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Sunday, July 31, 2011

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. Mark Twain

Never underestimate the power of imagining your ultimate dream. Two years ago I made this vision board as a way of shouting my intentions to the Universe...I want to paint every day, travel and teach, help people to understand that there is greatness inside all of us. On the board I placed images of places I could imagine teaching workshops and people who were already living the life I envisaged. Today I cut out a picture of Hacienda Mosaico in Mexico, a place I want to teach at in my five year plan. I brushed the glue on and went to look at where I could add it to my board. What a surprise to find a picture already there, not the same pic but from a different angle, right above the picture of Flora Bowley on the right who incidentally walked out of my vision board and into my reality this is a mysterious and wonderful thing.
Dont forget to come on over to our Magically Mixed media group on Facebook as we are just about to hit the 1000 member mark and when we do I'll be giving this little painting away to a lucky winner....DREAM BIG beautiful friends!!

Tracy ♥♥♥

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Happy birthday to me AND to my blog!!

Hi beautiful creative friends!!
Thanks so much for all the lovely birthday wishes on FB...I had an amazing day and lots of pressies which included a beautiful bunch of flowers delivered to my workplace from my wonderful husband, various vouchers for foot, head and back massage plus a voucher for art supplies from the girls AND the best Ipod/CD speaker sound system that will enable me to play cool music at all of my workshops, in my studio, in the bath, wherever!! How lucky am I?!

I was also surprised to discover that my blog had a birthday last week too. It's one year old and what an amazing year its been! So many firsts have come about from connecting through this amazing blogosphere but mostly its about the friends I have made and the community of like minded souls that have come into my life and for that I am truly grateful. One of those beautiful people is the very groovy Holly Eva. We befriended each other at the suggestion of the amazing Violette and have been on a whirlwind getting to know each other ever since. Our husbands are eternally grateful that they no longer have to listen to our crazy, way out ideas cos' we now have each other to share with and our zany ideas don't sound crazy to us at all!

One of my goals this year was to start making some videos and eventually build up to online workshops. This is my first attempt so be kind..more to come soon!! Have a blissful weekend and make sure you make some time to make SOMETHING fabulous ♥♥♥

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

towards a simpler life....

In 2008 our family made the decision to have 7 months of time out. Travelling on a wing and a prayer we took the girls out of school and headed to the US travelling up the West Coast from San Diego to Canada and then down into tropical Mexico...we worked where we could, camped, homeschooled and visited with family. Towards the end of the trip we spent two months in the sleepy coastal village of Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, I want to share with you a post from three years thoughts on a very non hectic period of our lives. During this time painting was even put on the backburner in favour of naps, swims and sunset watching...later, however once we were back in Australia, inspiration came as an avalanche as I processed and painted my memories...I guess what I search for now is a way to bring some of that simplicity back into our lives..I still havent figured it out but would love to hear from all of you any changes you have made towards living a more simple life xo

*******HERES MY POST FROM 2008 ********


For two months we explore this sleepy tropical outpost. We are in Oaxaca, the Southern most state of the Pacific Coast of Mexico. A few more hours and you end up in Guatemala.

Puerto Escondido hangs on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. It has been sixteen years since we last visited; then, no children, no mortgage, no responsibilities. Things have changed for us but in a good way and the changes we see in Puerto are also positive. Tourism has grown but the charm of a sleepy laid back coastal town is still there. There are more beachside palapa restaurants, more backpacker surf hostels, more gringos building beachside places to rent out, more bodyboarders, more international injection with sushi bars and pizza places popping up, but in the end the flavour is the same. There will be no highrise here, no 5 star luxury hotels, no $200.00 a day golf courses or high end fishing trips.

The mood is sleepy, laid back, lazy dogs, beer on the beach at perfect sunset after perfect sunset, rice and beans on fresh corn tortillas, palm trees and humming birds, sharing papaya with our resident iguana…get the picture? Decisions are tough to make…another swim or a siesta? Sudoku or a book?
Is it time to eat? I don’t know, are you hungry? Life is cruisey here and without a vehicle we explore on foot, colectivo or by taxi.

