“What I really, really want is to paint the world in rainbows of possibility” ~Tracy Verdugo

Monday, September 22, 2014

content :)

I pour my coffee, add a dash of hazelnut syrup and will myself not to walk back past my computer.  
If I do it will draw me in like a giant Venus Flytrap. 

It is the morning of the eve of the launch of my very first ecourse and I am holding the space for almost 400 beautiful, eager, excited, anxious creatives. I feel like a mama hen to all of them, thoughts racing around my mind, worried that my students wont have found the scratch foam needed for week one, worried that I haven’t given enough, or that I am not enough…worried about the very things I tell my students not to worry about.

Breathe…repeat…I am enough…breathe…..repeat…I am enough….

I have fallen into a bad habit of checking emails as soon as I wake, made worse by the fact that the time difference between Australia and other parts of the world is so great. Often when I wake there are frantic emails from students who haven’t received info or can’t find suggested supplies, written hours before with a sense of urgency.

I jump into overdrive, responding sometimes before I am even fully awake, knowing I shouldn’t be starting my day this way…..

Today, the sun invites me outside, its warmth touches my skin and I feel the promise of Spring. I take my coffee and a book that has jumped into my awareness three times in the past two weeks. I have ordered it but my lovely Kyla has also bought it to share with me while I wait for mine to arrive.

The book is “One; living as one and loving it’ by Victoria Alexander. I am surprised to find that it is written for and about living life as a single person. I have taken it to mean living life as a “connected” person in the context that we are all “one”…it is a beautiful book and there is much wisdom in it for those who live with others too.

I stroll the block to the gorgeous, eucalypt fringed, turquoise waters that I have been neglecting and sink into the soft waiting fine white sand. I take off a pair of ratty old sandals that I have had for years, comfy, well worn shoes that I wear to all of my warm weather workshops, and put them beside me. My eye falls on a delicate imprint in the sand, a flower etched like a pretty stamp, I see another and another and realize it is the pattern on the bottom of my old shoes. I have never noticed it before, hidden beneath my feet, never knew it was there, this sweet design that now dots the beach all the way back to the weathered timber stairs.

I spend some time happily stamping flowers into the sand all around me, surrounding myself with sandy blooms.  It feels like a good thing to be doing on such a morning. I sip my coffee and open the book to a page with the heading “Content” and the author tells me she loves the title of this page as it has the dual meanings of satisfaction, happiness and also implies “what’s contained within”. I take this as a message from the Universe that everything is fine, that the content of my ecourse is as it’s meant to be, that I have worked hard and my intentions are good and that my students will find what they are meant to find within it.

I don’t have my phone with me to take a photo. I have left it at home along with the temptation to be online instead of just “be-ing” at the beach.

I come home, write this blog and bring my camera back to the beach just because I love pictures and want to share.

My morning epiphany; you can spread flowers and beauty all over the earth with the oldest, most ordinary, least ostentatious parts of your being and never even know you are doing it. 

Isn't that a wonderful thing to know?

ps if you haven't already signed up there is still time to join in the very first Paint Mojo Ecourse, to find your mojo and make your mark! 

So much excitement and a gorgeous community already buzzing. 

Class starts this Wed 24th Sept. 
Click here for all the info! 

Friday, August 29, 2014

GIVEAWAY!! Three spots in my ecourse!!! Who wants one? ♥

Hello beautiful friends!!

I'm back from Bali where the lovely Louise Gale and I hosted two amazing groups of creative women for my Sacred Marks retreats.

I'm feeling rejuvenated and rearing to go as we continue to put together my very first ecourse and sooooo excited that more than 240 enthusiastic students have registered so far to find their mojo and make their mark!



I had really meant to do this earlier but you know, the best laid plans can go astray when you're busy having fu...um, working hard in tropical paradise!

because I've left it a little late I've also decided to extend the early bird price of $197 until midnight Sept 5th (pacific standard time)!! 

Woohoo! That's also the day I will draw the names of the three winners :)

Here's how to enter ♥

Leave me a comment below telling me why you'd love to win.
Share this post on your FB page, blog, twitter, pinterest and any other place you feel compelled to. 

