Creative Circle of Life

Art and Soulie Spot 9
Stories from the Creative Path

Sally McKern art

Child of the Universe
Sally McKern
© original art

Introducing Sally McKern, a wonderful woman who isn’t convinced she is creative, but you will see otherwise. 

Sally’s mother attended my first ever creativity workshop way back in 1993, when Art and Soul was called

Art for Heart’s Sake.

Sally contacted me this year to see if she AND her mother AND her daughter could come along to a playshop.

I was touched.

To me, this is the Creative Love Exchange

in action.

It’s the Circle of Life. 

Oh My Goddess Swain book

Greena – Goddess of Recycling
Sally Swain © original art
from ‘Oh My Goddess!’
Bantam, USA, Australia

Here she is….

Creativity over the Generations

Part One

Sally Swain asked me if I’d like to write something about creativity and I said yes because I love Sally, but the biggest part of me has no idea what to write because in my day-to-day life I don’t feel very creative.  

I don’t feel like I have anything to say nor even

a right to attempt to! So I am stream of consciousness-ing it and I will see what comes!

One thing I know is that creativity is crucial for me.

But I am not an artist. I am a printer and an accounts and payroll administrator, with a background in foreign language studies, holistic bodywork (Holistic Pulsing) & counselling (Voice Dialogue). I am also a mother, daughter, sister, partner to my beloved and friend.

I am all of these things.

But when I tune into Sally’s generous weekly offerings via her blog, something inexplicable is triggered in me, something that is not triggered by my well-ordered, rational everyday life. I am flipped into my right-brain and creativity is stirred and awakened. A delicious feeling surges through my body.

I am part of the whole.

The collective consciousness of creative expression, where newness and freedom of life-force bubble up. A life-affirming experience. I have a similar experience lately when I am exposed to the work of Marina Abramovic. I just love the way that these people share a commitment to uninhibited creative expression of their own truth in each moment and to watch their movements is to be pulled into the archetypal spiral of the natural swirling movement of energy in and around and out and back in and so on and so forth…transforming, empowering, evolving, enlivening, buzzing…ultimately expressing life.

Sally McKern art

Snake Dancer
Sally McKern
© original art

Without this ‘soul reminder’ my life can begin to feel slightly 2 dimensional. These artists know how to squeeze the juice out of life and standing on the sidelines I watch and then I put my toe in and swish around a bit then sometimes I wade in and have a blissful float on the surface.

But my life is so routine..I don’t stay in too long.   Then I’m out and soon I forget about the juice.

But then it’s Friday again and Sally’s blog arrives in my inbox and I remember.   And I’m there again.

I first met Sally Swain in 1992 when I was 21.

My Mum who is a writer and an artist herself gave me the gift of attending a workshop (at the NSW Writers Centre held by Glenys Livingstone??) on The Goddess, Ancient and Modern”.

I think from memory Sally was there researching for her book “Oh my Goddess!” which I still have and my kids have grown up pawing through the wonderful, whimsical mandala style illustrations and being educated by the timeline of matriarchal to patriarchal history. I have always loved the way this puts our current patriarchal culture into perspective…illustrating how it has been the blink of an eye that we have lived in a patriarchal society (about 6,000 years) compared approximately 30,000 years of matriarchal culture before that!

Oh My Goddess Swain book

Greena – Goddess of Recycling
Sally Swain © original art
from ‘Oh My Goddess!’
Bantam, USA, Australia

I love that my kids were exposed to that information right from the start of their lives, thanks to Sally making it fun and accessible. My kids have also grown up with Sally’s other book “Once Upon a Picture”, a gorgeous children’s picture book about art and artists and art history. Also informative, fun and beautiful.

Swain Once Upon Picture illustrated book

Once Upon a Picture
a page from the picture-story
inspired by van Gogh
Sally Swain © original art
Allen and Unwin

Soon after meeting Sally I attended one of her playshops in Glebe, again thanks to my Mum who was at Sally’s very first group ‘Art for Heart’s Sake’. I was pregnant with my daughter and I remember it as a dreamy creative luscious experience, of feeling gently supported and above all it was playful and fun! The artworks that I made at that workshop were very maternal and images of the archetypal Mother abounded. These were framed on my wall and accompanied me throughout the next 15 years of motherhood.

Sally McKern art

Sally McKern
© original art

So now my baby girl is 23 and I am 46….

To be continued…

Creativity over the Generations 
Part Two.
(And thanks to Sally M, for her lavishly kind words about my offerings. Blush.)
Meanwhile, if you want to check out other Art and Soulie Spot stories, here’s a link.

with love, art and soul from Sally
(and Sally)


16 thoughts on “Creative Circle of Life

  1. what a gorgeous story, so warmly told. And , sall — both of you– your art is so inspiring and luscious. i look forward to the next installment..and here’s to flipping into the right brain xxxlinda

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you thank you beautiful Sally & Linda & Gallivanta. Your love and encouragement make my heart swell (in a good way!) and I think you’re swell! It’s a real blast to see my words & images in print dear Sally, & and alongside your gorgeous art feels like an honour too. Thank you! Love Sally M ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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