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

Friday, February 13, 2015

Countdown to 9 months of adventure!

10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 blast off!!

That's me pretending to be super excited that in less than 10 days mi amor and I are leaving for 9 months away from home!!

Truth is I'm a bit excited and a bit apprehensive and a bit sad and a bit head in the sand and a bit missing home already....

Excited to see family and friends in the US and to be teaching in 12 cities!!
Beyond excited to be going to the UK, Ireland and Europe for 4 1/2 months (for the first time!) with workshops in so many amazing places and lots of time off in between to explore. San Sebastian Spain for my fiftieth birthday with my sweet family...blessed beyond!
.....and super excited to wrap the whole trip up with a month in our beloved Mexico during which time we will visit the Virgen de Juquila, coming full circle and giving thanks for favors granted since our family pilgrimage there in 2008.

 Sienna in 2008 looking at the thousands of handmade thank you crosses that are scattered across the hillside outside of Juquila, put there by thousands of Pilgrims who attribute their answered prayers and miracles to the brown skinned Virgencita. You can read more about her here

Pilgrims about to enter the church, many of them have traveled hundreds of miles, some make the final part of the journey on their knees.
Apprehensive because my body craves routine, these past two years more so than ever as I try to find a way to navigate an apparent mild but simmering colitis flare up. I'm grateful that in terms of my day to day life it is more of an annoyance than an obstacle but I do worry (in my down times) that the stresses of travel could make it worse. Mostly though I am even grateful for this as it has made me reassess some of the things in my life that I definitely needed to eg more balance, less work, more play, calm time, good food choices. I'm not perfect by any means but definitely getting better.

Sad because its a time of letting go ( yeah yeah that's what I'm so good at teaching others to do!), letting go of my babies, now incredible young women, Santana so happy with her lovely Jacob, both of them staying here to look after our home and kitties, Sienna finished high school and off on her own to discover the world!! She's 17 for goodness sake!! Who on Earth encouraged them to spread their wings and follow their dreams so young?? Oh yeah that's right we did....

Head in the sand because oh my.......there's just so much to think about and plan and do and we still have to finish our taxes from last year before we leave and I've just opened session two of Paint Mojo the ecourse and Bella needs a weekly injection for arthritis and.....trying to just breathe and do it all little by little and remembering that actually, we much prefer to be accidental travelers, leaving gaps in our itineraries that unexpected and wonderful adventures can fall headlong into :)

and missing home already, well that's just the Cancerian in me and as some of you know our home has been in a constant renovation for many years, room by room, mudbrick by mudbrick and with the final bathroom reno we are just about finished. Did I mention I could probably move into that bathroom and never leave. ♥

before 2006

 after..yes I'm married to a miracle worker. ♥

the bathroom you never want to leave :)

But I'm saying a resounding yes to my adventure, through the trepidation, the exhilaration and the big unknowns! Its really the only way to live don't you think?

Maybe you'd like to say YES  to an adventure of your own and join me along the way.....

there are still spaces left to discover your Paint Mojo in beautiful County Cork Ireland!

One spot has become vacant for a week of creative exploring in Southern France

or join me for a week of sketching and painting and adventure in  exquisite Orvieto, Italy!

My whole itinerary and other possibilities to join in the Paint Mojo fun right here!
(also two brand new 2015 workshops just announced in the Netherlands and Liverpool, UK-email me for details info@tracyverdugo.com)

Can you feel a case of creative wanderlust coming on? Its contagious you know ♥

I'll be dropping in here lots more as we travel, so even if you cant come along in the flesh stay tuned for some armchair travels as I keep you all posted about our grand adventure! :))
lots of love Tracy

PS My February session of Paint Mojo the ecourse starts today and the classroom is buzzing already! If you cant make it to a live class this year come on over and check out whats on offer virtually here                                                                                 
         AND stay tuned for the first in my very affordable Mini Mojo video workshop series coming up  soon~ Animalitos!!
Sign up here to stay in the loop!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Paint Mojo February 2015


Now that that we have finished eating and drinking copious amounts of delicious (and possibly naughty) treats, it's time to clear our heads, breathe deeply the wonder and magic of everyday inspiration, and make some space for new creative birthings!

For some time now I have been feeling the stirrings of a creative revolution. I see it in the faces of my students as they light up with the recognition that they ARE inherently creative and that bringing forth that magic ripples outward into EVERY area of their lives!

It's contagious!

