Five Windows to Joy

Doing my Beauty Duty

I go away for five days. Not Big Away, but just out of town to a pretty place. I feel fortunate for a glimmer of space away from responsibilities. I soak up the sights and sounds of serenity and serious rain.
If I get on my high horse, I can say, well, it’s my Beauty Duty. After all, I support the creative well-being of others. I need to walk the talk.

Julia Cameron calls it ‘filling the well‘.

So it’s my duty to top up my beauty quotient; to pay attention to sensory delight.
That’s my rationale and I’m sticking to it!

Away at the watery boaty pretty place, I choose to make art.

First up, I slap down pre-painted papers: magazine pages, sheet music, fragments of the paper they wrapped around the seafood. Don’t worry – this wrapping didn’t make direct fish contact. Otherwise – ugh – odiferous collage.

Swain collage bluegreen

Watery Boaty Papery

I pull some window

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Art Therapy – the Movie

Radiatrix, Goddess of the Heating Element, embraces 
Art Therapy – the Movie.

found object sculpture Swain sunflower

Radiatrix, Goddess of the Heating Element
Sally Swain © original art

I made this sculpture out of a radiator and kitchen utensils way back in 1994. Radiatrix hung out for a while with Venus de Salad Bowl and Sunbeam Madonna and Her Winged Spirits in a shopfront at Walking the Street art festival in Newtown, Sydney. She then spent time in the 1995 State Library of NSW Australian Women Artists exhibition.

Today, those Spirits of the House are a bit dusty, scattered and paint-chipped, but still around. And ready to embrace an inspirational movie.

Meanwhile, Sally, Not-Goddess of

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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

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Looking the Monster in the Eye

In Which

One Artist Attempts

to Transform Fear and Loathing

into Peace and Power

A (Literally) Ripping Picture-Story Comprising Alternative Art Heart Facts

{Warning: you might not be able to stomach the ensuing facial photos}
{on the other hand, the face has been difficult to avoid, unless you live in a remote cave in an exotic location}

trump art collage paint Swain

Preface (a poem):

There’s no need to ration

self-care or compassion

when tending a wound

of the heart.

To deepen the healing,

allow space for feeling

and channel your hurt

through your art.

Chapter One
in which

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How to tend a hurt heart

Creative Wellbeing in a Time of Trump

I cannot pretend. I cannot send out a glib, pretty message disconnected from deeper realities. I want to speak with you directly, from my heart to yours, and hopefully back again, in a loop of realness.

I wish to inspire the feeding of creativity, the gathering of community, the radiating of authentic connection.

heart art collage Swain

Sally Swain © original art

But here comes the Old Steam Train of Doubt … choo choo … puff puff … TOOOT!


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Words in your Wallpaper

collage power words

Power (with a bit of Flower)
detail from Sally Swain © original art

Maya and Me

Do you have words in your rugs?

In your upholstery?

Maya Angelou, amazingly versatile, talented poet, actor, director, dancer, everything-creator, said this to her pal Oprah:

“Words are things. You must be careful, careful about calling people out of their names, using racial pejoratives and sexual pejoratives and all that ignorance. Don’t do that. Some day we’ll be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things. They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally in to you.”

Which way? Katoomba sign

Which way?
Katoomba sign

Maya inspired me to

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