Butterfly – in progress art work by Selina Shapland
Two circles, watercolour pencils, green leaves and pink flowers
Adding four butterflies to the image – using a stamp
Traced butterflies with black ink pen
Here I started colouring each butterfly – I started with blue
I painted the second butterfly orange and warm yellow
I’ve been learning how to capture my artwork in progress using a new app which has been so much fun.
I plan to create more how-to skillshare courses (with much better audio now that I know how to do that) so I can share more of what I do as an artist and to help me to grow as an artist. I’ve taken a bit of time off over the last couple of years so I could focus on learning the basics of writing a fiction novel, and now it’s time to incorporate more art into my life.
This artwork is a work in progress. I had an urge to use water colour pencils and play with them. So last night, this image started to come together.
Below is a super short image capture video showing how I used water colour pencils and a paint brush with a dab of water to colour the butterflies. I’m pretty happy with the video as I am learning and this is my first attempt at making a time lapse of my artwork.
I am calling this artwork ‘Butterfly transition’ as it is a symbolic representation of the internal changes I am going through in my life. I am seeing the brightness in life again. Seeing colour and vibrancy in the world is important, especially as I have, at times in the last couple of years been through darker emotional times. To me, this work in progress is a representation of hope.
And that is what I absolutely love about art. It’s a way to show where I am at in relation to the world around me. When my artwork is finished, I will put up a new blog post and share it with you too.
In the meantime, happy creating and thanks for stopping by.
I’m circling back around to my arty side this year.
In recent years, I have taken a big break from painting and drawing. I needed a breather but now I have realised just how much I have missed my art practice.
So, I got myself a moleskine art journal (my first one) and have started sketching and water colour painting in it. I am totally inspired by author and illustrator Kate Knappe with her cute little birds, so you will see an image that I drew to honour her artistic expression in the photos below. If you see her work around – there are a lot of greeting cards with her artwork in Australia – do support her if you can and if you like the art of course.
I’m all for supporting living artists who can do with the dollars in their bank account so they can live life and continue to do what they love.
Here is one of the pages out of my moleskine art journal.
I’m going through a reflective stage and wondering what I should do next?
Do I keep focusing on writing my novel and slogging away attempting to get it published?
Or do I study something? Something else? Should I study art? Should I study something that will help me in my day-job?
So many questions.
So much inner confusion.
I love art.
I love writing.
I love coaching.
I do enjoy learning but I am not sure what to do. What is next for me?
So this piece of artwork is a true reflection of the questions and confusion whirling around inside of me.
This page of my art journal is a reflection of how intricately interconnected we all are.
At least, that’s how I see the world.
I have recently decided to sponsor two young girls through World Vision and, hopefully, make a difference for them and their community. I didn’t do this lightly. I feel very strong about young girls having the opportunity for a good education and waiting until a decent age to be married. It is my hope that my sponsor children and their community will embrace this opportunity to have more choices and be lifted up and out of poverty.
As I was drawing this image, I was thinking about my sponsor children and how we are worlds apart, both geographically and with regard to quality of life style and education and choices. But I believe that all beings are interconnected and there are threads that connect us. I believe that one act can have a multitude of effects. A lot of the time, I do not know the effect I have on people, but it is my hope that my effect is a positive one for all concerned.
So, I’m getting back into my art. I’m thinking about things outside of my fiction stories but I am still drawn to my writing. I love it.
I’m just not keen on editing.
Editing is hard work.
I’m not averse to hard work.
I just think I’m a bit creatively burned out at the moment.
But despite my burn out, I am still returning to The Living Death of Toddy James and day by day I am making editing progress. I’m up to chapter six so far. It’s a matter of small daily habits that add up to big changes.
I won’t give up. I’ll rest and I’ll refocus, and I will edit my novel. It takes grit and determination to get these things done.
Now, as promised, here are some more photos of my awesome UK holiday from last year.
In the above collage, Dave and I went to Edinburgh and saw the city, Edinburgh Castle. We also visited a fabulous historic place called Torphichen Inn for dinner and a show.
Wow, what an amazing place. I was in love with the atmosphere, the friendly welcome and the life size cardboard cut out of Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series, written by Diana Gabaldon. The ladies at our table were a little shocked at how excited I was to see the cardboard cut out, but I had only just finished listening to the audio book and watching the series, so in my mind, Jamie Fraser had come to life!
I still love David, but it was Jamie Fraser!
I think David was in love with Torphichen. I think he wanted to immigrate and live there for the rest of his life. It was green and homey. The Torphichen Inn was filled with friendly people and the services was excellent. We had haggis. I actually ate some and David had a bowl-full.
The photo above is the Torphichen Inn.
