The Creative HeART; Inspiration from People I Meet

 Love (2012)

No purer persistence
No greater gift
Standing still in this moment
'All that really exists'

Rob Swales (c) 

That's me, the freckled faced kid standing beside the teacher.
Since I was a freckle-faced kid I have often wondered how and why certain people come into our lives. One minute we’ve never heard of them, then they appear, have a huge or no impact on us at all, stay forever or disappear as quickly as they dropped by. Are these occurrences serendipitous or divinely inspired for some greater purpose? If you believe in the opportunity of chance, have you ever sat down to reconstruct the steps and happenings that actually bring these (usually for me, inspirational) encounters to fruition? Frankly, from where I sit, the universe is much too systematic, perfect and harmonious to be left to chance. And a meteorite or shooting star self-deciding to turn left or right at the Milky Way is not something I would like determining my existence.

Jodie, my wife and the celestial being I have been so fortunate to spend the last eleven years of my life (or looking at it another way, the whole of the second part of my life) with, is the perfect example of my thoughts on this idea.  Here's the brief. In 2000 I'm selling real estate in Maleny. A guy phones the real estate office in Queensland from Tasmania. He wants someone born in the Chinese year of the Dragon to sell his house in Maleny. I happened to know I was one of those, born in 1952. He gives me a sole agency on his house. I advertise the property. Jodie comes to look at it. I talk her out of buying it. I sell the property to someone else. Eighteen months later Jo and I are married and my creative heart was opened even wider to to the greater possibilities of life and love. And it hasn't stopped opening. Thank you most beautiful, caring soul for hanging around no matter what and sharing this adventure with me.

This is actually 1972 the closest I have here to 1969 

In 1969 
I was at a church youth group dance at the Methodist Church hall in Murwillumbah. I met a girl there from Tweed Heads. Her name was Lorraine. At sixteen she was already an artist. I saw her around a couple of times after that up until 1970. When Jo and I were home for my dad's funeral we stayed at Kingscliff In my niece's apartment as they had been holidaying with us in Switzerland. One afternoon we went walking around the shops in down town Kingscliff and came across an artist's gallery. It was closed. I read a newspaper cutting on the window about one of the artists who own the gallery. It was the same Lorraine I hadn't seen since 1970. The next day I went in and met her husband Ian who is also an artist. We rang Lorraine on my mobile and she came down to the gallery and we basically picked up where we left off forty two years ago. 

Lorraine and Ian shared their stories with Jo and I over an amazing paella (which Ian guided me through creating) dinner at their home. They have had interesting twists and turns to their days under the sun, but here they are, married in 2011 and now practicing and teaching their love of art together. Lorraine showed me some photos on her MacBook from 1969. And there she was, the pixie artist that I remember as being so uniquely her, much like she is today. 

In July they will hold a joint exhibition in Maui, Hawaii followed by an artists in residence stint at one of the hotels there. I was inspired by their openness, joy and how they live what they are despite what is happening in the world around them. And Jo and I bought a print from Ian called Red House, inspired by the Jimi Hendrix track of the same name. If you are ever in Kingscliff be sure to drop into their gallery in the Kingscliff arcade and say hi! And you can check out their life in art on the websites below.

A lifetime after 1969, In 1992, I attended a convention at Jupiter's Casino on the Australian Gold Coast. At the convention I heard an Aboriginal woman speak on the difficulties she had been working to overcome in her life and I felt a strong sense of compassion for situation and courage. After the meeting I introduced my self to her and ever since she has been walking in and out of my life, usually very randomly. Sometimes for a day and other times we have years of contact. She originally introduced herself as Emily but I now know her better by her tribal name of Nuuna. 

Nuuna has helped me in many ways. When my life began to unravel back in 2000 and many people did not want to be involved in my personal life, Nuuna and her two girls would arrive in Maleny to hang out with Cam and I and give life a sense of normality. Not only is Nuuna a beautiful Aboriginal woman but also an amazing artist. She gave Jo and I a beautiful painting of her interpretation of our union as a wedding gift.

A few days before I flew back to Switzerland I was having a coffee with Harvey in Cotton Tree. A woman walked across the road beside the coffee shop, lifted her sun glasses and there she was. I hadn't seen Nuuna for six years. We hung out for the day with Harvey and her  beautiful daughter Jill. It was fun to catch up. Nuuna has a few major challenges in her life at the moment. But despite these humps, by the end of that day we'd organized a solo art exhibition for her at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort later in the year, found some canvases and paint for her, and the art of healing had begun.

These are some of Nuuna's paintings on sale now at Novatel Twin Waters Resort
at really good prices Contact  Lucinda Tutt +61754488000 or email

My next few words are about someone I haven't met and had not really heard of. He's an Aussie guy called Nick Vujicic. At the Brisbane airport I was looking for a book to read on the twenty one hour flight that lay ahead of me. I ended up with a book in each hand. The Slap, which I had been wanting to read for ages and one called Life Without Limits, written by Nick Vujicic. I chose Nick's book purely because it was lighter and I could probably finish it on my flight. 
Life Without Limits is an inspiring book by an extraordinary man.
LIfe Without Limits BookNick Vujicic :: Attitude is Altitude :: No Arms, No Legs, No Worries

If you think you are having a bad moment in your life, Nick is the man for you. Born without legs or arms, Nick has since traveled to all corners of the globe to encourage and inspire people in difficult situations. He can swim, surf, skateboard and scuba dive. He has two university degrees, is candid and funny and now at twenty nine years of age, married and living in California where he heads up his charity foundation.

Your day still not working out for you?  Watch the following short youtube video, then read Nicks book, obtainable from his website above. Now I haven't met Nick but one day I'm sure we'll cross paths somewhere along the road.

A big thanks to all of you for being a part of my life. Have a great day. Rob


  1. Love Nuuna's paintings! We'll have to visit her gallery when we'll be back on track next year near the Gold Coast. Reminds me of my trip in 2003 walking through the Outback and talking to other Aborigines Artists. Such an unique experience!


  2. HI ROB .... it was an amazing experience meeting you and Jodie here in Kingscliff. Funny how life takes you on twists and turns,and fancy my daughter going to school with your brother too!! We're being kept busy with rising rivers and impending flooding at the moment. It is soooo good to be living on high ground at these times. Ian is busy in the Gallery painting most days and I have resumed my teaching ..... all is good in our creative world! We are looking forward to catching up with you both on your return.
    Cheers Lorraine


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