A Painting for Alys

October was a make it or break it month for me creatively.  I was way behind with so many projects – even my garden remained semi planted as I spent time doing things other than what I really wanted to do.

I started a painting way back in April.  At the time it was to be the first in a series of ‘Soul Portraits’, gifts for friends featuring my take on the preciousness of them, their lives, their gifts, their creativity.  Of course, I bit off more than I could chew and my first feeble attempts were unsatisfactory and I happily left the work sitting for days – then weeks – while I prevari wondered about what to do next…….

What happened next pretty much brought life as I knew it to a complete standstill – if you read my blog regularly you know what it was.  Next I adopted a puppy!

Puppy put a stop to all serious creative play for four months.  When he got big enough and well mannered enough for me to set to work again I didn’t know where to start.  All through September I tried to start.  I never really got any where – I saw 2014 passing before my creative eyes with nothing more than some crochet throws and knitted bunnies and a few less than perfect bookmarks to show for it.  I felt like I had forgotten how to paint.

I’d ‘work’ on the painting on my desk.  Put a bit of colour on it, collage some papers, write some words and paint over them again.  I sketched out the layout, started the face and stopped again.  I wasn’t sure how to do what I wanted to do and I was thinking about it too much.  I walked the dog.  I went out and about.  I read.  I gardened a bit more.  I avoided the art room.

I missed sending away the completed painting in June, which had been my first deadline, in July, my second deadline.  I missed sending it to celebrate my birthday, and then I missed Alys’ birthday too.  The painting was moving from room to room, being placed where I could see it and figure out where to go next.  It lived in my bedroom for a few weeks, the last thing I saw before sleep and the first thing I saw on waking.  Still nothing.

Alys sent me some stamps.  These were special stamps.  They had belonged to her late father, an avid collector and Alys had decided to share them with those of her blogging community who would like some.  They were precious to her, she was sending a little of her beloved father out into the world.  I had said, send me some and I shall incorporate them into a painting for you.

I knew what I wanted to do with them, but starting was also scary.  There were only so many stamps, if I mucked up there was no going back.  I sorted the stamps into colours and pasted them onto the brittle with age album paper they had come on.  I took a deep breath and embossed the pages.  I cut out shapes using three different punches and left it all sitting in a pile on the desk while I prevaricated some more.

October arrived and so did the dear girls, El and M, over at Fat Bottomed Fifties with their October Goalfest Challenge.  They wrote a blog post which pretty much said ‘Come on Pauline, quit mucking around and get on with it.  You’ve got til the end of the month.’

I signed on and immediately came up with more reasons why I couldn’t ‘get on with it’.  Then El said ‘Let’s help each other out here’  Well thank god for my pal El is all I can say.  Now there can be no more mucking about. I have a job now, I have to support her while she gets her bike roadworthy and then gets herself on it and cycling twenty miles without ruining her  butt bones if possible.  I looked it up because I knew I had the wrong words in my head.  ‘Saddle soreness’ is a much nicer way of saying it than my chosen phrase and the ‘ischial tuberosities’ are apparently the bones that suffer 🙂  Who knew!!    …..  Any how I felt that El’s goal was a way bigger challenge than me just mucking about with a paintbrush, paints and papers and gel mediums and various glues for heavens sake!

There’s nothing like giving me some responsibility.  I suddenly become very competent and capable and ‘can-do!’  Nothing is a problem that cannot be overcome.  Prevaricate?  Me?  Good heavens no!  I’m Ms In-charge-and-on-to-it.  Here, let me show you how it’s done.  I’ll cheer you on and get on with my little project too – Let’s get there together, follow me!.  Ready?  Here we go – charge!!

Geez.  El works full time in a high stress career and writes two blogs.  She’s going to bike twenty miles.  I’m retired and have to finish a painting.  There’s a bit of pride involved here – if she cannot complete her challenge El has a very good reason why.  I do not.

Once committed I started work.  I had ideas, I saw shapes and colours – I knew who and what I was trying to represent in this fairy tale painting.  But it was slow.  I collaged a fairy.  I painted a face.  I made flowers out of the stamps.  I stuck everything down and painted over it all.  I worked and reworked.  It began to come together.  I left it for a couple of days and then came back and reworked some more.  I loaded colour on and took it off again.  I changed and altered and worked around and up and down…….