This past month magic has been happening big time in my world with one of my favorite authors and all round inspiring human beings, Elizabeth Gilbert, sharing my work several times on her FB page!!

 Like, pick me up off the floor! Liz Gilbert loves my work!!

I tried not to be all goofy about it, oh yeah, Liz is talking about my art.
That's kinda special...I'm cool with it...

but I have to admit there were some tummy buzzing, cartwheel flipping, totally freaking out moments here in our casa, as I saw my work being beamed out around the planet in thousands of shares and affirmations!

This was the first image Liz shared and I offered to send out the file as a gift for anyone that wanted it. 
If you missed out and would like a copy please email Kyla at info@tracyverdugo.com and she'll zip it right on out to you! ♥

Then, last week I was blown away when I woke up to messages in my FB inbox from friends. "Did you see what Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about you??"
Jumping over to her page of delicious, witty and insightful goodness 

i found this.....

I feel like lately Tracy Verdugo has become the patron artist of this Facebook page. I just love everything she makes...
By the way, she's teaching an e-course in painting soon, if anyone wants to sign up!
I'm thinking of taking the course myself — both because it could be fun, and because I think it might help me with my writing. Einstein believed in something called "Combinatory Play" — the idea that, by expressing creativity in one realm, you could get inspiration for another. This is why, whenever he was blocked, he would spend some time with his violin. By playing music, some channel opened up in his mind, and he could solve whatever mathematical problem had been dogging him.
Whatever it takes to get the inspiration flowing, get it flowing, my friends!

All love,

Now that is an awesome endorsement!! ♥

I would be honored if you would join me for the next session of Paint Mojo the ecourse. 

You can register right now, right here for six weeks of mojo making, inspiration instigating, creative wanderlust!

Whether you have never picked up a brush before, have painted all your life or are somewhere in between this ecourse is for you. ♥

Won't you join me in igniting your creative fire in 2015? (plus 12 months of continued access after class finishes and with more than 50 videos included you'll need it).
Early bird price of $197 available until Feb 1st. 
Class starts Feb 14th ♥

More than 400 awesome students joined me in the September session of Paint Mojo the ecourse and I was blown away by the beauty that came forth! A small sample of their amazing work above ♥

“I wanted to find out if I could paint from my heart/my head, rather than paint what I physically see around me. This class is so chock full of different ideas that actually help to pull creativity out of your bones! Tracy is a loving, generous, kind and wise soul. She teaches and lives out of her heart, and is willing to share whatever she can to help a fellow ‘creative’ play with no judgement of ability or talent. Art is a very powerful source of expression, and Tracy had a unique ability to make me feel secure enough to be vulnerable while exploring the things I want to express artistically”

Dawn Lang Weiland

"...it's people like you Tracy, who encourage us to follow our dreams and cheer us on..... Thanks for this awesome course you provided, with not only techniques to paint beautiful paintings, but also to shine bright and follow our dreams. it was your honesty and candidness that helped me to know that i got this!! xo ~Kim Beller

Hope to see you in class Feb 14th!! 

ps congrats to the following winners of last weeks giveaway!!


Brandy Gerber ~ winner of the original painting.

Sally T, Angel Wolfstorm, Brooke Reynolds, you have all won yourself a spot in the ecourse!!

Aimee Wheaton, Prerna Poojara, Lynette Collis, Julia Stubblefield and Debbie Manske and Susan Curtin, you will all be receiving a handpainted postcard from somewhere along my 2015 European adventure. Send me your addresses :))
Congratulations to you all.
One of my all time fave TED talks from Elizabeth Gilbert ♥

Monday, December 22, 2014

The scoop on 2014!! AND my biggest giveaway ever!! ♥

My dear awesome, wonderful, talented, creative friends!

It's that time of the year again, a time for recaps and reflections....

a time to ponder the wonders of 2014 (and I hope you have had many)
and time for me to celebrate the gratitude I feel so deeply by holding a very special GIVEAWAY!
The biggest yet in fact!

So after you read all the way through, please leave me a comment as we see out the old year and prepare to bring in the new. I would LOVE to hear what you are dreaming into being in 2015! 
P.S Please make sure you also leave your email contact so we can let you know if you've won!
*please feel free to tweet, pin, reblog, post anywhere and let me know how many shares cos thats how many chances you'll have to win! <3 p="">

TEN lucky winners will win either the original painting shown above OR one of three free spots in my upcoming Paint Mojo ecourse which opens for Earlybird registration on Jan 1st OR one of six hand painted postcards  to be sent from a mystery European destination during my travels next year!
*winners announced Dec 31st*

Did I mention I LOVE giving stuff away!! :)

I've been thinking about the whole WORD of the year thing and have decided that it doesn't really work for me. 
I've never been that good at focusing on one thing for a long period of time so this year I want to move forward with several intentions rather than a word.

