Hi, and welcome to the School of Real Art



This month’s talk is about why, when life gets heavy, often our creativity is the first thing that gets put to the side. But, when we learn about real art, we realise that our creativity can act as the engine of our transforming all kinds of challenges. 

A self-portrait from 1995, Glasgow School of Art – which clearly illustrates my tensions and dark emotions at the time; living off less than £2000 a year, moving around from one awful bedsit to another, struggling to understand my place in the world, feeling terribly isolated and fearful about my future, extreme anxiety trying to acclimatise to the big city….

I dealt with a lot of crazy in my life; harsh experiences left-right-and-centre, which were often exacerbated by my high-sensory-sentience. For the greater part of my first 3 decades I was genuinely struggling to hold it together; the world made me feel like an alien, and no matter where I tried to fit in, one thing after another went awry, and it never felt like home.

2006 in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh, Scotland; super-overworked trying to single-handedly transform the troubled community I lived in, hiding deep grief around family and personal losses, struggling to pay rent, finding it impossible make long-term plans involving stability, deep anxiety about how to support myself as an artist with the price of living in Scotland, craving the countryside and sunshine…  

Though photos like the one above made me seem bright and engaged, inside I felt like I was fighting for my life.

Art wasn’t just my anchor during my struggles, it was a gateway into a whole inner landscape – in which I could rest, be nourished, find meaning, immerse myself in pleasure, and much more.

My creative activities methodically drew out all the inner resources that were sitting right inside – the ability to improvise, to make something out of nothing, to find beauty in the everyday and progress in the smallest of steps, to feel the interconnectedness of all things.

Featured Image -- 1707
Healthy and well in 2018 – living in the southern Italian hills of Campania – connecting deeply with landscape, culture, language, seasons, plants, healing heritage, knowing depth and meaning, feeling like I belong, and that my art has purpose in the world.

Our creativity will always help us navigate stormy times, no matter what the overwhelm is: when we get out of our short-circuiting, panic-stricken mind, and into the rhythm of making, doing, expressing… we start to see new perspectives, possibilities, positivity – instead of being dragged under by whatever our irrational ‘logic’ might be yelling…

Last year: much more grounded, fulfilled, stable and happy… Deepest fulfilment from my art, bringing life-long-dreams into being, owning my own home outright, steady income from paintings and patronage, beautiful relationships with my clients, profound partnership with my uomo, millionaire lifestyle, steadily improving health….. yes! 

By-the-by, this morning a good friend in Edinburgh told me about more than one food-growing project flourishing in Wester Hailes – a predominantly council-estate area of the city, where I lived 10 yrs ago, in crisis, but creating a visionary 100 year project for transforming council housing in Scotland – empowering community by shifting land from public liability to community ownership… Seeds planted – even in chaos – can grow and grow, even without our further striving, when we create from the deepest place.

If you love what you hear, join The SORA for free!

Also, watch our SORA vision series

Loads of creative power to you, 





  1. Please share this post, if you know someone who’d be inspired – it might even change their life!
  2. Join me on Patreon if you’d like to hear/ see/ read much more about the school: that’s my inner circle, where I share all my creative outpourings with my very special folks – I’ll be publishing all the new school material there, first.
  3. My website is here, my art is on Etsy, e mio sito in italiano è qui.
  4. Social media: Instagram, Facebook – the art school page and my artist page.

Thank you so much for your interest in this visionary project!