Art of Self-Care

en plein air…

I begin to unfurl.

art collage watercolour healing

Dendritia Saliosa 6
Sally Swain art

My duty-brain has been knotted with nervy caregiver logistics.

Sleep? Huh. A thing of the past.

Dementia tangles and plaques its way into my daily surrounds, both in my personal and professional life.

Are you a caregiver for an elderly relative? How does this sit in your soulscape?

‘Emotional labour’ is a term coined by Arlie Hochschild in her book ‘The Managed Heart’. I love those words. Emotional labour. Managed Heart. They speak to me.

Original definition:

Emotional labor is the process of managing feelings and expressions to fulfill the emotional requirements of a job. More specifically, workers are expected to regulate their emotions during interactions with customers, co-workers and superiors.

I feel my way into expanded meanings of emotional labour. Could it be all the invisible inner work of trying to make it OK for someone else?

There’s the smiling, soothing, smoothing over, placating, reassuring, drawing forth strength, glossing over, smiling, facilitating sticky interactions, anticipating, planning, being one step ahead at any moment, smiling, refining, suppressing your own natural needs, mopping up messes and much much more. And smiling. Do you relate to this at all?

I find respite in a sweet place by the sea.

I hear the sounds of two beaches.

Lap lap. Swoosh swoosh.

Sally Swain art

Dendritia Saliosa  beginnings
play-in-progress
Sally Swain art

An outdoor studio amongst the trees.

Birdsong. Treats for the senses.

art heart flower Swain

Dendritia Saliosa 
play-in-progress
Sally Swain art

Will it be a flower?

Swain art watercolour flower

Dendritia Saliosa 
play-in-progress
Sally Swain art

With

a heart at the centre?

I decide to add collage to make a teeny paintage picture. I become completely absorbed in a deep-focus-conscious-dreaming-art state. I am 

in the Zone.

Intuitively, I find the colours and textures, tear them to fit, assemble the random, driven, divinely playful jigsaw.

And threads appear, growing out of the petals. They are reaching out.

Roots? Dendrites?

Swain paintage paint collage

Dendritia Saliosa 
play-in-progress
Sally Swain art

dendrites art

Dendritia Saliosa 
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Sally Swain art

Dendrites? Nerve cells? Brain cells? Heart cells?

Happy.

Contented.

The sea swooshes.

The birds sing.

My fingers are covered with glue.

I incorporate teeny tiny scraps of colour and texture from an art magazine. I design technology for outdoor collage. Put your magazine fragments in a plastic bucket so they don’t get whooshed away by the breeze. 

art collage watercolour healing

Dendritia Saliosa 
Sally Swain art

Next day, I begin a new picture.

I want a field, an ocean,

a community of these sensitive creatures. Dendritia Saliosa

is surrounded by support and understanding. Fellow beings.

Swain art community

Dendritia Saliosa Support System 
play-in-progress
Sally Swain art

My plein-air studio.

plein air studio

Dendritia Saliosa Support System 
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Sally Swain art

The creative care community grows.

Dendritia Saliosa Support System 
play-in-progress
Sally Swain art

I look up.
Who says an artist’s soul doesn’t have open pores? Who says your immediate environment doesn’t influence you?

I see the leaves – 

the shapes, the forms of my picture

are right there in my studio.

Nature births art births life…

nature art shapes leaves

Dendritia Saliosa Support System is out there already in the immediate universe
play-in-progress
Sally Swain art

community support art nature

Dendritia Saliosa Support System
neural nature network
Sally Swain art

And what happens next?

Here’s a clue. 

rock pool sand scribble

Scribble Life

Stay tuned. Friday 15th March.

with love, art and soul from Sally