So here goes....

As I move into the New Year I intend

to work on balancing my body and mind, giving care and time to my physical needs and balancing out the disproportionate amount of time I spend "in my head".

to journey forth with a brave and open mind and to embrace more adventures even if they are momentarily scary.

to practice seeing myself as a strong and vibrant energetic force. I see this reflected back at me all the time from you beautiful people but mostly I have trouble believing it for myself.

I would love for you to share your intentions with me also.

I must confess.....
I don't quite know where to start with this years recap..
its been big, different, amazing, confronting, enlightening, funny, scary, wonderful and BUSY! 

but a HUGE lesson I have learned in the past twelve months is that I don't have to do it ALL!!

This gorgeous woman saved my sanity by showing up two or three days a week, always bringing a sunshiny smile with her and taking over a whole bunch of stuff that was tying me to the computer. Thank you Kyla for being a multitasking queen and a wonderful friend! xo

Its also been a year of very big FIRSTS!

My FIRST book which sold out of its FIRST print run super quickly, and sat in the number one bestseller position in painting and mixed media for weeks!

Many of you sent me awesome pics as you received your books around the world and it made me feel sooooo good, like a little part of me was right there with you as you opened yourself up to more creative mojo in your lives.

It was also the year for my very FIRST Ecourse and oh man what a learning curve that was! Thank you to Kyla once again, Louise Gale, Luke Sheehan and my sweet Sienna for help with registrations, websites, filming and editing. I could NOT have done it all on my own!

The ecourse content unfolded organically and beautifully and the community of more than 400 eager students who joined the first session have made me feel like a proud mama as I have watched them blossom and shine. I adore in person teaching at my workshops and wondered how I could navigate a large ecourse group with the same kinds of hands on advice and care I give in "real" life but the feedback I have received makes me feel like I gave it my all and I cant wait for the second session to begin Feb 14th. Earlybird registration opens here in just nine days.

Would love for you to join me and I promise to ignite your mojo and spark your inspiration bigtime!

” You have such fresh ideas, content, and a great organized, yet spontaneous, teaching style. Truly an incredible class by which all others will be compared.” ~Sheila

(a little collage below of just a few of the hundreds, maybe thousands of amazing student images that came forth from Paint Mojo the ecourse~session one!)

"I wanted to find out if I could paint from my heart/my head, rather than paint what I physically see around me. This class is so chock full of different ideas that actually help to pull creativity out of your bones! Tracy is a loving, generous, kind and wise soul. She teaches and lives out of her heart, and is willing to share whatever she can to help a fellow 'creative' play with no judgement of ability or talent" D Weiland

Hamming it up for the camera!

the very first ecourse mind mapping session!

Screenshot from one of the Canvas Immersion Videos (courtesy Luke Sheehan)

In 2014 I also.....  did my fair share of waiting in airport gates

on my way to Paint Mojo workshops around Australia, meeting old friends and new   
   and staying a little closer to home this year while our baby girl Sienna wrapped up her senior year (with flying colors).

The one place I did visit outside of Australia marked another first with my FIRST longer all inclusive retreat in beautiful Bali! Oh my, I fell hard for this country...so languid, soulful, picturesque and welcoming.

How blessed I was to spend almost a month here, facilitating two 8 day retreats and enjoying every minute with two small intimate groups of sweet and talented women in the perfect setting at Sanur Beach Villas. Grateful also for the company of my dear friend Louise Gale who, as a guest teacher, shared her talent and knowledge with the students for our altered book project. I have already grabbed the dates at this fabulous venue for Sacred Marks Bali 2016 so make sure you let me know if you want me to keep you in the loop! 

2014 also had its moments where our feet didn't feel so firmly planted on the ground!

I spent four days in hospital in early Feb after months of unsettling symptoms and came home with a diagnosis of Ulcerative colitis. I have since taken major corrective steps with my diet and although I am not symptom free yet I feel like I am on track.
Santana, around the same time, after months of nausea attacks and trialing every food under the sun to see what was causing it, finally had a definitive blood test result confirming severe coeliac. Needless to say her diet has changed radically as well.
The news didn't stop her and her gorgeous guy Jacob from heading off on a two months adventure shortly after and enjoying it all with gusto and romance

   Not to be outdone mi amor went and almost lost a finger while kite surfing and had to undergo extensive microsurgery to try to save it. Several months and surgeries later it is almost as good as new and he is back out in the water....

and I get to listen to him strum his guitar each night as I cook dinner :)

All in all I am blessed.....learning to take more time to chillax and  smell the roses with reminders from Bella and Luna....

