A Garden for Danella

My apologies to the early birds who popped into Version 1 of this post. I could see the photos, everything looked good at my end, but it appears nobody else could. I tried to fix it, failed and had to take it down as I couldn’t work out why WP wouldn’t let you see my photos – so I started again. In doing that I lost the comments attached to the first version – but thank you for letting me know all was not as it should be. Fingers crossed it works this time!

Any hoo – here we go again………


June 1st 2020: A month has passed.  Maybe even more.  Time telescopes, bends, flies, crawls, disappears, comes and goes.  Essentially it means very little to me these days.  Maybe it was so even before the days of the Great Pause arrived upon us all.  I confess, I’m no longer sure.

Danella’s Garden – Detail

I pass my days doing essentially the same things I have adopted as my life’s activities since I retired and became a lady of leisure. I create, I make, I talk, I visit, in reality again, or still virtually; I am quiet. I read, I walk, I think – maybe too much and not always kindly.  I am cross with myself about that – I’d rather be kind than not.  Yet I fail in my aspiration constantly.  But still, I am grateful and a little in awe of how a life unfolds and reflects back to what was and opens up to what could be.  There’s a kind of magic in this space we have been given.

Danella’s Garden – Detail

I am privileged and I recognise this every moment of every day.  And I am immensely grateful for where and how I am able to live.  And so, I make. Using Pinata Alcohol Inks, Blending Fluid and an air blower I played with colour and form so that my daughter could have a new arty layout on the wall above her sofa.  A Garden to inspire her during this darkest time of the year.

Danella’s Garden

And when all the pieces were chosen and the chosen pieces were framed up we spent quite some more time arranging and rearranging the hanging layout – until finally, it was declared done

Image may contain: indoor
The Garden in place May 2020

And while photographs and copies can never hold the depth and richness of the original pieces, if you like anything, please feel free to download a copy for your own use.

And finally, here is Siddy waiting patiently for the light to return.  Just three more weeks til the Winter Solstice here in the Riviera of Antarctica

Waiting May 20

Oh, and here – finally – really – just moments before he was at last able to visit his friends at MudPuppy and get a proper haircut.  Oh how happy we all were!

Shaggy Siddy May 20

I hope all the photos have been allowed to show for everyone this time. Please do let me know if you can’t view anything.

Thanks so much for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did.

64 thoughts on “A Garden for Danella

  1. Danella’s garden is magnificent, Pauline. The colours dance across the wall. They are vibrant with optimism. I love it. I also love the description of your day and how you call this time ‘the pause’. It is a confusing time if nothing else. Your wisdom speaks so clearly. I wish my mind was as clear. Enjoy the last few weeks until the soltice, then enjoy even more. 💖


  2. Pauline, once again your beautiful art inspires all who visit here. The colors and patterns are extraordinary. It makes me happy to think of them adorning Danella’s wall and cheering her during the dark days of winter. They also make me long for a visit to that couch, that apartment, and all the good company we shared there.

    Our local craft store sells unfinished serving trays, and I can’t help but imagine one of your pieces as the focal point on a tray. I also would love a silky dress from the largest framed piece. The work transcends so many things.

    Will you create more of these wonders?

    I’m glad Siddy got a grooming trip to revive all that fluff. I have to say I’m quite envious. Six weeks post-surgery, plus eleven weeks of shelter in place equal one rag-a-muffin hairdo! xo

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    • I am always amazed at how you take an idea and run with it – you ought to be an entrepreneur!!

      I’m quite hooked on playing with these inks now that I have some good quality ones (and an air blower) and I’ve watched a couple of YT videos where different substrates have been used too which also widens the playing field. So, in short, yes I shall create some more of these little wonders!

      You have gone a long time without a visit to your favourite stylist! I’ve had so many chats with women who were forced to go to great lengths to disguise regrowths and outgrown styles. It makes me think that perhaps hairdressers should have been considered essential services! Luckily for you your beautiful hair just looks windswept and interesting rather than sad and forlorn! Mine just got quite a lot longer 🙂

      How is your ankle nowadays? I’m missing all your news as I’ve absconded from social media yet again…..


