Inspirationals for the Goddess News
Spiritual Blog by Dr Joanna Kujawa
Please welcome our second guest to the Inspirationals – the new feature at the Goddess News Spiritual Blog. Our second guest is Tracy Vedugo – the Colourful Goddess of Arts.
If Tracy Verdugo was given the opportunity to coin a term for a new art movement based around what she teaches she might call it “Curiosity and Wonderism”or maybe “Loosen-upism” or “Endless possibilitism”
When she is not hanging out with her family in their artsy adobe home in a small village on the shores of Jervis Bay, Australia, or throwing paint around in her little purple studio in their backyard, you may find her wrangling with two large suitcases attempting to board the BART in San Francisco en route to teach at an art retreat or sitting in a circle on St Pete Beach Florida listening intently as women share their stories of creative longing.
Tracy is an inspiration instigator, prolific painter, singer/songwriter and lover of the written word, smitten traveller and soaker up of all that is beauty-full. She teaches her Paint Mojo and other creative workshops all over this amazing planet and reminds her students of the wonder that already resides within them.
Her works are vibrant and filled with joy, inspired both by wanderlust, diversity and the beauty of everyday life. Since 2000 Tracy has held 16 successful solo exhibitions and her works are held in collections both in Australia and internationally.
Mostly though she is mama bear to two gorgeous, zest-filled daughters, Santana and Sienna, and co-adventurer in life with her amor of 32 years, the talented and brilliant Marco.
Needless to say that one of her gorgeous paintings are on my wall and another would have been there as well it I had not spent so much money on travel this year already 🙂
1.Tracy, tell us something about yourself that you believe represents you best.
I am not afraid to show you that I am always learning, that I don’t have every answer and that you are my teacher as much as I am yours. I feel that when my students see that honesty and vulnerability in me it helps them to be less critical and more OK with their own self perceived lacks.
I am not always kind to myself and I try to be honest about that too. I am coming to believe that sharing my humanness might be my super power.
Tell us a story of how you decided to be an artist?
I had been creative for years, arranging food artistically on plates, arranging Australian dried flowers for sale here and in the US, styling displays of indigenous arts and crafts from the Americas in our stores, but never putting it together that ALL OF IT was ART!! Somehow I thought that painting and drawing was some magical gift only allotted to a lucky few.
When our youngest daughter Sienna was three she started at preschool on Wednesdays. The very first day I dropped her off I sat with my emptiness a while and then opened the local paper to find a Wednesday morning art class offered nearby for beginners. The year was 2000. I took a deep breath, dialled the number and enrolled. After the first few classes I felt like I was seeing the world through magical eyes. I felt a new sense of aliveness and I KNEW that I had been wrong. That we ALL have the innate ability to be creative and that ALL of it is art. I was so excited that within six months I had put in my application for a solo exhibition in our local Winter arts festival! And the rest, as they say, is history J
- Many of Goddess News readers wonder how you arrived at the rare equilibrium where you can enjoy a good living through and by your art?
I think that the answer to this is probably a book rather than a paragraph but maybe I can break it down to the following;
*Narrow down the focus of what it is you want to do and act on it. I started 17 years ago by gathering local kids and teaching them in afternoon art classes.
* Learn everything you can and work hard on developing your art and process. I stay curious always and soak up everything I can both from other teachers and my students.
* As you grow and expand set an intention for everything wonderful to grow and expand with you. Be open to abundance and opportunity. Find others who are doing what you want to do and begin to KNOW that that if its possible for them its possible for YOU too! I created a vision board which held all of the things I wanted to see in my life, spiritually, financially, health, travel and family wise. As my vision expanded to travelling and teaching art classes around the world I created a separate vision board just for this and glued on images of artists who were already doing this successfully plus the places I would like to teach at. I kept this board centre stage on the wall in my studio.
*ASK!! This is so important! Once my vision was clear I reached out to friends around the world, artists that I had become close to through a creative group I had started on Facebook. I emailed a high profile art retreat in the US not knowing that they field 500 plus applications a year. They said yes and everything expanded even more from there.
Stay open. Work hard. Be curious <3
- You often speak of the spiritual aspect of your art. Goddess news would like to know How would you describe your form of spirituality as well how do you integrate your spirituality to your art.
There is something greater than us and at the same time it IS us. ALL of us, as one. Once, years ago, when I was struggling with defining my spiritual beliefs, I closed my eyes and imagined/envisioned God as a gigantic pulsing radiating ball of light. Billions of tiny sparks were moving towards and away from the light and each spark was a soul. Some heading out and away to have their adventure and others returning home to be absorbed into that immense love.
Be grateful for that WONDROUS LOVE in every moment and ask what would LOVE have us do?
Know that here in THIS experience the Earth holds us, grounds us and heals us. When you are feeling disconnected, lost, sad or unwell just put your bare feet on the earth, lay on the grass OR sink into the ocean and ask her to take it from you. Her love is deep and her power to transmute is infinite.
Treat each other with kindness and try to remember that every aspect of the other which makes you afraid, angry or reactive is an opportunity to look for that aspect within yourself and send it love.
Inspirationals for the Goddess News
Spiritual Blog by Dr Joanna Kujawa
What has Joanna learned from Tracy’s interview – Narrow Down, Joanna! 🙂
Love this post, the artwork and the story especially as I think about getting back into painting. A good reminder that it is enough to be human, vulnerable and not “perfect”. Like Tracy, I started painting from an emptiness, having just married and leaving home, my country and the family I had always known, then taking some classes as a beginner and exhibiting a few months later. Another timely post. Thank you Dr. Joanna! Oh and if you would like to see some of my first works, they are at bangkokpalette.com.
Jaclyn -great to hear from you :). I am so glad that you connected to the post and Tracy’s story. I love her paintings. Also, many thanks for beautiful examples of your own art – I had no idea that you paint :). Wonderful!