Paintings always go through an ugly stage – well mine do any way.  The trick is to keep working at it.  Nurse it through, make that one small sweep of colour that will lift it, right the wrong, pull it together.  I kept waiting for that to happen.

While I worked I thought a lot about my friend Alys and her big heart.  I thought of all she is and who she is and how she is and her big heart and her hurts and her losses and her big heart.  I thought of her cats and her garden and her boys and her husband and her home and her sister and her work and her library and how her heart encompasses it all and spreads out through her whole community.  Through her friends and family, through her professional life, through her blog and out into the world.

I thought and then I stopped thinking and finally – finally, I made this with my hands and my heart, for Alys The Wonderland of Alys

It’s an original mixed media work on 300gsm art paper, A4 size.  It is heavily textured and contains the stamps Alys sent me from her fathers collection as well as some of the paper they were mounted on.  It requires framing and is titled ‘The Wonderland of Alys’.

I hope you like it.  It is winging it’s way to California as you read this.

I also hope you my dear friends and readers and lovely new followers will wander over to visit with the most delightful El and M on their great blog and let’s see a big surge in goal-fest readiness for November!  I’ll be in, come join us.

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

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108 thoughts on “A Painting for Alys

  1. Pingback: Re-framing: Thoughts and Pictures | Gardening Nirvana

  2. Beautiful as always, Pauline. I was caught up in all of life’s happenings and didn’t blog since September! I just made a post today.
    Yesterday, I thought of you as I watched a beautiful piece of art in progress on the wall of our school’s library. When the artist is finished with it, I’ll be sure to take a photo and send it to you.

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  3. My gosh Pauline, now I see it in it’s entirety. Speaking of big hearts, we can see you fit in well there too. How absolutely lovely of you to paint this for Alys. I bet it’s at the framers as I type. I love the colour naturally and how all the heart flowers are outlined in white dots. They look like they’re illuminated with tiny lights. the butterfly up in the corner with flying birds is really sweat too. Of course there’s a sweet kitty living in her home filled with love. You’re talent and love shine thru your beautiful gift. Aren’t we the lucky ones to know Alys’s love and friendship. I’m really stunned sometimes at how giving the world is when I think about how we’ve all come together in this amazing community at this time in our lives. Thank you for sharing your story and the final fabulous work hon. I find I can get this way on a project sometimes too. I want so bad for things to perfectly show how I feel, it’s sometimes hard to articulate through paper and products. It does take time and reflection. While not all of us are distracted by the joyous love of a new puppy, there’s plenty of other things that need our attention on any given day. Congratulations Pauline, you haven’t forgotten how to paint one bit. It just took some time to put to canvas what you feel in your heart and now we see and it’s wonderful. xo k (ps. I’m so sorry I’m behind, not just here but in everything xoxo)

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    • Life is getting a little hectic at the moment Boomdee – for you too I know. I have missed seeing you around the place. Thank you for those so kind and supportive words – you absolutely understand how it goes and how I felt while it was going 🙂 I am looking forward to catch-up some time soon! xoxo

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  4. I thought I had posted on your blog when Alys first mentioned that this was on the way, what an awesome and thoughtful gift you were sending! I especially love that you incorporated our father’s stamps into your work of art. I can’t wait to see it in person!

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    • Thank you Sharon – Alys told me you are intending to use some of the stamps in your handmade Christmas cards this year and I would love to see what you do 🙂

      I hope you will like the real thing even more!

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  5. Oh dear heart ❤ what a beautiful painting (and post) Pauline!! Alys is a very lucky lady indeed. I think your Soul Portraits idea is just fabulous and I cannot wait to see more of your work. I have finally got round to visiting those Fat bottom ladies and all I can say is Thank You – very inspiring.

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  6. Hi Pauline! it is so wonderful to see you are still creating beautiful pieces and blogging, even if you took a long break. Sometimes is needed. Look at me, I still am so busy, more now than ever, that I hardly have time to check anyone’s blog. As you told me once that I needed to let life flow and now I say the same thing to you. Whether you see all those things as excuses or not, life has a way to give us breaks, priorities, and teach us lessons. I say go with the flow. Everything is perfect, for our own good. Love your latest piece!!