Then tell me how many shares you made and each one will get you a chance to win! 

Easy peasy right?

ps if you decide to register for the early bird price and then you win, I will refund your payment or you can gift it as a scholarship. I have several deserving people in mind ♥

I know you have all been curious about content so I wanted to share some snippets with you. We'll be looking at "tantalising textures", "inky explorations", "palettes of possibility" "pathways to abstraction" and "ban the background/bring on luscious layers" along with many other exciting techniques and processes!

We'll also be exploring ways to cultivate your own unique style, embrace happy accidents and say YES to a looser, happier, more creative YOU!

If you're sitting on the fence and unsure whether to join me in my first ever ecourse this might help you to decide :)

This morning I received an email from an FB friend wanting to join up but confused about my recent FB post with examples of the kinds of things we will be exploring; "are we doing portraits?" the emailer asked, " I love portraits. You didn't mention that in the class description."
Maybe you feel like my class descriptions have been a little ambiguous or unclear.
Let me try to explain why....
Firstly I KNOW that many of you are all ready to venture fearlessly (or anxiously) outside of your comfort zones. You may have already attended an in person workshop or read my book or follow this blog and I'm pretty sure I get that message across in each. 
I know you are up for that kind of creative growth and that makes me uber excited!
This will NOT be a class about step by step instructions, about painting a painting like me or even about specific techniques (although I will share lots of those).

This WILL be a class about finding your voice, your style, your confidence. About exploring creative process and possibilities and finding new things, epiphanies from mistakes, happy accidents, making new connections and being open to new dreams.

Maybe you'll find a portrait from your palette or an elephant in your inky explorations, or maybe you'll find something you never even dreamed of.

I WILL challenge you to shift perspectives and the way I will be doing that is by inviting you into my own process as I do the same.

There will be two very different video deliveries each week. 

One, a professionally filmed HD video that follows the progress of one of my large format paintings. This will be very much like attending a live two day workshop with me and I will talk you through the moves I make, the symbols I use, the colours I choose, the problems I encounter and how I solve them.

My intention is for you to paint a large painting alongside me and from the pics below from two of my in person workshops you can see that there will be many variations that will come from this process.

The OTHER weekly videos will be more intimate, less polished, just me (and you, and maybe a kitty or two) in my studio with my camcorder exploring ideas to share with you.

Here's the thing...
I LOVE to be in the same heart/mind space as my students. My workshops are never rehearsed or planned to the last detail. I am ALWAYS open to heading off in brand new directions and these videos will show that.
Although in each one I do start off with a general idea of the project that will go with the weekly theme I have not rehearsed or tested the project beforehand in any case.
This is so EXCITING as you will be right there with me as I make a new discovery OR change direction OR create a little side project from my leftover paint that will reappear in a later week. You will be right there as I make a mistake or LOVE what I am doing or decide I DON'T like what I am doing, or get a bit frustrated or stick my brush in my coffee (well I haven't done that yet but you never know, I'm still filming.)

In essence you will be there with me in my slightly messy, definitely not "styled" creative space and together we will move forward and get stuck and make messes and beauty all at the same time.
Along with the videos there will be PDF's and prompts and explanations and inspirations..lots and lots.
Does this all make sense?? 

Are you READY to let go of any preconceived notions and TRUST? 
Are you with me?
Good luck everyone!! Winners announced on the morning of Sept 5th.
Hope to see you when the classroom doors open Sept 24th. Our FB community is already buzzing with excitement!

If you're ready to register and want to make sure you catch the early bird go here right now :)

lots of love Tracy♥

ps this giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the lucky winners Beth Weatherford, Suzanne Schroder and Michelle Reuss! You can still register for Paint Mojo the ecourse until end October! :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Its raining Mojo~AND a book/painting giveaway!!!!

No words right now......♥

My book is shipping out all over the U.S and copies have hit Aussie shores now too!
For those of you still patiently waiting in other places thank you!
Thank you everyone for your kind words, support and encouragement!

and THIS just blows my mind!

