Posted in creativity, Dragons, Drawing, Drawings, Sketches

Dragon Sketching

I took some time out today to start sketching some dragons. It was a lot of fun to get back into my art and enjoy the process of creating on the page.

Below are some photos of my first dragon portrait. It’s an idea that I’m developing and hope to create a far more intricate image in the coming months. But for now, this drawing is about exploring possibilities.

Exploring possibilities is part of the fun of developing my artistic/creative expression. It also gives my left brain a break and allows my right brain the opportunity to take the driver’s seat.

I’m pretty happy with my dragon line drawing and I am looking forward to developing her further.

The second dragon I sketched today took about an hour and a half to create. I’m also rather happy with how the image turned out.

Dragon_2_04082018I think that this sketch can be developed further and more depth given to it, but for now, I am happy with the results of my time playing on water paper.

I chose not add water or colour to the sketch. I wanted to spend my time developing a dragon from my imagination and seeing how it came out on the page.

Today, it’s Saturday in Australia and I’m now two weeks away from my trip to the UK. I finally gave in and got myself a ‘selfie stick’ so maybe when I get back home at the end of September, I’ll have some other photos to share. I also hope this trip fills up my creative bucket with new ideas for creative writing.

15 days and counting down.

Have a great creative day (or night)!

Posted in Animal Love, creativity, Drawings, Fashion, Red Bubble, Water Colours

Art-ing again

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 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.

I guess I can only improve.

T-Shirt from - ShaplandArt
Kitty Cat Stretch


Romance Love Rabbit T-Shirt by ShaplandArt
Romance Love Rabbit T-Shirt by ShaplandArt
Posted in Business, Drawing, Drawings, Fashion, Red Bubble

Red Bubble and me

I am super excited to share that I have just opened up a Red Bubble shop. My artwork will be appearing on t-shirts, skirts, cushions, cups, journals, iPad covers, phone cases and all sorts of other useful items.

It has been a dream of mine to see my artwork out in the world and (hopefully) in the hands of people who appreciate it.

I am stoked to share this news with you!



Having an outlet to share my artwork in such a new way is very inspiring to me.

At present, I’ve only uploaded two pieces of my art but the awesome thing is … taking this action will encourage me to get back to my creative artwork. I’ve had a break for close to two years. It has been too long.

I love creative writing and I work on my stories every day but to see my artwork on t-shirts … well, I hope you can tell how exciting this is just by what I’ve written.

I’ve opened my Red Bubble shop under ShaplandArt because a long time ago when this blog was going through a previous incarnation, it was called ‘Selina’s World’ and I had ShaplandArt as my art brand name.

Anyway, here’s to creativity and sharing how it manifests in each of our lives.

Thanks so much for reading and for checking out my shop … if you’re interested, of course. And there are heaps of excellent artists on Red Bubble. Something for pretty much everyone.

Happy creativity – no matter the form is manifests in the world.


Posted in characters, Creative Writing, creativity, Literacy, Story

On Stephen King and Writing Characters

Last year Stephen King received recognition for his work in literacy from the Librarian of Congress at the 2016 Library of Congress Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

They recorded his talk and loaded it up to YouTube which is awesome because I had an opportunity to watch it.

Stephen King did not disappoint. I love this guy! You know … in the ‘I’m a fan girl’ kind of way.  He talked about the Dead Zone and how he foresaw Donald Trump – scary that his work of fiction could have overtones to reality but there it is.

He told funny tales about being a famous author and discussed how to increase literacy in the community. This was very inspiring as he talked about reading for fun, about falling into other worlds and living through characters.

He said (and I’m paraphrasing) that people who do not read live one life and it may be a great life, but people who read, live thousands of lives.

I loved that message because whenever I read a story I get to experience what the character is going through but I don’t need to live their pain in my physical life.

And when I was younger (in my early twenties) I didn’t read much. It took me a lot of practice to learn to read well and then to enjoy the experience. I didn’t grow up loving stories mainly because I didn’t understand the joys of other worlds and characters. I found reading difficult but over time my literacy jumped and I found that I LOVED reading and I loved writing.  And that, in a nutshell, is how I came to be writing my own fiction.

Now, when I read books I have an opportunity to change my perspective on important topics and I learn that not every person who does ‘bad’ things is acting from a place of malevolence. Some characters have motivations that stem from a place of thinking they are acting for the highest good. And that makes the character complex and far more interesting to read about.

So a lot of what Stephen King talked about resonated with me, both as a person who once did not value reading and as a person who is so in love with reading I am never without a novel or a non-fiction book now.

Another interesting thing Stephen King talked about was how odd it was to see so many people in the crowd because writers are supposed to be secret agents. He said, “We’re supposed to observe you, you’re not supposed to observe us.”