    Big hugs and kisses!!! ❤ 🙂

    PS. I love puppies!!! They bring so much joy! 😀

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  7. Good heavens, Pauline. What phenomenal talent you possess! And talk about huge hearts–I’d have to say that yours is a twin to Alys’s. How lucky for the two of you to have found one another and discovered friendship.
    Truly beautiful work.

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    • Hello! How lovely of you top come by 🙂 That is a lovely comment to leave – thank you so much. I’m not at all sure about ‘phenomenal talent’ but I’ll gratefully accept your kindness 😀 Thank you so much.

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    • Thank you so much 🙂 While it is quite heavy on the angst side of things – in case it goes wrong, it’s not good enough etc etc, having someone special to create for is rather nice! I have very much appreciated all these kind and thoughtful comments left, it helps me feel better about my finished product!

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  8. Dear Pauline! That painting is stunning!!!!! I love it and you can tell you’ve put your heart and soul into it. Things come together when they are supposed to, not on our timeline. Think of all the joy we would have all missed had you not adopted Siddy and just worked on your projects. We’ve also had hours of endless entertainment from your blogs and photos of the two fuzzy characters in your home. I KNOW Alys will delight in the finished project when it arrives. It looks so…Alys. All of my projects are on hold as my whole family seems to be in transition this year. I’m sure the projects will get done but in the meantime, I’ve been able to assist those that need me like they were there when I needed them. Enjoy the puppy time and paint when your heart is in it. It will always come out better then.

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    • Hello Marlene, thanks for taking the time to come by and comment, I know how busy you are! And thanks for reminding me that Siddy brought not only a cease to playing in the art room, but also a ton of other fun stuff – not least his endless delight in life! I have never regretted my decision to adopt him and cannot imagine life without him now! Even Orlando is quite fond 🙂

      It is so nice knowing we can be of immediate assistance to friends and family when needed isn’t it! I haven’t been called to action yet, but enjoy knowing I am readily available.

      Hope all the sorting, packing and readying is coming along nicely and you will all be on the road to home very soon!

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      • I hope we are on the road soon too, dear Pauline. I’m worried a bit about snow through the passes between here and my house. Timing is everything. I so enjoy coming by your place so see what antics are going on as well as your beautiful artwork. I’m never too busy for that.

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  9. PERFECT! Simply perfect. It takes someone like Pauline to capture even a hint of someone like Alys….<3 BIG HUGS to both of you!!!

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  10. Besides the your hands and heart, you also have a gift a vision – that is being able to see what you want to create before creating it … and changing it during the journey. So thanks to Ms In-charge-and-on-to-it!

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  11. I’m a little late getting here but I still want to chime in and say congratulations, well done, and yippee!! The painting is lovely–you have such a distinctive style! I’m sure it will be treasured, in every detail. I loved your detailed writing, too, about the struggles to create it. I think some people see creating as this easy thing that artists do in a bubble, with a burst of inspiration. You remind us that it’s hard work, but, oh, so worth it!

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    • Better late than never Kerry – and special thank you for the yippee! We can never have enough of those! I should love to experience that bubble with a burst of inspiration – I expect most of us who dabble and create would! So love that you came by and left this note, thanks again!

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  12. Reblogged this on Gardening Nirvana and commented:
    Something extraordinary happened. I’ve been searching all day for just the right words. My talented friend, Pauline, an artist and blogger living in New Zealand put her heart and soul into this piece . The mixed-media painting is currently traveling from New Zealand to California, a gift from dear Pauline. Did I mention that is was extraordinary? I’m counting the days till I can see it up close. I already know the love and care she poured into this piece.

    In Pauline’s words: “I thought and then I stopped thinking and finally – finally, I made this with my hands and my heart, for Alys.”
    Here is Pauline’s original post about the painting and the process. With thanks, from the bottom of my heart.

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  13. WOW!! To the gorgeous painting AND to the 49 comments!!
    You are so loved, Pauline.
    I absolutely love that you added the stamps.
    It’s beautiful, I know she will be thrilled, and you accomplished your goal!!

