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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Thirty day painting challenge! On letting go and the art of allowing...

Hello lovely friends and family!!
Today I'm excited to share my experience
 of a 
thirty day painting challenge
 with you all.......

It started towards the end of our trip when I began to notice my dear friend Judy Wise posting raw, energetic, quirky, exploratory paintings to FB with enigmatic captions, documenting a thirty day process of painting on the same canvas, over and over with the hashtag #judyschallenge and #paintoniteverydayforthortydays

The images were sooooo compelling and Judy talked about her growth as an artist through the process so I decided that once I was home and settled I would give it a whirl for myself!

If you'd like to read about Judy's experience jump on right on over here but don't forget to come back.
Something pretty amazing happened for me during this challenge! 

I learned to let go and truly allow in a deeper way than ever before.

a couple of FYI's

* I did not work on this challenge every single consecutive day but I did work on it for thirty days
* Judy Wise started the challenge and loves to see others jump on board using the hashtags above so we can all learn and grow with each others experiences
* There is no set procedure, time limit etc to move forward. Go with your gut and a "whatever happens happens approach"

Day 1 - i jump in full of gusto and happily try out some techniques I had been exploring while filming my latest Mini Mojo class Pattern. Color. Texture! (which you can find more about here)

WORDS AND FEELINGS: flow, free mark making, energetic

Day 2- feeling great and playing with transparent glazes of Daler Rowney F & W acrylic artists inks. I start to feel a little apprehensive at the fact that I already like it a LOT on day two!

WORDS AND FEELINGS; loose, spacious, curious, slightly apprehensive

Day 3- TAKE THAT! I will NOT be attached on DAY gone pretty painting, out with the old, well, most of it....except for THAT little lovely bit and THIS one over here.....

WORDS AND FEELINGS: cautiously lavish, duality, upside down

Day 4- strange happenings with the appearance of a funny little bird lady, a cat, a vessel and a cup. Trying too hard to contrive some kind of narrative, blaaaahhh!!

WORDS AND FEELINGS: story, contrived WTH!

Day 5-when in doubt add teal or turquoise or any mix of the two. Holding onto the imagery here because honestly I don't have a clue what else to do! Add in a ladder but don't know why!

WORDS AND FEELINGS: aimless, fall back, confused

Day 6- Put a vibrant magenta and red glaze over the whole thing( well almost ;p). Throw in some fluoro pink for good measure!

WORDS AND FEELINGS: moody, bold, let go
Day 7- no clue what to do and have very little time so I pick up the closest paints and do this. Oh brother is right!

WORDS AND FEELINGS: crap, hate it, rushed, disconnected, WTH!

Distract myself with kitties and filming for a few days and try not to think about it!

Day 8- for some reason its really hard to wipe out the funny bird lady completely so I tip toe around her...

WORDS AND FEELINGS: attached but don't know why, indecisive, flailing

Day 9- turn it around. Add some green because I don't usually add green. Put some random stamps on. Hate on it. Don't want to show it on social media but show it anyway. I am, as Judy said, putting my uglies out for all to see....

WORDS AND FEELINGS: more flailing, failing, ugly, stuck

Day 10- make a drastic move, throw some random colors on and still hate it. Even more than before! Notice how sad that little face is still peeking through.


Day 11- Fall back on an old move to try to break my mood and move forward. At least its a start.

WORDS AND FEELINGS: hopeful, new start, let go

 Day 12- feel some freedom begin to return in my choices and begin to notice bits I do like again.

WORDS AND FEELINGS: fresh, relief, bold

Day 13- feel in the flow today and paint freely. LOVE it again! Uh oh.....

WORDS AND FEELINGS- new, proud, excited

Avoid making any new moves and get distracted by Christmas tree and cats for a few days

Day 14- for several weeks I'd been working on renditions of a beautiful horse whose photo I took in the New Forest, England. I decide to flip the canvas again and bring the horse into the landscape.

WORDS AND FEELINGS: pushing further, fearless, happy

Day 15- I LOVE this horse! I really do! Oh crap! I'm only half way through the challenge. Lovely supportive friends tell me to just add tiny dots for the next fifteen days. I know that's not the answer for my highest growth.

