TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List | Ann Dunbar – Embroidery on Paper
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Ann Dunbar – Embroidery on Paper

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Ann Dunbar at award from SAH

Ann Dunbar at award from SAH



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From an early age I loved to draw. My first painting of a horse at the age of thirteen was framed and took pride of place. Both my parents and teachers encouraged my artistic ability and it seemed that an art career was to be my destiny. At eighteen I won first prize at an art competition in London. It convinced me to attend art school as a mature student, (West Surrey College of Art: Bachelors art degree) after qualifying as a teacher of home economics and art. (Teacher’s diploma at Battersea college of Education, now South bank University) The course was intense and as we were encouraged to learn by discovery, my unique style emerged easily. When I left, I wanted to combine my talent as a water colourist and embroiderer together as a unique technique. With persistent research and patience, ten years later, I discovered suitable paper which resisted the weight of stitching and other problems like thread breaking, needle holes and paper warping was resolved. I was hooked and decided to become an artist in my own right, after many years of teaching.


As the years passed my work became more refined and detailed, the texture more dense and vibrant. The alliance of water colour and embroidery was my signature and I was thrilled by the magical effects that the threads gave to the overall finish. Somehow an ordinary water colour became alive with the inclusion of silken stitchery. The direction and depth of them created a three dimensional appearance, almost imitating nature herself.


My aim is to not to simply translate what I see, but to produce a composition observed directly from nature which provokes an emotional response, sometimes it is imaginative re-kindled from a childhood memory or stimulated by dreams. I like to create a sense of serenity, calmness in my pictures, conveying a feeling of wishing to be part of the scene. I love to be able to invite the viewer to immediately connect and experience some emotional response from my work. I work en ‘plein air’ and often visit Normandy, Brittany, Provence or at the park near where I live in France for new subjects. You will notice my passion for wild contrasting textures featured in flowering fields, and forests or harmonious complementary colours which sing and bring out certain moods.


Many people remark that my embroidery on paper has a “Japanese” quality and have never seen such a magical marriage of stitch and paint on paper before. The Orient has always fascinated me. I enjoy studying the traditional, inherent, artistic culture of each country I visit. I particularly relish transcribing my first-hand experience into many sketches and preparatory work. Voyages to Cambodia, Japan, China, Australia and India evoked exotic influences and stronger colour contrasts. The change of palette, pattern and texture required the integration of other mediums such as, felt pen, gold leaf, metallic paints and interference acrylic, to reproduce the exciting surfaces, together with metal thread embroidery on paper. The extraordinary dramatic landscapes I witness afar or closer to home, whether mountain ranges, fields, seascapes, or the unusual textures of the flora, all merit to be captured as everlasting masterpieces.


I have been working as an independent artist for thirty years and I am thrilled how my work is constantly evolving, transforming and being re-invented. I exhibit both nationally and internationally and have to date thirty five awards and diplomas. I am represented by Shoalhaven Fine art gallery NSW, Paola Trevisan and PPart in Italy and a couple of galleries in France. I am always looking for new opportunities to exhibit and create unique pieces by commission. I do not for the moment offer classes.

-Ann Dunbar


on Ann Dunbar – Embroidery on Paper.
  1. |

    Your artistry is really amazing and very beautiful. It seems as though you have fabric rather than paper. I can imagine how long it took to perfect your technique. You must enjoy immense patience. I like your subject matter and find it relaxing to the eye. Keep up your wonderful output.

  2. |

    That’s incredible artwork – I love the blend of embroidery and painting – so creative. Well done on continuing to evolve with your art and putting a smile on other people’s face as well.

  3. |

    Love this! Absolutely stunning!!!!!!

    • |

      Thank you so much Dennis.

  4. |

    Oh my goodness! Your work is stunning! So delicate and lovely and textural and colorful! I could get lost in your paintings/embroideries…

    • |

      Thank you Cait. I appreciate your feedback. I have really enjoyed the journey reaching the results I was aiming for.

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