Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 Best Year of My life

Simply put, 2011 was the best year of my life.  Looking back I'm not surprised that it was.  I turned 44 this year, my birthdate adds up to 4, 2011 adds up to 4....

Here are some highlights:

March - I started my blog.

 March - Flora Bowley Painting Workshop (FBPW) at Nanga, Dwellingup, Perth, Western Australia.

In January Kelly Rae Roberts blogged about going to Flora's workshop and I was very envious - nothing like that ever happens in Perth I can remember thinking.  A couple of weeks later Donna Heart blogged about organising a Flora workshop in Perth - well, I nearly wet myself with excitement and didn't hesitate to book a place.

It was one of the best things I ever did for myself and for my art.  I learnt new painting techniques and met a great bunch of women who loved art, Kelly Rae and Flora.  My confidence has increased with ever painting created and I've even sold a few - more about that later.... If you ever get a chance to attend one of Flora's workshop then go for it, or why not do her e-course - it's gonna be awesome.

Me with Flora Bowley and Donna Heart at the workshop.

Me with my paintings - Photo credit - Donna Heart.
June - Donna Heart's Exhibition.

In June my mum and I went to Geraldton to attend Donna's first solo exhibition.  Her paintings were beautiful and she is such an inspiration - Donna first painted in front of others at the FBPW, she already had a website, blog and was even published in an Australian art magazine.

Me with Donna Heart.

July/August - Art sale and painting demo at the local community centre.

Even though I didn't sell any paintings that weekend it was my first painting demo and I got some great feedback.

Some of my paintings on sale.

Painting demo at local community centre where I taught this year.

August - Flying Lessons with Kelly Rae Roberts

I enrolled into my online course with the very inspirational Kelly Rae Roberts.  The course was about how to grow your creative business - the other best thing I did for myself this year.  This is such an awesome course - it gave me the courage and confidence to say I am an artist, I built a website and I bought business cards.  Best of all I met my Fly Tribe - the online community of women who also took the course - a source of great inspiration and encouragement - love you girls!!

I even made a button and banner for my blog.

Banner for my blog
Button for my blog

Ribbon Town - I evolved one of my painting into one of my now favourites.

Ribbon Town

September - I built my website -

October - was Blogtoberfest month - I did a blogpost every day for a whole month!!!

On October 3rd my beloved dog, Tessa, died - here is a painting my Lin in Michigan, USA, created for me - I picked it up yesterday from being framed.

Recently framed painting of Tessa by Lin Bailey.

November - My ButterFly Girl painting was used as the artwork for the Fly Tribe Bloghop.  This blogpost was my 100th post and describes how the painting orginated and why.

Artwork for Bloghop

I sold a painting at the Darlington Arts Festival - this was the first time I had sold at the festival and a great achievement in my local community.

Thinking of You - sold at the Darlington Arts Festival

I made 50 glass tile pendants to sell at the community centre art show.  I didn't sell any paintings but sold a few pendants.  I also did another painting demo...

Painting demo at local community centre.

Pendant Display


November/December - I did the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design Course - which was great to learn about motifs, colour, pattern and I taught myself some Photoshop too.

Postcards from Rachael and Beth from ABSPD
I was also involved in the heART Exchange Gift Swap - I sent Suzanna Leigh a pendant and she sent me some beautiful silk art.

Pendant I sent to Suzanna Leigh.

Silk art I received from Suzanna Leigh

Silk art I received from Suzanna Leigh

I created this beautiful painting for my niece, BronteFly Girl:

BronteFly Girl

I painted this painting, the first in my Confetti Tree series - and I love it - which is rare.  :D

Pink Confetti Trees

So that was basically my year - it had it's ups and downs but overall it was a great year for me.  My painting style and techniques have evolved and changed and I have grown my creative business.

Many thanks go to the inspirational women in my life from Flora Bowley, Kelly Rae Roberts to my online community of the Fly Tribe, Magically Mixed Art Community, my online Besties and art buddies esp Lin Bailey and to my irl friends - Sandra and June and to my mum and aunty as well as the three wise men in my life my hubby, and two sons, make that 4 men to include my dad and musn't forget my brother and sister-in-law - just about everyone I know including those who have liked my Facebook artist page.  Thank you all for your love and support this.

I look forward to reading your year in review and hope that you and I both have the courage to live our dreams and follow our passions by creating an artistic and joyful life.

All the best for 2012, love and hugs - Michelle aka Shells



  1. I loved your review!!! It sounds like a fantastic year and I am so excited to have 'met' you - 2011 was a grand year, indeed! Here's to hoping 2012 is even more phenomenal! xo

  2. I loved this, that is an awesome year. I am going to predict that 2012 will be even more awesomeness.

  3. Wow, you had a lot of accomplishments! Good notes you kept too! I would have to make notes because so often I just skip on by my accomplishments and look more at what I did not accomplish. Keeping a written record sounds like a great thing for me to do for 2012! We do need to celebrate ourselves, after all! And you certainly deserve that! Look at all you have done, and done so well! So happy to know you!

  4. Beautiful post. You've had a year to be proud of! I'm honored to be an online friend of yours.

  5. Michelle, Congratualtions on all you have achieved in 2011, hoping your courage takes you soaring to new heights in 2012 xx

  6. Wow--what a year you've had, Michelle! Kudos to you! You must feel so good as you enter a new year and I bet you have another amazing one in store. Thanks for being one of the great things in my 2011.


  7. Wow Michelle!!! What an awesome year and wonderful post!!! It's so fun get to share in all of your accomplishments! xoxo Kathy

  8. What a great year for you! I loved reading about it. I hope you have a sweet 2012. You have had a great lead up to it...its going to be great! Cheers, girl! xo

  9. What an amazing year. I loved reading this post and all that you have achieved. I wonder what incredible things 2012 has in store for all of us.

    Happy New Year Michelle. It's been lovely to connect this year.

  10. What a wonderful look in review! You really have had a marvellous year and I am sure it will only get better in 2012! Wishing all the creativity and success you desire!

  11. What a year you have had!
    Wishing that your dreams come true in 2012!

  12. Great post. Here's to an even more amazing 2012!

  13. What a fantastic year 2011 was for you and your creative side. I love the way you summed it up. It will be interesting to see where all of us will be in another year!

  14. I'm really pleased you have had such a productive and successful year in 2011. I hope you have a courageous 2012 looking forward to following your progress. jane :)


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