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    • xoxo Laurie!! I am so very blessed by all my friends here – everyone is very kind! I cannot tell you how pleased I am to have met the challenge and to have finally completed this painting. Your friendship and support makes me very happy! xoxo

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  14. Firstly, I think you need 2 lists of comments so that my (lazy) fingers can survive the LONG scroll down to the bottom of your posts…they are no longer numb and I can copy and paste my comment now…

    When you are painting just to “create” something beautiful, to release something pent up inside you and to satisfy your muse, it’s easy, you just get whatever medium you are using on the day and you “create”. When you are actively attempting to put your heart and soul into something and share emotion and feeling and depth with someone who means something to you it suddenly takes on a much deeper meaning…”that brush stroke? What was I thinking about!”… “Surely that colour doesn’t mean anything to anyone other than the manufacturer of the paint!”… “How can I show those gorgeous much loved stamps in their best light and add meaning to what I am creating?!” Instant angst, instant soul searching and instant fear that you are not up to the task and that it might just be more pressing to head over and find some socks to roll or a puppy to play with or a pot of yoghurt to pick up from the shop…we have all been there. When it comes pay dirt time and we have to roll out the goodies, that’s where our personal insecurities start flooding out to make us question our talent and if we can do justice to the situation. Your work is beautiful Ms Pauline. I am in awe at how you are able to focus on someone/something and give it so very much. I knew it! It would be gorgeous and completely and utterly “right”. It is :). You nailed Ms Alys Ms Pauline. Off to the Fat-Bottom-Fifties (where I obviously belong as I am overqualified…) to check out that non-procrastination list…I have a list of fears of failure a mile long!

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    • There you are with another thoughtful and inspiring comment – thank you so much. I would like you to come live in the carport please [sorry, no room inside] so that you can proffer such sage wisdom every time I trip myself up.

      I hope you will enjoy El and M and sign up for the November Goalfest too – such a great way of getting where you want to be! I would happily be your Best Goal Friend if you need one 🙂

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      • Earl says that he would like to be Suddi’s best goal friend please as he thinks that Suddi has gone a bit quiet on the destruction front. Earl has been quiet on the destruction front as well…must be something in the water ;). I would love to live in your garage and offer up sage advice. I could be Siddy (er…I think you are up to about 10 now…) your first female Siddy, and you could waft herbs at me to encourage me to spout my dulcet and most sage advice. My November goalfest should be something along the lines of “stop eating so much or your rear end won’t fit through doorways any more!” or “get that large rear end out into the garden and bums up and digging for queen and country” or “be creative with all that newly cleared out space in the spare room damn it!” any of them would suit me well at the moment. I will let you know about the goal friend thingo. I dare say should I get that bike that Peter left here going (when we get tyres for it and “bearings” whatever they are, and a pedal? Not sure but whatever it needs it keeps me prevaricating and not riding it which is just dandy by me 😉 ) I can spend some serious time out there on the road trying to commit suicide with log trucks in order to perhaps shave a sliver or two from my large posterior but then again…maybe not 😉

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        • I avoid cycling at all costs – a most dangerous activity both on the road and for one’s personal pride! I can see that bike standing in Sanctuary with something edible scrambling over, around and through it – both a work of art and and a larder ….. perfect!

          Suddi – er….. Siddy has become awfully well behaved and incredibly clever at a number of small things which I find quite impressive 🙂 I think Earl’s time of influence is over ……..and I’m both partly sad about that and awfully relieved! 🙂

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          • Earl has won! He has taught Suddi to “bide your time” which is the most impressive thing that a dog can do. You just never know when that time is up and just what they are going to eat. Well done Suddi. Earl says your badge is in the mail. Stevie-boy has his eye on that bipedal creation and he is most welcome to it as we live in a most hilly area that is terrifying on the way down and even more terrifying on the way back up again. Much like boats and planes, I am allergic to bikes.

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  15. Oh my-that is BEAUTIFUL! Well, worth the distractions + slump you were in for look at that beautiy:-) I totally get the slump thing, I am going through it right now myself + mix it with a bit of other stuff + throw in some worrying that is pointless.
    I do understand something sitting there greeting you when you wake and bidding you goodnight as it sits there collecting dust….lately that is my life. I really related to this post. I am finding posts a bit difficult to do even lately….it could be the fall weather + duties(elsewhere) calling more these days. I do get the ‘puppy” filling your time, just like a child.
    I am so glad you got out of your slump + created again! You are blessed with some amazing people in your life + they are blessed by you:-) To use her father’s stamps in the mixed media-priceless!

