Archive for May, 2017


All Aboard the Peace Train!

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Winter Trimester 2017

Part 2 with Amanda Sage

All Aboard the Peace Train



This Spring brought us the largest blossoming of students the Academy has ever witnessed. True to her own magic, Amanda Sage roused nineteen wildly talented artists from around the globe to envision and create their own unique prayers in paint, inspired by the theme of ‘the Peace Train’. Like an endless source of energy and enthusiasm, Amanda packed every day with exercises, activities, and one-on-one studio time, sharing her time generously and selflessly late into the evenings.


Starting with the fundamentals, our students were led through studies in still life and self portrait (Amanda’s teaching specialty). These exercises sharpened the eye most effectively. As Amanda reminded us, “Turn to Nature when you don’t know what to do. Go draw Life!” This was the perfect platform for our students to begin conceiving and conveying their own visions on canvas.


A unique world traveler and bridge-maker, Amanda was constantly arranging field trips to her most inspirational places in Vienna, and organizing video conferences with some of her most influential counsels.  Our regular visit to the Ernst Fuchs Museum (at least once per trimester) became a special treat, since Amanda was able to draw upon her great wealth of knowledge from the days when she gave guided tours there, while also working as Ernst Fuchs’ painting assistant.


She also has a long association with one of the worlds largest socio-cultural centers, called “the WUK” (Werkstätten- und Kulturhaus), a former factory and squat that now houses a plethora of art studios, galleries and educational facilities for all ages. It is here that Amanda has maintained a Viennese studio for the last ten years, and so our group was able to tour the WUK’s inner corridors and be introduced to the rich, alternative art community that thrives there.


Potent magic welled up again during the video conferences, as Amanda’s heroes shared their life work and offered powerful examples of cultural leadership. Jim Channon (who was portrayed by Jeff Bridges as the leading character “Bill Django” in the film Men Who Stare at Goats) touched down with us to explain the intricate design of his “First Earth Battalion” which envisions new technologies and organizational systems for the key players / council members of an emerging world, with land/ atmospheric connections, spaceships, coral reef systems that clean up plastic in the ocean, and star ports.


His designs communicate directly through imagery to help individuals and corporations discover their higher purpose in creation. He reminds us that “Visuals are the new language. We have the permission to cross all borders by combining mystical, ancient, and hopefully more funny aspects to meld dimensions.”





Romio Shrestha, the 17th incarnation of the master Tibetan Thangka painter Arniko, had a moment of manifestation with Amanda when they discussed their vision to collaborate with fifteen or more student-painters on an enormous painting about Reincarnation. He said “When we get collective forces working together, we can make magic happen.”


Carrie Ann Baade, Associate Professor at Florida State University’s Fine Arts department gave an hour-long presentation on The Cycles of Creation: how to create more effectively and how the times of the year influence creativity. She encouraged us to look up when we feel the greater forces shaping our lives. Learning how to flow with them can make for more productive and efficient work patterns.


In an epic call with Alex and Allyson Grey, Alex asked our students about the desire of artists to portray the psychedelic experience. He elaborated, “The visionary artists of today are uniquely equipped and better equipped than in any other time in history to work with this mysterious and really sacred dimension.  It’s one of the reasons I’m inspired to know that there are visionary artists studying all over the world and putting their best efforts to portray some of these mystical, archetypical, and in my mind important messages for humanity at this critical, constrictive time for humanity”.


Students showing their work to Alex and Allyson grey via video-call

Students showing their work to Alex and Allyson Grey via video-call

Amanda’s partner Joe-Bob Merritt (who will be co-teaching with her at the Academy’s Summer Seminar in 2018) dropped some sage advice with his opening words to us:

“Revealing one’s vision is often challenging. Clarifying what one sees is difficult. Being brave enough to face truth is challenging. As artists, we’ve all signed up for this challenge. I am with you, there are many people with you, the school is with you, Life is with you. We are here for each other to develop our skills and encourage the actions of art in order to reveal to the outer world that which we see in the inner world.

