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.

25 June 2014

The Art of Milk Bottle Tops

IMG_6676As I sorted through our accumulated rubbish I found a lot of 'hoardings' that I decided to accept I would never used. Fellow freecyclers were happy to take my cork collections, the marbles and various other bits, but strangely no-one wanted my bag of milk bottle tops! And I just couldn't bring myself to throw away such a rich resource ... IMG_6674
And so began the project to fill our folding screen with assorted memorabilia. I had visions of children turning the beads and bottle tops to make all sorts of patterns, never realising the whole 'sound' potential the thing holds too. Now my mind turns to interactive thoughts for the other windows of the screen ...

18 June 2014

Matisse: The Cut-Outs

Probably unsurprisingly, I was utterly inspired by this Matisse exhibition at the Tate Modern.  The cut-outs have always appealed to me most out of Matisse's work, but I don't think I'd registered the full breadth of themes.  I love the organic motifs that appear again and again, but the pages of his artist-book 'Jazz' offered a whole new world of fantasy and colour that I was less aware of, and a sense of story and narrative.  I even managed to sketch while rocking the buggy with my foot!

Now of course, I'd like to take a week off parenthood and spend my time painting and cutting paper in a carefully selected range of colours!

11 June 2014

Work in Progress

photo 3Since the Autumn, I've been pootling away at a textured, textile playmat for Feets. I knew it wouldn't be ready by the time she arrived ... it wasn't ... but I still find the odd half hour to add a few more rags, and one day it will be finished!

In the meantime, I feel the most enormous joy and satisfaction when children take an interest in it. Kai, at 7 months, was running his hands all over it and Penny at 3 years treated it as a springboard for all sorts of imaginings. Hopefully by the time it's finished, there will still be some mileage in it for Feets!

4 June 2014

Beautiful Books for Children

Having a baby provides me with the perfect excuse to indulge my love of beautiful children's books.  But over the past few years, it's dawned on me that often the books that I find most beautiful are not necessarily the books that children go for themselves.  What I admire is a beautiful and creative visual style, and it seems to me that children often go for more representational imagery - entirely understandable that they are excited by things they can recognise.

Discussing this with a friend the other day we observed as well that characters with big eyes are often the most popular with children - of course, eyes are surely one of the first things they engage with.  So I filled a page of my sketchbook (not worth sharing, I'm afraid!) with creatures with huge eyes ...

Anyway, I thought I'd disregard these thoughts completely and share a few of the gorgeously illustrated (in my, terribly grown up, opinion) books that I come across.  Starting with these two ...

A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna - this is a beautiful book, I could share every page!  I love the distortion of imagery, the mix of drawing and collage, and the wonderful character of the lion who follows through each page.

And I was rather delighted to come across a series of 'Babylit' board books - again, surely more to be appreciated by the grown ups than the children but whyever not?  And since Feets' maternal grandfather is nicknamed Huck, she of course had to get him The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as a gift!