TRUST

WIP Peaceable Pond

TRUST... what is it to you?  To me... Trust is letting go and allowing. With Trust there is always an element of risk. With Risk there is a possibility of failure...so many, including myself, choose to take the safe route, avoiding risk, in hopes of also avoiding failure.  

In the art world the "safe route" could mean you follow the instructions, the rules of design, the order of color placement, or even the opinions of others.  Taking a Risk outside of this "safe route" means you will have to TRUST something within yourself.  Not easy if you fear failing.

Was that just a confession?  You bet it was!  Although I have always been a risk taker, its not been without the huge fear of failing....and many times... I did fail.  So trusting in myself to take another risk always requires a measure of self encouragement and faith and letting go of control.  This place where my mind has to consciously make a decision to allow whatever comes my way, to trust my instincts, to allow each moment to reveal the next moment is both exhilarating and frightening... but its also so fleeting like the glimmer of aqua that shines through the crest of a wave as it's about to crash to earth. 

TRUST is what I experienced this last weekend at Paint Mojo Austin.  Tracy Verdugo offers parameters during her workshops...but then encourages her students to do what they "feel"... to TRUST what they feel... then try it!

Tracy Verdugo teaching Paint Mojo Austin 2013



Past experience of failure (what is failure anyway?) can sure play a number on your trust factor to move forward.  Last year when I hosted Tracy's workshop I struggled with the whole process of allowing... ending with an unfinished, inconclusive painting and a feeling that I had missed the Mojo.  (I must say here that I was also exhausted due to hosting the 3 day retreat...so I cannot totally blame my lack of Mojo on my lack of trusting or Tracy's lack of guidance!) But I did stop mid stream as fear gripped my gut and I felt if I continued it would be even more frustrating.

This year I came refreshed to the workshop and ready to let go.  I have to admit when I got to this point in my painting I really wasn't sure this was going to work...again... but I took a deep breath, snapped a picture and leaned in on TRUST.

Adding layers and layers of colors and shapes I cannot tell you how many times I had to stop... walk away ...breathe...and TRUST.  


I'm so grateful that I trusted, again and again, as I when it finally came to the point where I needed to find something in my painting to bring out... I was ready to see it.  It took taking a snapshop and looking at it through a different lense to see them...but once I looked, and trusted I would see, I immediately saw... the fish!

This joy, this excitement, boosted my Trust which eradicated my fears!  Once I saw them, I couldn't wait to release them from behind the blanket of colors... like turning the lens of a camera to sharpen the image...it was all becoming so clear!  

Although I still didn't complete my painting during Tracy's workshop, this year I walked away confident, encouraged, and full of TRUST....and definitely experienced Paint Mojo!  

STAGES OF PEACEABLE POND - WIP

This week, as I continue to play with it, allowing each stroke to reveal the next, risk and the fear of failing releases its grip as trust and faith rises up and moves me forward.
Thank you Tracy!

For more information about Tracy Verdugo and her Paint Mojo workshops and upcoming book, Paint Mojo, check out her website here:  ART OF TRACY VERDUGO

LIFE... Learning To Embrace It All


Wow... it's October!  Where did this year go? Frankly, I'm ready to move this year out of the way get on with the next.  It has been quite a year of awakening and death for me.  Bear with me... this post is really about...the beauty of Life!

The first 3 months were pretty quiet... then my mom's health began to fail her.  Bless her heart she went through months on end in and out of the hospital and rehabs and then finally... hospice.  Looking back it is all a big blur... a fog of activity all centered around taking care of her needs and desires... ending with a quiet night in September when she no longer drew another breath.  It's still so surreal... I will miss her laughter the most... she loved people and loved a good laugh!

My awakening, like decay, came in bits and pieces along the way.  The need to grow up and handle Life in its strange ways.  Lessons needing to be learned; the need to be more cooperative, be more sensitive to others, how to schedule my time when all I wanted was to sit and stare on no ones timeline but my own, how to talk with doctors and nurses more assertively...how to be proactive and remind them Mom was a human who deserved the best care, how to listen and take notes, and most of all how to Love unconditionally... and see the beauty in death and decay.  I cannot say I was successful in my learning...but I was successful enough to know I needed to improve...

