We had the good fortune of connecting with Sali Swalla and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sali, can you tell us about an impactful book you’ve read and why you liked it or what impact it had on you?
Puliztzer prize winning “The Overstory” By Richard Powers, absolutely blew me away. It opened my eyes to the many little Universes Mother Nature has tucked away among the everyday moments we take for granted in the nature that surrounds us. I learned how trees talk to each other and look out for one another. I learned how nothing is wasted and every ending is the foundation for a beginning. I learned how infinitesimal we humans are on the timeline of Earth and yet how much damage we have done in such a short time. I learned of the pure wisdom in nature and found myself thinking if we as a species could absorb just a fraction of it how wonderful our future would be. This book opened my eyes to a world of wonder and nothing has looked the same to me since. Every time I leave my home the natural world around me seems more alive and connected than ever with a surreal magic guiding it all.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is all about connecting with the spiritual side of nature and getting into the same space meditation offers. Through a labor intensive process I loose myself in the act of adding and subtracting layers of paint until something emerges that seems to be speaking to me from beyond this physical world. These messages are what I hope to pass on to the viewers and collectors. I love that after almost a decade of studio practice I am finally in a place where I know and have a deep connection with my own artistic voice. Being a self taught artist this has not been as easy as it sounds. Climbing the mountain of self doubt, technical inability and the heaps of failed paintings, has taken a tremendous amount of determination and blind faith. All the while being a wife and a mother, the challenge of work life balance also weighed heavily. But where there’s a will there’s a way. I kept on chugging and am finally seeing the flowering of my efforts. I’ve learned that there are no wrongs in making art and failing is just a First Attempt At Learning. Try everything and never let a “No” stop you. A million “No’s” mean nothing. You only need one “Yes” to see your dreams start to come true .

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Michael Miranda ! The best pilates instructor around! He keeps my body strong and free of the aches and pains of age so I can let my spirit soar in the studio!

Website: https://www.saliswalla.com/
Instagram: @sali_swalla

Image Credits
Caroline Tran Photography