Late-Middle-Aged to Early-Old Crazy Art Lady

Goes to the Beach

Here’s my annual piece of recklessness.

I am poised to turn sixty.

turning 59

59th birthday. That was last year.

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. 

sacred sand sculpture

The Nest of the Sacred Egret – what can this mean?

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.

sculpture embodied beach

Bodily echoing the shape of the sculpture. Yes. Definitely Crazy Art Lady stuff.

I loved making this sculpture.

driftwood sculpture Swain

Driftwood and seaweed and

art beach spontaneous

Crazy Art Lady at Play

It truly was a case of

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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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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

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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