Tag Archives: Inspiration

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


Geewilingkingwinkings – Age Is So Inspiring!

I find people who don’t define themselves by their age inspiring.  I’ve been thinking about age and creativity thanks to the Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I’ve been painting pictures from the book for the walls of what will be my grandson’s nursery.  (I’m being careful to sign them as ‘After Eric Carle’ just in case of forgery claims even though they are not to be sold – and far from perfect copies.)

Front cover

Front cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The now infamous caterpillar first appeared to be chewing holes in picture book pages in 1969.  Eric Carle is now in his eighties and still writing picture books!  The latest is The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse.  In 2002, when Eric was 73, he and Barbara Carle founded The Eric Carle Picture Book Museum to inspire the love of art and reading.  It’s an interesting web site to visit and it includes the opportunity to take a virtual tour.

I think Eric must have found the same fountain of youth the actress Sophia Loren who once said:

Portrait of the Italian actress Sophia Loren f...

Sophia Loren  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.

I’m thinking that what Louis Armstrong said of musicians applies to all types of artists, including me!

English: Louis Armstrong, jazz trumpeter Franç...

Louis Armstrong (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Musicians don’t retire; they stop when there’s no more music in them.


I know I have more pictures in me but for now I’m working on my forgery skills…

After Eric Carle by Helen Lock

After Eric Carle by Helen Lock (Acrylic on canvas)

Eric has nothing to fear from me!!


Wow! It’s Been Two L o n g Years!


Two years ago yesterday my feet became entangled in the handles of a shopping bag as I jumped out of our car.  I hit the tarmac of the car park at just the right angle to snap my left femur, pushing the top part into my hip joint and wrecking it too!  I had no idea – I brazenly told the Doctor as I lay on the trolley in the Emergency Department that I was pretty tough and was thinking it was just soft tissue damage.  The Dr said gently “I don’t think so.”

My recovery

My recovery after a full hip replacement was long and painful.  There were long, dark days full of pain and tears.  Days when I wondered if I could go on – whether I wanted to go on.

Why am I telling you this on a Monday when a main aim of my blog is to brighten your day?!  Because, while I wish it hadn’t happened and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody, there were, in hindsight, many ‘silver linings’ and knowing about them may just help you in adversity.

Obviously I did go on – maybe due to a glimmer of survival instinct but I think it was the unconscious (at the time) thought that I might ‘miss out’ – and I would have missed out.  I’ll list what I would have missed out on later but first I want to share what I learned that is treasure.

Silver Linings / Learnings

The most valuable things I learned are:

  • My DO and I will be able to maintain our home on our steep, gravelly bush block well into our 80’s or beyond!  How do I know?  Because although I could hardly walk on crutches, I was able to manoeuvre steps and an incline to hang out washing – with the aid of a ‘nosebag’ hung around my neck for wet clothes and pegs.  Where there’s a will….!
  • My DO is a patient and gentle carer which bodes well for the decades in front of us.  It was nine weeks before I was able to dress without his help before he went off to work.
  • I don’t have osteoporosis.
  • Get out of a car like a princess!  Swivel, knees together and put both feet on the ground / or in that direction first.

Silver Linings / What I Didn’t Miss – So Far!

Just what comes to mind right now:

  • Walking the trails around and over Wave Rock 16 weeks after surgery.  Not without some pain and difficulty but I did it!

    Wave Rock, Hyden, Australia

    Wave Rock, Hyden, Australia

  • A marriage proposal from my DO – and eloping for a most memorable wedding day, which was followed up with an engagement party with family and friends 🙂
  • Seeing son Leo healthier and happier than in years – and with a beautiful and intelligent lady.
  • Son Leo coming in second at the Kulin Cup after only a few months horse riding tuition from his lady.
  • Son Alex becoming a fully fledged lawyer.
  • Being at son Alex’s wedding to the lovely, also intelligent woman who is now bearing their first child – a son!

    Alex and Shazzy Posing On Their Wedding Day at Matildas on the Swan River, Perth, WA

    Alex and Shazzy Posing On Their Wedding Day at Matildas on the Swan River, Perth, WA

  • Enjoying times with and news of all 6 of our ‘children’ and 8 grandchildren.
  • Visiting the world heritage Ningaloo Reef on a glass bottomed boat.

    Ningaloo Reef From A Glass Bottomed Boat

    Ningaloo Reef From A Glass Bottomed Boat

  • Having more time to spend on art related activities as I decided to quit my IT career as a result of the accident.

I’ll stop there 🙂

May you find silver linings too,

Geewillinkinwinkings – So Much Bad News!

Bombings, earthquakes, abductions, shootings, climate change, financial disasters, unemployment and more – day after day we become aware of bad news from around the world.

It’s hard to keep perspective, let go of those things over which we have no control and remember good things happen too!  I must admit I had to force my mind to focus but I found a few examples that I hope will brighten your day.

A quote from Mark Twain

‘When we remember we are all mad, mysteries disappear and life stands explained.’

Earth Day

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Google’s animated and interactive doodles often brighten my day and today’s reminds us it is Earth Day and that each of us can make a difference.  See how here.

Love In Action

Mastiff dog adopts orphan Orangutan.


Yes, Facebook!  Admittedly some people use Facebook to let us know too regularly of their digestive problems in too much detail and some use it to sell, sell, sell – but in my world the majority focus on sharing all the good things we’ve come across or that have happened to us lately.  Hope it works for you too.

Art Websites

So many inspiring sites and blogs out there.  Just a few I visit regularly are Lines and Colors, Doodlers Anonymous, and Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast – why stop at 6?!

A post with no paintings!!  I’ll do better next time.  Until then,


Gee Willikinwinkings Monday Again!!