Learning to let go of the thoughts, habits, actions that no longer serve me and focus on what makes me feel joy....

learning to move forward towards my year of turning fifty with a greater feeling of self love and acceptance...
Even my work feels like it is collaborating with me to tune me into a quieter more introspective place of creating, and it feels GOOD....

I am grateful for so much, deepening friendships

magic forays into new lands and wise words from ancient poets to guide me...

an ever widening lens of wonder with which to view an ever expanding and enchanting world...

and a growing sense of knowing that indeed there is something bigger than we know going on here, that we should all remain open and that the journey ahead can be a magical one.

Much love to you all, many blessings for the holidays, whichever, wherever you celebrate, may you celebrate with love and compassion and move into the New Year aligned with all good things to come your way.

Good luck in my giveaway!
Please don't forget to leave a comment! 
lots of love 
Tracy xoxoxox

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Italy 2015! Paint Mojo and la dolce vita!

Hello my creative adventurers!

Over the next several weeks we will do some dreaming together, 
as I introduce all of the longer workshops and retreats I will be facilitating in 2015 
(and begin to plan for 2016) 
I invite you to gift yourself the space and time to join me
 in one of several very special places next year, 
for a more expansive journey into finding your mojo and nurturing your creative spirit. 
Some will be all inclusive, others partially so or workshop only. 
More information on each can be found here

Lets talk about Italy......Orvieto, Italy

a place of history and mystery, 
medieval caves and Etruscan relics, 
volcanic cliffs and sun drenched vineyards, 
inspiration at every turn....... 

A place that I am thrilled to be teaching at in September 2015, and not just a small two day affair mind you, but a full week long creative experience!

I am so excited to be working with the wonderful Kristin and Bill Steiner from Adventures In Italy whose passion for all things Italian is palpable and contagious!
Here is a little of what they will bring to the table to round out a week of creative play!

"Then there is the Italy of the senses 
  • The simple, fresh, delicious food
  • The lilting, melodious language
  • The sultry, luscious wines
  • The quiet, peaceful, early morning streets
  • The boisterous times around the table
  • The passionate care taken with food preparation, vineyard cultivation, oil pressing

This is the Italy we at Adventures in Italy give our travelers - subtle, simple, seductive. "

and a few words from travelers and students who have experienced their hospitality....

"I will never be the same. It confirmed, as my subconscious already knew, life is about experiences, every little one."

"I often think that if you hadn't followed your hearts, I never would have ended in Orvieto, learning how to create a water color journal. It's so exciting to be freeing my creativity, rather than hiding behind it." 
"You have given me a life changing experience. I am now someone who makes her dreams come true. I am experiencing life rather than plowing through it just to get by. I really want you to know that because of you I am going to live a healthier, creative, adventuresome and more passionate life."

Paint Mojo In Italy! Living And Creating La Dolce Vita!

Imagine, explore, create and discover the beauty of your own story

against the backdrop of stunning Orvieto, Italy.

September 20 - 26, 2015

With camera and sketchbook you will gather daily inspiration from forays into the city and country, 
feel the passion of our surroundings, and bring la dolce vita to your art in the studio

During this week of discovery and play in gorgeous Orvieto you will:

  • Explore new, non threatening ways to make art
  • Learn to be inspired in every moment and realize that there are no mistakes in the creative process, only opportunities to learn and grow!
  • Spend time creating paintings and mixed media pieces spontaneously and intuitively, inspired by daily adventures, with no expectations, a wholehearted approach and an open mind!
  • Learn to find your own inner muse, reconnect with your creative selves and find inspiration for our art in unexpected places.
  • Go through a series of fun, playful, exercises, encouraging you to become an explorer of possibilities with a focus on gratitude, letting go of our inner critic and playful exploration,
  • Learn tips and techniques for creating vibrant, expressive, colorful paintings, using acrylics, collage, ink, and pastels.
  • Be guided into your own personal creative flow and helped to find ways to recognize your own authentic creative voice

Outside of the classroom you will:

