Iris Reeva Swain
23.10.29 to 21.3.20
Iris Reeva Swain.
Or if you don’t feel like resting,
dance, dance, dance, with
and with the feeling that all is well.
You will not be forgotten.
You are in us; all around us.
You are an everlasting flame
in the universe
with love, art and soul
aka Keep Your Feet on the Ground and Your Brush on the Page
*thank you to last fortnight’s 3 poets
Last week, politicians stirred up a nasty brew of disruption and destabilisation in the nation’s central cauldron.
I was blessed with downtime. I kept my ear to the radio, my feet on the ground and my brush on the page. Still besotted with my near-new ‘Brilliants’, I self-soothed in the pleasantly safe, contained space of a small Art Journal. I followed the brush, the play and flow of watercolour. I did not plan my pictures. I stayed open.
I had a cuppa and chanced upon a Hugh Mackay article about compassion as a form of love. Compassion. Possibly a missing ingredient from the approaches and actions of the country’s main destabilisers. He says,
‘It is normal for humans to show compassion towards each other, because, in the end, we are each other.’
Hugh Mackay is not the first or the only person to express such a sentiment. Poets, philosophers, religious guides have said the same thing countlessly. However, his words spoke to my bruised brush, my ailing spirit. His words spoke to my dismay that those who dehumanise and brutalise innocent asylum seekers are those who ruthlessly engineer to rule a country.
‘Although we like to think of ourselves as independent, we are more like islands in the sea – separate on the surface but connected to each other deep down.’
My bruised yet bountiful brush, my ailing yet
Goes to the Beach
Here’s my annual piece of recklessness.
I am poised to turn sixty.
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.
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.
I loved making this sculpture.
It truly was a case of
Who is she?
I want to create a blog piece for Mother’s Day without it being about actual flesh and blood mothers.
I’ve got one. A mother. I am not one. A mother.
I am, however, an Art Mother.
I create pictures.
I birth them from bits of nothing and scraps of something.
I midwife other people’s creativity.
I like that term, Art Mother. What do you think of it? Do you connect in any way?
So I go
My sister and niece visit from interstate about four times a year.
We try to squeeze an art play session in there in amongst the family events schedule.
We let loose.
We love our shared art-making.
We are all together, yet each working on our own piece.
We coast between silent absorption and chit-chatting or singing. Sometimes there’s a drama
when the picture ‘goes wrong’. We usually get through that, out the other side and sail to the land of art-making happiness.
and when might you need one?
(at least for now)
- Wrap your arms around the heart
2. Plant your strong feet upon the earth
3. Sit down
4. Know that the moon is there behind you
5. Sing mournfully
6. If you can’t bring yourself to sing, then hum or simply breathe.
That’s how to heal a heavy heart
(at least for now).
On a day I felt sad, I
Do you love the mark of the artist?
The sweep or lilt of liquid colour on canvas?
There’s something about
Flower is a noun and a verb.
The paintage (paint plus collage) arose in response to concern about
A PAINTAGE RECIPE
- a palette of squodgy leftover paint from your residential aged care art therapy clients
- patterns, textures and colours from magazines of any era
- a cup of expressive slapdashery
- a cup of order-making quietitude
- a black felt pen
- a goodly dose of tenderness
- a slug of love
- immeasurable commitment to creative process