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Artist Collaboration with Sheldene Visagie

Updated: Jan 17, 2020

Personally, I'm not a believer in chance, especially when it comes to the people in my life. My friendship with fellow artist Sheldene Visagie began with a single comment she'd made on my Facebook art page from her home on the other side of the world. Never would I have thought this random act of kindness would lead to a beautiful friendship that I'd continue to cherish three years later.

I've been fortunate enough to have come across several creatives in my career that have enriched, inspired and uplifted me; it is my belief that every artist should have a tribe like this to call her own.

Several months ago, Shels and I began discussing a collaboration project we wanted to do with each other. Originally, we wanted to contribute our own styles to the same piece of art however, posting it back and forth from Australia to the US would prove not only costly but also consume a lot of time since it takes 2 weeks for items to arrive at their destination. Ultimately we decided to use the same reference photo and create our own artworks. Because our friendship began with her attraction to my Spirit Animal series, deciding what to create proved simple: we'd each choose the animal we feel most connected to and incorporate them into a single design. Ultimately we'd end up with artworks in two very different styles that contained very special meaning to each of us. Further, we'd each record our works in progress and create a video time-lapse showing the unfolding of our collaboration as it came together.

Wolf - stage one

Sheldene has been teaching others how to draw on Patreon and through her Udemy courses for well over a year, and she also serves the art community with drawing tips on her very popular YouTube channel. On February 15, 2018 Sheldene hosted me for a LiveStream on YouTube where we continued to work and answer questions about our medium, substrate of choice and our relation to the subjects we chose. Even though the LiveStream is now over, it is available to watch in its entirety by clicking on this link here.

And here is my finished painting, created on YUPO paper using acrylic and India inks.

Wolf Spirit Animal art by Ellen Brenneman

And here is Sheldene's finished drawing. She created hers using an acrylic pour background with prismacolor pencils overtop.

Perhaps the best part about this collaboration is the video Sheldene put together as a memento of our project; it's obvious we're quite proud of it:

Two VERY different pieces, both conveying mutual respect, love and admiration for a sisterhood that distance cannot diminish. I'm honored to be sending my painting as a gift to Shels and I'm eagerly awaiting mine from her; both will serve as reminders of how two people from opposite sides of the planet found each other and foraged a very special friendship.

Until next time,


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