Monthly Archives: July 2013

The End Of The Rainbow

If Blue Leschenaultia is known as ‘The Floor Of the Sky’ perhaps Parakeelya should be known as ‘The Floor Of The Sunset’ but for me it is the end of my WA Rainbow:

WA Rainbow - Violet (Parakeelya)

WA Rainbow – Violet (Parakeelya)

Parakeelya is a low growing Australian native with purplish flowers about 2cm wide.  Its name is Aboriginal but its origin and meaning are unknown.

All parts are edible but, as food this annual is apparently more palatable to stock than humans and can provide forage after soil moisture has dried up.

My painting was inspired by seeing a carpet of these flowers on a beautiful, sunny, Spring morning in the Julimar State Forest north east of Perth in WA.  The original is 9cm square and worked with Prismacolor pencils on paper.

I find it mind-bending to maintain concentration to get the details of interlaced things like the flower stems looking realistically tangled and wonder if there’s a special technique that would help!  I also wonder if I could ‘loosen up’!

I’d like to make another rainbow one day, meanwhile I’ll leave you with some thoughts about rainbows.

The lyrics of ‘The End of The Rainbow’ by Richard Thompson, sung here by Elvis Costello, represent a perspective I cannot share else I’d have no raison d’etre.  It is a very sad and depressing song.  These are the words of its chorus:

Life seems so rosy in the cradle,
But I’ll be a friend I’ll tell you what’s in store
There’s nothing at the end of the rainbow.
There’s nothing to grow up for anymore.

How much better to believe that the rainbow is enough in itself.


Geewillingkinwinkins – The World Reimagined!

The first painting you see as you walk into the ‘Van Gogh, Dali and Beyond’ MoMA exhibition now showing at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth is Van Gogh’s ‘The Olive Trees’.

Olive Trees with the Alpilles in the Background

Olive Trees with the Alpilles in the Background (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My left brain must have been in full motion as my mind was surprised by the solidity of the unrealistic, opaque, creamy white balls of cloud, the dullness of the blue of the Mediterranean sky and the trees below it.  Sacrebleu!!  I mentally washed my mind out with soap and water as I kept looking.

Although not as colourful as reproductions and writings had led me to believe the artist’s intention began to filter through.  The rhythms of the brush strokes and the harmony of the colours started to convey life, movement and a living force connecting all things in nature.

I began to understand the theme of the exhibition ‘The World Reimagined’.  At first sight the exhibition may appear to be a disparate collection of 130 works by 96 artists covering landscape, still life and portraiture over more than a hundred years.  The common thread seems to be that across the decades each artist has inherited, rejected / developed and communicated innovative responses to their worlds through imagination.

There is certainly plenty to see, plenty to ponder and plenty of inspiration!  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed If you can get to see it.  You can find out more here.

I’ll let Mark Twain have the last word – again!

The common eye sees only the outside of things, and judges by that, but the seeing eye pierces through and reads the heart and the soul, finding there capacities which the outside didn’t indicate or promise, and which the other kind couldn’t detect.

MARK TWAIN, Joan of Arc


Indigo, Indigoing, Indigone!

It may seem a strange choice to paint the Western Australian wildflower Blue Leschenaultia to represent Indigo in my WA Rainbow series done in coloured pencils.  It seemed an awkward choice to me at the time because it is such a brilliant blue flower, as you may have seen in my earlier post  ‘The Floor Of The Sky’, but I struggled to find an alternative and decided to show the darkened flowers in the warm glow of dusk.

WA Rainbow - Indigo (Blue Leschenaultia) by Helen Lock

WA Rainbow – Indigo (Blue Leschenaultia) by Helen Lock

Now having done some research for this post I discover that although Indigo is the sixth traditional colour of the rainbow as named by Sir Isaac Newton we may not be seeing the same colour as Newton.  According to Gary Waldman, a contemporary physicist,

“A careful reading of Newton’s work indicates that the color he called indigo, we would normally call blue; his blue is then what we would name blue-green or cyan.”

So maybe my choice was good after all!

My research also provided this thought provoking quote from Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins:

At birth we are red-faced, round, intense, pure. The crimson fire of universal consciousness burns in us. Gradually, however, we are devoured by parents, gulped by schools, chewed up by peers, swallowed by social institutions, wolfed by bad habits and gnawed by age and by the time we have been digested, cow style, in those six stomachs, we emerge a single disgusting shade of brown.

The lesson of the beet, then, is this” hold on to your divine blush, your innate rosy magic, or end up brown. Once you’re brown, you’ll find that you’re blue. As blue as indigo. And you know what that means.


I’m gone –
until next time.