I thought that was a great comment because as a writer I find myself observing people. Sometimes I’ve thought that I shouldn’t do that, but to write authentic characters and to gain inspiration for stories I realised that I needed to be engaged in the world around me (to a degree).

Mostly, I look at people’s emotions and how emotion impacts behaviour and the decisions and actions taken.  It’s endlessly fascinating to me.  I often contemplate behaviour and the principle of cause and effect as I write.

A number of my writing teachers have encouraged me to observe body language; to watch people and to do my best to notice the small giveaway signs of their thoughts and emotions too. I do this, but sometimes I think I do it more subconsciously than on a conscious level because I don’t sit across from people and just watch them. I listen to what they are saying, I do observe their body language from the perspective of being present with them and engaged in the topic at hand.

Yet I must admit that watching people teaches me so much about how to write believable characters with congruent and incongruent emotions and body language. Observing people (on TV and in real life) is fantastic way to develop my creative imagination as well as a vital skill for creative writing. So I reckon Stephen King, with all the years of experience and writing success, has a good point about writers being observers.

So, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Stephen King’s talk. He’s an inspiration both as a writer and as a mentor (even though he wouldn’t know me from a bar of soap).

And if you have time and you’re interested in Stephen King, literacy, creative writing or just interested in having a laugh because he is an entertaining speaker, that you’ll take time to watch his talk on YouTube too.


Posted in Uncategorized

The Novelist’s Helper

Tonight, I’ve been writing up my outline cards for Chapters 1 through to 23 of The Misadventures of Tuppence Weatherstorm.

And I have a little helper.

Miss Poppy is The Novelist’s Helper!

I’m pretty sure she’s been giving me cat advice on the ragdoll cat in my story.

She tells me to relax and have fun writing.  Giving me a show of her belly.

Here she blesses my work in progress with her Ragdoll belly.

Lastly, she tells me, “yes, you may take my profile.  I shall sit here and hold the magic of your story on the cards for you, my human companion.”

I do love my furry companions.  I’m sure my poodle would be lying all over my outline cards if he had an opportunity, but tonight, it is Miss Poppy’s turn to shine and give the novelist at work some much needed feline encouragement.

Posted in Creative Writing

Tips on the Art of Writing


I’ve been writing an online book called Tips on the Art of Writing to share what I’ve been learning about creative writing.  It’s a work in progress.

Basically, I do research on how to write novels, publishing options and look for tips to help others who love writing too.  When I learn something new, I write a new chapter in the ebook on Wattpad and share the knowledge.

So Tips on the Art of Writing has the following topics:

    • Avoidance, Resistance and Commitment to your work
    • Writing – Smart Butt in Seat Time
    • Forget the ‘Nay-Sayers’ – use the Power of Compounding Effect
    • We are allowed to write a crappy 1st draft
    • Are you a Plotter, a Panster, or a Snowflaker?
    • Writing, Editing and Publishing with Lauren E. Daniels, Author, Editor and Director of Brisbane Writers’ Workshop (Youtube Interview)

    • Poetry, Digital Narrative and Publishing with Dr David Reiter, CEO of Interactive Publications (Youtube Interview)

    • Wattpad Success & Fantasy for YA with Sarah Benson (Youtube Interview)

  • Anne Rice – Advice for Writers 18/9/2012 (it’s still applicable today!)
  • Use your dreams as inspiration for writing
  • Sometimes, you … just-gotta-give-it-a-go
  • Emotionally Ruin Your Protagonist’s Life – this has a great Youtube video by Jenna Moreci – I love her channel.  She’s very funny and informative.
  • Story – Characters, Settings, Conflicts?
  • Plotting

I’ll be adding much more to this ebook over time and will edit it when it’s finished.  But for now, I thought I’d share it with you.

I hope you enjoy it and the tips are helpful to your writing journey.

P.S. Creative Anarchy and Synergy Interactive are podcasts I had a go at and due to life circumstances and writing schedules, I had to let it go.  But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on pod and video casting.  I’ll get back to it soon.

Posted in Acrylics, Drawing, Mandala

My Inner Child Art Mandala

Inner Child 2012 Created: 17/2/2012 Artist: Selina Shapland
Inner Child 2012
Created: 17/2/2012
Artist: Selina Shapland

In 2012 I created the above mandala on white acid free paper and colour ink pens and some watercolour pencils.  It took hours but I did not notice the time passing as I was totally involved in the intricate detail of what I was creating.

When I was a child, I dreamed of becoming an artist and expressing my creativity.  As I grew up, I somehow began to believe that I could not draw or have my dreams fulfilled.  When I was a teenager I had an experience in art class with some young guys who said I was boring when I gave a speech about a famous artist, whom I had thoroughly enjoyed researching.

It was at that point that I decided I was not an artist and that I should give up.  I did give up art until I was 24 years old.  As I turned 25, I decided that it was time to go back to my childhood dreams and begin to make them come to fruition.  I decided that I could become an artist if that is what my heart truly desired and it did.

