Art, Love and Realness

We are Pod.

We are.

We.

My little Pod group formed randomly … or was it laced around some invisible design?

After Australia’s election in May, I felt a strong urge towards community, to be with like-hearted people. I sent out an email to maybe twelve creative arts therapists to get together, to lament, to make art, to see what emerged.

Art, Love, Realness
in the Pod
Sally Swain art-in-relationship
Transforming Grief into Gold

Four of us turned up on the day. We bonded immediately.

We became Pod.

Pod is for grieving, expressing our true feelings, making art and, importantly, eating too much cake. We’ve now met several times. We don’t necessarily talk politics or big picture stuff. We speak whatever matters to us at the time.

ART, LOVE AND REALNESS

was

my impassioned happy-slogan

in meeting three.

Pod gathering number four begins. We have cake on our plates. We have art materials at our fingertips. We have landed.

I slap down a bit of collage. It gives me a ground; a starting point. How about a pre-painted magazine page and a paint-dabbed tissue?

Art, Love, Realness
in the Pod    beginnings
Sally Swain art-in-relationship

I notice the letter W right there in the centre, on its side. Can you see it? I pause. W? What might that mean to me right now? Straight away the answer comes. It stands for ‘We’.

It stands for the ‘We’ of Pod.

It’s a reminder of community, of interdependence. It tells me I don’t have to try and figure out my life, my work, my struggles, on my own. Even as I write this sentence, I breathe out a sighhh. It is so easy to get caught up in individualism, where I think I have to solve problems in my busy head; where I have to be a self-made woman and put myself out in the world.

Do you relate? ‘Making it on your own’ is so embedded and idealised in our culture. Such pressure. Anyway, it’s a myth. Nobody truly succeeds on their own. Always, someone somewhere sometime is supporting us.

I write a little ‘e’ next to the W. We.

Art, Love, Realness
in the Pod
Sally Swain art-in-relationship

I paint a Pod. I write the word ‘We’ lots and lots of times. The word becomes weird and funny, but demands to proliferate.

Art, Love, Realness
in the Pod
Sally Swain art-in-relationship
We We We We We

Gold arrives.

Art, Love, Realness
in the Pod
Sally Swain art-in-relationship
Gold arrives

More white tissue beckons. Laying it down is a bit like a tourniquet. Ew. Suddenly I don’t like the picture. It looks like blood and a bandage. We-e-elll …Pod was kind of forged in blood. And a community of ART, LOVE AND REALNESS is incredibly healing.

Art, Love, Realness
in the Pod
Sally Swain art-in-relationship
Transforming Grief into Gold

I still don’t particularly like the picture, but I want to share with you the sustaining spirit of ‘We’. I want to live in the Creative Love Exchange.

(Here’s another post about seeking solace in creative community)

Along those lines, here’s a wee (We) community noticeboard.

Let me link you to upcoming offerings

of several non-Pod Sydney art therapists.

Penelope James: Sydney Art Therapy Group for Therapists in Glebe over 6 Tuesday evenings from 15th October   www.arTTi.com.au

Anne Buckingham: Art + Mental Wellbeing workshops at Lane Cove Gallery in September      info@gallerylanecove.com.au

Gabriel Lawrence: Embrace your Inner Superhero (for women) in Ryde on Saturday 14th September     http://www.into-arts.com.au

Romny Vandoros: is to co-lead one of her Artful Retreats…in Crete! October 1st to 4th.     https://www.artfulretreats.com/crete-4-days?fbclid=IwAR2nJKgrvf67-jnLhxqYK4ohJrrqz2d5MuzGl1n_isXpMX891JNJw4aTjZI

Phillipa Tayler: A Creative Look at Chronic Pain several Monday mornings in Willoughby https://www.workshoparts.org.au/course/ArtTherapyChronicPain

Roxy Taylor: The Benefits of Art Therapy in Residential Aged Care podcast  https://www.wisecare.com.au/blog/episode2

Oh yes. There’s me. Sally Swain: I have one or two spots in Creative Wellspring on Saturday 21st September in Glebe, Sydney.

We are ART THERAPY ABUNDANCE! 

with love, art and soul from Sally

Lost and Found in the Forest

Sally Swain art painting collatge

Lost and Found in the Forest
Sally Swain © art

Welcome to 2019

I wish you a sense of foundness

at this moment of early January,

when some folk can feel lost in the wilds

of New Year, loneliness

or out-of-routineness.