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    • Oh Robbie – the autumn blues! Please remember to remember that worrying doesn’t change anything, just makes you feel helpless! It’s also always living in the future with some possible outcome that may not eventuate. As Mark Twain once said “I have worried about so many things in my life and a few of them have even happened!”

      You and your garden and your message of hope are so very precious to all of us who read your blog. We are blessed by you.

      If you are procrastinating about something in particular come on over to the Fat Bottomed girls blog, out yourself and sign up with us – we’ll all support each other!

      Sending you a big cyber hug! xoxo

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      • ..when I read Mark Twain’s quote-PERFECT:-) LOL
        It is the end of good weather + as the years roll by , I just hate to be in the house all the time. It is harder and harder to deal with winter-can’t believe I am saying that because I always loved winter. It is because I grow more stuff now and I play outside more often now as an adult!.
        I will check out their blog. It looks like a place I should be:-) love title “Fat Bottomed Girls”-too funny.
        I will stop by and say hello and “out” myself as lazy creator-lol. I am making homemade soup from the garden today+ eating fresh purple sweet potatoes. Interesting vegetable, but I may not be able to cure them in my climate. I still found a way to get those purple veggies in my tummy though-I feel much better now!
        I”ll get off my fat bottom soon:-)
        I have people like you + others that inspire me.
        Shoot, I won some soap!!!!! I stopped by Wendy’s blog and I won – SOAP…so that got me in a really good mood today:-)

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        • Oh yes, I saw that you were the winner and was so glad for you. Wendy’s soaps are really lovely [she sent me some for my birthday :-)] and her face cream is simply the best thing ever! See how good things happen just when you need them! So glad you will join us at the fat bottomed girls 😀

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          • Thank you for sharing “Fat-Bottom-Fifties” I have set some goals for myself—thank you Pauline. My good friend, I bike with during the spring-fall signs up for a workout program. We are still helping my son through graduate school. He got all of it paid for but he does need a bit here and there. He got a flat tire this week, so we help fix his car. Soooo..that means I don’t have extra cash for month health clubs + I am not a person to visit those-I am an outdoor work out girl. I get my workouts from my garden or bike the Mississippi. The winter is my challenge. Trying to keep off the “winter” weight gain + and now I have a site to motivate me to get on my stationary bike inside which is difficult for it stays in one place-lol. I set my goals. My other goal is to get creative again-your site motivates me to do that ! Now I have my support system all set up…watch me roar this winter! thank you for suggesting I visit them:-)

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          • + another goal-stop replying in that little box in the right hand corner of my site. I am over 50 + that box is too small to proof read my comment-lol…I have no idea you can figure out what I say but I hate that little “boxy” in the right corner can’t see the entire reply–…off to enjoy our last warm day today but working in the garden!

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  16. What an absolutely beautiful painting this is Pauline, you are so talented! Your friend will be thrilled I’m sure. What a lovely, generous gesture. I know so well the feeling with prevarication. I’m determined to use this month to finish the first draft of my book and prevaricate no more!!! You have inspired me to keep going, so thank you for that and can I just say how much I enjoyed your post today, a lovely read and one I can certainly relate to 🙂

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    • We all do it don’t we! As Narf77 said in her comment – the more we care, the harder it is! I am [strangely] really happy to read all the comments here from fellow procrastinators. Perhaps we need a support group and a 12 point plan!!

      So glad this post inspired you to keep at it – my work is done! 😀

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  17. Thanks so much for joining GoalFest last month and being such a great source of encouragement and inspiration! And thanks for letting your blog-reading buddies know about us – more IS merrier! And seeing others moving toward their goal is motivational and contagious! Getting FIERCE is my new favorite hobby. Actually, it’s tie with hanging out with my BGF!

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    • 🙂 I love that BGF – I hear it with a Bronx accent!
      I hope some of my readers swung by and signed up for the fun. Let’s get our plan together asap. Are you continuing with the cycling?

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  18. Oh, Pauline – I already admired your precious art work, but after hearing the back story the colors seemed brighter and the magic sparkled even more! Me and my ischials tuberosities feel honored to have been one teensy-weensy itsy-bitsy part of the process! Just writing this made me hop off my computer chair as if I heard you say aloud: “Have you moved around yet in this half hour of sitting??” I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated your support and encouragement through October and am looking forward to continuing our productive getting-fierce journey through November!