  3. I’ll confess, I got a peek at Danella’s gorgeous wall yesterday on Instagram and as you can imagine, these larger photos of your art have me gasping even more. They look like they are backlit with some kind of magical light. Perhaps transparent and opaque at the same time. How is that possible? Can I ask what kind of paper or canvas you used P?
    You gals did a great job with the gallery wall. I would probably make a dozen holes in the wall to find the balance 😄
    Your charming telling of the transaction between O and Siddy for the favoured spot by mama made me smile. I could imagine it in my mind. Cats can be pretty persuasive with just a look. Petals will often stare at me for 15 minutes straight, willing me off the sofa to her treats. I can’t take the stare down and she always wins 😂 I can hardly believe we’re nearing the solstice already!! I just planted pots today. I’m ready dawdling this year, preferring to dedicate my time in my own crafty space.
    What a nice visit her Pauline! Thank you for sharing your beautiful art ❤️❤️❤️ xK

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    • Thank you for coming by to visit Kelly. I popped into your blog this morning following an email notification, but the post had disappeared, I hope you aren’t having WP issues too! The paper that the big work is done on was purchased from a big art store in Wellington, wildly expensive, but just the best you can get. (Danella bought it for me on one of weekends with her sister a year or two ago, along with some other super-duper sheets of hot pressed cotton paper that is like white gold and I’m too scared to use)

      Any-hoo, as it’s so expensive I flipped over the old art work that used to hang on D’s wall and worked on the back. Being a plastic ‘paper’ it appears that is an okay thing to do and much appreciated by the artist’s stipend! It comes in very large sheets – I forget how large – and is maybe 250 – 300gsm weight. It is a pure white paper, hence the glow when the inks are spread very thin. It’s such a pleasure to work on I’m almost tempted to trade Siddy in and buy more!

      As to the hanging of the gallery, I omitted mentioning the amount of little adjustments that had to be made. 🙂 But it does look fabulous when you enter the room!

      Cat’s are naturally in charge of everyone it seems. The stare gets to us all it seems 🙂 I have had my eyes opened about O recently in terms of just how meek and mild he isn’t!! But he’s happy and healthy, though finding it a little more challenging to jump into high places these days….. I’ve just ordered a little set of steps for him to assist in getting up onto the kitchen bench where his food bowls and watering can are kept – just so that I am not summoned an increasing amount of times during every day…….

      Thanks for the visit xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for sharing all the expert tips my dear! I’ll have to see if my local ‘high-end’ art store can point me to some.
        Re: disappearing post…..not WordPress, just me and my stellar typing skills (sarcasm), LOL My post was to pop up Thurs but it came up Wed due to a typo by yours truly. But thanks so kindly for poppin by xoxo K


  4. I thought it was my computer playing up. I’ve had issues with a couple of my favourite blogs not loading properly and I thought that must be what was happening. I do love the colours in this beautiful work and your arrangement of all the pieces is perfection!

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  5. The art work is absolutely beautiful. Your daughter is so lucky to have you as her mum. They look great over the couch. As you head toward winter solstice we head toward summer’s. SIddy is adorable whether he is in his natural back to the wild state (Yarn Rascal is currently in this state. I need to find time to wash and give him a hair cut.) or groomed. We are still in semi-lockdown, though from all the protests going on you wouldn’t know it. No social distancing there! It’s a talent people in this country have: If things are bad we can always make them worse. THanks for the pictures of the art. I love looking at them and will try to print one out and see how it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there SS 🙂 I tell my daughter that all the time 😀 I had a couple of goes at Siddy with the scissors, especially his face and underbelly – which is very soft fine fur and knots easily. He was so good and sat very still, but I was not comfortable wielding those scissors around his eyes. I keep thinking I should just practise, because the obstacle is me not him! You made me laugh about your country’s special talent. It does seem to be so. I hope you are successful with printing something out – do let me know how it goes.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am so pleased that I got to see the other photos, because they are absolutely stunning! I loved seeing them on the wall ~ and I agree with the others that it will be a show stopper when someone walks into the room. However, to see the details is wonderful. They seem to be so different to other works of yours. I love your detailed ink and pencil drawings, but these have a glorious freedom.
    Do you think that your ideas of creativity have changed over the Great Pause?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s such a good question Anne! One I haven’t considered at all until this very moment 🙂 I am a detail person – my career history was that I came into a school after the first flush of founding was complete and ‘whipped the place into shape’, bringing the form and processes that the enthusiasm of getting an initiative up and running wasn’t concerned with.