I know this all sounds sort of morbid... but talking about morbidity is necessary as it effects all of our lives in one way or another...at some point or another... it hits us like a brick we were not expecting....and there it is... in all its unsightly glory... staring us in the face.  Now what?

Well, the day Mom moved from here to there... I walked into her room at hospice...in the dark of the night, only the glow of a lamp lit the silent room and there she was and yet... she was not.  I knew in an instant... Mom's not here. She was continuing her journey in another place...a dimension I can only imagine...but now she knows fully of.  What remained is only a physical representation of her... not a pleasing sight...yet the beauty of who I remember of Mom was right there in the death and decay.  I wish I could have cried... as I have not yet done so.  But as Life ebbs and flows, I know that in my own way... I let her go.

The very next day my sis had a heart attack and was rushed into emergency surgery for a blocked artery.  "What in the world is happening???" ...was about all I could muster at this time. She had a few rough days in ICU and miraculously I was able to take her home 3.5 days later, and continues to improve daily...So Thankful!  In the meantime... something miraculous was happening for me and it was not until a day or so ago that I really realized the miracle of it all.

You may be wondering why in the heck did I post a picture of my painted pumpkins at the top of this post... Well...another awakening... another lesson to be learned was waiting for me after Mom took that last breath.   I had placed the remaining of last years painted pumpkins on Etsy late in August, just to move them out as creating anything had taken its rightful place behind me. They sat there for 3 weeks without even a blink of interest...then WHAM... the very day Mom left us... 3 of the 6 pumpkins sold! Then I started getting emails from interested parties for special orders and I had a choice... paint? or not?  I mean... Mom just passed... and now Sis is in the hospital... so really?  Do I take the time to jump in with both feet?  Do I even have it in me to do so?

I made the choice and Jumped...anyway!  Despite the grief, the lack of tears, the fears of failing, the need to be strong for my Sis, the feeling of guilt for loving the chance to create again and so on and so on... I Jumped Anyway!  And I'm so happy I did!

The orders continued until I'm now at the point where I'm feeling the need to slow them down.  I've never been in such a position... and all I can think is "WoW Mom... you didn't waste anytime after you left us!"  I picture her whispering into everyones ears... "You need one of my daughters pumpkins!"  LOL I know...stretching it... but I love the thought of it...as she was one heck of a saleswoman while here!

So you may be thinking my miracle was in the sale of those pumpkins... well that has been awesome, don't get me wrong... but the miracle was in the form of a recognition of the beauty of death and decay. You see... all those colors that make those pumpkins eye catching, attractive, heart warming and even delightful are representative in the death and decay of the pumpkin.  That's what makes Fall...Fall!  Its the beauty of how the light catches on the dying leaves... the flicker of yellow, the streaks of red, orange and purple...it only happens when the leaves...or in this case, the pumpkin reaches its maturity and begins to decay and die.

My lesson in this stage of this demanding year is not to remember the stress of the day to day... but to embrace the beauty of it all... and to recognize the Grace it took to get to this point and be Grateful for the presence of mind... body... and heart...to have been a part of it all!

In the words of my Mom during her last week with us... "I am so blessed! I am so blessed!"

I love you, Mom... Thank You!






Innovation Playground

Playground at the Nashville Zoo




I start this post off with one of the most innovative music videos I've seen in a long time. It just makes me Happy!

Not only is Oren Lavie's voice mesmerizing to me, the stop action photography is so well done... telling a story all on it's own.  I know... it was produced over 3 years ago... but...I missed it!   I'm so glad a friend shared it today on Facebook, (Thank You Jill Badonsky!) as I may have really missed getting to enjoy a great and inspiring piece of art!

