How to make art without making art


Over any extended period of time, being an artist requires enthusiasm more than discipline. Enthusiasm is not an emotional state. It is a spiritual commitment, a loving surrender to our creative process, a loving recognition of all the creativity around us.
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron

Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture

Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture
Sally’s tenor ukulele goes to Athol, South Island, NZ

Let’s revisit the Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture Challenge, or should I call it an Invitation?

In this world of push and shove, an Invitation sounds less demanding; more…playful.


choosing objects and their settings, then fiddle-faddling with iPhoto edits. What a quirky romp! The last three NZ pix are here in this blog post, but I can’t help taking more photos of little objects frolicking about.

I love the left field creative stimulus. It directs me away from painting, then back again with renewed vitality.

Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture Uke and that gorgeous orange/scarlet berry tree which I couldn't identify. Can you help? Sally Swain

Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture
Sally’s tenor uke and that gorgeous orange/scarlet berry tree which I couldn’t identify. Can you help?

Which reminds me of a Useful Creativity Tip.

If your arty soul is invested in a particular medium – say writing, collaging, or playing the flute – try noodling around with a different form. It’s revitalising. You put your creative energies into a form or process that’s out of your usual terrain.

If you see yourself as a writer and feel blocked, you might try potato printing.

If you’ve placed all your hopes into being a successful film-maker, and nothing’s doing in the industry, you might turn to painting a mural on the back fence. A fresh coat of polka-dots in turn freshens your perspective.

Do you believe you’ll die if a gallery doesn’t say yes to your work any time soon? Perhaps join a drumming circle to release the valve and lighten your load.


How might this work? It’s kind of like – look the other way; take the pressure off; don’t push the river.

You are still exercising creative muscles, but you’re not locked into a small dark room with large bright expectations bumping into your artist heart.
You are making art without making art.


The wonderful Natalie Goldberg created the book ‘Living Color – A Writer Paints Her World’. She is primarily a writer. Yet she dabbles and delights in painting on the side. There’s less at stake when you let it rip in your non-dominant art form. You return to your main-course activities with new eyes.

Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture Uke looking dramatic in Athol, South Island NZ Don't fret (ha!) (fret!) I didn't burn it.

Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture
Sally’s tenor uke looking dramatic in Athol, South Island NZ
Don’t fret (ha!) (fret!) I didn’t burn it.

Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture

Are you up for the err arr Invitation?

As of this week, three fine folk have participated:

Romny Vandoros, Ruby Foster-Swain and Fiona Fitzpatrick. You should be able to view their random sculpture photos on Sally Swain Art FB Page.

As per April 1st and April 8th…and April 15th … Here’s your I-I-Invitation:

  1. In April, photograph an object in three different settings.
  2. Cut and paste this Sally Swain’s Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture blurb in its entirety.
  3. Nominate three (or six, or nine) others for the challenge.
  4. Share your three photos plus blurb far and wide, tagging the person who nominated you.
  5. Be willing for your (credited) photos to be included in the Sally Swain Art Facebook pageor the Art and Soul Space blog.
  6. Be invited and delighted whether you are nominated or not; whether you feel inclined to participate or not. No pressure. Really. May your creative juices flow, Randomly, Actively, Travellishly and Sculpturally. 

PS If you are a Follower of Art and Soul Space blog, consider yourself already nominated!

PPS Feel free – very free – to share your experience or not-experience of Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture in a comments box below.