      Given that this gift or curse seems to be endemic in me it also runs over into my makings. I know if I get a pencil in my hand I will get into miles of fine lines that result in intricate doodles. I have a lot of control over what appears. Inks don’t allow that. Their impulse is to spread and resist moves to contain them. I have worked with inks for a few years now and it’s been a slow progress from the early days of small dots and dabs that were carefully placed and which spread and were then doodled on – lots of small details demarking what I saw and which instructed the viewer to also see what I saw. (Read ‘Control’) 🙂

      And with this latest series, I just got brave. I liked the idea of letting go of control but was a little scared I would just ruin everything. But in the end I just went for it! I used copious amounts of the solution that aids the inks to spread – something I used very carefully previously. And within minutes I saw the magic happening and that inspired me to go for it even more….. Maybe it was just that the time was right. Maybe the process had taken me there anyway – or maybe all the walking and musing and looking and listening had worked their magic too.

      In short – I don’t know – but thanks for asking the question and opening the conversation 🙂


  7. The look on Siddy’s face! hahah, oh, does that hold a lot of thoughts!!! All directed at who is taking the pic!
    This art is STUNNING! Gosh, I just love it and to see it all together, what a treasury of loveliness! You have been busy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Luanne. It was an enjoyable activity for sure. I had just said to Siddy that he was going to Mudpuppy. He knows ‘Mudpuppy’ and I caught him a millisecond before his leap of joy – and all hell breaks loose as he sets about ‘let’s go, let’s go!’. He is so enthusiastic about the things he loves 🙂


  8. Pauline, the art works are drop-dead gorgeous but also having them off the “easel” and onto the wall, magic – they will certainly draw people over to look at them, after they said usual greetings to the hostess…
    I have a bunch of old alcohol inks that I’m slowly using up – but none of them have the spectacular colour look of yours. But I enjoy just dripping them onto mostly fabric so an air blower isn’t in sight…
    Catherine in what looks like it might be sunny, West Auckland – today…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine, Hi!! I didn’t realise you were here. That’s cool – I’ll pop by. The inks disappear on fabric I found, the colour becomes quite dull. There’s something about the plastic yupo they love. It’s sunny here in Dunedin today too 🙂


      • I just bought yupo pad yesterday…oh, I may have done the inks all wrong, but I like the effect. But I can do no more than one a day, right now, due to having use laundry/paint room I have issue in kitchen (repair man where art thou?) which means small kitchen appliances, have to come in/out as well…


  9. A magical post in a magical space. These are absolutely stunning. Just gorgeous. As for you not thinking kind thoughts, I suspect your percentage of kind thoughts is far higher than most xx

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  10. As always, your work is stunning. I like the chrysalis the best but each and everyone is a stunner. Together on the wall they would stop me in my tracks walking in the room. I love keeping a copy of your work on my laptop to have it scroll by as a screen saver. You know how happy they make me. I did see you had a broken link last night but I was brain dead on my way to bed. My days are still full as breaks are needed between tasks. ;( Things were starting to settle down here but now those that wish to cause trouble have found a new cause. Are your girls able to work safely? Siddy is adorable no matter what the haircut. How is Orlando managing? I do understand what it’s like to be too much in your head. The thinking can go quite easily awry. I have to watch it as well. 😉 I love the effects of alcohol inks. You are quite good at wrangling them. 😉 Hugs all around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew you’d like them Marlene 🙂 Yes, my girls are working safely. Joanna from home still and Danella took herself back to her office last week. We have had no new cases for about a month now and are on the brink of returning to life as we knew it. (There was an historical case added into the mix about 12 days ago which slowed our forward momentum.) The South Island is completely Covid free and the one remaining (recovering) case is in the North. Even I, who have been very cautious, have returned to the supermarket for my groceries where I found my usual checkout operators still at their spots and nobody much paying attention to the remaining physical distancing rules. The experts are warning to be careful of ‘the tail’ but no-one appears to be listening. We may yet be sorry!!

