G is for Gloves – an essential piece of ski kit as cold hands cam spoil the day. I love it when fresh snowflakes fall on my gloves and remain there whilst their intricacy can be observed. I’ve noticed this most often when on a chairlift in snowy conditions.
I created these snowflakes using free motion embroidery and secondly with icing sugar.
Mittens are great alternatives to gloves for children, and for extremely cold conditions. Good quality ski mittens have separate fingers spaces inside, to add to their warmth.
Key ski items also starting with the letter G are Gondola, for non skiers, this is not the Venetian boat but one of the popular ski lift types, and also Goggles.
Goggles are as fundamental as gloves for well-being and comfort for cold temperatures and snowy days on the mountains.
This illustration is for Gondola, Goggles and Gloves. There’s also one other thing that starts with a G, to be spotted.
Watch this space for the letter H illustrations and if you’ve not seen them previously you can see the previous illustrations at these links….
It’s been a tumultuous and busy past couple of weeks for most of the planet. I’m determined to keep sharing uplifting work, both new illustrations and ones from my back catalogue when I they are relevant.
The situation has moved fast and already has provided reflections on gratitude, for what may have previously have been undervalued, and the situation its is a reset of perspective of who is, and what is important.
Sending heaps of kindness and wellness to all those who are unwell or suffering.
I’ve been busy adapting our home for lockdown, had to make heart wrenching strategic business decisions, as well as finding tech solutions to replace face to face demonstrations. I’ve managed so squeeze some time in for illustration, which is therapeutic and can hopefully brighten someone’s day. This art from my heart follows…
I’ve been finding the terms used such as self-isolating and social distancing as having very negative connotations, and wondered whether putting a more positive slant on staying at home might make this feel more enjoyable and therefore sustainable. Here’s an example of this work, I’ll be developing these ideas and responding the World Health Organisation (@who) Creative Brief to communicate the key messages.
Home and family are everything. Despite the restrictions we must nurture our minds, bodies and relationships all from within our home. Thankfully technology can bridge between those we love but do not live with. Our families have come together for some great multi-generation live video calls which have been a great distraction and really made us laugh.
Here are a round up of the posts from my Instagram, to uplift and reassure.
This is for all those suffering with fear and anxiety. You are not alone. These feelings are understandable in this situation, so try to go easy on yourself. Comfort yourself with reassurance that you are safe and you are loved.
If there is someone that you feel would also like to see this please share. Spread the love. 💕 #stayhomestaysafe
There can be great joy in nature and this lovely season. Flashback to this watercolour painting from last year created as a book cover design.
The bright flowers are blooming to herald Spring, the birds are singing, daffodils shine bright. The sun radiates low into the rooms to warm away winter. Beautiful weather last week made the first days of lockdown easier as the garden is springing to life and the birds are full of energy and song.
Stunning spectrums that I spotted in our kitchen, cast by a refractive book cover being hit by the sun’s rays.
The March brief for #makeartthatsells was abstract wall art with a limited colour palette. This brief was a challenge when I’m so keen to communicate concepts through my art. I enjoyed the process once I got into it, and now seem to see tennis references in there. Maybe this was due to us building up to the new tennis season. I enjoyed layering of the paint, overlapping and becoming lost in the process.
Have Courage, Hold On. We are stronger than this thing. #alonetogether
I sprayed this positive quote from Audrey Hepburn in our garden, as a reminder, and for a little spray painting therapy.
Relaxing retreating in reading at the end of the day.
Watercolour and digital. You might recognise this scene from my chalet picture. Worked with a work in progress scan digitally to create this piece with a work in progress scan digitally to create this piece. #stayhomesavelives
Backlit beauty. The low setting sun lighting up this stunning tulip. When this tulip got snapped whilst moving pots I brought it indoors and popped it in water in a perfume bottle. First of my tulip bulbs to bloom, love it. If we can find joy in nature, whether it is growing or on TV there is a wealth of good to enjoy in the natural world.
