Shelly Valdivia, AKA Miss Shelly Seashells, is donating her artistic talents to The Maryborough Mural Project.
Shelly Valdivia, AKA Miss Shelly Seashells, is donating her artistic talents to The Maryborough Mural Project. JOY BUTLER

Celebrate local beauty with Miss Shelly Seashells

FRASER Coast Artist Shelly Valdivia, also known as Miss Shelly Seashells, is the latest artist to be donating her time to The Maryborough Mural Project.

Project co-founder Elizabeth Lowrie said the 17th mural would highlight the history of the endangered Mary River turtle.

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"This rare species occurs in the Mary River, from Gympie to the tidal reaches just upstream from Maryborough, and the turtle nests in suitable places along these parts," Elizabeth said.

"It is classified as endangered in both Queensland and nationally.

"It is also considered a critical priority for conservation under the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

"So, it's important we bring notice to this rare and specific to the region species in our mural work."

Shelley said she was excited to be painting the project which was created by Elizabeth, as well as Deborah Hannam.

"I'm painting a stylised version of the endangered Mary River turtle," she said.

"This rare species of turtle is listed as a critical priority for conservation by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

"The medium I'm using is acrylic paint, on composite boards and measures 3x2.4m.

"Once completed, the mural will be fixated to the business walls of Slither and Swim, Aquarium and Reptiles on Bazaar St, Maryborough."

HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN ARTISTIC?

Yes, I have always been artistic from an early age my school reports would reflect this and my teachers would support my creative talent.

At age 11, my art teacher Mr Campbell, pushed the boundaries and entered my pencil drawing into an International Exhibition, where I received a letter of recognition on rice paper from the Japanese Prime Minister, along with a small of gift of art supplies.

Mr Campbell continued to enter my drawing into competitions and the same drawing placed second in New South Wales, among HSC Students.

I am a self-taught artist, however, did complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts through COFA (Arts & Design), University of New South Wales majoring in Painting and Drawing.

 

Shelly Valdivia, AKA Miss Shelly Seashells is donating her artistic talents to The Maryborough Mural Project.
Shelly Valdivia, AKA Miss Shelly Seashells is donating her artistic talents to The Maryborough Mural Project. JOY BUTLER

WHAT/WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?

As an artist living on the Fraser Coast, I am fortunate to be surrounded by a diverse setting of landscapes, seascapes, native flora and fauna; and the annual migration of humpbacks to influence my artwork.

I find the distinct landscape of River Heads, coastal views from Hervey Bay and the rich architectural environment that Howard and Maryborough has to offer, spectacular and enriching.

Then I have the world largest sand island, the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, K'gari, to motivate me to create works of art that a local or tourist can resonate with, and through my art take a piece of paradise home with them.

Apart from my surroundings, I am influenced by other Australian artists who have a strong affiliation with the land or sea; these are, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Fred Williams, Grace Crossington Smith, Lin Onus, Brett Whiteley, Ken Done, John Oslen, Jeffrey Smart, Albert Namatjira, Nicholas Harding, Rusty Peters, Margaret Olley and May Gibbs. Also, there are some international artist that I admire; Andy Warhol, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gauguin, Frida Kahlo and Pablo Picasso.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ARTWORK AND BY WHAT ARTIST AND WHY?

One of my favourite artworks is Five Bells, painted in 1963 by Australian Artist, John Olsen.

It is a figurative abstract painting of Sydney Harbour, which instantly absorbs me through the overlapping layers of detail.

The nautical influence through the choices of colours and to its linear abstract representation of the Sydney Harbour, makes it one of my favourites.

HOW REGULARLY DO YOU PAINT AND WHAT MEDIUM(S) DO YOU WORK WITH?

I paint on a weekly basis, it's my creative outlet. I need to release what I've imagined and create what I have envisioned.

The type of medium I prefer is acrylics as I find this type of medium suits my pace of painting.

I do enjoy experimenting with other mediums, such as charcoal and ink on paper.

I mainly paint on to canvas, however, I recently created 'Gypsy Pop', which is folk-art, hand painted, on pre-loved furniture pieces, featuring sea turtles, seahorses, mermaids and native flora and fauna.

IS THERE ANY TYPE OF ART THAT YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO MASTER?

I admire the artwork by local airbrush artist, Nigel Zschech, I would like to learn this technique and how to use an airbrush.

Another favourite artist of mine is, Lin Onus. He used similar applications within his paintings, incorporating indigenous and non-indigenous elements through airbrushing.

Nigel is another artist on the Maryborough Mural Project and he has recently created a few large scale murals, one is located on Bazaar St, Maryborough and the other is located on the Telstra building wall facing Queens Park, Maryborough.

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WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOUR ART ON THE FRASER COAST?

Customers are welcome to view a range of paintings and products on my Facebook page 'Miss Shelly Seashells' facebook.com/missshellyseashells; inquiries can be directed to email shellyseashells@outlook.com, or by mobile 0401487644.

My products can be found at selected stockists; VK's Cafe and Restaurant, River Heads; The Boat Club, Hervey Bay; Reef World, Hervey Bay; Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary, Maryborough; Australia Post Urangan; Ramada Hotel, Urangan; Fraser Coast Visitors Information Centre-Hervey Bay and Maryborough, and the Tourist Information Centre-Bundaberg.

Occasionally I attend local markets which I will post to my Facebook page under Events; Dates/Times/Location.