Bird and Boat,

Bird and boat.
I wonder

how you stay afloat.

Boat and bird,
Boat and bird.
With water

and with wings, I’ve heard.

bird boat art watercolour

Bird and Boat
Sally Swain © original art
teeny watercolour in journal

There’s much I could


I could say that birds began to appear in my art in 1998, after a friend died.
They were bird-women, actually. The very first one was a large painting, larger than I’d ever done before, of a flame-like wing and part of the body flying up up up. I called it Passionwing. And it forms part of my This is Not an Angel’ intermittent series of bird-women. 

Passionwing acrylic painting grief art

Sally Swain © original art

I could say that boats and teacups began appearing in my art around the same time. Small friendly vessels. Containers. The little boats attracted bobbles, sheet music and fringeing.

boat art bobbles haberdashery

Sally Swain © original art

I could say that after a brief holiday overseas earlier this year, I kind of discovered Australian birds for the first time. I tuned in to their song.

I learned to love the funny old magpie, which I’d been wary of since the days of head-swoopings while walking across the paddock to school.

I could say that

never before have I knowingly painted

a Bird and a Boat

together in one picture. 

So simple. 

So simple.

It’s healthy for me to be simple sometimes. I’m usually so unsimple, so layered, textured, full and fast in my art-making.

Do you let yourself be simple, sweet and clear sometimes?

magpie boat photo

Actual bird and boat


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