I spent the weekend with a wonderful artist, Tracy Verdugo, and amazing women! We came together under sunny skies, wiggled our toes in sand and embraced the power of the water and our tribal souls.
For me, it was a retreat that came within divine timing. Not only have I been drowning with pressure, but I have been chronically absent in creating. There are times when the business part of the business takes over and the creativity gets put on the back burner. It’s ironic when that happens. You need the body of work to present, but you need the administrative part to promote the body of work. Those crazy vicious cycles!!!
Tracy is just delightful! She is a fantastic creative, a lovely woman, and a genuine soul. I felt connected to her, related to her story, and thoroughly enjoyed a dinner getting to know her and her sweet family.
I am not sure she realizes it, but our time together has mentored me. I learned so much about teaching! The last time I learned that much was in 1995 when a teacher workshop set me ablaze on the path to portfolio assessment and authentic learning. I feel that same fire!!!
The biggie…Tracy touches people’s work! Actually adds to it! She addressed how in these workshops we are a collaborative and we learn by taking the journey together as a collective. Boy, I know many that would have been happier with me over the years if I had shown them responses to their questions on their own pieces. This is a valuable lesson for me who’s only rule has always been “I can’t touch your piece.” Sometimes to teach what the student is wanting to learn, you have to be in the moment, in the situation, responding directly on her surface. (Evelyn, if you are reading this, you can get up off the floor now!)
More than anything, most of her story is my story.
From starting our teaching careers in special education, to teaching local art class, struggling in the beginning to raise a family on a rising artist’s income, stumbling through the journey of finding her niche, balancing a family in the midst of it all; her story is so similar to mine. She has a tendency to scatter her attention, get distracted by so many glorious things only to realize that she has temporarily set up road blocks for her vision. Her piece of advice that is like gold…focus.
So, adopting the mantra, K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Sweetheart – thank you, Tracy) I go forth. I have so much of the nuts and bolts in place. I just keep coming up with loose screws and the wrong sized ones. This month I am creating and streamlining, teaching and learning, planning and wrapping up loose ends.
Thank you, Tracy for being an inspiration!!! You are authentic and true, one of us creative dreamers that made it happen. You are…beautiful!