WORDS AND FEELINGS: strong and unsure all at the same time

Day 16- I add some collaged napkins and call it a day

WORDS AND FEELINGS: contemplative, hesitant

Day 17- hey look! There's a tree... and two giant birds...and a beautiful horse!

WORDS AND FEELINGS: just not ready to let go

Distract myself with Christmas.... and family.... and kittens.

 Day 18- breathe, let go, breathe, let go. See it wasn't so hard!

WORDS AND FEELINGS: let go, breathe, let go, breathe :)

Day 19- What kind of lush landscape is this? Playing with new color combos and loving it again.

WORDS AND FEELINGS: exploratory, curious, in the zone.

Day 20- back in "not sure" land. Make some moves I don't love.

WORDS AND FEELINGS: turquoise doesn't FIX everything, flailing again

Day 21-I spy the faintest suggestion of an eye and eyebrow top left where I had whited out a whole section. Theres a woman waiting to emerge but she's asleep for now...

WORDS AND FEELINGS: mystery, awe, excitement, anticipation

Day 22- stress about the fact that there are still 8 days to go and I really, really LOVE this sleeping beauty spooning the land. add some more random stamps and fiddle a bit aimlessly

WORDS AND FEELINGS: attached, disjointed, contrived

Day 23- Oh geez, what was I thinking! 


Distract myself for several days with visiting family.... and baby WOMBATS!

Day 24- turn it upside down and let her go.

WORDS AND FEELINGS: let go, breath, allow

Day 25- I see the faintest impression of a face and body and go for it. She returns! Awake this time! Bottom right I see a vague human form, a woman inside the earth, cocooned. I try to bring her out...

WORDS AND FEELINGS: connected, curious, open

Day 26- she might be here to stay, this beauty.  After all there are only 4 days left right? I can totally work around her. Wait. thats me getting attached. What was the whole point of this process again? I decide I don't like the idea of that woman curled up under the ground and I let her go.

WORDS AND FEELINGS: claustrophobic, curious, attached

Day 27- bring in some white! Yes. Thats a bold move right? and I get to keep the woman. Start to get pretty and fiddly with more flowers in her hair and listen to a small voice inside say, " you're playing safe. let go."

WORDS AND FEELINGS: hold tight, let go, listen

Day 28- I remember a time when my dear friend and wondrous artist Orly Avineri prompted us to slash a bold brushstroke of color over the favorite part of our journal spread during a workshop....
and I did it, 
and I survived. 
SO I take a deep breath and I do it again!

WORDS AND FEELINGS: surrender, allow, open, expansive, brave

Day 29- I spend a day walking in and out of my studio with a piece of chalk in my hand.Turning the image this way and that. Looking through squinted eyes, relaxing my vision, burning incense, taking deep breaths and asking for guidance. Top right I see a bottom, a derriere that is. 
I sketch in a figure and it looks like me. 
My eye goes to the orange shape to the left and I am astounded! I see the horse! He's back! 
I'm so excited that I'm forgetting to breath. I'm reminded of Elizabeth Gilberts TED talk on creative genius and I know that RIGHT NOW I am connected to something way bigger than myself. 
This is amazing!!

WORDS AND FEELINGS: connected, open, wonderment, narrative, therapy

 Day 30! " A Horse Named Surrender" 
Grateful times infinity for this journey, for this peaceful woman sitting naked on a ledge, for this majestic horse standing close by, protective and accepting, for the sleeping beauty now become the land, unseeing, unseen but giving support and foundation to those above. 

Grateful for the magic and the wonder and the unfolding story. Grateful for you too xox

As always I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. I so enjoy reading your sweet words xoxox

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Woohoo!!! The giveaway winners are ..............

Thank you so much everyone for all of your wonderful comments and support over these past few weeks and indeed throughout 2015!

I am super excited to announce the winners for each day of my nine day giveaway!. We will be in touch with you all over the next few days to arrange delivery of your prizes!


