Easin’ the Season

red gold fabric flower art

Sumptuous             Sally Swain © art

How to name this time of year?

The season is Festive or a Holiday for some, but not for others. Do you say Happy Christmas to those in deep grief? Do you falalala about prickly green and red plants and ruddy-nosed caribou?

(Indeed I do. I find myself hosting Arty Hearty Parties in an aged care facility, singing and strumming ukulele. Anything to bring a smile to a sorrowful face.)

How to communicate swift positive wishes to all, sundry, those who are traumatised; those who give no hoots?

Swain painting

Using up the Leftover Paint
acrylic on calico
Sally Swain

It can be a

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What grows in the garden of you?

What would you like to cultivate?

What would you like to prune or weed?

(Let’s have a jacaranda-coloured post, in keeping with the season)

small art trees Swain

The Seven Trees of Us
Sally Swain © art
very mixed media on a small strip of paper

I ting a Tibetan bowl and lead a guided contemplation for the six women participating in the Art Garden playshop.

We sit with four elements that potentially nourish the self-garden.

Soil

What’s your ground? What helps

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Golden Thread

Grandmother, mother, daughter.

I am invited to run a creative playshop with three generations of women. My heart warms and swells with delight.

Grandmother, mother, daughter.

Not only that, but I’ve met the grandmother and mother before.

Not only that, but the grandmother, Bridget, was in my VERY FIRST EVER ART WORKSHOP in 1993 at the Women’s Academy. There’s a blast from the past.

 

Ohhh the threads run deep and golden.

intergenerational artmaking

Weaving Women’s Creativity
Intergenerational art-making

I will take this opportunity to say

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Nestle

Create a gentle resting, holding place for yourself

to digest your experience of the year and sustain yourself through Solstice, Christmas, Chanukah and New Year.
For some, this is a blessed time of year. For others it is tough.

fabric collage Art and Soul

An Art and Soulie plays with sumptuous aqua satin and rich crimson fabric fragments

I encourage you to make some space –

even twenty minutes –

to reflect on your experience of 2017.

See if a shape, colour, theme or motif

arises

and allow yourself to write or art it.

 

Perhaps you will discover a guiding image to help you flow

into your strong, beautiful soul’s dance

for 2018.

Nestle was our final Art and Soul playshop of the year.

I asked the question:

Would you like a nourishing, spacious pause
(ahhhh)
in the midst of the seasonal HurlyBurly?

Art and Soul collage writing

An Art and Soulie immerses herself in eloquent collage and writing

I invited participants to

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Washing machines and Watercolour pens

Art and Soulie Spot 10
Stories from the Creative Path

Presenting the beautiful writer:

Kerry Littrich…

I vividly recall the first creative playshop Kerry attended maybe ten years ago.
I remember her uncertainty about what was on offer. Once she felt more sure that this was to be a safe space, she gave herself 700% to the process. She let her big heart shine. She willingly shared her intricately woven fictional characters, who, over time, became as real to me as any of the playshop participants. Maybe we needed extra chairs around the table for Kerry’s living breathing human creations.

Here’s her website: Imagine365

Over to Kerry for a small adventure…

The day off

I am a writer.

I mostly write fiction but I also write non-fiction articles, blog posts and run a whimsical website called imagine365. Sometimes I write copy for other people’s sites or help them create business materials. But today I’m not going to write because I worked late last night in a different job and

I’ve given myself the day off.

            So I start propped up in bed, pillows all around me and a cup of tea to hand. My miniature fox terrier, Rupert, joins me but don’t tell my husband.

dog photo

Kerry’s Rupert

I speak to my sister on the phone,

there’s no hurry.

We catch up for 45 minutes. I spend almost an hour longer in bed meditating with a second cup of tea.

            When I do get up, there’s

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a seed of a dream

Art and Soulie Spot 9 

Stories from the Creative Path

Sally McKern’s Creative Circle of Life continued…

Sally McKern art

Held
Sally McKern
© original art

Click here for the story so far (Part One).

Part Two

So now my baby girl daughter is 23 and I am 46

She is a beautiful young goddess in her own right.

Looking back on all of this now I am realising that these creative moments were crucial points in my development.

These experiences went a long way in defining who I became as an adult and who I am today.

My beautiful son is now 19 and he is also out in the world doing his own thing in the big city like his sister, hundreds of miles from my home in the country. I am not so identified now with the mother archetype, not in the same way I was when the kids were growing up. Now my holding and guiding is done from a distance and there is more letting go and observing.

Sally McKern art

Child of the Universe
Sally McKern
© original art

All these years

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The Art of Yes

Is this too political?

Yes Vote art marriage equality

Art and Soul says Yes
(as does Sally Swain)

Here at Art and Soul Space, I try to not be issues-based, barrow-pushing, brow-battering political.

I wish to create a breathing space of spark and light; an honouring of human creative life force. I aim to cultivate beauty and authentic expression amidst the hurly-burly of haranguing horridness that many are faced with daily.

But hey.
Sharing my Yes Art fits with these desires AND it’s political. So I will stick my neck out, publicly proclaim a passionate opinion and risk whatever flak might arise.

And hey.

I’ve been political before here at Art and Soul Space blog, and it seemed to sit well with a few of you fine folk out there.
(see Art Heart Resources for troubled times)

Here goes, then…

We are

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Creative Circle of Life

Art and Soulie Spot 9
Stories from the Creative Path

Sally McKern art

Child of the Universe
Sally McKern
© original art

Introducing Sally McKern, a wonderful woman who isn’t convinced she is creative, but you will see otherwise. 

Sally’s mother attended my first ever creativity workshop way back in 1993, when Art and Soul was called

Art for Heart’s Sake.

Sally contacted me this year to see if she AND her mother AND her daughter could come along to a playshop.

I was touched.

To me, this is the Creative Love Exchange

in action.

It’s the Circle of Life. 

Oh My Goddess Swain book

Greena – Goddess of Recycling
Sally Swain © original art
from ‘Oh My Goddess!’
Bantam, USA, Australia
1994

Here she is….

Creativity over the Generations

Part One

Sally Swain asked me if I’d like to write something about creativity and I said yes because I love Sally, but the biggest part of me has no idea what to write because in my day-to-day life I don’t feel very creative.  

I don’t feel like I have anything to say nor even

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