The show had bag pipes, singing and excellent hospitality. I truly loved Torphichen and felt very warmly welcomed.
We saw the Kelpies sculptures several times as the bus took us from the hotel to Edinburgh and back on our visit. They were spectacular and it was the first time I’d heard that Kelpies were shape-shifting water spirits that take people and drown them. As an Australian, when I hear the word ‘kelpie’ I think of a type of dog, so this revelation was endlessly entertaining to all of the Aussies on the bus.
Dave and I also visited the cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book – OMG, I almost wet myself with excitement. It’s called The Elephant House. We had coffee and cake and then we entered the toilets which were completely covered in Harry Potter fan scribblings. It was surreal. I didn’t like the way people wrote all over the toilets. It was oppressive. I think being a fan is great, but defacing property falls outside of my boundaries for appropriate ways to show adoration.
Anyway, of course, I had to buy a mug to remind me of this special opportunity to dine in cafe where one of the most famous writers of today did her plotting, characterisation and writing. I was hoping some of her inspiration and determination to finish writing would rub off on me. I’m still hopeful.
In the photos above, you can see us at The Elephant House.
We also visited Greyfriars Bobby where this little loyal dog is honoured and remembered. This church was fabulous, but for those who enjoy a bit of ghost hunting and paranormal thrills, I have to say there was a crypt there that gave me the shivers.
It’s the circular one with the dome roof. It had two doors with square windows made of wrought iron. I was too scared to get too close to this one. I kept getting the shivery sense that something was inside watching me. My writer’s imagination went wild, wild, wild with exciting ideas for creating paranormal wonder in my stories from this experience!
Okay, for my last Scottish highlight, here’s a super short video where Dave and I went hunting for the Loch Ness Monster and caught a glimpse!
Happy creativity whether you write, dance, make art or create music. Whatever you do, I hope it brings you joy and happiness.
I’ve had a big break from drawing, painting and pretty much anything that equates to visual art. But recently, I’ve needed to feel my pen and pencil glide across the page and see immediate results of my creativity in action.
Writing novels is great fun but it is a long (and sometimes lonely) process. I can’t show it to you, you would have to read every word and immerse yourself in the story to see it, feel it, sense it, experience it. But with art, you can view an image and have an immediate reaction.
My artwork is very much a personal expression tool. I’m not the best of the best at it, but it’s who I am at any given moment in time.
So here’s me through images at this point in my life.
I’m obviously animal obsessed. Maybe that’s because animals accept me for who I am and don’t require much from me? Maybe it’s because (for me) animals are safe for me on an emotional level. I don’t know exactly, but I feel drawn to them in my artistic expression.
Last weekend, all I did was draw and play with watercolour paints and some new alcohol based ink markers. I watched a few art classes on Skillshare.com and picked up some tips but mostly, I felt inspired to create visually again.
There’s nothing worse than looking at a blank page and wondering… “What am I going to draw, paint, sketch?”
Some of the above images have been put through Gimp and cut out and put on t-shirts at RedBubble under ShaplandArt. I’m not the best with digital image manipulation and always have to go to Google to figure out the next step. It takes ages but I eventually end up with something on a t-shirt that I’m pretty happy with.
It’s been a while since I have updated Selina’s World. I’ve doing a lot of creative writing and articles too. My days have been about creating images in my mind that I can translate through the written word into my reader’s mind.
This last weekend I finally had the creative bug to paint and so that is how “An impression of Spock” came into the world. I sat on the couch and allowed myself to fall into colour, light and shadow. I allowed the right side of my brain an opportunity to speak to me in symbolic language. I needed that more than I can say.
You can see my artwork above. It is completely hand drawn from eye and there are still some things to work on in this artwork, but I am pretty happy with it. It is watercolour and acrylic on pastel paper. I had a ball doing this piece of artwork.
I also wrote and published an article on how art has helped my heart to heal. It is about art therapy, for those who might want to jump across to Self Avenue and check it out.
I hope your days and nights are filled to the brim with creativity.
Today was a little tough for me at work. Not a bad day, just one that wasn’t the best of the best of the best, as they say…
I think I am very much looking forward to the Christmas / New Year break to allow myself to chill out and regroup for 2014.
So, as I do when I have to process things inside me, I have turned to my art as a way of expressing things that I cannot verbally say. This image above shows a sketchy kind of painting of an Eagle the my partner works with here in Australia. I loved the photo of this bird and felt inspired to use his side profile as my muse to let out some of the ‘stuff’ inside me.
I couldn’t tell you what I was thinking about as I do not know. I was just being while I played with pen, graphite paint and watercolours in one of my visual diaries.
It turned out pretty okay so I thought I’d share it. Oh and the grey thing at the bottom of the photo with the owls all over them are my legs in my PJ’s. Yes… I paint in my PJ’s.