Enjoy the Great Indoors. Whether you choose to scale your stairs for a work out, adventure to far flung places on Netflix or enjoy some Eastern philosophy on your yoga mat, wishing you a lovely day. #stayhomestaysafe
Created this house in watercolours on wet then developed this further to create the composition at the top of this post…
And finally: Only Tweet the good. Trying to only share positive and factual content. The birds are so active around our home, their beautiful song so clear in the stillness.
Thanks for being here. Stay safe, stay home and if there’s somebody who you feel would like to see my work please share the blog with them.
I’ve really enjoyed creating in August. The month started off with the Helen Dardik workshop in Rotterdam which was beautiful and inspiring. The month and art has flourished from there.
I created an illustrated map, an instructional illustration for #PortfolioClub, an illustrated Recipe prompted by Flow Magazine’s book 50 Ways To Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life. I also created a party invitation book cover and stitched/painted self portrait.
I added new items to my Folksy shop as we start to get ready for the busy festive period.
To learn more about this latest work follow these links❤️
Delighted with my latest furniture restoration. This mid-century G Plan Astro table designed by Victor Bramwell Wilkins. I love how the teak sings when it has been cleaned and oiled. Turning back time for this stunning table.
The table changed somewhat from the original prototype drawings, scroll to see.
Wanted one of these since seeing the table in Wendy’s office in the TV programme Billions.
Poppy stages embroidery inspired by our morning walk.
Saw this pretty poppy on our walk yesterday morning so I decided that it would be my subject for an appliqué embroidery. It’s not quite finished, a little hand sewing to follow, please pop back to see the completed work.
Created at @dawnirelandtextileartist workshop at #stitchedupandfleeced
With an idea to create doll I drew sketches then began assembling pieces of fabric that I had created through exploration with free machine embroidery techniques and heat sensitive fabric paints.
I’ll be demonstrating how to design and colour fabric in this way at a workshop on Sunday 2nd June. More details here and to follow.
I arranged the fabric pieces I’d created and stitched them together on my beloved Bernina before free motion embroidering further details of my favourite things, swimming fish, tulips, spiral shapes, hearts and flowers.
Once I had the assembled and embroidered a length of fabric I drew pattern shapes and then cut them from the fabric thinking carefully about the placement of the different designs, details and colours, so as to create a striking bright design and balance where the colours popped against each other.
I stitched the legs and arms front to backs and she started to take shape.
My optician had asked me to capture my colourful Johann Von Goisern frames with my artwork so this seemed a good opportunity for a shot for this. The optician called it ‘frames and threads’ and shared it on their social media.
As the doll has two facial expressions one eyes open and one in calm restful bliss I needed only a little hair. I had a small piece of the bias binding leftover that I had pressed with magenta coloured heat sensitive paints, and wax relief of Passion flower tendrils, for the draught excluder project.
Turns out she’s a sun lover, I spotted her relaxing in the sunshine as I rethreaded my needle.
This work gave rise to the idea of placing supportive words and phrases on a doll to reassure and inspire the owner when life feels its most challenging, I’m going to develop that idea further.
Try it yourself:
All of these pieces of fabric were plain white when I began this project. Using heat sensitive paints I added colour and design to the fabrics to create something unique and original.
You can learn and explore these wonderful dye and stitch techniques, creating with colours and designs that you love to make something beyoutiful and uniquely you.
Join me on Sunday 2nd June at Stitched Up and Fleeced in Sheffield. 10 – 4 pm, £60. A wonderful day, no experience necessary.
You can book now by messaging your interest at this link.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed this work.
I’m off to draw the doll now in different poses and develop a story around her.
If you’ve enjoyed this post these are other projects that you may enjoy seeing…
Now don’t get me wrong it’s not that I don’t like peppers. I find them deliciously tasty, but it took some years to pinpoint that being doubled over with severe stomach cramps, hot and cold sweats, three days when I couldn’t get out of bed, diahorrea until my system was empty, was due to eating bell peppers.
Give me a chilli and I’m happy and fine, but a fragment of bell pepper or a pinch of paprika and I loose the next few hours at least. Until my body has painfully fought the peppers and kicked them back out of my system.
