Tree Girl

What do you give your niece Ruby for her thirteenth birthday?

A painting.

Does it matter if it’s not ready by her actual birthday?

You hope not.

What sort of painting?

A picture that’s inspired

by your partner’s photo

of Ruby in a tree. 

tree climb photo

Niece in Tree

What do you

paint it on?


What medium do you use?

Acrylic, gouache, collage,

Tree Girl
Sally Swain © art
initial background

unexpected strips of torn fabric and smooshed-up threads.

Tree Girl
Sally Swain © art
draw with fabric strips

Tree Girl
Sally Swain © art
developing painting

Do you suddenly add a few pieces of painted torn collage paper?

Of course.

Tree Girl
Sally Swain © art
a bit of paintage, of course

Does the painting expand and ask to be placed on a painted fabric background?


for mounting Tree Girl onto

Tree Girl
Sally Swain © art
expanded picture

Are you advised by your sister to transform olive to emerald green?


Tree Girl
Sally Swain © art
Emerald for Ruby

Do you stitch beads and jewels onto the picture?

You hope to.

Do you wrap the painting around stretched canvas

or do you perhaps suspend it from a beautiful tree branch?

As yet unknown.

What title do you give the work?

Also as yet unknown.

Turns out I’ve shown you this inspiring photo before –

in my Sustenance blog post from February this year.

Ruby Sits in Moreton Bay Fig Tree

Do let me know your thoughts or responses… 

with love, art and soul 

from Sally



6 thoughts on “Tree Girl

  1. Shall we tell you what we think of your gift for Ruby? Of course we will. I am inspired by your love, encouraged by your daring, impressed by your acceptance of other people’s suggestions, carried along by the journey from inside your heart to Ready to Install on Ruby’s Wall. Thank you, thanks a million. Christine

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    • Hello dear Colette
      Things have sure been quiet in the Art and Soul department. I’m aiming for a playshop soon. Early June, perhaps? Hope to see you there and support your divine creativity.


  2. Wow Sally!!! How very beautiful. What a very special life-long gift to give your beautiful niece. And how perfect for her 13th image of being held by such an old-timer of a tree, and at such a coming-of-age point of life is just mind-blowingly gorgeous. And thank you for sharing the process as it unfolded too – it’s so great to see the layers arrive and appear – from the starting point of your partner’s incredible photo to the equally incredible painting-gift which carries the essence of Ruby so heartily and well (even though I don’t actually know Ruby I feel like I do a bit through the photo and your painting). Thank you for sharing this dear Sally. xoxoo

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