Mostly we walk.
Along the wet sand from Zicatela to the Point, watching schools of manta rays fly through the air, synchronising their dance above the sun sparkled water. Or in the opposite direction from Zicatela towards Playa Marinero where a sculpture of two hands rise out of the rocks open palmed, a symbolic offering of thanks against the perfect sky or perhaps an acknowledgment of receipt and gratitude. There are many gifts to be had here.

The waves on Zicatela are powerful, ranked amongst the best in the World and swimming here is not recommended. Lifeguards rescue unknowing tourists daily from the treacherous undercurrents which the surfers use to their advantage to get out into the line up quickly.
Marco heads out to surf almost daily while the girls and I content ourselves with wallowing in the whitewash.
Some days we walk to Playa Principal, where the fishermen haul in their daily catch in brightly coloured lanchas. Here, in the afternoon, Mexican families come down in their hundreds for the Puesta del sol(sunset) and bathe fully clothed in the calmer waters, letting the gentle waves flop them around like overgrown rag dolls. Restaurants line the beach and women carry trays of fruit salad and fried bananas to customers on the waters edge

From Playa Principal we walk the Cliff walk, a series of concrete paths, steps and bridges, cut into and built around the natural cliff faces. This leads us up to Manzanillo reef where Marcos mum joins us for several weeks in November. From her Oceanfront condo we walk the neighbourhood streets together, past a tiny store where the owner and family sit outside watching soap operas under the shade of a giant tree, past the parrot who says “hola ” and surprises us one day with an entire verse of a plaintive Mexican folk song, down the cobblestoned street where we peer through open doors to catch a glimpse of other lives, past the old man in the wheel chair who always smiles and wishes us “buenos tardes”, down the stairway and past a series of stone archways which would be beautiful were it not for the rubbish and overgrown weeds, past the military barracks where teenaged soldiers stand guard with loaded M16s, onto the adoquin lined with restaurants and souvenir shops and tables and blankets filled with craft from surrounding villages.

Sometimes we have company on our walks. Two dogs from the neighbourhood, Muneca and Duke adopt us and follow us out in the morning and afternoons, declining our company in the heat of the day, preferring then to lie in the shade like any sensible creature would.

They follow us to the Language school where we have enrolled the girls in Spanish Classes. Muneca is wonderful; a smiling, talking, tail wagging hound blend. Duke is a cool dude, king of the neighbourhood, lovable but a little on the goofy side; we cringe when he chases motorbikes and cars, inadvertently starts fights, makes a quick detour into a hotel swimming pool for a dip, or runs across the highway in front of oncoming traffic because a horse on the other side has sparked his interest. They follow us to the Hotel Santa Fe one night where Sharon is treating us to dinner and despite our urgings, sneak in and hide under the table. “They’re not our dogs” we say to the waiter apologetically. He smiles and gently shoos them out with sprinkles of water from a silver bowl. After dinner we find Duke in the street still waiting faithfully to escort us home in the dark. One day he pees on one of the hundred of lounge chairs laced along the beach. The owner of the chairs throws the bottom of a beach umbrella spike at him whacking him across the face and then proceeds to threaten Marco with the sharp metal end, cursing in Spanish and waving his arms at these ^$#@#^&* perros pissing everywhere “He’s not our dog ” Marco repeats again and again..this becomes a common refrain in the weeks to come until one day the neighbour tells us that Duke has been sent off to a friends ranch after another neighbours complaint. We think a ranch will probably suit the big oaf just fine. Lonely Muneca visits us in our casa but doesnt venture out as much without Duke. Within days however another neighbourhood duo has filled their place as our trusty companions.

In the evenings we stroll the short block down to the beach, watch another sunset and think about how lucky we are to be here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Oh my!! Where have I been?? Its school holidays and I thought I would be the blogging queen! Alas I'm like a kid in a candy store...too many fun things to choose from and so I'm running around trying to do all of them...Marco and I headed down to Canberra on Sunday to drop Sienna off to go skiing and he surprised me with a night at the Rydges Lakeside...i have to say its been a while since we've had a night alone in a hotel! First we wandered downstairs and found an art auction in progress...we sat in and couldnt believe that a couple of Salvador Dali signed etchings went for around $800!! Then we strolled through the streets until we found a nice warm Irish Pub where we enjoyed a couple of rounds of Guinness :)

We wandered the streets for a while after this but the cold was a little too much so we headed back to the hotel and had some extra spicy Indian delivered..Marco was in heaven!!