The creativity cannot be matched in any other book! Every time you open it you will get another new idea and technique. She opens doors in my own mind and emotions that empty out into works of my own. A must have for every type of artist or simply a terrific book to have in reach to get your imagination going again! Buy and enjoy! Julie

This book is very inspiring! Tracy has created a worldwide art community through her positive attitude and incredible sharing. This book would be something great to read even for people who aren't artists. She's a philosopher and teacher, and receives great joy by sharing her passion for life in general, as well as for art. And, of course, this book has a way of getting artists really juiced up about breaking free from old paradigms and "rules" about how art "should be". Thanks Tracy! I will be buying more of your books for some special friends. Lynn

I have been waiting for Tracy's book to come out and am now excited to have it in my hands. I find the illustrations beautiful and of course that it is filled with Tracy's art and step by step instruction makes it THE BEST art book I have. I absolutely love it being spiral bound, which helps for it to lay flat for ease of working with art projects when having messy hands. Tracey continually fills the book also with encouragement and positive expression which makes it feel like she is right in the room with you!! Exercises to get yourself going creatively are throughout the book as well as instructions for art making. I will never get tired of this book AND it will go with me when I teach my art workshops as a resource! Susan

Her gorgeous artwork excites my eye, but Tracy & her guests share a philosophy much more inspiring. She allows one to understand how to access creativity & offers many exercises to enjoy on the path to creating unique personal artwork. In my opinion, Tracy's incredible book could be good reading for writers, dancers, singers, etc. My favorite book because I want to refer to it again & again. Thanks for spreading the joy, Tracy! Joyce

Thank you also times infinity for my awesome contributors for the heart and soul they put into Paint mojo, 
sharing their stories, wisdom and projects. 
You are all amazing!! ♥
Photography~ Santana Verdugo and Beth Saxena

Paint Mojo is out there 
and to spread the mojo even further 
registration for my ecourse will open in 10 days!

Make sure you sign up here to be first in for the earlybird special!

Also super honored to be featured in this months Somerset Studio!!

 Thank you so much to everyone on FB who sent me pics while I wait for my copy to arrive from the publishers :)

Of course I couldn't let the release of my book go by without celebrating with a giveaway and there are several ways you can enter to win a signed copy of my book WITH a small original painting hidden amongst the pages ♥

1. If you already have a copy you can head over to Amazon and leave a review. I will be drawing two separate winners from these  reviewers. One in about a week or so and the other once I know that all preorders have shipped to the various parts of the planet.

2. You can leave a comment on this post and let me know how your mojo is these days. Have you lost it, found it, playing hide and seek with it, any tips for others? Share away!!

3. You can blog about the book/giveaway, share on your FB, twitter and pinterest pages etc and each share will be equal to one entry. Just let me know the number of shares in your comment. 
I want this book to reach as many people as possible!

Tracy Verdugo. 2014. Faith on the Journey. Acrylic on paper. sold.

Happy weekend everyone!! Feeling mighty blessed :)
Keep sending me those sweet pics of you all holding Paint Mojo. 
I'm making a collage for my studio wall ♥

Lots of love
Tracy xox ♥

ps whoops one last thing! Almost forgot to share this...a little glimpse into my creative world by filmmaker extraordinaire and lovely friend Christopher Collins! Enjoy :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

a different kind of mojo ♥

Hola beautiful friends!!

I hope the world is treating you with love today. I have lots of news to catch up on AND am uber excited to find out that the release date for my book has been moved forward three weeks which means that all of you gorgeous supportive friends that have been waiting patiently, since you preordered as early as last November, will soon have it in the mail. 

Two HUGE boxes of author copies have just arrived on my doorstep also so watch this space for some signed giveaways that may even have a little surprise inside!

Timely messages from the Universe have been coming in more and more lately so a few days ago when I received an email from the gorgeous Stephanie Perkinson asking if she could reach out to share her beautiful offering with my blog readers I knew it was the right thing at the right time. Since my diagnosis of Ulcerative colitis in Feb and then on top of that receiving blood test results to confirm Santana as coeliac, I've been thinking a whole lot more about our relationship with food and with our bodies. 

