SOGH

    HOWDY! ya know, lots of people ask what SOGH is. the best way i know how to tell anyone is to tell the story of it.  I’m not much of a writer so please don’t mind the mistakes. I’m just a guy who was asked to do things and in many ways I am doing it, and in many ways, i’m trying to figure out how to do these things while something else entirely has grown from it all.


    The Start - (the super short version... - the long version can take days if not longer)


    I was asked to have a positive influence to as many as i could. if that means the whole planet - awesome! if that means 1 person. awesome! (but really, i have much much more work to do than that.:) This thing called SOGH is my chance to do that... and it is starting to happen! 


     In 2003 the one who was my mom, Red, passed away of cancer. In the two weeks before she passed she and i sat down at the dinning room table with a little video camera and said our goodbyes to each other as she said goodbye to life itself. I have those times recorded forever. In that time she asked me to do things as i live my own life.


    At the same time, something else happened. Perhaps it’s part of death itself. I’ve heard of things like this. Something that happens as we are leaving this life. An opening of some sort. An understanding, a knowing, a great sight that came thru for her. It’s hard to explain it really but she saw - something. Knew - something. and managed to get thru the most important parts. She named it SOGH.


    She repeated to me “remember it!” “know it!” “S.O.G.H.” She told me to “turn on the light.” “...more light” “remember it!... know it! ...turn on the light. ...SOGH”  She was stressing to me to do it! - even though i didn’t have a clue what “it” was. As she was about to go, she used all the might she had left and shoved me in this direction. - whatever direction that was. This SOGH, with the things she asked me to do gave me the very start but first, i had to go thru the hell of losing her. and i did.











In the beginning SOGH didn’t have anything to do with art world/ or paintings or a massive body of work. I was left with a giant life question mark, an even bigger quest, and i knowing i had big things to figure out how to do at the same time. Along the way I discovered great things. too much to go into now and this part gets deep. I never stopped capturing whatever i could - i recorded so many moments with my point and shoot camera. in part to show, i was telling the truth. to prove i wasn’t making anything up. more really to show others the path along the way and to show where i was. I discovered how to turn on the light and show others who would come across it. I was discovering a great part of what SOGH was, what it meant.  Along the way, I recorded my world, the life around me, my everything. One way was that I captured what became one entire year of my life in photos on a wall. 12,290 images - the first year of SOGH. - a piece that would eventually hang in the All Things Round exhibit at The American Visionary Art Museum

(i haven’t stopped either - up to about 100,000 images now - over a decade recorded) In One Year, a friends wedding then the day he was murdered by his new bride. the last times with Red. Nieces first birthday. another wedding and a total of 5 deaths... created the very first painting and meeting the love of my life - another gift from above. just to name the big stuff.


Life continued. I continued to do my own thing - continued on this direction SOGH was taking me. learning a lot. Other things began to take shape. things began to happen. Rebecca - head of the Visionary Museum offered me wall space. I was like - ??really??  Ted, new ring master of the museum store separately offered me wall space. At first i was like - me? really? I’d say it took me 6 or 9 months to take Ted up on the offer. I had to get thru the fear of putting myself or SOGH out there.


February 2, 2006. I hung my first paintings on the wall in the museum store.


Within the first 30 minutes. 2 sold. I was blown away excited! it was like i was 10 years old all over again. i called up my dad, my sister, my best friends and was like, I SOLD 2 PAINTINGS!!!! I was giddy as a lark. I didn’t have a clue as to what was about to happen.


For SOGH, the powers that be stepped in and took control. kind of like lightning striking the same place every time. by the end of the first month 61 paintings sold. I was BLOWN AWAY! we all were. By the end of the first year something unbelievable took shape. 1357 paintings big and small sold and i gave away bunches of others. (gotta do good when i can!!!!) NOW, almost 7 years later I”m about to hit painting 16,000!!!!! and that doesn’t include the ones i give away to make someones day, donate to help raise funds for a great cause, or hand to a kid who comes into a museum who gets to leave with a real painting to inspire them in their lives to go for it! I failed in school (except art:) now, rumor has it SOGH paintings are the most popular paintings to ever come out of the state.  In the beginning the internet had nothing to do with any of it. - which was wild. I also seem to still fly under the radar.  SOGH, guided by great forces and big blessings has taken on a wild new dimension. SOGH and everything that it is, from Red’s requests deeply embedded throughout and the journey that has taken me on to my forming mission and trying to figure out how to do it, to involve and inspire as many as possible - This all gives me the inkling and the pure big juicy hope to hope, what if i really do have the very rare chance from art world to influence... perhaps the world.  To link us all together to create something magnificent - for us all now and years from now.


Thru it all... thru the intense amount of love and work. Life itself has completely transformed.  And SOGH has transformed yet, at it’s core. I do have things i was asked to do.


The ultimate goals? The full story of SOGH is big... just like it’s supposed to be. maybe i’ll get into that later.  it’s different than most anything else out there. art world or otherwise. I create work for people that has a true life value to the piece on the wall, a powerful story that creates that very piece, a journey that it is a part of. it’s something that links us all together. and all are a part of. It makes the world a more beautiful place - and that in itself is a huge part of the goal. let us all come together and literally make the world a more beautiful place. - imagine if we did this by the millions. imagine what we could do. I see a beautiful planet - linked by this thing called SOGH. it’s going to take huge support, lots of blessings, tons of work, passion that goes from here to Mars and back and even more love but really. I think we can do it. I think if we can figure it out we can come together to literally make the world a more beautiful place and maybe even, with one word, leave a mark in the world - and tell the future we say HI!


**and so very much more.** (which i can get into later:)


this is what i am doing. this is what i need help with. this is what drives and creates every painting. this is what, i hope can help others who will need it.


That’s SOGH


SMILE and HAVE A GREAT NOW! Shawn












SOGH

Red n me

SOGH - the story

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