So, I went to the library and began to borrow books and videos created by active artists and I applied myself to learn to draw.  I read the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and after a bit of encouragement from my wonderful friends who all pitched in to buy me my first acrylic paints set, I started to put brush to canvass.

As time went by, my dream of becoming a practicing artist grew inside me like a seed that had been planted in fertile soil.  I began to grow in my artistic and creative expression and even though I was not very good, I kept on trying.  I was proud of my art, even the crappy pieces because they were mine and they represented a journey of my personal and emotional creative development.

I’ve been drawing, painting and creating all sorts of fun arty-farty stuff since I was 25 and I have indulged my inner child.

Essentially, I have healed myself and nursed myself through some emotionally traumatic life experiences with the help of my art work.  I can’t not do art. It is who I am now and it is difficult to go too long without access to something that allows me to express my creativity in the world.

The Inner Child art mandala sold for $70 AUD at the Heart Art 2012 Silent Charity Auction and that money was donated to kids in need.  I am proud to that this piece of work went to someone who appreciates my work and I am grateful that I was chosen to exhibit in the show back then.  I’m not sure if the charity runs the show anymore but it was a great experience for me, especially as so many of my friends came along and supported me and the cause to.

I am a very fortunate woman and artist.

So, if you have creativity sitting inside your heart and soul, don’t hide it from the world, let it out to see the sun and the moon.  Give yourself permission to paint, draw, write, knit, sew, crochet or do whatever it is that your inner voice says is creatively right for you.

And don’t judge your work.  Allow yourself to learn with out your inner critic taking a hack and slash at attack at you.  That is for much later in the creative journey and art development.  Do not allow yourself to fall prey to the left brain’s need to categorise what you draw or create.  Just allow and you might be surprised to see the beauty that flows from your soul into the world.

What you do is needed and will be valued by people, even if those closest to you do not have the eyes to see and appreciate the precious creative gift you have given to the world.

Posted in Drawings

Yes. I can!

'Yes.  I can!' Created: 3/8/2013 Artist: Selina Shapland
‘Yes. I can!’
Created: 3/8/2013
Artist: Selina Shapland

Yesterday, I had an overwhelming urge to sit for hours and play in my visual dairy.  I started with the outline of a circle and absolutely no idea what I was going to create.  All I knew what that I HAD to put pen to paper.

Many hours later this image appeared with the words ‘yes i can’ weaved into the image.  I rarely use text in my images but these words kept floating around inside my head as I was contemplating life and where I want to go.  I’ve felt a little frustrated lately and stuck… But yesterday, I felt like I can make changes, I can do it – whatever ‘it’ really is – and I can make the life I want happen for me.

This image is very symbolic of the hidden depths I have inside me and how I have, at times, hidden my own beauty from the world.  Yet, now I feel that I am ready to begin to grow.  Ready to share some of who I am and be okay with letting life in.

Yes.  Yes, I can.

How cool would it be to feel safe enough to say ‘yes’ to all the good things and feel worthy of accepting them…

Posted in Oils

Divine Love

This oil painting took me years to paint.  I have a deep love for Egyptian theology and the love story of Isis and Osiris.

An expression of divine love
Created: 2008 and finished 2012
Artist: Selina Shapland

In 2008, this painting was originally inspired by a broken heart.  I think I must be a big romantic!

Anyway, I fell for a guy who was a very different faith to me and although we both had faith in something greater than ourselves, it was dogma that came between us.  So when this love tryst finished, I put my love and creative energy into this painting.

Over the years, this painting has seen many layers and changes from conveying a coldness to this passionate and loving image now.  As I painted this canvas, I remember spending a lot of time reliving emotions that opened my heart and allowed my love to spill forth.  It was as though I was emotionally transported into the painting and time meant nothing to me.  It was a sacred act of painting, something beautiful and indefinable that happened between myself and that which appeared on the canvas.

I love the warm passion in the image now.  I still have the painting with me and when I look at it, I think how the act of love making can be a passionate and sacred act of expressing love between two beings.  I love the relationship between Isis and Osiris where she pieced him back together after he had been torn apart by Seth.

I love that Isis fashioned a phallus out of gold, allowing them to make love and create new life through Horus.  It is tragic in a way because Osiris dies after their last moments of passion and expressions of love.  In a symbolic manner Osiris dies only to be reborn through his ‘seed’ which is Horus, the Son.

As with all my artwork, there is deep meaning.  Layers and layers of symbology goes into what I create.  I ponder the story and how it relates to my life and to life in general.  This painting also symbolically represents the transitions of life, the cycles that humans and nature go through, being birth, life, experiences that shape us and death, only to become one with the earth again and transition from one form to another.

Divine Love, Isis and Osiris touch, meld together in a union of one-ness to create new life and renewal.  I love it, deeply.