      Orlando is doing very well. He is the boss of the puppy and likes to keep him in his place. For instance, he will on any evening arrive abruptly on the footstool by the sofa and stare at Siddy who is lying contentedly beside me. The stare awakens S who dashes me a look of “Oh no, do I have to… ” but who disregards my words of ‘Be brave, Siddy, you don’t have to do what he says’ and obligingly rises, leaves his place and sits on the floor. Orlando then takes the warm spot beside me with great satisfaction and settles in for the evening. This appears to have given the old fellow a new lease on life and his contented harrumphs and gurgles and purrs can be heard throughout the tiny house on many occasions. Now, as it is dark at 6pm, he feels able to accompany us for our walk around the block and spends that time herding poor Siddy along if he feels Siddy has spent too long investigating any one particular spot. I spend our evening walks being vastly entertained and amused.

      Are you still walking Marlene? Stay safe!! xoxo


  11. I find your words and paintings quite mesmerizing! Beautiful thoughts on day to day existence that we can relate to. Your daughter’s wall is lovely now.💖

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    • It’s funny how its always the same colours isn’t it Jill. I have some orange ink too and have never used it. I really should – just to see what happens 🙂 Thanks for your sweet comment as always ❤


  12. How frustrating that you had to do it twice, Pauline. But I’m so glad you did. That artwork is beautiful and I love the shot of it hanging all together. And it’s always great to see Siddy. Hugs to you.

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  13. “There’s a kind of magic in this space we have been given.” Totally agree, Pauline. And you are obviously using it to create more magic. Gorgeous as always!

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  14. That’s better! I love all of the gorgeous images, but especially the first one – I really like the tiny ‘fractal’ type motifs around the edge. Interesting that you’ve named it Chrysalis, just as you are on the brink of ‘hatching’ back into the outside world once again 🙂

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  15. Those paintings are amazing Pauline – they have adorned Danella’s wall a treat. I am grateful to you for the flashes of beauty on my screen this morning and also for letting me know that Pinata Alcohol is an ink and not an exotic cocktail which could save me some embarassment once the bars are open again.
    Did you take the photograph of them at that angle so as to avoid reflections in the glass? I ask because I was trying to photograph a framed image the other day but, no matter where I placed it, the light reflected off the glass or, worse, me and my camera did. I wondered whether there was a trick to it.
    I can empathise with Siddy’s wild look as I’m sporting one myself. Can’t wait until Wednesday to be shorn and then to ease myself back, somewhat reluctantly, into the outside world again.

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    • Happy to save your blushes at the bar 😀 It ought to be an exotic tipple oughtn’t it! Yes, the glare off glass is not helpful so if you do it side on it eliminates most of the problem.. I have resorted at other times to removing the glass from frames to photograph stuff. But that’s a lot of faffing about! I went to the supermarket last week for the first time in over two months. It thought of doing it was a bit nerve-wracking, but the reality was a breeze and a doddle. We are very fortunate here!


  16. How magical! Your writing and your stunningly gorgeous paintings helped me to drift off in a reverie. They look so beautiful all together in the artful arrangement on the wall. So generous and kind of you to offer them for download. As we approach midsummer, you approach midwinter, and soon your days will be getting longer, the tipping point.
    (Yours is one of about 5 blogs I can no longer click ‘Like’ on and have to sign into WordPress each time to comment – very strange. )

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