I have to admit I've also been in a bit of a menopausal fog for a while now and the possibilities conjured up by the words Sexy, raw and radiant stirred something deep inside me....something latent but not lost.

 I am going to join Stephanie on July 7th and see if I can get some of that mojo back!

Maybe you would like to join me? ♥

Read on and make sure you leave a comment below to be in the giveaway for a free spot and a chance to reignite your own sexy, raw radiance!

Hello Sweet Ones.

I am so honored to be here in Tracy's sacred space, sharing a little bit about myself and what I’m about. My name is Stephanie Perkinson, holistic health & lifestyle coach, mama to 2, artist, lover of wildflowers, the scent of beeswax candles and impromptu picnics. I believe that beauty everyday is non-negotiable and we can find it everywhere from the the gorgeous colors on our plate to the beautiful mess around the bathroom sink.

I discovered my path to becoming a holistic health and lifestyle coach several years ago. It all started because I was tired of looking in the mirror and not recognizing the person I saw. I was depressed and finding it hard to be passionate about anything. Nothing felt like “me” anymore, from the way I cut my hair to the clothes I chose to wear. I decided it was time to take a deep breath, stop making excuses and really commit to changing my life.

Committing to change didn’t happen overnight for me, it was about taking baby steps in the right direction. It was about asking for help. It was about learning how to say yes to myself. It was discovering how to trust, forgive and love my body during the process. Over time all of that added up to a big, life-changing shift.

I love supporting and showing women what’s possible and how to discover their radiance. I’m so excited about my e-course, “Sexy, Raw & Radiant”. It's a program that takes a seasonal approach to sustainable wellness. I take everything I’ve learned and share it with you, through support, recipes, and community.

I believe our bodies need time to adapt when we start something new. This program will show you how to easily add in more yummy raw foods at your own pace, in a way that feels right for you. I like to think of eating raw foods as a gateway to wellness. Our bodies begin to shift gears as well feed it what we truly need. Together we will gently focus on ways to love up our bodies and ourselves (outside the kitchen) for exactly who we are in this present moment, ultimately helping you to create a more trusting relationship with food.

We are going to be doing some powerful work, seeking and feeling our way back to our ourselves. I want to assure you that this is not a cleanse or a fully raw challenge.  There is no timeline you need to adhere to so you'll never be behind. Everyone is encouraged to go at their own pace and incorporate as much or as little raw food as feels right for your body. It's all about finding ease and inspiration in our creative and beautiful lives.

Raw food is beautiful, simple, and delicious. Not sure about that? Well, I am thrilled to be sharing a recipe with you today for our Raw & Radiant Cocoa Bites so you can see for yourself. Just click here to download the beautiful, printable recipe page!

Sexy, Raw & Radiant begins July 7th and today I'm so thrilled to be giving away a spot in class to one lucky reader. Just let us know in the comments why this course seems to be singing to your soul.  We'll pick a random name in 5 days! 

*If you'd like more chances to win go ahead and share on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and come back and tell us!

Stephanie Perkinson
Design the life you want, starting with the food you eat
Certified Nutrition Coach & Holistic Design Consultant

Saturday, May 31, 2014


Tonight I'm making pesto...from scratch...my mouth is salivating...but I am not without apprehension.

Over pesto?
Let me explain......

several years ago after a delish meal of homemade pesto, I slipped into my PJ's, squeezed some toothpaste onto my brush and had the oddest experience.
The toothpaste didn't taste like toothpaste at all, instead, there was an overwhelming taste of bitterness
I came downstairs and asked Marco and the girls to try the toothpaste..
does it taste weird to you?
nope, all fine....
so strange, I thought and took myself off to bed...
Over the next week things got worse
EVERY single thing I ate had the same taste..bitter, bitter, bitter!
apples, yoghurt, salad. chocolate, chicken, everything bitter!
No differentiation whatsoever between foods....
It was like all of the different areas of my taste buds had been switched off
 and turned to bitter sensors, sweetness, salty, sour, umami, all gone
bitterness the only one left, crazy right? 
Can you imagine?