Where does such creative innovation come from?  Trillions of artists have asked this question and I imagine the answers are just as many!  But truly, when you narrow down all the answers you could possibly hear, it all boils down to being open to allow the thought to flow out!

Creative block, you say?  Only a thought.  And only a thought will get you past it.  Don't stress out thinking "I've been trying and trying...but still no creative thoughts!"  Stop stressing.  Stop trying.  Just allow the space for them to show up on their own... like a quiet playground in the wee hours of the morning... waiting for the children to show up.  Sort of like... Build it and they will come!  Smile... and know they are coming...

I'm choosing to be open today.. to allow the innovative creative thoughts to have a playground to play in.  Even if I don't have time to do them yet... I will allow them to flow and play....spin around a bit... and fall where they may.

Hope you'll do the same...


After a whole year of planning and preparations it finally happened!  PAINT MOJO TEXAS!!!

Oct 2011, Tracy Verdugo, an international artist friend who lives in Australia, announced she was heading to the US and would be available for workshops if anyone wanted to host one.  Well I nearly jumped through my computer!  I couldn't message her fast enough to let her know, I'm interested.  Without allowing to much thought, (because I knew I could quickly chicken out), I made a commitment to Tracy to host a workshop for her in October 2012.  Scared and excited, I embarked on a journey I've never made, one I'll never regret making and one I'll never forget!  

I've always had a desire to host women's retreats after hosting one and attending many in my lifetime.  I love the fellowship a weekend long retreat offers...the intimacy...the heart to heart talks...the laughter of women letting the cares of home-life sit on the back burner (not off the stove, of course) for once in a great while....allowing them freedom to just BE...for a little bit of time... I LOVE that for myself..but having an opportunity to offer that to someone else is even more euphoric to me.
Where the Magic Happened
Photo by: Rachel Payne

Paint Mojo Texas did not disappoint.  It offered all those things and more. We gathered at Lotus Ranch, located in Wimberley, Texas...The Heart of the Texas Hill Country. A fabulous location, perfectly suited for an art retreat!  Tracy, was such a gracious and talented teacher/friend to all of us... She opened herself up to any and all of us equally as one.  She is one of the most comfortable people I've ever met...sorta like your favorite sweater or blankie!  If you ever have an opportunity to sit under her teaching, you will know what I mean.  Firstly...Tracy makes sure you are comfortable and that you understand... she is only there to guide...not judge whether you are doing "it" right or wrongly.  There is no wrong... only "Happy Accidents"!  Perfection... out the door!

Tracy was on the floor...a Lot! 

Along with making a whole heart-full of new friends with like minds, my weekend was a flurry of activity and smiles.  My heart was so full of Joy the whole time watching as everyone played, painted, huddled, encouraged and shared.  It was difficult for me to pay attention during the actual workshops as I and my hubby, Dan, were the ones responsible for all the meals.  So I was somewhat in a constant state of "what's next" so it was a bit hard for me to relax and just enjoy the process of painting.  Knowing this and recognizing it for what it was is just one of the many things I learned in hosting my first art retreat.  

Next time there will be some changes on my part.  I learned that even though I CAN do it all myself... it's really not the wisest way to go.   Even still...it was all a delight and everyone who attended helped pick up the slack and made Dan and my life a whole lot easier! Thank You Girls!



Tracy's Workshop, the friendships made and renewed, the FOOD...oh and can't forget the Lotus Pond and The HOT TUB... were some of the most memorable moments that will be seared in my heart for a lifetime!

I wish Tracy the best as her whirlwind tour of the U.S. was just the beginning...Next... The World!!!  Be sure to visit Tracy's website to find out where she will be next... Art Of Tracy Verdugo 

Enough of me rambling... Hope you enjoy the pics!  ( Thank you to all the girls who shared their pics with me)








Until Next Time....

Merry Christmas
and
Happy Creative New Year!!!

~ Selah ~


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RETREAT   NOW  FULL!!!

contact
Selah Gay for Waiting List
selahgay@gmail.com

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"Over two days of creative play, we will explore new 
and non threatening ways to make art, 
begin to find our own Paint Mojo, 
learn to be inspired in every moment and 
realize that there are no mistakes in the creative process, 
only opportunities to learn and grow!"

