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.


What’s your ground? What helps

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Oh Bowie Oh

Space Odditea.

That’s what I called my 2013 exhibition at

Beyond the Ordinary Teahouse. Surprise surprise – lots of teacups.

Would you like to see the painting I called ‘Space Odditea’? It’s never before been seen by non-Sally eyes.
If not now, when?

Space Odditea Sally Swain © original art

Space Odditea
Sally Swain © original art

I thought it wasn’t

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Who knew?

I didn’t.
But I do now.
What do I know?
(Read on for Art and Soul Queen Sally’s Creative Christmas Message….)

I now know that Brian Eno is elegantly, eloquently wise. He recently rocked my paint-splattered world. He speaks with both divinity and great ordinariness of the value of creativity and the arts.

fabric swirl

Fabric Swirl by Sally
just the ordinary beauty of clothes soaking in the bath

I recommend

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Middle-aged Crazy Art Lady

What will YOU do on your artist date?

So I’m in the middle of a national park, in the middle of a bad hair decade. Decade.

I can’t avoid the fact that I’m a Middle-aged Crazy Lady wearing baggy pants, collecting plastic junk fragments from the beach. Plastic junk fragments.

Not to throw away, like any Sensible Middle-aged Crazy Lady does, but to PLAY with, as any Unsensible Middle-aged Crazy Art Lady does.
Plus oyster shells, seaweed and string. Treasures.

Beach Mandala found object sculpture

Beach Mandala
plastic, shelly, junky, funky, probably smelly and washed away by now

A gaggle of teenage girls walks past and

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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


Creativity Begets Creativity

(apologies to editor, designer, model, possum, bug and Ian Thorpe)

I am Aunty Art and Soul. I’ve been hosting niece Ruby (age 9) and sister Jennie (age not telling). We have two hours before I drive them to the airport.
Ruby says, ‘Let’s make a magazine just like POG.’

see previous post: ‘From POG to BLOG in forty years’ to discover what I’m talking about

Frenzy of paper, pens and paste of the non-Perkins variety.

VAGUE (well, at least the cover) is born.

VAGUE by Ruby, Jen and Sal (apologies to editor, designer, model, possum, bug and Ian Thorpe)

by Ruby, Jen and Sal
(apologies to editor, designer, model, possum, bug and Ian Thorpe)

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From POG to BLOG in forty years

A Creative Source Story….

I am sixteen. I sit on the beige 1970s oval rug in the family room, with my sister and my best friend.  We are surrounded by pencils, paper, Perkins Paste,scissors and magazines such as POL.   

POL is supercool, stylish. I dream of living among its pages; of being tall, slender, popular, with a floppy crocheted hat.

We cut the title from its glossy cover page.   

With the substitution of a mere letter, we invent… POG.




We design, laugh, arrange, laugh, cut, laugh, paste, laugh, rearrange. Oh. And laugh.

We don’t know it, but

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