Kelly Brumley has loved drawing for as long as she can remember and showed a natural talent from an early age.

When she was 12, a friend gave her a book on portraiture and she taught herself how to draw life-like portraits in graphite, with people remaining one of her favourite subjects to paint to this day.

At age 15, Kelly won a competition for secondary school students to design the 2006 Commonwealth Games 50-cent coin. Over 20 million coins bearing her design showing Australian animals mimicking athletes in different sporting events were released into general circulation.

Part of my prize was a behind-the-scenes tour of the Royal Australian Mint where I got to personally mint my very own 50c piece. Even today I still get a little thrill whenever I receive one of my coins in my change.

From 2006 to 2012, Kelly completed formal art training under the tutelage of Jan Long. During this time, with Jan’s encouragement she began her journey toward a career as a professional artist.

In 2012, Kelly was one of 50 artists selected to participate in the Melbourne open-air art installation “Mali in the City” where each artist was given a life-sized fiberglass sculpture of Melbourne Zoo’s elephant calf, Mali, to paint. After being displayed in the city and at the zoo, her Mali sculpture was purchased by the Royal Botanic Gardens to become a much-loved feature in the Ian Potter Children’s Garden.

After several years of accepting commissioned work and painting for art shows with many awards and sales to her credit, Kelly began offering private art tuition. As demand for her instruction grew, she moved to teaching classes at Morwell Art & Framing.

I have found the art community very generous in sharing their knowledge and passion for creative expression with me and I am grateful for the opportunity to do the same with my students. In reality, I am as inspired by them as they are by me!

Kelly currently lives in South Gippsland with her husband, Mark, and daughter, Victoria, and is kept busy juggling the demands of mum-life, farming, teaching art classes and finding time to paint herself.