Tracy Verdugo is an Australian artist.singer/songwriter.workshop facilitator. She has had 12 successful solo exhibitions since 2002 and contributed to many group shows. Her work is in collections locally, nationally and internationally and her skills are well recognized as a creative workshop facilitator for both adults and children.


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MAY ONLY MOJO SPECIAL $415.00 
(Only available until 5/31/12, payment in full required)


AFTER MAY 2012 REGISTRATION FEE $425.00 
(payment in full required)


~ SPECIAL PAYMENT PLAN ~ 
Payment Plan Not Available After May 31st
$450.00 
(We're sorry but we cannot apply the Payment Plan to the "Mojo Special" pricing offer) 

See Below for Payment Plan Details.

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PAYMENT PLAN DETAILS:
Available NOW through July 1, 2012 only!
$150.00 Deposit includes $25.00 non-refundable administration fee. 
All Payment Plans must be paid in full by August 15, 2012. 
ALL Payment Plan Registrations NOT paid in full by August 15, 2012 will be cancelled with NO refunds available.

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PAYPAL:


PRICE OPTIONS

Please reference MOJO RETREAT and YOUR NAME in Message Box on PayPal payment page.
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PAYMENT BY CHECK INSTRUCTIONS:

Please contact Selah Gay at  SelahGay@gmail.com for 
Check Instructions....Thank You

* NOTE: REGISTRATION  IS NOT GUARANTEED UNTIL 
PAYMENT IS RECEIVED AND HAS CLEARED THE BANK.  

FOR  FASTEST GUARANTEED REGISTRATION, USE PAYPAL.
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* * * IMPORTANT * * * 
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY!!!


This is a Non-Smoking Facility...

Therefore, this will be a Non-Smoking event.
We apologize if this leaves anyone out, however we do need to honor the contract rules of the center.

CANCELLATION POLICY:
Due to the nature of this retreat, ie: rental of a resort premises requiring minimum occupancy and hosting an internationally recognized artist, stringent refund policies have to be set. We understand that situations can sometimes arise causing a change in plans. It is not possible for Selah Gay, Robin Gay White, Tracy Verdugo or Lotus Ranch to favor an individual situation or circumstance over another, so we must maintain a standard business policy for all, with no exceptions. 

+ No refunds after September 1st, 2012

+ Cancellations before June 1st, 2012 - Full Refund (unless on payment plan...see details above)
+ Cancellations after June 1st - September 1st - Full Refund less $25.00 administration fee. (unless on payment plan...see details above)



SELAH GAY or TRACY VERDUGO reserves the right to CANCEL the PAINT MOJO Retreat in case of illness/death or if the minimum amount of attendees is NOT reached by SEPTEMBER 15, 2012.


We recommend that attendees purchase travel/holiday insurance.

We will also follow the Policies of  Lotus Ranch LLC as noted in their Terms and Conditions.  You can find those HERE ---> TERMS AND CONDITIONS


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The Details for those who like them...like me!



We are making every effort to have this retreat be a laid back, 
pressure free, friendly, playful, fun filled, free flowing experience!

If it's an agenda you're looking for...well this may not be it for you!  
Be warned you may have to help clean up, wash some dishes and 
maybe even make some coffee.  So if its that's not for you...
come on anyway and we'll teach you how!


LOTUS RANCH features all single beds, so no need to share! 

Some rooms sleep 2, some 3 and some 4. (The rooms that sleep 4 have 2 singles and a bunk bed.) So if you come with a friend or group, please make sure you alert us so we can try to accommodate you the best we can.


LOTUS RANCH features 40 acres of beautiful Texas Hill Country!

Nature lovers will enjoy over 32 types of birds and 16 animal species.  Over 2 miles of walking trails with 2 ponds and natural gardens. Proper hiking shoes are advisable. Also included in our stay is the use of a 10 person hot tub located on one of the back decks of the Lodge.  Be sure to bring your swimsuit and extra towels if you desire to partake!




