Art Heart Resources

for troubled times

Sorry to do this to you, Dear Reader, but again I am compelled to talk about creativity in this political era. I say sorry because I don’t wish to overwhelm or weigh you down. That’s the last thing I want to do.

heart art watercolour Swain

Art Heart Resource
(who knew a Sally painting could be so simple?)

I harp on about making art in troubled times, because

I perceive much suffering, because I believe that art-making and connecting with others can help, because I wish to be authentically compassionately creative.

Allow me to share art’s potential to soothe the soul, strengthen the spirit and help build connected communities of collaboration.

Here’s the story so far, plus several EXCELLENT resources…

Two Fridays ago: Looking the Monster in the Eye

transform art collage Swain
Last Friday: Senior Venus – Can we do it?

senior venus trump love Swain

Senior Venus
The Goddess of Trying to Bring Love to Arenas of Strife
Sally Swain © original art

And…ta daaa…

Five fabulous links follow. Each one offers support for creative responses to current difficulty. Let me know what you find valuable.

First, Gretchen Miller’s Creative Resilience Link Round up
in which this ultra-connected art therapist has kindly

‘put together a round up of recent links and posts that highlight the role of creativity in managing challenging times, finding hope, and empowering resilience.’

Second, the remarkable Lisa Mitchell has brought together Rick Hanson’s Positive Neuroplasticity Training with her own extensive art therapy expertise and written about using art to Grow the Good.

‘We are being inundated with negativity that has an intensity like I’ve never experienced in the 25 years I’ve been a therapist.  How to cope?  How to keep from going under?   Over here in my little corner of the world, I’m making every effort to Grow the Good.’

Third, in my meanderings, I chanced upon an article after my own heart by art therapist Kara Ashley-Gilmore:
Out of the vastness…
She says,

‘I’d be lying if I said the national and world events of the past two weeks weren’t on my mind before I started painting. Maybe a reminder needed to come through that no matter who we are, where we come from, and how we choose to identify ourselves, we’re really all made of the same stardust and we are all connected, standing side by side next to our ancestors as they support us in carrying out our higher purpose.’

Fourth, wonderful Yayoi Kusama (87 years of age) popped up on Facebook with her endlessly inspiring journey of art for survival:
‘I overcame dark days with the power of art’

‘The world today is in a terrible situation. My desire to use my art to protest against war and man’s inhumanity to man has never diminished. I am always trying to transmit through my work the message that we should all live life in peace and with humanitarian love.’

And fifth, this interview is not directly related to artistic creativity, but I couldn’t resist including wise words of the deep ecologist, Joanna Macy (also 87 years of age):

Learning to See in the Dark Amid Catastrophe

‘It’s hard to wake up alone now. It’s scary to see even what is going on. But there is almost no limit, I’ve come to believe, to what we can do with the love and support of each other. There is almost no limit to what we can do for the sake of each other.’

with love, art and soul from Sally


8 thoughts on “Art Heart Resources

    • Thank you, Gretchen, for responding…and so positively. I found your post helpful and sustaining. And am ongoingly impressed with how switched on and linked in you are. Perhaps you don’t sleep?!


  1. wonderful inspiring post again Sally. i love Joanne Macy’s wise and kind words:.”There is almost no limit to what we can do for the sake of each other.”
    After nearly a month of keeping up daily with global news, I have decided to go on what i call the trump diet, rationing my digestion of world events, and replacing the toxic news with nourishing acts of creativity, hope and kindness. i hope to find my true shape again–thanks for all your nourishing words and images sally xx linda

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    • Thank you, Linda, for your wondrous words. I LOVE your dietary description. Perhaps you can write more about it?! May we all be ingesting life-enhancing soul food, while somehow staying present and aware. xxx


      • Hi again sally–well after a couple of weeks of the diet– which involves waking up in the morning and spending some time listening to the birds singing rather than the morning global news, and not connecting in during the day to the latest madness from overseas–i find I am far less agitated and more sensitively attuned to nature and people, as well as more positive and hopeful. I have also taken up swimming. I find it helps to calm my nervous system. Yesterday I was drying off in the sun when I saw four golden butterflies flutter past and I realized resilience comes in many forms and in many ways. Artists such as yourself, Sally, and Gretchen and Kara draw our eyes to beauty and its creative potential–as well as the potential of creativity– especially in troubled times. Thank you!!

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        • What a beautiful story, Linda. Similarly for me, tuning in to the disturbing global and national news has been feeding into my distress. While I have an opportunity to tune out from it and into nourishing gentleness, it so helps to do so. I feel for those who aren’t in a position to seek respite. Which could be any of us at any moment. Anyways, I continue to try to balance facing the harsh realities and pouring myself into self-sustaining spaces. I love your description of your diet. And how about those glorious butterflies!!
          love to you


  2. The irony, Sally, is that at present i am working on a writing project which is in part on the rise of populism..a la trump and hanson. So tuning out when I can is vital, as part of the research involves scanning dozens of news stories every day. So butterflies, bird song and focusing on kindness provide a very necessary balance.xx i love the notion of self-sustaining spaces–both internal and external!

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