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


Thursday, 29 December 2011

Confetti Trees in Season

These paintings just started out with me trying out different colours in preparation for a large painting and here they are finished:

 Summer Confetti Tree  Acrylic on canvas, 20cmx40cm 8x16"

 Autumn Confetti Tree  Acrylic on Canvas, 20x40cm, 8x16"

 Winter Confetti Trees  Acrylic on canvas, 40x40cm, 16x16"

Spring Confetti Trees, Acrylic on canvas, 40x40cm, 16x16"

Which confetti tree painting do you like the best???

In this series I like Autumn but my fave is still my original Pink Confetti Tree Painting.  Can't wait to buy a large canvas....

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

BronteFly Girl

We had dinner with my brother and sister-in-law in November and got round to talking about my paintings and they loved my Butterfly Girl and asked me to paint one for their daughter, Bronte, my niece who is 11, 12 in 2012 and going into high school.  She is growing her wings and is becoming a beautiful, talented and gifted young lady.

BronteFly Girl  Acrylic on Canvas 61cm x 61cm  24"x24"

ButterFly Girl

Friday, 23 December 2011

Four Confetti Tree Paintings

I was desperate to paint so I bought four small canvases, well they are smaller than the size I usually work on and I've put a few layers onto them already.  Sizes 40cm x 30cm and 40cm x 20cm or 16" x 12" and 16" x 8".
Here they are up to the stamping layer, when this is dry I'll add a dripping layer then decide where the trees will go and block out and bling and add confetti/dots.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Facebook Local Arts and Crafts Group

Yesterday I sold this painting through my local arts and crafts market group on Facebook.  I have only sold a few paintings to my aunt and a few of my pendants through my personal Facebook page.  some people sell heaps of their art through their personal page but not me so I was glad to find another avenue to sell my art through.

People in my local area in the Perth hills have made the following Facebook groups:

Arts and Crafts Markets - handmade goods
Buy, Sell, Swap, Free - secondhand goods
Community Events
Fire Awareness
Hills Business Women
Trades and Professional Services

How many neighbourhood groups are you part of? 

Do you have an arts and crafts group for your local area? 

Why not join it and show your arts and crafts and even make a few sales.  If you don't have one then start one, invite all your local friends to join and advertise in one of your other local facebook groups.

I only upload photos of paintings that I have at home, and I wait for people to ask for a price before giving it out but I did start an album in which I gave a price range and for all paintings I give a medium and a size.  You could state 'special Facebook price $X'.

Go for it!!  Have fun!!!  Sell a few paintings!!!  :D

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Three Packages Arrived Today

I've been trading gifts with friends around the world this year and I received three packages today.  One had a Kelly Rae Roberts figurine in - these are not available in Australia as far as I know and Kelly Rae doesn't ship internationally.  I traded a couple of my pendants for her.

I received this beautiful painting from Leanne Fry who I met in March this year at the Flora Bowley Painting Workshop at Nanga, Perth, Western Australia.  You may recall that I gave one of my paintings to Dixie who I met at the same workshop.

I also received some beautiful ornaments:

as well as a calendar, watercolour painting journal and some more ornaments....I'm so spoilt.  :D

I hope you all receive some nice gifts in the next week.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Home Among the Confetti Trees

Give me a home among the confetti trees....

My newest confetti tree painting:

Home Among the Confetti Trees Acrylic on Canvas 46cm x 46cm


When I look at the other two paintings I did yesterday with the gold/copper on the trees, I like the grey/white with the black trees better.  All part of the learning process and part of having the fun.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

New Home for New Painting

I finished off yesterday's painting and immediately hung it on the wall in our bedroom.

Here's a close up shot:

Pink Confetti Trees, Acrylic on canvas,  50cm x 25cm

I've started a series of these trees using old and new canvases (the closest art shop burnt down last week  :( ), still a little more work to go on them:

Previous old canvas:

More tree paintings:

I can't find a pic of what it looked like before I painted over it today but before that it looked like this:

And here's another I started on a new canvas:

I'm really enjoying this new series, hope you like them too.

Have a great weekend.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

In Progress or Finished?

I'm loving the direction this painting is going which is great compared to the last painting which I wrote about here.

I love seeing the stages of other people's paintings that they go through so here are mine:

I said in my last art blog:

I love to stamp.
I love to add dripping lines.
I love dots.
I love to outline everything - several times - it neatens everything up for me - though sometimes my lines are a bit dodgy/wobbly.
And that is what this painting has...I'm still looking at it and deciding whether I should add anything to the foreground - hmmm bubble wrap in quinacridone magenta......maybe.....

What do you think?