Grow Where You Are Planted

This past week I have been painting every day, layer after layer on the same painting.  It is week six of the Life Book 2015 course and the second Main Lesson with Tamara Laporte, whom I love having the chance to learn from!  I painted and painted, I lost track after the tenth time I found myself applying more layers of colour and bringing up the lines again …. and doodles.  Doodles for Africa my friends.  I am a person who should not be encouraged to doodle.  I don’t have a ‘stop’ button and now I’m rather afraid the painting looks like it has a sudden attack of measles – or a very bad rash!!

This is such a different style for me, though I didn’t stay so much in the abstract side of the venture but wandered into the whimsical as is my wont.  I enjoyed the slow build up of colour, the challenge to place the right amount of dark and light shading and to blend just so……  I don’t think it’s a brilliant balance of colours, [not enough white and neutral spaces] but for a first go it’s okay.  I loved being able to add in and add in and add in – the miniscule details all add up so that wherever the eye wanders there is something to look at, something to notice.  For some of you it may be too much – it is for me – but the exercise was a great one for layering, building up blocks of colour and then somehow uniting them and for playing around with doodles [and for finding out I don’t know when to stop].

Here’s the whole caboodle for your viewing pleasure:

AbstractGarden

And here a some detail corners – highly magnified so you can see some of the layers and all the mistakes.

Bottom Right

AG Detail2

Top right

AG Detail3

Left side

AG Detail4

I think there are certain little corners of the painting that I quite like.  The colours blend well, the doodles are well balanced – something happened and it came together – but overall I find it a bit too much, what do you REALLY think?

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

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105 thoughts on “Grow Where You Are Planted

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  4. This is gorgeous! I don’t get the sense of “too much” at all, and typically I’m sensitive to too much visual stimulation. All the bubbles and dots and crosses and beads form a consistent pattern, I think, sort of when you take a step back from something and it looks more like texture than the individual parts.

    But! As a commenter said above: what really intrigues me about this is the layers, particularly after you described the process. I love the words and images hidden below the colours, but peeking out for us to discover. This is what makes me feel I am not looking at doodle, but an honest piece of artwork. I can actually “see” the time you put into this piece and that makes it feel richer. Maybe I’m making all that up, but art is about feeling it, right? 🙂

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    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment Crystal – I appreciate it so much and you made me think!

      When I first started painting I did one layer – maybe added/adjusted aspects of the work – but essentially it remained one layer. Increasingly over the past two years or so I have learned to paint a layer knowing most of it will disappear, yet it informs the next layer, which ‘informs’ the next layer – so it is like colour and shape speaking to each other. While I may start with an idea in my head, the finished product is often very different. It is a wonderful process for the painter – not necessarily the viewer as art is entirely subjective. Which does indeed mean that art is about feeling it!

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  5. Hi there…this is my first time stopping by for a visit…love the art and I love the meaning behind “grow where you are planted”….so many of us are always thinking about the next step, the next place, the next adventure instead of enjoying what THIS day has to offer.

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  6. Pauline, your artwork embodies charm and cheer, joy and comfort. I want to live inside your artist world. I love the detail, the hidden messages that draw you in, draw you closer, and provide a tiny prize of delight.
    The colors evoke a springtime warmth, and the dangling jewels mirror a sparkle of invisibile sunshine. This piece just oozes health and happiness.
    My hope is that your art may be offered one day in calendar form, as every single morning I would take such pleasure in pondering over your pictures for a big dose of peace of mind.
    Truly beautiful work. 😀

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    • As usual you shower me with your sweet talk Shelley 🙂 I always feel good when you have popped in 🙂 The idea of a calender is not a bad one – and most certainly one I have not thought of before! Mmmm – if this comes to fruition I shall send you one free, gratis and for nothing!! Stay tuned! xo

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  7. Those colours make me happy! I have just found your blog through Karen at Hookiebee. I love that you share something of the learning process. For me that is what it is all about – I find that more fascinating than the end result sometimes. (I do hope that makes sense!)