What a week!  It started with Toad In The Box and ended with Been There Before, with a plethora of delights in between.

Toad In The Box

“Is it a cane toad?” we asked ourselves when this critter was discovered in a cardboard box that had been delivered to Western Australia from the East.

Western Green Tree Frog (s)

Fearful of assisting the spread of the feral species we kept it in the box whilst we consulted Google, the Shire, the Department of Agriculture and finally the Department of Environment and Conservation.  We were assured that we had a native Western Green Tree Frog in our care.  It just goes to show how good at camouflaging they are!

Drought & Fire

Early on Monday morning our drought was broken – it was official – we had zero point two of a millimetre of rain! At least the frog was released into a humid atmosphere.

I was fearful that it might get fried later that day as there was a fire east of our town and a danger of ember attack..  It was a daunting experience to be home alone, preparing to flee if necessary and fully realising that so many of our personal treasures would have to be left behind. Happily the fire fighters contained the damage to a hectare and there were no injuries or loss of homes.

My thoughts of fire were completely ousted by being introduced to the art of Dalton Ghetti via an email and I hope you enjoy a ‘wow’ moment too.

art - pencil sculpture 1

See more here.

Balligar Blues

There was little time for personal art this week as the focus was on celebrating birthdays – mine and my DO’s – over the weekend.  We thoroughly enjoyed the company and creativity of family members and friends on Saturday – especially created poems, speeches, art works and dance!  How wonderful!  This was written for us by our friend Denni – Balligar Blues 🙂

Banjo Paterson

After a big Aussie BBQ breakfast on Sunday morning with those that stayed over we were further treated to a fantastic ‘off by heart’ recital of Banjo Paterson’s The Man From Ironbark and Been There Before by Louise!  The big clean up afterwards was a small price to pay for such a memorable weekend with loved ones.

Last post I said I’d post about my painting ‘Kanga Anga’ next post – sorry it’ll be the next one.  Until then,


Gee Willinkins Winking! Monday Already?!


I’ve decided to focus on the ‘Wow!’, ‘Far out!’, ‘Amazing!‘, ‘Gee willlikins winking!’, inspiring and heart-warming moments of the past week to kick start Mondays.  Here are some of mine:

  • Wow! It looks so alive!

Sayaka Ganz

Sculptured by Sayaka Ganz from recycled utensils!  See more at http://www.sayakaganz.com/

  • A heart-warming and encouraging comment from Lynda on my very first post:

    ”Helen, your lovely intro touches the heart! I feel sure that many will be uplifted and gain pleasure and joy from your paintings AND your words. I certainly look forward to returning to see what you have added and know that I shall be referring a few people who really need what you and your work can bring them. Onward and upward – from strength to strength – very best wishes with all your ventures”.

  • A Steve Jobs quote in response to my first post, all the more meaningful as it was from my son Alex:

    “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

  • This thoughtful and eloquent comment from Shazzy on ‘The Moths are Loose’ post:

“It’s always intrigued me that whilst butterflies are considered beautiful moths are thought ugly. Someone may not think twice about a dead moth but shed a tear over the butterfly.  The Bogong Moth painting surprised me by its beauty and vibrancy.  We are all trying to circle our moons but sometimes our wings get singed with the ‘fakeness’.  I feel for those moths tricked by electricity into death.”

  • An explanation from my DO (pronounced ‘Doh!’ 🙂 ) of the phrase ‘Gee Willikins Winking’ which he uses frequently: 

    think it came from the nursery rhyme “Wee Willie Winkie” which I got a fair bit of as a little boy and it must have been Dad I think that used the term “gee willinkins winking” as a gently curse as he never swore at home, or much at all in fact. ‘Dash’ and ‘Damn’ were punishable with a clip under the ear.”

  • Finding this quote by Vincent Van Gogh:

    “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

These and other relatively small things collectively made my week.  I’d really appreciate it if you leave a comment about one or more of your recent, uplifting moments for me and others to enjoy.

Tomorrow I’ll introduce you to my not so small painting ‘The Wattle Song’.
I hope you have a good day and are lucky enough not to feel like this:

 “If each day is a gift I’d like to know where I can return Mondays” – Unknown


Relativity – Love, Art and Weather

An overnight minimum of 22.5 °C just before dawn feels deliciously cool after a maximum of 43.5.  Yet 22.5 (72.5°F) would seem like a pretty hot day in Arkansas which experienced a maximum of around 10 °C (50°F)!

I mention Arkansas only because writer Jay Maul sent me the cooling thought of cold, wet rain from there in response to yesterday’s post.  I’ve since discovered his blog and there is a heap of inspiration to be found – and lots for me to learn about blogging.  You might like to take a squiz at his blog writerjaymaul.

Whether you are for it, or against it, or neither, it’ll be hard to remain unaware that it is Valentine’s Day.  Having said that my DO (Dear One) remained unaware even after opening a hand painted card covered in hearts that I gave him first thing!

This is a favourite quote of mine on love and relativity:

“When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second.  When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour.  That’s relativity.” ― Albert Einstein

I’m so lucky to love and to be loved.  It has not always been so and I remember well a time when I felt utterly alone and unloved.  To anyone who feels like that now it may help to remember that life evolves and brings some wonderful things into our lives too.  I think this quote also indicates that we have a role to play in our own happiness, which is an empowering thought.

“We are, each of us angels with only one wing; and we can only fly by embracing one another.” ― Luciano De Crescenzo

Here is a kiss for all of you from Gustav Klimt who was relatively ignored by the art establishment in his lifetime – but that has changed!

The Kiss

The Kiss

If you’d like to see more go to the Klimt Museum.

May your day be as good as it can be, or as you can make it.