Inspired by the sea: Josie Russell

by Webmaster, 19th June 2018

Textile art by Josie Russell, Gwynedd

Josie was born in South Africa and moved to Wales when she was three. She lives in Dyffryn Nantlle, Gwynedd, with her fiancé Iwan and an assortment of cats and ponies. Josie made art her full time career in January.

ABOVE: Aberaeron

“This piece was very time consuming – each house was done individually, with so many windows, tiles, and other details. Aberaeron’s not a place I know especially well, but I’m always struck by its charm.”



“I made sure to pick a good selection of printed fabric rather than plain – petal edges, circles, and other patterns will always suggest a sense of movement. I usually have to make my landscapes first, and houses separately before joining them together. Apart from the writing and the windows, the hardest thing was keeping the correct perspective, and making the view look as it does in real life, rather than what’s easier to put down on the fabric.”



“This view is actually made up from several different photo references, which I then compiled into one. It’s not exactly how South Stack appears in real life, but I’m glad it’s recognisable. The shape of the walling was very difficult – the fabric pieces were very thin and delicate, and it was hard work to align them on the fabric without them skewering or ripping. I was very, very glad to finish it!”



“I really enjoy producing animal pictures, especially wildlife and commissions of people’s pets. I think the eyes and markings are definitely the key to getting the character of the animal across. Animals with interesting markings or more than one colour are usually the easiest to capture. The black and white of the puffin looks so crisp against the background, and the brightly-coloured bill is really eye-catching.”



“I used my normal technique here, but altered colours a little to produce a night-time effect. White houses are especially hard to make, as they always end up looking flat, so I usually have to ‘artificially’ shadow them with a bit of grey fabric to provide structure and stop them looking like blobs. This piece was inspired by the contrast of colours – the stark white of the houses and the lighthouse against a dark sky.”


Scroll down to see more of Josie’s work…


To see more of Josie’s work, and to get in touch, visit her website


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