If You Read Anything Online Today, Read This

"You are all amazing sparks of divine love with the unlimited potential to shine bright in this world. You have a style and a presence that is truly unique to you." -Tracy Verdugo

Wow! Take a moment and read that quote again; let it sink in and then take a breath. I'm writing this blog and you're reading it for a reason. You recognize that you and your art are worthy—worthy of taking the time to find inspiration, to develop your skills, and to express yourself through all forms of mark making. If you're anything like me, you can't keep from writing it in your journal or shouting it from the rooftops: "I'm here! I make cool things!"

There are so many levels to making art, but one of the things that I love so much about manifesting creative acts is the spirituality of it. I think it brings us closer to who we are and connects us across physical and cultural borders. In Paint Mojo: A Mixed Media Workshop, Verdugo taps into this aspect and helps you explore it within your own mark-making endeavors.

Jesse Reno's mixed media work, Becoming a Chief, is accompanied by a poem in a section about sacred marks in Paint Mojo.

"Spend some time thinking about what symbols could be meaningful for you," she says. "Don't overthink it. A symbol you choose today might not be so important tomorrow, or may have a different meaning entirely from one day (or moment) to the next. These are all techniques I use to loosen up and ensure a diverse and interesting variety of marks in my paintings."

Learn stamping techniques for mark making
Examples of Verdugo's handmade stamps

Here are a couple of her tips on stamping techniques and using symbols:

• One of my favorite ways to make personal stamps is to use the foam base of a pizza or meat tray, washed carefully and cut into small pieces. Alternatively, you can also buy a product called Scratch-Foam at many art supply stores. Draw your symbol or design onto the foam and once you are happy with it, use your pen to etch a deeper line, creating a stamp that is totally your own that can be used multiple times!

• Start a symbol journal and spend time each week sketching designs and images you come across. Ask yourself, "If this design were to mean something to me, what could it mean?" Don't get stuck trying to come up with something profound straightaway. Recognize that you are a beautiful, changeable soul, and a symbol could mean something different to you today, tomorrow, or next month.

With chapters in Paint Mojo such as Dimensional Language, Creative Wanderlust, and Throwing out the Rule Book, you'll see just how deep you can take your art. You'll also receive guidance on exploring what it really means to you and how to express it.

Now that you've taken a moment to savor the message in this post, do yourself a favor and go back up to the top and read Verdugo's quote again. You'll never regret observing your self-worth.

Until next time,



Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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