work is complete?
I think you have to have an eye for it. A work is complete when it looks "right." Before that, it just doesn't look right to me.
If you weren't working in your current medium, what type of artist would you be?
Textile Art! I love fabrics, yarns, weaving, sewing, crochet. And sometimes I incorporate these elements into my art.
What upcoming projects are you most excited about?
I just finished my Fall Collection of Paintings and I'm starting on some new pieces for winter and spring. I'm also working on a series of tutorials that explain the processes I use for my art. The first tutorial is Leaf Prints on Paper, and the next will be a more advanced version of that.
How else are you involved in the Ventura/805 community?
I do volunteer work with Shop Ahoy, where we do grocery shopping for people who are housebound. I'm also on the Unity of Ventura board of trustees, which keeps me busy.
Where do you want your work to take you in the next year? And beyond?
In the next year I would like to be part of a group of socially conscious artists who make a difference in the world by developing sustainable practices in the arts. Beyond that, the moon!
Find out more information on Cassandra Tondro's ArtWalk exhibit, "Living In Wow" here.