Creative Cartonia

You can make art from anything

It dawned on me to paint on cardboard food packaging.

I love it.

What’s not to enjoy?

preparing a Dilmah tea carton surface for painting

You’re recycling, if not upcycling, your ordinary dry goods boxes – objects you take for granted; that you might not normally notice.

Par Avion
Sally Swain art
this is what became of the Dilmah tea box

You have a ready-made painting surface. Just add white acrylic paint and maybe some tissue.

Organic WeetBix box ready to paint

You have irregular shapes and edges. Very fitting for this strange, strange world we inhabit. I’ve always nudged and butted against the perfect, symmetrical, 2-D art rectangle.

Who says it should be so?

Freedom
Sally Swain art
created on Rainbow Chai packaging

You have readymade wordy backgrounds without having to do the actual collage.

Organic Grief
Sally Swain art
created while listening to a friend grappling with grief

You can ponder the object of the flattened box itself – its design – the approach to advertising; what qualities of the product are emphasised. You are making a creative deconstruction – a meditation on consumerism.

Dots
What supports my Creative Wellness?
The dots that are already there.
Sally Swain art
painted on polka dot tissue box
while running Creative Wellspring playshop

Weet Bix cereal, Dilmah tea, Rainbow Chai, tacos, alfoil, a polka-dot tissue box.

Most of these pieces

emerged during phone or Zoom conversations.

They are a small selection.

Safe Place
Sally Swain art
created during phone conversation on a small fragment of polka dot tissue box

None of them is finished.

I am not sure yet whether to attach them to sticks to hang them, or to stitch them onto fabric, or umm to glue them to actual canvas. I’m not sure whether to combine some of them – kind of reconstructing the cartons.

What do you think?

with love, art and soul

from Sally

Creature Conversations

Creature Conversations
Sally Swain art

Who knew these little winged beings would emerge?

I admit I’m rather fond of them.

Creature Conversations was created over four separate chats with fabulous art therapists. I found it an intriguing way to approach art-making – keeping one piece going over several different exchanges.

Conversation one
with the Dotties – an art therapist peer support group I am blessed to have in my life.

Laying down tissue,

adding paint,

gently watching

the watercolour run,

seep,

move across the mini-landscape

Creature Conversations
Sally Swain art
One

Conversation two
It turns out a respected, experienced art therapist is seeking me out for supervision. I am honoured.

Surrounding,

linking

background colours appear.

I spread out.

Creature Conversations
Sally Swain art
Two

Conversation three
with my lovely colleague about Leaf-by-Leaf project possibilities. We spark. We are dually inspired.

I look at the picture so far.

I see blobs and shapes

that could be little critters.

I draw them forth with texta.

First, a butterfly.

Then a winged cat.

This is truly fun.

Creature Conversations
Sally Swain art
Three

Conversation four

in which a colleague generously listens to what’s been happening in my world. She helps me reconnect with the ground of being.

Earth swirls appear.

Lightly.

Yes – the whole thing is watery,

yet

I have a sense of earth and sky.
It’s elemental.

Creature Conversations
Sally Swain art
Four

Do you

ever make art

while on the phone?

Creature Conversations
Sally Swain art

Oh yeah – I am not great at figuring out how to link up my social media stuff, but I recently joined Instagram. I’m artandsoul.sally . Creature Conversations appears Instagramatically.

with love, art and soul
Sally