I haven’t been doing much art lately, but I can feel the urge and the inspiration kicking back in. I am grateful when this happens and I feel inspired in my arty life again. So who knows what the holidays will inspire me to create. I am going through a jewellery phase, a creative writing phase and now it seems my drawing and painting phase is coming back online – woot!
I was having a look through some of my recent and much older visual diaries tonight and felt inspired to share some of my works with you. A number of them are still works in progress and these are only progress shots. They are also an indication of the type of themes that interest me as an artist.
So, let’s take a little tour…
When I was in art school back in 2004, I fell in love with Man Ray’s photographic works. I loved the multiple exposures and creative effects he brought to the world through his photography and I wanted to honour that inspiration in my visual diary. The image above was created with black indian ink, lace, ribbon and glue.
This image shows some cropped painting ideas that I put together for an art assignment way back in February 2004. We were asked to take an image and hone in on a part of it and explore painting it. I created the two paintings in my visual diary as a test to figure out if I liked the image enough to go from watercolour, to acrylics and into oils. The truth is, I actually ended up choosing a very different image to crop for this assignment, however, I have always loved these two sketched up paintings. They feature an unconscious African Elephant from a National Geographic magazine that I was drawn to at the time. Inspiration for art can be found in all sorts of places.
This image shows a page from my 2004 visual diary where I spent many hours observing eyes, human and animal. I was and still am fascinated by the depth of expression and emotion that eyes can convey through art. This sketch formed the bases for some other creative artworks that came along. I always meant to fill up each square but never quite got around to finishing it…
This has to be one of my absolute favourite piece of art play from my 2004 visual diary. The reason I love it so much is that it explores the concepts of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory in life through images that I cut from magazines that came in the male.
I have many notes written in my visual diary next to this mixed media art play as we were challenged by our art teacher to explore our concepts of the culture we lived in and the context it has in our lives. As I was cutting this out and gluing it into my visual diary, I was contemplating how people think and wondering things such as: does the level of your bank balance and physically acquired items determine your personal happiness? Or is there more to life than the physical items we surround ourselves with?
I considered a concept that some people can find themselves feeling numb and unable to relate to life unless they are actively shopping and acquiring items… I considered the animals we take for granted and was particularly drawn to the cow hide in the original image. I thought a lot about the concepts… Do our earthly actions affect us in the afterlife? Is there really an afterlife?
To me, I am open to that concept, but not all people are.
Anyways, that’s my trip down my 2004 visual diary memory lane.
More creative art is still yet to appear on this blog. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and feel free to share the arty creativity.
This watercolour and black ink pen painting was inspired by something very profound for me related to my father who passed away in 2000 from throat cancer.
I never thought he loved me. It is as simple as that. As I grew up, I saw a man addicted to alcohol who was in a great deal of emotional pain. I perceived him through the eyes of a frightened child and did what I could to survive in a unstable life. My mum did everything she could, with the knowledge and experience she had at the time to protect my brother and I from our father’s misguided alcohol induced aggression.
So many years of walking around and picturing my father in my head as a monster, someone who didn’t care for me, rejected me, discarded me have taken their toll on my nerves and I realised over this past weekend that I have been holding myself in emotional bondage to an out of proportion perception of who I thought my father was when he was alive.
I have tried to go to forgiveness and I have chipped away at letting go of this internal defining label, yet I felt I was battling demons bigger than I could handle.
Life has a funny way of helping me out when I am emotionally constipated and this was one of those times. I went to a course on human behaviour and values which is where I had a profound realisation that my father did love me, very much.
The exercises were tough as I could no longer hide in a victim mentality and had to face that my father was a whole person, not half a person, not a complete bastard at all. My internal perceptions were suddenly, radically changed and as I worked through the exercises to understand how his actions benefited me and how all these traits I hated are also a part of my own human foibles, tears began to flow.
The pain that rushed out of my chest where my heart pounded is indescribable. I felt my father with me and was suddenly transported to all the times when he had tried to show me love but because I was angry with him for drinking himself into a stupor, I blocked out as irrelevant.
I cried. I cried so much that I could hardly breath and I realised that I love my dad so much for who he was not who I wanted him to be. I loved him for the first time for all his faults and let myself accept the love that he had tried to express to me finally rush in.
There are no words to describe what this kind of thing feels like… so I began to draw and allow myself the gift of creating a representation of what happened for me during this release.
Dad, I love you. I know that I am the person I am today because of you. I know in my heart now, how deeply you loved me and I am finally opening up to letting love flow between us. It does not matter to me that you have passed over as I believe that love knows no bounds and wherever you are, I know my love will reach you.