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    • I’ve been thinking about your goal all day on and off and thinking I should maybe join you in at least thinking about moving every half hour or so. I have sat here ever since our morning walk, which is just about all day, either talking with people or working on blog posts and hours have gone by ……..
      Maybe I need to do a little more than think about moving…..

      I loved our supportive interactions through October and though I am now prevaricating over whether to move or not 🙂 I’m definitely in for November and I’ll do the dangler thing! Same set up?

      I’m so glad you like my painting for Alys – it wouldn’t be complete if not for you! Big hug winging its way to you!

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  19. My dear Pauline, I’m stunned, delighted, overwhelmed, overjoyed, gobsmacked and head over heels in love with this painting. I hardly no where to begin. I knew you were making something for me but couldn’t have dreamed this was it. The color and details are extraordinary. I’ve been mooning over the painting and will be counting the days till it arrives in the post. Straight to the frame shop for me. Pauline this is extraordinary. Your thoughtfulness and creativity are seemingly boundless. I’m honored to call you a friend, pleased to know you as an artist, and thrilled to welcome another piece of your art into my home.

    As for this post, it was fascinating reading about your process. Procrastination and perfectionism go hand in hand. I know some of that frustration with my costume. I had an idea in my head, and was discouraged part way through when I couldn’t make that happen. It eventually came together, but, like you, I had to be willing to let go of the work, deconstruct part of it, then reassemble for a better whole.

    I can’t wait to show my sister what you’ve done with the stamps. She’s decided to incorporate some of dad’s stamps into her cards this year. I love the way you’ve used them in the collage. I wish my dad could see what you’ve done. He was a painter too. How he would love these.

    With love and appreciation, dear Pauline. xoxoxoxoxooxoxox Alys

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    • It should be with you in about three or four days Alys as it was sent a week ago already. I’ll talk to you more about it when you have it.

      I am so glad you like the look of it. The stamps were quite fragile to work the way I did – but it was also fun to see them emerge as something quite different. I also like that the original mounting paper is included even though mostly invisible.

      I think you are right about the two ‘P’s’ procrastination and perfectionism….. when I get myself to the place where I can remember that nothing I do will ever be perfect there is no more of the other ‘p’ .. Maybe I should make myself a painting with this as its mantra!

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      • Wow! Already in the mail for a week. Our carrier has come and gone today. I’ll keep my eyes open and you’ll be the first to know. How exciting!

        I LOVE that you’ve incorporated my dad’s stamps along with the fragile mounting paper. Its a nice metaphor too for how I sometimes feel around his loss. The piece is incredible.

        I like the idea of the P’s Pauline kicks procrastinating perfectionism to the curb.

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  20. This is a very beautiful painting Pauline, Alys will love it. I know exactly what you mean though, I feel fear sometimes at starting/finishing things, I avoid it at all costs. I feel hopeless when I make a mistake then everything gets put away till I can get it together again. The mind’s a funny thing! You are so talented but yeah… way too hard on yourself. I hope you can find it within to carry on, this is such a lovely thoughtful idea and just so pretty! xxx

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  21. A beautiful portrait and a beautiful gift. It is full of heart….love the way the hearts are incorporated throughout the painting. Goal achieved with an A++ Distinction. 🙂
    I rarely set myself goals, these days. When I read your comment about procrastination = a fear of failure, I wondered if my lack of goal making was fear based. Interestingly (for me) I think it’s a dislike,( maybe fear), of being controlled even by myself. I made myself one little goal in honour of your post… find out who Alison Sweeney is!!! (Little but quite a big step for me. 🙂 )

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    • What an excellent way to start – just to prove that you can if you want to. Google will inform you in a matter of moments and, if you are anything like me, you will forget just as quickly.

      I don’t think not setting goals is necessarily fear based – but procrastination is. Not setting goals just means you are entirely content to take each day as it comes and nothing is pressing. What a wonderful; way to live! I set a goal and then procrastinate about the work I have to do – simply because I am afraid it won’t turn out well, it won’t be good enough and I can’t do it any more….. once I get on with it and immerse myself it can flow and be enjoyable. It’s the angst of seeing something in your mind’s eye and then having to get that onto white canvas.