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    • It does indeed make sense – for me it is all about the process too. I find myself so happily immersed in that and the finished painting is often times a bit of a ‘meh!’ experience. Though I do like the one called ‘The Lighthouse’ which you can see a few posts back if you are interested. It is lovely to have you come by 🙂

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  8. Pauline, just to let you know…
    I’ve been chanting: I will grow where I’m planted and I will blossom too.
    Have a great weekend! We have a holiday on Monday, so it’s a three day weekend for me😄

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  9. It is very busy but in the best kind of way. I love the colour balance you have managed to achieve Ms Pauline. Glad I made it all the way over here to “T” to see it. Who knows how long it will take me to get back here again! See you when I see you 😉

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  10. Oh Pauline our schedules are not the same:-( I am not at my computer that much anymore. I post on Sunday + now stay away from reading blogs not because I don’t want to, but because I am getting busy with life around me. Sorry again, I missed your post.
    I LOVE the new look. I love your girls still -but I love the doodles!!!! I love all the color + designs. I really love the detail in some of your “doodles.” It looks like you had fun! I see “happy” in these doodles and carefree:-) It is neat to try new things. i love the “muted” colors or washes you used. These doodles could be used on pillows or scarves-love them!

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  11. We think they are purrfect, Pauline. The colours make us happy, they are in equilibrium. We’re not into the art stuff too, but we know what we like…and this we like 🙂 I have to go, find out were I was planted… 😀 Pawkisses for a Happy Valentine Weekend and an extra ❤ for my Valentine Orlando 🙂 ❤

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  13. First of all, being a details person, I noticed all the beauty and extra layers, along with the little dots which do seem to sparkle and capture a jewel-like special addition to this painting. I think you must never say you have ‘accidents’ or ‘mistakes’ in your artwork, Pauline! I feel they are part of our process of making art, since it (in my mind) should never look ‘perfect.’ Otherwise, a machine could be programmed to create art! (Ridiculous!)
    Your labeling it ‘whimsical’ is a great description. I would add, you give us a fantasy world to relax, fall asleep and dream in, Pauline!

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    • I appreciate your comment Robyn – thank you! You are of course quite right – no mistakes and it is done by a machine! I give my opinion honestly and freely in the hopes of sparking genuine responses. Not every one will like everything we create, art being a very subjective realm. Certainly, I don’t like everything I create. Every piece is a learning experience. 🙂 I like learning!

      Thank you for sharing your observations I really appreciate them! ❤

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      • I was back checking on your posts to see if there were any more news here. Just stopping by to say, “hi!” I did a baby name (Liam) with snow and monkeys and may have told you this. Then, just finished one with Legos and a boy who is looking at a rocket ship on the letters of his name, Ian. I have been doing more art work, must be the season to create! Snowed in and busy… Take care, Pauline!

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  14. Pauline-you continue to amaze me. Such talent. I love the colors and the light-heartedness of your art. You have such a unique style. Such attention to detail. I sincerely hope you are busy making plans to capture a very large audience to share your work with! Thank you for sharing not only your work but the process it took to get there.

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    • Thank you Jan 🙂 I have no plans to enlarge my audience – I just like it when people stumble into this blog and elect to stay around! Believe me when I say I get enormous amounts of encouragement from my blogging community and I wouldn’t be as far along as I am without it! Your words of encouragement spur me on and I am grateful xo

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  15. I am no art critic Pauline, but I love this, I really do! Your work is full of life, vigour, light, great energy. What makes it for me are the bubbly dots and the hanging ornaments, I just love those and the way you capture movement in the way they hang. A beautiful work of art in my eyes ❤

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  16. It is absolutely wonderful – I would have it on my wall in a heartbeat. I love the fact that there are so many things to see – it has a real depth to it. To me the colours are perfect and the doodles add so much interest. I really do love this particular creation – you are an inspiring artist ❤

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  17. I REALLY like it! Especially the greens and yellows. Even better, I love that you are enjoying the process so much and that you’re painting every day!

