Megan Dowsett is a creative consultant working in museums, galleries and the arts, an illustrator who is finding her voice through personal and local projects, and a parent to two young beings who can't help but influence her creative journey.

Through the name Norris and the Flamingo, she shares the sense of adventure that runs through all of life, wherever we are on our journey. A sense of imagination, of possibility and discovery, for children and adults alike.

26 June 2013

William Morris' Birds

Itching for a treat of day out, I decided to head north to the William Morris Gallery. It's been on my radar a lot recently - having re-opened after extensive refurbishments, I first saw the jobs and then the photos, and now it has the additional prestige of having won the Art Fund prize.
India06I had a wonderful time - it's tremendously inspiring to follow a story of such business success within the creative realm, and since Morris combined this with a sensitivity to the issues of society, he couldn't really make me happier!

From a sketching perspective of course, I kept my eye open for the birds, and filled my pages with Morris' birds.

23 June 2013

Woven Swirls

IMG_6112Weaving with Make and Create recently provoked me to take on my own small project. Some time ago, I thought it could be a fun ongoing project to make small samples in different textile techniques inspired by various water themes. This piece began with the pattern on the side of an orca, and presented me with the challenge of creating curves as smooth as I possibly could. It's not perfect, but I learnt a lot along the way.

19 June 2013

The Joys of Linocut

Yumi 2Scissors Paper Cloth have been looking at Linocut. It's incredibly satisfying to carve directly into something so soft and malleable, and amazing how quickly everybody got into the swing of. Some people stuck to the joys of monochrome printing, while others took on the challenges of registration. GillianPeople who are attracted to lino cut (including myself) are often painfully perfectionist, it seems to me, and invariably need somebody else to point out how truly wonderful the results are, while the artist themselves just notice the bit that didn't quite line up, or missed the frame or had too much or too little ink ... For me, though, I thought there were some amazing outcomes, and the versatility of the medium came through in how different each person's style was. Ruth Goodwyn 2Here we have, from top to bottom, pieces by Yumi, Gillian and Ruth.

16 June 2013

May Your Footprints Tell a Thousand Stories

IMG_6111Two years ago, the birth of Penny provoked me to take on new challenges in the world of linocut. This year the birth of Minnie among several other people forced a return to multiple coloured lino prints ...

12 June 2013

Kaffe Fassett

Several people told me I MUST see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum.  I must admit, I didn't know a lot about him, but I'm not so very bothered about quilting, and while I love to knit, I wasn't too sure an exhibition of knitting would grab my imagination.
Well ... you MUST see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition!  There are three weeks left.  It was a mesmerising, enticing, dancing world of colour that reminds me there's no such thing as colour going out of fashion, and once more confirms that craft holds as much richness, joy, creativity and respect as other art forms.
I only have to remind myself now, that I don't need to learn quilting at the present time.  Perhaps I'll make a rag rug ... oh yes, and one of these eccentric hats.

8 June 2013

Our Own Take on Psycho Buildings

IMG_6076One of the best, most fun, creative and collaborative days of workshop joy happened last week as, over half term, I took on the 9 - 14 year olds at Orleans House for 'Gruesome Grottos and Magical Mazes'. I had wanted to explore silk painting with this group, but once given the theme, the opportunity for large-scale installation play was too good to resist.
IMG_6053I borrowed a collection of Make Do pieces - a recent discovery for me, which transforms building with boxes from a chase to hold everything together into an opportunity for pure scale and ambition. We took inspiration from the Hayward Gallery's Psycho Buildings exhibition of a few years ago, and decided to take on the workshop space and give our visiting parents and colleagues an experience to remember.IMG_6088

The group worked in pairs and threes to create their own tunnels, arches and chambers, and we spent the last hour of the day bringing all these components together to make one unified experience. The final visit was definitely for small or brave adults and siblings, who in the final chamber were invited to write about their experience and post their thoughts through a post box. To quote one card: "It was absoloutly amazing! Their is nothing better than teamwork. This will be famous soon. LOVED IT!"

4 June 2013

Cut Out Girls

My colleague and friend Carla Bromhead has, for the past year or two, engaged in one of the most quietly successful projects I know. It took me quite a time to realise that she had a little business going outside her day job, until she took some days of work to make a gazillion bags for a Japanese company who had commissioned them. Now, they have partnered with Nomikomu to make a video for their Spring and Summer Collection.

1 June 2013

A Crazy World of Landscapes and Gardens

IMG_5963The continuing good will of my Art Club allowed us to carry out this crowded project in a tiny space. After creating our own 3 dimensional landscapes, we laid them out and painted from them ...