  • Enjoy tasting Orvieto's wines in Etruscan caves
  • Cook Italian food with a James Beard chef
  • Tour Italy's most impressive Gothic cathedral
  • Travel to a vineyard for a personalized wine tasting
  • Shop at the weekly market
  • Explore the Etruscan culture from 800 B.C
 Heres a peek at a recent workshop in Orvieto with the beautiful Misty Mawn :)




I would love to hang out in Italy with you!
Last week we dreamt about Portugal
the week before we visualised Ireland
Next week we talk about a three day Paint Mojo expansive 

Sometime between now and then I will be writing my 2014 wrap up post
as always celebrating with a HUGE giveaway!!!!!

which will include TWO free spots in my upcoming ecourse


6 lucky winners who will each receive a hand painted postcard 
from somewhere exotic along my journey next year! 

Stay tuned :)) ♥

lots of love Tracy xox

      All Orvieto images courtesy of Bill Steiner  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Paint Mojo Portugal July 2015!

Hello my creative adventurers!

Over the next several weeks, each Thursday, we will do some dreaming together as I introduce all of the longer workshops and retreats I will be facilitating in 2015 (and begin to plan for 2016) and invite you to gift yourself the space and time to join me in one of several very special places next year, for a more expansive journey into finding your mojo and nurturing your creative spirit. Some will be all inclusive, others partially so or workshop only. More information on each can be found here

Lets talk about Portugal......

a place of "medieval castles, cobblestoned villages, captivating cities and golden beaches" says Lonely Planet.....

Image credit: Next trip tourism 
A place that I am thrilled to be teaching at in July 2015, and not just a small two day affair mind you, but a full six day creative experience.

"Imagine, explore, create and discover while breathing in the 
inspiration of the gorgeous Estoril~Cascais region in Portugal!
I am so excited to be teaching at Margarida’s lovely studio in 2015. We 
have been planning and dreaming for so long and now it is becoming a 
reality. Portugal has been top of the list as a European destination for 
Marco and I for a long time so this is truly a dream come true. Traveling is 
such a huge love for me, exploring other cultures, connecting, wandering, 
wondering, and learning more about myself by learning about others. I 
hope you can join me!!"

My wonderful friend Margarida Alberty will be my host in her fabulous studio and I am beside myself with excitement thinking about what she has planned for us!

Here's what Margarida has to say about the beautiful area she lives in!
"We want to give you the opportunity to experience the creative side of the workshops, and also discover what Portugal has to offer.
This is a great way to explore places of interest and get in touch with real Portuguese life by experiencing great food, wine, traditions, music (Fado), scenery and history of this beautiful, ancient European country.
We are ideally located at a beach resort near Lisbon (28 km) and close to the hills of Sintra - a historical world heritage site.
You can plan a wonderful vacation where you enjoy Portugal and the Paint Mojo workshop at the same time.
What are you doing between
29th July - 5th August

Why not join me in Estoril?

Cost-$925-workshop price only

**students are responsible for their own accommodation, meals and transportation**
Some affordable accommodation is available at Margarida's lovely property and can be organised directly through her. Many other options available close by. Airbnb is one of my favorite places to book accommodation and they have some awesome places in Estoril!
During this wonderful week of painting, sketching, photography, mixed media and playful exploration in Portugal, you will intermingle your senses, rekindle your creative mojo and find ways to cultivate your own authentic mark, all from a place of curiosity, wonder and gratitude!
With camera and sketchbook in hand, we will gather daily inspiration from forays into the surrounding towns, to markets and monuments, beautiful beaches and colourful village streetscapes, feeling the passion of our surroundings, and bringing all of this to our art practice each day in Margarida’s large and delightful studio.
(morning or afternoon sessions with one day free to explore).
Our tastebuds will also be titillated as we dine on the delicious regional foods, of course with seafood and local wines a specialty!
This special week will enliven your senses, enhance your creative journey and expand your joy parameters!
Suitable for all levels of creative exploration...

Estoril Cascais
"That's where we'll be having the workshop. It's a beach town with a lot to see. There is a promenade along the Atlantic with small creeks and beaches, Restaurants and Handicrafts fair, Cabo the Roca, the most western part of Europe with great views, and natural landscapes. 
I can also take you to some little secrets..." says Margarida.

A world heritage site with so many palaces and castles and beautiful sights. A wonderland with magic. (just 15 minute ride from studio).

Would love to hang out in Portugal with you!
Last week we dreamt about Ireland
Next week we talk about Italy!
Until then
lots of love Tracy xox

ps remember you can find more info on all of my upcoming workshops and online courses here :)