David Swain’s Lyric Life?

I was lucky. I had a good variety of Dad.

A Lifelong Process
from One Thing and Another
David Swain

It’s Father’s Day this weekend in Oz. We are being encouraged to buy buy buy. Wearing our Covid-safe masks, we queue at acceptable distance out the door of the post office.

If we have a Dad, that is. If we have a Dad who is still alive and craving a pair of socks or a power tool, who resides far away.

That was not my Dad.

If there were any commodities he was into, it was musty secondhand books. He was more into creativity, kindness, humour and people. Lucky for me, he  made all the time in the world for his family of women. My Mum, my sister and myself. Oh and Isabel and Soxy the cats when they were alive.

Dad died ten years ago. I sometimes share bits and bobs of his creations. Here’s a link to some of those previous David Swain mentions.

And what a legacy of inspiration!

Here’s a glimpse of one of his books I haven’t shared much before…

One Thing and Another
David Swain
my Dad

One Thing and Another. A selection of ten years of cartoon and verse from his weekly column in the Canberra Times.

The prophecy game
from One Thing and Another
David Swain

I know my Dad was rare for his times. Rare at any time. So I think of you with compassion if you had a less than lovely father.

I send

some David Swain delight

your way.

One of my all-time favourites of Dad’s cartoons
from One Thing and Another

And here’s a poem that my Dad gave to a neighbour years ago. The ex-neighbour found the poem on a scrunched-up, nearly thrown-out scrap of fax paper. Fax paper! Faded but not forgotten. She photographed it and PM’d me. Aww.

Bondi Sonnet
David Swain
gifted to a neighbour, which was the sort of kindly creative gesture my Dad would make

In case you can’t read the Faded-but-not-Forgotten Fax:
















David Swain and his Lyric Life?
He started out as a cheeky Cockney barrow boy. When he was sixteen, a headline in a local paper pronounced him London’s youngest greengrocer. (That’s what you do to keep the family afloat when your own father dies).

In the early 1970s, he initiated Australia’s first professional writing degree.

And there he was late in life, sitting at his desk in the flat with the view of Bondi Beach, wondering at squawky rainbow lorikeets and modern fax machines, slowly heading towards dementia and decline, still writing.

What a journey. What a Dad.

with love, art and soul
from Sally


How to heal a heavy heart

(at least for now)

  1. Wrap your arms around the heart
Swain art paintage

Even if you’re sad, make art
Sally Swain © original art

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

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Sneezing, Signage and

the Nature of Nurture

signage Swain organic

When your Signs are Organically Overgrown

nature art signs

Water droplets.
Can you see them?
Nature responding to signage about Nature

graffitti water

More watery signage:
Graffitti plus reflections of the storm-water canal

My Muse-in-Chief is my dear departed Dad, David Swain. He would have loved the ease of using a smartphone to photograph quirky

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Climbing Trees, Knowing Home

How lucky am I?

My original muse was David Swain.

He helped me find my niche.

He helped me find my balance.

He helped me find my footing.

He helped me know home.

My original

leaf art Swain

micro mini canvasses
Sally Swain © original art

muse, David Swain (1923 – 2010)

would be turning 93 right now. My dear Dad.

He taught me to climb trees.

spotted gum tree photo

Folds, Spots and Wrinkles. A tree has no need for anti-ageing cream.

and know home.

I was not a confident little girl.

When I was seven,

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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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You Need Not Feel Alone in Your Creativity

Support is at hand 

Could you do with a trusty consultative companion by your side?

Qinka – Creative Spirit has found her Owl. She didn’t know she needed one until it/he/she turned up in an op shop.

Qinka and her Owl - Sally Swain art

Qinka and her Owl Companion
Sally Swain © original art

This Owl does not yet have a name.

Please can you help us name Qinka’s owl?

You can leave a suggestion in the comments box below, or the speech balloon above.  We eagerly await.

NEWSFLASH! (late August, 2015)

We have a name for Qinka’s Owl. It is Qoot. Inspired by a raft of suggestions from Louise Jade. Thank you, Louise.

And in a spectacular turn of events, aligned with the Creative Love Exchange 

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Be A Mused. Be Very A Mused.

Dad and me and creativity

Do you have a muse? Many ongoing muses?

Who or what inspires your creativity?

Dad and me

Dad and me

My original muse was my Dad, David Swain. Dad made a life of writing, cartooning and mentoring other creative sparks.
His first book, The Cantbeworried Tales, came out when I was seven. He gently satirised Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in cartoon and verse. This little book made a big impact on his world and mine.

Cantbeworried Tales David Swain's first book

The Cantbeworried Tales
David Swain’s first book

When I was eleven,

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