Each one of us is a unique receptor, a perspective, a vanishing point, a line of sight, an angle, an awareness function of Life. We all receive from and express through different angles, which are angels. Each one of us is a unique angel of perspective. Each one of us is a unique awareness function of life experiencing life through different angles. Life sees Life through multiple angles. Life comes to know Life by way of the many and diverse lines of sight of Life. Angels of Perspective… Unique Awareness Functions of Life, this is what we are.

We each experience visions that arise from within and from without. When we document our visions in form, we call it ART. We art in order to communicate with others and to ourselves. We art to transmit our vision and reveal to Life….the truths of the matters of Life. So this is what we are up to…. See-ing and Making Sense in the form of sights to be seen. We are art-ing the world, we are informing the world to the form of the world.

It’s not easy, to describe the reality of one’s sight… which are the scenes one senses. It is challenging to translate vision into form. The discovery or un-covering of one’s angel is a process, and the work of revealing the genius of the angle can be difficult. I would suggest we stop caring that it’s not easy. We have work to do, and our work can only be done now… Art is made in the present. Our work requires us to focus our attention and hone our skills in order to develop our minds and our hands so that we can with-stand the truth of our visions and transmit them into form. To resist truth, is to suffer. Worrying, judging, fretting, fearing, comparing, blaming, and complaining are a few ways to suffer… and avoid making art. If you want to stop suffering, relax and realize that this is hard, and it’s not a problem. Take courage, face the image…reveal the vision…and may Life revel in the sights seen.”


This trimester brought all that we have experienced at The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art to new and unexpected heights. We are incredibly honored and grateful to walk this path, as the lines between pupils and professors cross, so that we discover we are all students in this life, learning and teaching different skills to each other. We are being shown the deeper work as artists in the world today. Now, it is more important than ever for artists to awaken to the power of their own work, and to take charge of their ability to bring change to the world.


As our student numbers expand, we are looking forward to expanding our facilities as well in order to accommodate everyone who wants to participate our ever-evolving activities. Keep an eye out for upcoming news and information regarding our new offerings to the world.

We can’t wait to see you in Vienna!


Students and Faculty - Winter Trimester 2017

Students and Faculty – Winter Trimester 2017




“Amanda Sage exceeded every expectation that I had of her with the exception of the one expectation that she would exceed my expectations. She really is an incredible being. She has a specific authority that shines bright and bold, while not blocking here ability to receive and perceive. From the standpoint of one of her students I recognized that when I spoke she really listened and that when she spoke she really meant every word. The flow of energy is very open in her, allowing the moment to direct her decision that creates the next moment. She really was in symbiosis with the class and the universe in that way. Co-creating a future in an attentive relationship with all that is ‘is’ing.”

Stefan Allen – Rochester, New York, USA


“Learning from Amanda is such a joy. The amount of knowledge she transmits in a short time is rich and transformative. So grateful to be able to study with her. I learn so much about the process of arting, the power of creating, and the value of studying from life. Through this experience I have grown exponentially as an artist and a human being. The way she is able to command and direct a group is inspiring. I treasure my time and experience with her.”

Mary Yardley – Key West, Florida, USA


“The atmosphere at the Vienna Academy of Visionary Art is no typical school… there is a prickling excitement that is tangible and infectious when you walk in the room. Teaching there this past winter exceeded all expectations, and it was because of the atmosphere that the directors, assistants and students created together.  It was like a big family.
“The school attracts a certain individual that is interested not only in expanding their own art practice and knowledge of techniques, they are interested in the art of life and living an art filled life. This is where the magic gets magnified and one can’t help but fall into stride… like a river, the flow is organic and one must stay fluid.
“We became friends who wanted to grow together, we became transparent and vulnerable as we stepped up to the plate and showed up for class. Everyone gave everything they possibly could to expand the boundaries of their known universe, and this journey is so much easier with a supportive community.
“The thread of experience that has been woven into our canvas’ will stay in our hearts and lives as we carry on the memory and share the stories and integrate the spectrum of learning into our lives ongoing.
“I am so honored to have shared these 5 weeks together, and the results of the paintings are proof of the dedication and vision that was present.”

Amanda Sage, Visionary Artist, Designer, Teacher – Los Angeles, California, USA

– Written by Alecia Sacre Coeur