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  22. I enjoyed the story that lead to the completion of your marvelous and beautiful painting for Alys. I am one who procrastinates, makes excuses and gets easily side-tracked. At times, I listen to the list of traits that sound like I could qualify to be ADD! (Not trying to offend real people who have this disorder, just seems like I am like this…) I finished a painting for my mother of two cardinals, they are young male and female, with the leaves and seasonal atmosphere, just in time for her 86th birthday. It was not as stressful, not as original as your painting. Just relating to your angst and your creative juices, that sometimes were not pouring! (smiles!) This was a wonderful post, Pauline!

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    • Hi Robin, thanks so much for coming by! I’m out of practise and every time there is a big gap between paintings I go through this angst of not being able to do it any more….. it’s just fear. The only way round it is to paint every day. But I keep putting it off….. Good to have you [and other commenters] outing themselves too. We procrastinators are not alone in our fear of failure!

      How lovely that you made a painting for your mother’s birthday – and got to spend that time with her too. I do enjoy reading about your visits with her.

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      • Your incorporating the stamps into your mixed media was superbly done, Pauline. I would have been nervous, as you mentioned, too! It is one that I would be so proud of hanging, so glad Alys and you have this connection. I am sure she was extremely pleased with this since it included many features and characteristics of herself, within it. I forgot to tell you that the title is splendid! hugs, Robin

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        • Thanks again Robin – I thought I was quite clever getting myself to that title [eventually]. I enjoy so much about so many I have met through blogging – and I so enjoy how like-minded folks stumble across each other and build a community of sorts. I am also pleased to have been introduced to you!

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          • We are lucky to have Jill. She is a wonderful and special friend we share, just a ‘sweetheart!’ Thanks so much, Pauline, for your lively thoughts and comments. Take care and hope you are having a pleasant week.

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  23. Alys will love her mixed media art. You are way too hard on yourself but in this case the procrastination may have paid off by receiving the stamps to incorporate as well to make this an extra special piece to remember the love from both friends (you) and family (dad).

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  24. Loved the story of your creative path to the painting of Alys and I think the way you have used those stamps is inspired. Well done you for achieving your goal, too.

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  25. Wow, that’s brilliant! I love the way you have incorporated the stamps and music scores, very clever. The colours work great together too and I do like the little cat in the corner – the recipient is a very lucky lady!

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  26. That is absolutely beautiful, Pauline! I love it! You definitely made it and it was well worth the wait. The colors are fantastic! That Alys, she’s a lucky gal.
    Poor Little Siddy, he needed that extra attention from his momma and as a result of taking a little break, look what you’ve created.
    As far as those Fat Bottomed Ladies, they sure can be pushy, can’t they? 🙂 Love their motivating series.

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    • Thank you Jill 🙂 Siddy is so amenable now I have no excuses for not working. It didn’t take so long n the end. In less than five months he went from having no manners and no boundaries [cute as he was he was hard work!] to being completely amenable about the house rules and my working time. Best puppy in the whole world 😀 I am quite besotted with those fat bottomed girls – their goal fest works!

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  27. Wow, Pauline, what a lovely lovely painting and gift! I LOVE the stamps incorporated, the colors, the fairy, the cat, and loving words as I do, the TITLE! What an exquisite gift. I have one of your original paintings, too, and still haven’t framed it! It sits on the shelf and cheers me with it’s orange and blue. I’ve looked for pre-made frames but haven’t found the one. November shall be the month of getting-her-done. 🙂 You are an inspiration, my dear. Love and hugs from Hawaii. Aloha.

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    • Will you enter your goal over at the Fat Bottomed site? The more the merrier 🙂
      I thought I was so clever coming up with that title 😀

      I finished your book – and I know this will sound so weird given the genre – but I loved it! I loved the characters the relationship with WS and the references throughout………. and your writing style is so amiable – and the twist – I just didn’t see that coming. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read and makes me really aware how difficult it is for good writers to get published! If I was still teaching I’d throw that into the Cl 8 English curriculum and tie it into the drama production!

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      • 🙂 That was my first published book, but there were several before that didn’t make it. And several after! It’s still my favorite of the children’s novels I published. It’s an amazing feeling to buy it in the secondary (decades!) market, and to see that it was read. Mahalo for reading it AND loving it, too!

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  28. That’s really beautiful. Some times art takes a long time to become what the artist wants it to be. Getting a new puppy can absolutely throw one of one’s game for a good bit.

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