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.

27 September 2016

Charlie's Rocket

20160902_084206 Feets' relentlessly favourite books are Charlie and Lola, a series originally by Lauren Child, corrupted for TV and back into books. On impulse, I bribed Feets home from the playground by suggesting we make Charlie's rocket from 'Whoops but it wasn't me'. As we discussed what to make it with I realised that of course, Feets has no idea what junk modelling is, and is yet to see the potential in a toilet roll tube until she's shown it. So, 'together' we built a rocket, very quickly (I reccommend it - surprisingly lacking in problems!) and with remarkably little mess. Feets decorated it with foil, coloured tape and bubble wrap, while simultaneously making a 'superstructure' from an egg box. DSC_0321 What I hadn't realised was the automatic assumption that the rocket would be used to tell and re-tell the story. No sooner had we finished than I was demanded to make Lola, Charlie and Ellie the elephant, and these cardboard puppets were used by Mr Liam and Feets for play for the rest of the evening. DSC_0330

23 September 2016

Georgia O'Keeffe at the Tate

I joined some friends for the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibition at Tate Modern.  It's interesting to see a life retrospective an artist that you don't know a lot about, while having clear fixed images of their work in your mind, because invariably you are surprised to discover a whole host of work, themes and styles that you hadn't expected, as well as the opportunity to see how someone grows and changes.

In many ways I tended to find that she drew from her immediate surroundings far more than I'd expected, and in the same way that I can imagine doing if I lived in the heart of nature.  So I was most drawn to her landscapes, and to the way she simply responded by trying to capture the light, and towards the end of the exhibition, by the blend of realism and abstraction that found it's way into her work - I often find myself drawn to the abstraction that nature provides, rather than the pure abstraction from an artist's mind.

These are a few of my sketchbook notes ...
I always think of the colours when I think of Georgia O'Keeffe, but actually the composition is stunning - this one especially (Nature's Forms - Gaspe, 1932), and the lines, and the rolling hills.  All like what I've been drawing / thinking about lately.
She's interested in the same things as me - in capturing the light and contrast and colour, and the way mountains, dunes and desert can look so abstract, you don't need to do more to it (Black Place No IV). I get cross when things are just abstract and called 'abstraction', but I love it when things are abstract and the title shows you where it came from.  Like her plane series (Sky Above Clouds IV).  Again, with the Pelvis Bones, I feel like she did something I would do!

19 September 2016

Hub Cap Art

Hub Cap ArtI think it's my love of patterns, but I can't help it - despite my tendency towards 'natural beauty', I find myself fascinated with the seemingly infinite variety of designs in the hub caps on cars. I've had it in mind for a long time to 'collect' the patterns, and have finally gathered a few together in recent weeks. Next steps ... well, I have all sorts of thoughts for how I can use my collection!

12 September 2016

Sensory Play or Temporary Art?!

DSC_0318 DSC_0325I finally gave in and sacrificed my precious, colour-organised button collection to the great cause of toddler creativity. It turned into a joyful, many-levelled exploration, including sorting (I can't yet persuade her to sort according to colour, or really to make careful lines or pictures with them); filling a circle with them, and pouring them over her feet to leave foot prints. I do relish the improving concentration and motor skills of my two year old! DSC_0328

5 September 2016

Wax Resist

FloralI've tended to use oil pastels when looking for a 'resist' for watercolour art - I've always felt the boldness and density of the colours are more effective than wax crayon. But a very quick, spontaneous session with Feets (our first moment together, when we each made our own art!) when we were on holiday showed me that actually, wax crayon works much better. Crayon works consistently, while I find oil pastel a bit erratic - some colours 'resist' better than others.