Earlier in the week I was over the moon HAPPY to give away this little painting to lucky winner Charla when my Magically Mixed Art Community over at facebook hit 500 members.

I had NO IDEA when I started this group several months ago that it would become such an awesome place of sharing and inspiration. If you are not yet a member PLEASE come on over to my FB page and ask for an invite...Here's an example of a question I asked last week and just a few of the fabulous responses from people in the KNOW ♥

Tracy Verdugo
I've got lots of questions today and my mind is working overtime. One of my goals this year is to have my work published...many of you here have already accomplished this and I'd love some advice for myself and others in the group who have the same dreams. For me being from a small village by the beach in Australia it is awesome to be able to connect with artists all over the world and I soooooo appreciate your wisdom x

From the lovely Violette!
HI Tracy and everyone here! This is the way my journey went - first i was published on online zines, then real zines, then real magazines such as Cloth Paper Scissors, Somerset, Creative Techniques, Creative Homes, Scrapbooking and beyond ...etc. After that people knew me and i was asked to submit to someone's book - then another book and then i heard that Rice Freeman Zachary was looking for people to submit their story for a possible book. Which i did - then i was chosen to appear in Living the Creative Life - a wonderful book with 15 artists. From there the editors of the publishing house got to know me and i pitched an idea for a book to them. They said YES! "Journal Bliss" was born! So my journey took a few years........basically you look for submission guidelines in magazines - there are many and then you can query or simply send in your project with step by steps. Getting published has never been easier -'s very easy today! Tracy - have you heard of the latest Stampington magazine - can't remember the name - it's to do with art with kids. I think you could submit a story about creating art with your kids! You'd be great! xo
ps You can also subscribe to "Haro- Ask a reporter" they have lots of call outs for stories for publications, blogs etc. I have received publicity that way too! Good luck!

From the beautiful Juliette Crane- definitely choose your top magazines etc that you'd love to be featured in and submit to them first! check their websites and follow their submission guidelines. i always like to send a little gift of cards or magnets with my art on it too...for the editor to keep and remember :) good luck!

From the all inspiring Pam Carriker
Hey Tracy, I started by submitting to magazine calls and then submitted my first article (CPS Art at the Speed of Life) many articles lead to my book by the same title. Calls are an easy way to start, they are asking for artwork of a specif...ic nature that they need! Be sure to follow the submission guidelines found out their websites. I've seen firsthand how much art they receive and it's astounding, which makes it hard to deal with art that doesn't follow the guidelines. Submit the actual artwork, especially important when you're introducing it to them the first time. I like to submit more than one piece as it makes for a nice layout. Don't stop at the first submission. Sometimes it takes many months before they use something so don't spend the time holding your breath waiting to hear about it, keep moving forward to the next call. The magazines love new, fresh, artwork. Read up, see what they're looking for. Read the letters to the editor to see what readers would like to see as well. It doesn't hurt to send it off with a little kiss for luck either;-)

and this lovely comment from Elaina!
Elaina Allen-Velando It's so refreshing when artist's share! Thank you Pam and Violette (and Tracy for this cool page) for those tips. I believe when we share the creative flow comes full circle ♥
COuldnt have said it better!!

Make sure you come on over to FB to see all of the other helpful advice and join the magic!

Apart from all that I've been in here.......

Doing a lot of this.............

and this.............

working on some stuff for Uni in which I am attempting to map the blogosphere ( thereby giving me the ultimate excuse to spend hours perusing blogs all in the name of research) is a work in progress

and I even managed to sneak in a session in the recording studio where I did vocals on two new songs much to Marco's amazement!! Will be trying my hand at making some videos to go with our songs very soon...not sure if it will work but I just embedded one of our new songs in this blog...fingers crossed :)

Until next time, big hugs, lots of love and have a fabulously creative week
Tracy ♥♥♥