Let me tell you a story straight from the Creative Love Exchange.

(Creative Love Exchange description here)

Some years ago I went to a Playback Theatre retreat in the Blue Mountains. I stayed in a little ex-train carriage in the bush. I couldn’t sleep. This is not unusual for me and my restless, anxious night-mind. I rose up, out of bed and walked away across the earth. It was a very not-city scene. There were trees and trees and crackly gum leaves underfoot. Careful, Sally, careful to not get lost wandering off the beaten track in the middle of the night.

The thing is, I felt completely safe. The moon was full. I didn’t walk far into the thicket of things, yet was wrapped in beauty; surrounded by a cathedral of moon and tree. I returned to bed and slept.

The next morning I saw a sign.

Caution: Do Not Walk in the Bush at Night. Do Not Stray from the Track.

Timid, urban, physically unadventurous me had done both those things, yet I felt safe.

I created a picture: Lost and Found in the Forest.

And…lo. Thirteen years later, an art therapy friend asks to purchase this painting for her sister who is turning sixty. At first I am unsure whether this work is for sale. Then I say Yes. I embrace the loop of giving and receiving.

You experience something. You receive the benefits of making art from the experience. Astoundingly, someone else would like to give you something in order to receive the medicines of the art you’ve created. There is an exchange of heart, of art, of goods, of services. It’s win win win.

In this case, several sisters club together to buy Lost and Found in the Forest. Apparently the girl in the picture resembles the twelve year old version of the birthday woman. I wait. The gift is presented. She loves it.

Lost and Found in the Forest.

Sally Swain art painting collatge

Lost and Found in the Forest
Sally Swain © art

Do you have any stories of the Creative Love Exchange?

Of being in the flow of giving and receiving via creative expression?

with love, art and soul from Sally

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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Bringing Creativity to Everything. Even the Sticky Stuff.

Especially the Sticky Stuff.

Is it wise to incorporate a copyright statement on your blog?
I was badly bitten during the success of my first book, ‘Great Housewives of Art’. Oh. I will have to share a couple of the images so you know what I’m talking about. How about three then?

Mrs Renoir cleans the oven from 'Great Housewives of Art' (HarperCollins, Viking Penguin, Doubleday)

Mrs Renoir cleans the oven
from ‘Great Housewives of Art’
(HarperCollins, Viking Penguin, Doubleday)

Mrs Gauguin has a tupperware party from 'Great Housewives of Art' (HarperCollins, Viking Penguin, Doubleday)

Mrs Gauguin has a tupperware party
from ‘Great Housewives of Art’
(HarperCollins, Viking Penguin, Doubleday)

Mrs Picasson dusts the mantelpiece from 'Great Housewives of Art' (HarperCollins, Viking Penguin, Doubleday)

Mrs Picasson dusts the mantelpiece
from ‘Great Housewives of Art’
(HarperCollins, Viking Penguin, Doubleday)

 

Rather large success led to rather large rip-offs. But even thinking about this topic makes my stomach squirm with grey nausea.
Breathe, Sally, breathe.
I would love to live in a

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Are you up for a joyful arty challenge?

Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture

Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture
Love those Gloves
Sally Swain © original creation in Manapouri, NZ

Would you like to stimulate your creative juices in an easy, friendly, connected way?

Sally’s first ever Art and Soul Challenge

Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture

continues through the month of April.

Here’s the lowdown from (a still excited) Sally Swain:

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Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture

Do you wanna play?

Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture

Random Acts of Travelling Sculpture
Faded Flowers
Sally Swain © original creation

Would you like to stimulate your creative juices in an easy, friendly, connected way?

Announcing…Sally’s first ever Art and Soul Challenge…Very Officially Launched on April 1st – Day of the Fool (the Fool being about creative play and beginner’s mind).

Here’s the lowdown from (an excited) Sally Swain:

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I wish you a JOYful New Year

Little Arty Joy Book

is an Art and Soul playshop coming up soon.
(See the Offerings page on this website)

Here’s a Fat Book of Positivity that helped to inspire it.

Fat Book of Positivity Sally Swain and others

Fat Book of Positivity
Sally Swain and others

This was a frabjous art swap I engaged in 

as part of the Art Therapy + Happiness 2015 Project.
Imagine.

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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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