I'm not really a sugar fiend but oh how I wanted to taste it again!
Obviously it started to freak me out!

How could a donut taste bitter?
A spoon of honey bitter?
It was the strangest thing...

So I looked it up and found it had a name
Pine mouth ( of course my coworkers at the time had  lot of fun with that!)

I found that there were lots of people experiencing this strange phenomenon after eating pine nuts
and that thankfully it would resolve in a week or two..here's a little research update in case it ever happens to you.....

The New South Wales Food Authority recently completed a study on Pine Mouth as far as the causes of it and any concerns linked to it. This condition goes by a couple of names, including Pine Mouth and Pine Nut Syndrome. It is the condition when someone who eats pine nuts regularly starts to taste something metallic and bitter all of the time. The problem can last for up to two weeks, but generally goes away within a few days.
The New Study
The new study focused on the number of cases reported of the syndrome and some interesting findings were noted.
  • The number of Pine Mouth cases have increased since 2009.
  • Pine Mouth seems to be caused by a particular type of pine nut.
  • The species that is a problem is called Pinus Armandii and it is exported from China.
Response to the Study
Because of this new study, changes have been made by the Chinese government. Now, this particular type of pine nut is no longer exported to other countries from China. This is a method used to avoid other people suffering from Pine Mouth.
Another change that has been made was by the Codex Alimentarius Commission which added the particular species called Pinus Armandii to its inedible foods list. Additionally, Pinus Massoniana has been removed by the commission for the safety of consumers. Although, this second species has not yet been linked to the problem of Pine Mouth
Two things I have taken from this experience
the experience of sweetness is so much more potently appreciated after the bitterness passes
i love pesto too much to be put off for life!

“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.” 
― Joanne HarrisChocolat
wishing you all happy, shiny, sweetness this week ♥
love Tracy xox

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Deep Listening

In my Sacred Marks workshops I love to share the Aboriginal concept of Dadirri

~Deep Listening.

Aboriginal writer Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann describes deep listening as follows:
“NGANGIKURUNGKURR means ‘Deep Water Sounds’. Ngangikurungkurr is the name of my tribe. The word can be broken up into three parts: Ngangi means word or sound, Kuri means water, and kurr means deep. So the name of my people means ‘the Deep Water Sounds’ or ‘Sounds of the Deep’.
Miriam-Rose speaks of: “a special quality of my people. I believe it is the most important. It is our most unique gift. It is perhaps the greatest gift we can give to our fellow Australians. In our language this quality is called dadirri. It is inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness. Dadirri recognises the deep spring that is inside us. We call on it and it calls to us. This is the gift that Australia is thirsting for. It is something like what you call ‘contemplation’.
When I experience dadirri, I am made whole again. I can sit on the riverbank or walk through the trees; even if someone close to me has passed away, I can find my peace in this silent awareness. There is no need of words. A big part of dadirri is listening”.
 I find my moments of deep listening by the sea....

 in the feel of the fine white sand between my toes...

 In the expanse of the sky and the ever changing cloud formations reflected below

 in the silent, playful companions that sometimes join me in a morning walk...

In the mysterious hieroglyphic messages left by the pippies at low tide

 in the rivulets left behind where the water caresses the sand...
in ancient eroded stone
 in peeling bark

decorated with moth larvae scribbles

I find small moments of deep stillness and then

I try
to describe it
through my artmaking

experimenting with small works on paper
with colour and mark....
then working large and free, finding flow in contemplation, intention, control and surrender...

all in readiness for my upcoming exhibition
"Deep Listening"
here at our casa in Huskisson
as part of the See Change Arts Festival
Drop on in May 22nd 5-7pm for a glass of vino at the official opening if you are nearby ♥

Wishing you deep listening, calm stillness and playful exploring today

lots of love Tracy ♥♥♥

ps that little rock was gifted to me by one of the most gorgeous women I know. 
You'll find all kinds of love at Kelli May-Krenz' blog here
Go say hello and give her a hug from me while you're there xx