Late-Middle-Aged to Early-Old Crazy Art Lady

Goes to the Beach

Here’s my annual piece of recklessness.

I am poised to turn sixty.

turning 59

59th birthday. That was last year.

Poised? That makes it sound elegant and uncomplicated, which would be untrue.

Don’t get me wrong. I am exceedingly grateful to be a privileged, healthful artist, creativity coach and art therapist, with wonderful people and opportunities in my life. Yeah.

On the other hand, if you are a young sprite of ooo 37, or 51, even, there are quirks, aches and creaky crevices of the sixty year old’s mind, body and circumstance that you haven’t even dreamed of. Nor do you need to. That’s my oblique grumble for now.

At nearly sixty, I am ready to share with you my fabulous afternoon of a year ago. 

sacred sand sculpture

The Nest of the Sacred Egret – what can this mean?

I enthusiastically upheld my own recent tradition of random, spontaneous, organic and focussed outdoor art-making. The tradition involves an I-don’t-care-what-anyone-else-thinks-of-me attitude, which is refreshing for one who was an acutely shy teenager.

sculpture embodied beach

Bodily echoing the shape of the sculpture. Yes. Definitely Crazy Art Lady stuff.

I loved making this sculpture.

driftwood sculpture Swain

Driftwood and seaweed and

art beach spontaneous

Crazy Art Lady at Play

It truly was a case of

the Art of Emergence. It began with collecting curly whirly pieces of driftwood. It became a Thing with a Name and a Presence. I was utterly absorbed. It was Divine Play.

egret driftwood beach installation

Can you see the egret?

Let me share with you a delightful side-effect of my gently fierce obsession. After I’d finished, I looked along the beach and saw a four year old girl gathering driftwood. With the same serious engagement that I had unwittingly modelled, the four year old then made a sculpture.

Wow. I inspired someone – a newish little being in the world – I showed her the possibility of fashioning a one-off form out of found materials while giving weight to the process and product. As a Late-Middle Aged to Early-Old Crazy Art Lady, nothing could please me more.

beach sculpture Swain

The egret is protected

If you’ve bravely reached the end of this post, oh fearless reader, you might want to refer to last year’s outing of the Late Middle-Aged to Early-Old Crazy Art Lady.

with love, art and soul

sand art emergence

A Sacred Egret needs a Nest

from Sally

sacred sand sculpture

The Nest of the Sacred Egret


17 thoughts on “Late-Middle-Aged to Early-Old Crazy Art Lady

  1. Oh Sally I loooove this so much. What a wonderful Bday tradition to have & how beautiful to see the little girl inspired to do the same! You have reminded me of doing something similar when I was little – a memory comes of creating a miniature outdoor world in the sand and being so totally enthralled by it – like nothing else existed.. It was a magical and gently powerful feeling – memorable enough to be present now some 44 years later! Thank you for inspiring me once again dear Sally. I think I might copy your tradition if that’s ok! And Happy Happy 60!!! May your divine recklessness continue!! You exquisite wise woman you! ❤️

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    • Thank you, dear Sally M. How exquisite to hear of you creating your miniature outdoor world. Your story in turn reminds me of a childhood book – Pookie at the Seaside. The little cheeky flying rabbit creates sandcastle homes all lit up from within. I think pixies help him. Yes, that sounds right. Pixies help, as they do. with love and warmth, Sally S


  2. If I were an early-old crazy art lady I would join you in a heartbeat. But as I am only early-old crazy I will sit here and admire your creativity. Besides our nearby beaches are too cold at the moment. 😀

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  3. Dear Sally I was drawn here via your later post Between a Rock and A Soft Place which was so majestically and awesomely delightful. Here, pre birthday, you are a stripey-armed purple-haired sprite–was it being by the water that brought out your playfulness? I remember when I was a four year old I had a pair of leopard skin printed bathers. I was obsessed with them-I would have worn them all day and all night as well if I could have. I used to crawl stealthily on all fours along the water’s edge as if I was a leopard in the wild occasionally purring at people passing by. I stayed committed to my imaginary self/animal the whole summer—ah, good times–and I’ve been looking for another pair of leopard print bathers ever since!!

    My only quibble with your story, Sally, is calling yourself Crazy Art Lady. I would change it to Wisely Sane Art Lady…because that’s what you really are.
    Happy belated birthday dear Sally. Thank you for all your wonderful work and kindful inspiration.

    Love Linda

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    • Ohhhh Linda Linda Leopard Linda… prowling and purring along the shore. What an exquisitely fabulous image. Now I want those leopard print bathers too. I hope you find some.
      And thank you for the Very Fine Quibble. I use the C for Crazy word with an amount of jest. I feel fortunate that, mostly, I don’t feel obliged to identify with the Crazy word that is flung about horridly referring to people living with mental illness. That’s kind of why I use the word too, I think. To kind of lessen the sting.


  4. Yes i understand completel, Sally. Language–and labels–can be such restrictive, defining things.. and challenging such limitations can only be good. As for leopard print, I have a denim jacket with silk leopard print lining–oo la la–which i wear with the cuffs rolled up…giving only a glimpse of my inner feline..I also once owned a woolen leopard print hat which i used to wear pulled down over my eyes in winter..,. and thanks for my new name: Leopard Linda….lllllllllllllllove it! xxx

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