Whatever you think of Eat, Pray, Love

(plenty of people go hohumm about this book)
(I boldly declare I like it),

you might enjoy Elizabeth Gilbert’s thoughts on the creative process.
I know I do.

Sally Swain

Inspired by Summer Solstice
play-in-progress stage 1        Sally Swain original art

Maybe you’ll feel like gobbling, imbibing, EATING her words.
You might experience them as a PRAYER to creativity.
She might help you fall in LOVE

Continue reading

Swoosh, Trickle, Sputsput, Ebb, Flow

OK folks. I’m gonna get all formal on you. Well – a bit more – how to put it? Staid? than our usual chatty approach.
Can you cope?
I’m sharing with you a piece I wrote for the Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association newsletter. I hope you gain something of value from reading it.

Sally Swain art

SAATflower

It’s all about the ecotone.

The what?

The ecotone. A place full of life, bubble and vibrancy.

Read on if you feel inclined…

Swoosh, trickle, sputsput, ebb, flow.
Where the Sand Meets the Sea

Written with gratitude for Lynn Kapitan’s ‘Arts Therapies in the Ecotone: Contact, Collaboration and Creative Entanglement’ ANZATA conference keynote address

Swoosh, trickle, sputsput, ebb, flow.

What happens where sand and sea meet? Do they decide they don’t like each other, only to end this encounter? Does the sand lose its sense of self as the sea rushes in? Does the sea sacrifice its watery essence? I’m no scientist, but it seems the constant contact leads to elemental connection, interdependence, change and aliveness. Sand and sea affect each other, yet

Continue reading

Two Witches Speeding Slowly Across the Harbour in a Claw-Footed Bath

Why the weird title?

and

What comes to you when you hear the words ‘creative’ and ‘ageing’ together?

Last week 

we took a peek
at middle age artiness.

This week

we open a conversation about creativity in old age.

How do we get creative around the ageing process?

The good ship Arts and Health Australia
recently launched its Celebrate Creative Ageing conference in Sydney.

I had the good

Continue reading

Middle-aged Crazy Art Lady

What will YOU do on your artist date?

So I’m in the middle of a national park, in the middle of a bad hair decade. Decade.

I can’t avoid the fact that I’m a Middle-aged Crazy Lady wearing baggy pants, collecting plastic junk fragments from the beach. Plastic junk fragments.

Not to throw away, like any Sensible Middle-aged Crazy Lady does, but to PLAY with, as any Unsensible Middle-aged Crazy Art Lady does.
Plus oyster shells, seaweed and string. Treasures.

Beach Mandala found object sculpture

Beach Mandala
plastic, shelly, junky, funky, probably smelly and washed away by now

A gaggle of teenage girls walks past and

Continue reading

What do you wish to create?

Once in a blue moon…

Once in a Blue Moon Sally Swain painting

‘Once in a…’    I just happened to have previously created this blue moon (with leopard?!) paintage and couldn’t resist sharing it with you today. 
Sally Swain © original art

Friday 31st July is a blue moon night. In case you’re unsure of the conventional definition, a blue moon is

Continue reading

What if you don’t like your picture (in art or in life)?

You could ditch it, rip it up, scribble over it…you could adapt adapt adapt.

What if there’s a gulf between the astoundingly beautiful vision in your head and the muck that’s appearing on the canvas? This is The Gap.    

Creativity lives in The Gap.

If you keep going, you have two fundamental choices.

  1. Keep trying to make your picture (or life) resemble the perfection of your imaginings. This likely leads to a wrestling match with your Inner Critic, your art-esteem, your materials, your existing picture (or life).

    and/or you could…

  2. Adapt adapt adapt. Follow your brush or gesture or what’s already appeared. Surrender to the Art of Emergence. Trust the process and the flow of your picture (or life). This option is far easier said than done. It goes against the grain of all we’re taught in our outcome-driven, get-it-right-or-die dominant culture.

Neither of these choices is right or wrong. Much art-making (and life) is a dance between Continue reading