Cassandra Nguyen Musto stands in a meadow in Yosemite with her easel and a painting she is working on

Who is this chick?

Hi there! I am Cassandra!

In those very stiff and overly formal artist’s statements and bios, I could be described as watercolor artist who specializes in painting California native flora and fauna.

But what I like to say is, I LOVE creating beautiful artwork that celebrates California’s plants and animals. Ever since my first native plant identification field trip during my university years in the gorgeous Central Coast, I have been completely enchanted with California’s OG plants.

After spending almost 30 years in California working as a landscape architect and restoration ecologist, I bring a unique perspective and approach to my art and how I share the beauty and unique attributes of original California with you.

My goal is create artwork that enhances your unique style and space with pieces that reflect your love for California’s beauty and your wish to preserve precious memories. I want your spirit to be uplifted and for you to have gorgeous art, home décor, and stationery that brings you and your loved ones joy and fond memories of the beautiful places you have experienced in California.

How I got here

Before I restarted my artist path, I spent 16 years working with plants and the environment – as a landscape architect and restoration ecologist. My love of California native plants began in 1991 during a field trip for botany class I had to take. I was starting my first semester at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to earn my landscape architecture degree, and this was my first time living outside of urban Southern California as an adult. California native plants have been a big part of my life ever since that class field trip.

When I graduated in 1996 with my landscape architecture degree and a fine arts minor, I moved north again, and have now made Northern California my home. I’ve spent my time here working in the private and public sector as a landscape architect, restoration ecologist, 20+ year volunteer with the California Native Plant Society, and now – since 2012 – an artist. I am still working for the State of California today with a focus on restoration design and managing our riparian habitat on our flood protection levees.

What I do now

I began pursuing an art path in 2012, because after several years of a policy-heavy work focus, I was more than ready to express myself creatively. Painting California’s natural world was an obvious subject for me to work with – I love exploring the quiet spaces in an increasingly rowdy and chaotic world. I celebrate the joy and beauty of subjects that at first appear very common or are overlooked entirely. I also love creating beautiful things that you can use to express your unique style with.

  • Do you need a little peace and stillness in this busy noisy world of ours? Yes? I got you.
  • Do you enjoy thoughtful artifacts that reflect your California outdoor experiences and journeys? Me too!
  • Do you carefully curate art, books, natural and found objects that connect you to memories of your travels, nostalgia, or home? I’m so there with you.

Curious magpies, playful hares, floating butterflies, spectacular superblooms, and other familiar and unfamiliar creatures and growing things invite you to step away from the noise, appreciate the beauty of nature, and find joy, ease, and stillness.

We all deserve beautiful things that light us up and nourish our souls.