 Day one winners of one my Mini Mojo online workshops; either Animalitos  or Pattern, Color, Texture are ...

Sally Schultz and Karen Clewell!! 

Day two winner of the original artwork featured in Cloth Paper Scissors column is  

Karen Reed !! 

Day three winners of the elephant necklaces are 

IIdy Karsay & M Adaya LeMae !!

Day four winner of the little ellie painting is 

 Gunilla Adolfsson!!

Day 5 winner of my Mini Mojo online course -Pattern. Color. Texture is 

Jackie P Neal!!

Day 6 winner of Mini mojo online workshop Animalitos is 

Sojna Widmer !! 

Day 7 winner of this original dreamcatcher painting is 

Betty Wisse !!

Day 8 winner of my original painting "Wise Whispers"  is 

B J Kennedy !!

Day 9 winner of an autographed copy of my book Paint Mojo is 

Glenda Hoagland !!

Once again congratulations to all of the winners. We will be in touch or you can email Kyla at to collect your prize!!  

lots of love Tracy xoxox

Monday, January 11, 2016

Day nine!! Last chance to win and a few luscious landscapes!

early morning beauty St Pete Beach Florida

Thank you sooooo much for joining me over these past several weeks as I have attempted to encapsulate and share my reflections on an amazing year~ 2015!
Your love and support has been an invaluable gift as we journeyed through so many luscious landscapes across the world.....
 today I thought I'd share just a few with you
to wrap up my giveaway before we draw the winners!

We've also decided to give you all an extra 24 hours to comment and spread the love,
 so the winners (all nine days worth!!) will be drawn Jan 12th 8pm PST

Be sure to leave a comment one each of the nine posts and let me know if you share on FB, Twitter and Instagram for more chances.

Oh and PLEASE make sure that we know how to find you if you win!

As we moved across so many different landscapes I found myself filled with a new appreciation for this beautiful Earth..... from our little studio in Wales we looked out over the sheep dotted verdant fields

 In Indiana I sat on the banks of the mighty Ohio and felt at one with its flow....

From my hotel room in Palm Desert the light changed umpteen times a day. Absolutely breathtaking!

On a hilltop in Spain we felt super grateful that we had stumbled upon the picture perfect village of Santo Domingo de Silos on our arduous five day roadtrip between the South of Spain and Northern Germany.

In the South of France we were lucky enough to be just in time for the massive sunflowers blooming EVERYWHERE!!

While in Wales the flowers danced for us in front of ancient ruins...

we walked (and ran, laughing hysterically) through fields where horses came to greet and nuzzle us and frisky bulls chased us

We soaked up sunsets, grateful for each passing day, on one side of the world

and the other....

 and enjoyed the many moods of the ocean from continent to continent...peaceful, contemplative

or ruggedly wild....

 mi amor, water man extraordinaire, racing across it in ways I never will...(and that's ok by me ;p)

While he rode the blue I learned much about the beauty of green....

and how amazingly it is complimented by grey....

We tried to always remember to look up as well as ahead....

to absorb the color in our surroundings, both in the landscape and the characters we met :)

and always, always we looked for the light. 
Inspired by the golden hour in Spain

Illuminated vistas and golden haystacks bringing Van Gogh to mind....

Late Summer early evening light in Sweden to take our breath away...

Darkness and light and always a passage through....

Silver linings that my grandmother, bless her soul, told me were always there.....

whether looking across fields of barley in Granna, Sweden

 or gardens of cacti in Oaxaca Mexico

not an ounce of it did we take for granted
not an ounce.

Love to you all and best of luck when we draw the winners tomorrow!!!

Todays prize is an autographed copy of my book Paint Mojo with a little surprise inside

Lots of love Tracy xoxox

ps my next Mini Mojo online workshop (aiming for a March release date) will be all about creating Luscious Landscapes. 

Stay tuned to this blog for a special announcement in which I will be making a call out for some follower interaction when coming up with the landscape projects :)

If you haven't yet had fun with one of my affordable Mini Mojo workshops make sure you head on here for all kinds of Animalitos fun or here to explore Pattern, Color and Texture with me!!