Please know that we will be out in the country where the deer and the antelope play...and the spiders and the scorpions and the snakes do too!  Just be mindful and You'll be fine!!!


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DIRECTIONS TO LOTUS RANCH





Lotus Ranch LLC              525 Fischer Trail                Wimberley, TX  78676 






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WHAT TO BRING



A detailed letter will be sent out to all attendees, via email, with information about what to bring, at a date closer to the retreat.  



If you have any questions about food being served, 
please contact me, 

SelahGay@gmail.com
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Tracy Verdugo is an Australian artist.singer/songwriter.workshop facilitator. She has had 12 successful solo exhibitions since 2002 and contributed to many group shows. Her work is in collections locally, nationally and internationally and her skills are well recognised as a creative workshop facilitator for both adults and children.


To Learn More about TRACY VERDUGO 
and her Artwork go to:


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ARTSY EYE CANDY

I thought today I would like to share a bit of eye candy from a few of my artsy friends! Since there is no way I could ever fit all my friends in this one post, I thought I would feature a few at a time throughout the year.
Above you'll find a gorgeous example of Argentina's Guadalupe Brizuela's amazing and beautiful mandala's, which I now proudly own thanks to her huge generosity!  I just love Guada...she has a heart of gold, which obviously she draws from when creating her artwork!  Her mandala's are captivating and full of luscious color and design, always drawing the observer in for a closer look! 
She shares her fascinating talents not only by way of offering her artworks for sale, but also by sharing her techniques through classes, including a FREE one to get you started! You can find those classes HERE and her Website, Guadalupe Brizuela


Mans Entanglement With Mother Nature
Artwork by: Julie (Julz) Kinsella
Julie or Julz as we all know her, is one of my fav digital artists. Julz makes her home in the Land of Down Under...Australia. Her often edgy, provocative works are always challenging and creative, full of life and purpose! They continually spark the viewer to search for and contemplate their meaning.  Julz doesn't just slap images together to make a pretty picture, although I find all her images strikingly beautiful, but she digs deep to bring awareness and representation of the world around us within her images.   
You will love getting to know The Julz, as I affectionately call her;  she has a fabulous personality and a passion for exposing the truth for the betterment of mankind...which is readily revealed within her fantastic artwork!  You can find all kinds of goodies and interesting things on her Blog too...Be sure to visit and tell her Selah sent you!   Gems By Julz.


Artwork by: Denise Phillips
Ahhhh!  And we end todays feature with another one of my sweet friends, Denise Phillips of Birdnuts Mixed Media, out of British Columbia, Canada!  I absolutely adore Denise's sense of whimsy in all of her mixed media artworks!  This past Christmas Denise incorporated "Bubby", one of her "pet deer", (shown above) in one of the greatest pieces ever!  Read as she explains in detail about her appreciation of the delicate hooves of the deer: 
"If you've ever taken the time to study deer, their long beautiful legs being supported by very small hooves, they have a delicate dance feel about them when they walk.  I've always been moved by watching them." 
As you can see Denise has a very special love and appreciation for creation ... which inspires her in so many ways! (if you ever have a chance to chat with her you will quickly learn of the living menagerie that lives under her roof!) I, for one, am so happy she includes her love of animals so often in her works of art!  She creates and gives from her heart...always!  Be sure to visit her blog Birdnuts Mixed Media for more of her artwork and tons of fabulous giveaways!     Speaking of which I recently won a fabulous mixed media broach that Denise made... you can see proudly worn in the pic below! Thanks Denise, I Love It!!!


I hope you have enjoyed getting to know some of my fabulous and very world wide plethora of artsy friends! I know I sure have!  Be sure to come back as I'll be featuring more friends soon!  I am soo very blessed to have them all in my life.  To not only inspire me, but to make me laugh, think and learn...and to remember to be the same...for someone else!  Thank you girls!