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    • Do you suppose you particularly like the greens and yellows because you are hanging out for spring? Or are you a particularly green and yellow loving kind of gal any old time? I am loving these lessons and prompts and being challenged out of my comfort zone 🙂

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      • It’s funny because my eye is often drawn to yellows and greens because of their bright, lightness. I wanted to use green for my campaign colors. Ultimately I chose a royal blue and darker than lime green. Despite all that, when I buy wallets, phones, camera cases, etc I always buy red! Good for you for accepting the challenge. You clearly have talent!

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  18. Hello Pauline ! Couldn’t be happier to see you diving back into your artwork. Is it like riding a bike? I think the blending is tremendous and I always love the doodling white dots. I spotted some kittens under the paint layers that I liked a lot. They made me smile. I know what you mean about a neutral or resting spot. I have a hard time not filling up every inch too. That being said, I adore the danglers. They hark back to another joyful project in a very gentle way. I started a Pinterest Board called Zoodle a while ago. I’m intrigued by it all really and how there’s actually names for different shapes and swirls. I’m registered in a Art Journal course, starts later this month. It’s once a month, at our store. We have some very good mixed media artists on the team and I can’t wait! Your colours remind me a little of a map….maybe your upcoming travels peeping thru? 😀 xoxox As always, enjoyed my visit P. Love K

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    • I think if I tried t ride a bike now Kelly I would be severely challenged, immensely wobbly and unstable and probably an immediate and present danger to anyone within cooee! I think painting may be easier than riding a bike 🙂

      I love zentangling – I did quite a bit last year – or maybe it was the year before – and learned many patterns and their names and have now forgotten it all.

      Art journalling was what got me back to the canvas and paint. – you will love it and next thing we will know you will be making gorgeous paintings!! 🙂 How exciting!!

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  19. What do I think? My friend, I think that everything you paint, everything you create is beautiful. I kept looking for the rash or the measles and couldn’t see any. I looked and looked at the corners for some kind of mishap, but found nothing. I like the hanging jewels (my interpretation). There are the beautiful blossoms.I just love the title: Grow where you’re planted.

    When I find myself in frustration situations, I usually chant: I am doing the best I can with what I have. I am now going to change that to: Grow and blossom where you’re planted.

    Thanks again for sharing your talent with us, Pauline. Have a great week!

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    • How wonderful Elaine! It is a great mantra isn’t it. We have everything we need right here, right now. The good earth, air and water, sunlight and gentle breezes, butterflies and bees – everything we need to blossom and grow wonderfully well. And even when the garden is cold and silent we are still busy beneath the earth, tending our roots and readying ourselves to step forth into the world once more.

      Thank you for your lovely message Elaine – you have a wonderful week too xoxo

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  20. I love being asked what I really think.After I read your introduction and looked at the first picture I thought. That is so beautiful.So very very beautiful. Such depth and oomph. You have portrayed hope, love, beauty and fragile impermanence. That is what I think. ❤

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  21. Your paintings always make me smile, they are so calming and you have such a wonderful eye for colour. I could look at this for hours and still come back tomorrow and see new things! I love the 3 little cats hidden in the layers 🙂

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  22. Wow, Pauline. Do you ever work with textiles? This made me think of silk, which would give it even more movement. It also reminded me of your dangler! It’s also nice to have something you can look at over and over and see something new. A bit like poetry. As far as color goes, it has a magical and tropical appeal (not sure whether one outweighs the other) and really, can you ever have too much color? This is great.

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    • I have never worked with textiles, though I do own some fabric paint – which may have gone off by now – It is a thought I entertain now and again. You are the second person who mentions it reminds you of the dangler – I am intrigued by this. Can you say in what way? And no, apparently we can never have too much colour! 🙂

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  23. I think it is you—your unique style. It works wonderfully well in that it elicits a response from the viewer. I couldn’t help but be drawn into it, delighting in finding all the small treasures you place in your paintings. Then stepping back and taking in the whole. It’s wonderful and I enjoyed spending time looking at it.

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  24. It’s beautiful Pauline, and no, it doesn’t look like it’s got the measles. I like the polka-dot effect. Question: do you paint over a written sheet or was the writing added along the way as you doodle? It really is pretty though 🙂 Great Job!

