Meet Ellen Michel

"I am mostly fascinated with the idea of the painter being an instrument, whose work reveals something universal, something that touches what it is to be human."



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Meet Ellen


Ellen Michel , celebrated Heidelberg Artist, Teacher, Art Therapist , Mentor and Shaman devotes her amazing breadth of skills and knowledge to the quest of promoting the human right to access self expression. Ellen’s career spans 40 years of the Art Scene in Melbourne from Community Arts to Private Commissions and Public Lectures. Her practice as an Artist and her study of Anthropology, Psychology, Art Therapy, Shamanism and Practices of Meditative States brings expert knowledge and experience to the Course.

Combining Art & Education Since 1979


“My training as a tonal realist painter, specializing in oil over 35 years, has been a wonderful foundation from which to develop my painting technique and style. With 5 solo exhibitions and numerous awards for painting, my body of work continues to thrive mainly because I love combining teaching and painting. The combination of practice and teaching refreshes my view of myself as student and teacher. My aim is to pass-I-on (passion) something of the pain and the ecstatic joy I experience in an attempt to make a painting. I encourage all who have the desire to paint, to give it a go. It is a human right to create, and not a ‘gift’ limited to a few.

I am mostly fascinated with the idea of the painter being an instrument, whose work reveals something universal, something that touches what it is to be human. My work explores many techniques as I approach; the canvas openly, with an automatic response. I imagine when I paint, being in the airless Caves of Lascaux, deep in the earth drawing, painting images for the fecundity of life, paying homage to the human endeavour to find meaning. In a sense I explore, the painter/artist as psycho-pomp, ritual maker/shaman and conduit to spiritual dimensions.”

Exhibitions, Art Projects, Workshops, Talks and Art Performances

2011  Our Changing State, performance art with Heidelberg Primary School, an Artist in Schools Program.

2011  Mosaic Seat, Alice Downunder in the land of Wonder. collaboratiion with students, Doncaster Primary School.

2010  Mill Park Heights Primary School – ten panels, Let Medicine be your Food and Food your Mediciine.

2010  Rosanna Golf Links Primary. Breezeway Mural -Healthy Living Health Life.

2009 and current Art Therapist, Able Australia, facilitating yearly exhibition.

2009 Exploring the Farmyard and Vegetable Garden 15m painted panel, Rosanna Golf Links Primary School

2009 lNeighbourhood Community House Project, Nine Painted Panels, for the Collingwood Justice Centre, Vic.

2008 Hands on for Healing Community Mosaic wall 2.5x3m, Austin/Repatriation Hospitals, Heidelberg Vic.

2008-10 Commission by Austin Repatriation Hospital,Heidelberg, Vic. for 44 oil paintings

2008 One and Many – a collaborative collage, Olympic Adult


2008 Wild Wonder Wisdom, Panels, Austalian flora, fauna, water land sea, Doncaster Primary School, Doncaster,Vic

2007 In the Flow – facade mural North Yarra Community Health Centre, Collingwood

2006 Body, Head Feet and Hands, Painted Tile Project, Doncaster Primary School, Vic.

2006,Meditation Garden, Rosanna Fire Station Community House Work for the Dole Project.

2004- 2005 Wall of the Imagination and Sculpture, mosaic and ferro cement render Watsonia Neighbourhood House.

2005 Serpents Head path Mia Mia Gallery, Westerfolds Park, Templestowe. Greencore project.

2004-2005 Mosaic Panels, Doncaster Primary School, Vic.

2004 Exhibition Doctors of Northcote, ‘Finding the Heart Beat of Northcote’

2003 Painting Workshop for Outback Women, Dirranbandi, Queensland.

2002 Doncaster Primary School Arts after school program. Art Therapy workshop for Heritage Australia, Canberra.

2002 Watsonia Neighbourhood House, Art Therapy workshop. Children’s Art Holiday Program ‘Weaving the Web’, a sculptural performance.

2002 Demonstration of painting Doncaster, Ringwood, Brighton, Heidelberg Art Societies

2001 Royal Women’s Hospital ‘Reclaiming the art of Dying’ – ‘Women’s Day 2000’, Dianella Community Health, Broadmeadows.

2000 Exhibition, Doing Art Studio,‘Serpent’s Mouth Open’, giant serpent canvas and paint. ‘Looking at a coffin. Help! ‘ installation Open Studio Banyule City Council.

1999  Established with Rosemary Mangiamele Art and Soul Coffins and Ceremonies to offer a creative/healing approach to death and dying.

1999  Australian Film and Television School Art work and direction.

 1998 Exhibition of painting, ‘On the road to Rhodes’, Fitzroy Gallery, Fitzroy.

1992 ‘Art Adventure’ workshop funded by Northcote Council.

1991 – 1999 T.P.I. Return Service Art Group.

1990 Hamilton Art Show First Prize.

1990 Wimmera Art Show, Best Painting.

1990 Bright Art Show ‘Miniature Prize.

1991 Warragul Rotary Art Show Prize.

1992 Mornington Rotary Art Show Prize

1989 Artists in Schools Program. Grades 4,5 & 6 Four remote Primary schools in North Eastern Victoria.

1989 Wangaratta Art Show,Grand Prize, Art Gallery Council Collection

1990 Wangaratta Art Show Grand Prize, Art Gallery Council Collection 1989 Exhibition of Painting, ‘Veritas Galleria’ Eldorado , Victoria.

1988 Exhibition of painting ‘Olive Lodge’, Oxley, Victoria

1987 Australian Rural Prize, Wangaratta Collection

1986 Australian Rural Prize, Wangaratta Collection

1979 – current – Teaching The Centre for Continuing Education, Wangaratta. The Pathway, Adult Education Yarrawonga. Bright Community Centre, Benalla Artist Guild, Wangaratta Art Society North Ringwood and Park Orchards Community centres.

My Mission


My mission is to inspire, encourage, awaken the  artmaker inside every student I meet.




1992  Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, Anthropology and Art History Majors, Cinema Studies, Contemporary Feminist Thought, Minors. La Trobe University, Bundoora.

1999  Diploma of Art Therapy, Ikon Institute of Victoria, Melbourne.

1979 -1985  Studied under Frank Gill, Mitcham, Melbourne. (tonal realist & colourist).

1972 – 1974  Studied under Alan Martin, Eltham, Melbourne. ( A tonal impressionist student of the celebrated Max Meldrum).



206 Cape Street,

Heidelberg  VIC 3084

Melbourne, Australia

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