What Inspires Me

About Maia Spall

Maia was born in the UK when the Second World War ended. She met her husband through poetry when she was still at school, went to art school and had four sons. “I am grateful for my training back in the sixties at Camberwell Art School it was the best training I could have had, learning how to see in the process of drawing to be accurate, and having the freedom in the last year to paint those pictures inside me.”

She and her husband separated shortly after their silver wedding anniversary. He died in 2011 and still remains for her as a much missed and very much-loved spiritual partner, never to be forgotten.

In terms of her professional background, after her fine art degree she did a post-graduate degree in art therapy which led her into working in an adult mental health team in SE London and in primary care work as a counsellor in GP surgeries. “Throughout these years I managed to continue with life drawing, painting and poetry. Painting is still my lifeline and poetry remains my absorbing back-up.”
— Maia

Find more about Maia’s work on her website: https://maiaspall.co.uk/

Maia Spall is an art therapist, painter and poet, who recently joined Zoomuse – the Subud Online Poet Readings with her poems.

Watch Maia’s recent Zoomuse Reading here:


Now she has more time, she focusses on painting as an activity, and she loves it even though it’s hard work. When she stands back and looks at the painting, she feels peaceful and focused. “It feels like my version of meditation.”

Maia says:

“What happens if I do not engage in a creative activity for too long? I feel cumbersome and heavy or manic and tense – not very pretty.”

“When I had my spiritual zap into the Subud Latihan something came out of my mouth. After a time, I realised it was me singing. The important thing about this was that something was coming out – it was no longer squashed inside me.”


“When I do not paint, I become that miserable example of womanhood I spoke about. Or not to get too dramatic about it basically a bit miserable and depressed. When I’m having a fallow period of not going into my studio, that is when I find solace scribbling thoughts and images down till I have structured and edited words into some sort of pattern and rhythm. Something that sounds OK to my ear. For me that is where writing poetry becomes both absorbing and helpful.”

“I love the colours, textures, stickiness, fluidity, scratchiness, paint can do. I love the messiness too. But sometimes structuring the chaos can be time consuming and frustrating and that is when making something out of it – or not – is challenging.


I love it at the beginning when anything is possible. I enjoy looking, being visual inside my studio on my canvas as well as outside, when I am out and about. When I am painting I enjoy being sensitive to where, for instance, a line will go.

It is such a relief to delve into my imagination constructively. I am inspired by what I see and memories of what I see, and by what appears in the pictures and stories of this imagination.”


Softly The Snow

We are making peace amongst flakes soft and cold
where black crags targeted,
now silenced in the background.
As we race a retreat, each step
rushes blood to our feet, while beneath
earth’s wound waits to surface.
Softly the snow.


Poetry & Painting

“With both poetry and painting the main joy is the unexpected. ‘Ah that’s what I’m writing about’ or ‘well I did not mean to paint that, but it works for me. Hallelujah !’

In both these activities, poetry and painting, I do try to be communicative. I mean by that – the activity is mainly for me, but I hope it can resonate for others.”

"The Wood" Oil on canvas, 61cm x 91cm
"Anja Dreaming" Mixed media on canvas, 30cmx40cm
"London" Oil on canvas, 90cm x 60cm

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