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    • Good question Char! The beginning layers include torn pieces of book paper and music paper. These are painted over, a layer of gesso was added, which tones down and unites random colours; then painted over again. Later I used a combination of music and word stamps plus words and phrases I wrote myself. Most of it disappeared, but is still intrinsically bound into the colours and influenced the way I worked on the piece. The doodling is the final step.

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  25. These are joyful colours and the layering is fascinating – like Jill, I love all those hidden little phrases. As I’ve got to know you over the last few months through our blogs, I would say that this is very “you.” It’s so essential to have one’s own style and you’ve definitely found yours. It’s great the way you share the process with us too. Keep going, keep sharing – it’s wonderful!

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  26. It’s the layering that intrigues me most–little secrets peeking out so you want to keep looking! Regarding your feeling of “going too far” with aspects–I guess the only way to recognize that is to actually go too far and see how it changes the painting. So that would make this a successful step in your development! I don’t think the color or doodles are too much at all–they’re happy and exuberant and definitely your style. I think maybe there are a few too many dots and bubbles for my taste . . .

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    • I’m with you – too many dots and bubbles! The problem is the head is down, close to the work and a blank space calls out ‘fill me’ and the hand moves mindlessly on. Sitting up straight, pulling back and seeing the overall effect is so often an ‘Oh dear!’ moment 🙂 I am learning to stop working with a pen in my hand, stand up, turn around and look from a distance……

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  27. Hi Pauline 🙂 Another beautiful work with lots of great detail. Since you asked for our feedback I have been studying your painting and taking into account your own comments especially in reference to the adding of neutrals/whites.The colours on the top half of the painting appear more vibrant when I am looking at them, perhaps this may be the way the light is catching them or perhaps there may be more neutrals or yellows making the other colours pop out – can’t quite decide. However I am only being critical as you asked for feedback . Overall I think it is another very successful work which evokes your wonderful signature style. Can’t wait to see more xx

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    • Karen, I so appreciate you taking time to study and think about the piece. You are right, there are bigger spaces of neutral and yellow in the top of the painting which opens it up more, plus I think with the patches of colour being smaller it works better. The bottom is definitely larger patches, built up more making them deeper in hue. Personally I like the ‘weight’ of the top third best. Thank you for that excellent feedback! 🙂

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  28. Yes a different style, but most definitely recognisably your lovely work, I’m happy to say. I love the delicate little charms hanging from the leaves. And I love that when we look closer, there are all sorts of treasures half-hidden by the paint – like that little row of kittens. Thank you for sharing more of your beautiful work with us.

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  29. Pauline, I genuinely love the whole composition, too. The colours are so cheerful and layering certainly creates a lot of interest. I’m a sucker for whimsical art so this is right up my alley – not too much at all. xoxoxox

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  30. I love all the little dangles with stars and moons and hearts and sparkles, and the kitties, of course. It all looks beautifully blended. I don’t find it ‘too much”. I think that’s because of the little bits of white everywhere and the pleasing appearance of yellow here and there.

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  31. I don’t think the colours are too much at all! It’s cheerful, light and quite lovely! I love that quote also, I had it hanging in one of the old houses I lived in. Doodling is great fun, it’s one thing I still do on occasional when I just want to draw for an hour or so….but yes, it’s addictive, I had one sitting on the table for a week while I worked on it but it was just black ink.

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    • I think it is fun to doodle with ink or even pencil or charcoal. I found having so many forms and so much space all of which allowed doodles, was quite challenging – and I definitely had trouble knowing when to stop!

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  32. I’m not a professional art critic; I just go by what I feel. The Louvre in Paris is filled with famous art, but my heart belonged at the d’Orsay where all the art deco furniture and impressionist paintings hang out in a light-filled, renovated train station. All this is to say that I like the way it makes me feel: I’ve always loved that quote, for many reasons. The colors you’ve used are happy. They make me feel good when I look at them. The piece also evokes your international dangler of happiness and that added another layer of goodness. I like all the details, the whimsy; hearts, flowers, kites, greenery and lovely pops of color.

    I’m delighted to hear you are having so much fun with your class and happily learning new things. I’m happy to hear you are painting every day, doing something you love. xox

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