Making Art Palatable

Swain small art

Even If It’s Tiny, Make Art
Sally Swain
play-in-progress

Or Should I Say Palette-able?

How to approach art-making when you’re daunted?

Chunk it down.

The vast blank canvas smirks at you. It might look innocent enough, all pure and fresh, but when nobody else is in the room, it snarls,

‘What makes you think you can paint on me? You’re not good enough. You’re not an artist and never will be.’

What to do?

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Words in your Wallpaper Too

Finally. Part Two. Inspired by Maya Angelou.

Do you have an Artist Wound?

(ouch)

As a long time Creativity Coach, I sit with people in the casualty ward of The Creative Hospital of Life. I see the results of Artist Wounds.

Katoomba sign caution

Whoah!
Katoomba sign

Should we peek at places and spaces where the wounding words have seeped? Can you cope?

bricolage tissue watercolour painting

Dabflowers
Sally Swain © original art
picture made from other people’s leftover paint tissues, glue, watercolour, pen.
Quite 3 dimensional

Back in January, with Maya Angelou’s assistance, we uncovered the power of words. It’s now July, but it’s never too late to start afresh with your creativity.
See ‘Words in Your Wallpaper’.

Maya says,

“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.”

Words can seep into the blood vessels of your heart’s health, causing a joyful art-beat, or clogging up your (h)arteries.

collage power words

Power (with a bit of Flower)

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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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How to make art without making art

Huh?

Over any extended period of time, being an artist requires enthusiasm more than discipline. Enthusiasm is not an emotional state. It is a spiritual commitment, a loving surrender to our creative process, a loving recognition of all the creativity around us.
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron

Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture

Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture
Sally’s tenor ukulele goes to Athol, South Island, NZ

Let’s revisit the Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture Challenge, or should I call it an Invitation?

In this world of push and shove, an Invitation sounds less demanding; more…playful.

I’m

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How to Get Back to Your Creativity After a Long While Away (for doctors and beyond)

Creative Doctors.   Cool.   Like the sound of that.

So many doctors (and definitely nurses) I’ve encountered over the years have rich creative juices flowing in their scientific veins. They don’t

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Lichen Love. (Like n Love?) The Mindful Kindful Texture Walk

How to bring yourself into the present, even for a microsecond? And feed your creativity at the same time?

One approach is to go for a texture walk. What’s that? If I happen to be walking anyway, I attempt to find a tiny space of light amidst the VeryClutteredBrain by practising specific mindfulness. It helps to focus on a something.

 

Paperbark texture

Paperbark
(Melaleuca)
I love the texture of this messy, soft, papery Australian tree

I might say to myself: 
From where I am (here) up to that park bench (over there), I’ll bring my attention to textures. Or shapes. Or light and shadow. Or colours.

It’s not unlike playing ‘ Continue reading

How to Access Your (Already Abundant) Creativity 5

A Flower Power Point Presentation

to be viewed one blossom at a time

Part Five:

It Takes Two to Tango

Tango is a passionate, red and black dance. Tango is dramatic, with flair and flourish. It involves two people subtly, finely attuning to each other’s every move.

Sally Swain art

The Sauce of Life
Sally Swain © original art

Creativity can be a

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How to Access Your (Already Abundant) Creativity 4

A Flower Power Point Presentation

to be viewed one blossom at a time

Flower Power Point Number Four

A Little Encouragement Goes a Long Way

Sally Swain art

Daffy and Friends *
Sally Swain © original art

The word ‘encourage’

comes from ‘courage’,

which comes from ‘coeur’ (French for ‘heart’).

I love knowing this.

It speaks to me of the courage required to brazenly or tiptoe-ishly move in the direction of our dreams.

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How to Access Your (Already Abundant) Creativity

Part three of

A Flower Power Point Presentation

to be viewed one blossom at a time

Paintbrush Flower Sally Swain original artwork

‘A Paintbrush was Sacrificed in the Making of this Picture’ (long title, little picture)
Sally Swain © original art

Flower Power Point Three

Play with the Materials at Hand

CG Jung said, The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.
Play is an essential part of creativity. You can explore, try out different perspectives, respond to what happens when it’s not going the way you planned…in painting or in life.

You had a fully-

 

formed picture of a waterfall in your head, but you have absolutely no idea how to represent it and your painting looks like a mushy blue stripe. This is where creative play kicks in. You could turn the picture into a whole host of mushy blue stripes, full of life and vigour, informed by essence of waterfall. You could rip the page into morsels and reassemble them in a rhythmic collage. There are lots of options.

‘Lila’ is a lovely Sanskrit word meaning ‘Divine Play’.
Check out a slice of Lila in POG

It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.

Let us play.

(so said a sign I saw years back in the wonderland Nimbin Museum, northern NSW, Australia)

Divine play

and thank you, Lemonia Cafe, for this particular PLAY reminder