It was suggested to me by a GP that it may be IBS, which is why I believe some people could be thinking and dealing with what they believe is IBS when they might just need to drop peppers from their diet.
Heatpressing hand painted peppers
Machine rendering after hand sewing
Now peppers are very nutritious for some people, but they can be anaphylaxic for some. However they are almost never listed on food menus and food packaging as allergens. Often they’re not written on food menus, despite them being part of the dish. Due to their colourfulness peppers are often used in ‘food on the go’ meals such as salads. Really helpfully they’re often finely chopped and written in minuscule font on the ingredients list on packaging.
So I just want to make people, you even, more aware of the possible reactions and physical responses to peppers. Maybe this work can take away someone’s pain or discomfort.
So I’m asking people to think before they eat and serve bell peppers and paprika, I’m asking food retailers to think before they add bell peppers and paprika and to make it as an allergen, and for restaurants to always state where bell peppers and paprika have been used in their dishes. And please use a different chopping board for peppers.
Thank you for reading to the end. Next time you eat peppers just observe in the time afterwards how you feel. If you have any of the symptoms listed in this article you might want to see if the symptoms clear up or cease.
Eat happy, be happy, consider pushing aside the peppers.
Free Download – I’ve created an illustrated download for those with Bell Pepper allergies and intolerances. This is for use in restaurants, hotels at home and abroad. Please feel free to print and/or share this with someone that it may help, and to raise awareness of this food allergy. Card size set to 9 x 13cm.
Related work: Work that relates to the techniques is at the following links. I often find that the work is stepping stones to the next creation, like a bright creative path where the next step is revealed upon completion of the present one. These creative projects led to this work.
White dog portrait created in silks, yarn and thread on dyed fabric.
After the success of the embroidered portrait earlier this year I decided to try to create an embroidered portrait of Sam, the white dog that has featured in a number of my paper artworks, and whom I painted previously in acrylic paints before, paintings which became an illustrated children’s book.
I chose a teal/ turquoise cotton fabric that I had dyed. I chose the colour as it was the colour of Sam’s favourite toy, and echoes the style of the portraits that I painted on bright bold coloured backgrounds.
I gradually built the design using hand sewing, deciding to add fluffy white yarn that was left after I knitted the jumper on jumbo needles.
I was struggling to get a likeness and lost momentum in the project so decided to inject some energy by continuing the piece on my sewing machine with a transparent foot, and also with a darning foot to use free motion embroidery techniques.
This worked and I was able to sew into the design, develop the likeness and then finished the final elements by hand. Here’s a 43 seconds short video of how the work developed.
I’m pleased with the final outcome and can now decide how best to display the work in my gallery.
Related posts which feature Sam or similar techniques are here…
As a small sofa-friendly project over the easter weekend I decided to embark on a small embroidered portrait of the little dog that spends some days with me.
I found a high res picture that really showed the detail, and began first to represent the darkest areas gradually and carefully colour matching the different tones with embroidery silks, and representing the different textures. I took a drawing in silks approach, using drawing techniques that I use in life drawings.
I was pleased with how the embroidery began to take on his likeness and reflect some of his character. I added a paw print, from a picture I captured of it whilst walking during a snowfall.As I liked how the portrait looked in the embroidery hoop I decided to turn that into the frame, giving it a collar effect using a football boot lace (ssshh!)
The little dog is a lhasa apso with a lovely coat and sooo cute. He’s a great little guy who it is fun company.
The little dog’s owner was really pleased with the picture and how it captured the detail of his face and coat.
This is not the first cute dog that I have had the pleasure of capturing in art, I previously used acrylic paint to illustrate a children’s book about a white dog called Sam who wanted to fly.
Its been a pleasure to share this story and its fab to have you here, please share my site with friends who’ll enjoy it x
I write my blog as story by story I’m logging my creative journey and writing my book. If you’d like to read the chapters as they are created you can follow this blog. It’s presently a small and select group but it would’ve lovely to have you join us. 😊