Art is a Gift – not a commodity

Sarah Zoutewelle Morris: oil pastel
Sarah Zoutewelle Morris: “Gerard loved all flowers”, oil pastel

I was deeply moved by her final blog post. Indeed I’ve been moved by many of her thoughtful and inspiring posts over the years.

She wrote a book entitled Chocolate Rain which was published in German and in English. It contained one hundred ideas for a creative approach to activities in Dementia care (published by Hawker Publications, London, 2011).

She believed passionately that ‘art is a gift, not a commodity’. She wrote “while we as artists need to survive, a central question in my creative life is how to keep the gift element alive in my work and life. And also, more recently, how to counteract the widespread conviction that unless sold as a product, art has no intrinsic worth”.

Sarah Zoutewelle Morris: "Enchanted Vessels", mixed media
Sarah Zoutewelle Morris: “Enchanted Vessels”, mixed media

She worked for over 15 years as a healthcare artist in Holland.

She was a wonderful colourist and a gifted calligrapher. Mostly, I was impressed by her deep understanding of art, how she studied and learned from other artists and how she generously shared her knowledge through her blog Art Calling. She had recently finished a second book, this time about socially engaged arts.

So sad to read that she passed away, a beautiful email card from her grieving husband Rende Zoutewelle.

Sarah Zoutewelle Morris: from her final blog post on "Art Calling"
Sarah Zoutewelle Morris: from her final blog post on Art Calling

…and we talked about writing Haikus. Here’s one that I started and she finished.

nine seagulls wheeling

high above the clothesline

white sheets yearn to fly


Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis

“The Gift” by Lewis Hyde




  1. Thank you for writing this. So true of her. Sarah and I corresponded over the past few years (before her diagnosis) and this idea of ‘gift’ was indeed how she lived her life. She was extremely talented and lived true to her convictions about art. Though we never met in person I will still miss her discussions and musings on art and life. My best to Rende.


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