I grew up in Western Queensland in a corrugated iron hut with a dirt floor. This somehow taught me an affinity with nature – including the flora and flora of Australia. My mother often told me that I would run inside after a shower of rain, yelling, “Mum, look, the grass is smiling.” I spent most of my time outside with my father and my older brother and riding my pony, resulting in my problems with skin cancer throughout my life. I have had lesions removed at regular intervals. I joke that I will never need a face lift as, “I have had one, one bit at a time”.
My love of the beauty of nature evolved into a love of art – first pencil sketching, then when I was able to purchase them, oils. Pastels and water colours followed, and then a few years of painting on silk and cotton fabric. Silk ribbon embroidery followed, and now I am addicted to machine embroidery and digitizing. I still like to paint — but I am doing it now with threads.
As a small child I was taught by my mother to sew on the old treadle sewing machine. By the age of ten, I was making all the family clothing, as bad legs prevented my mother from working the treadle machine. She also taught me to draft my own patterns, which proved helpful when, in my early twenties, I opened and operated a successful bridal and evening wear boutique, while raising three children.
After a few years break, during which I become addicted to quilting, which has continued to this day, my business career reactivated again, but this time in Tourism. This gave me the opportunity to travel the globe. While I loved the scenery and varied cultures of the places I explored, it emphasised how lucky I was to be born into this wonderful country, Australia.
Retiring when my Tourism course was published into text books by McGraw-Hill Australia, I bought a caravan and traveled extensively throughout Australia. As a keen photographer I accumulated a large folder of Australiana which I now delve into for my designs.
Skin cancer still plagues me and I still have many visits to hospital for another piece to be cut out of somewhere. Hopefully, I will not have another major episode that causes more disfigurement of my face. My book ‘Face Values’ (available in my shop) is the result of two major episodes.
Initially I experimented with machine embroidery to embellish my fabric paintings. This evolved into the love of digitizing, and then into the business I now operate. My embroidery designs, although not restricted to, reflect that love of everything Australian. My designs are all my own art, and are well tested before they are released. By close attention to detail, as in my art, all my designs are created as close as possible to nature.
I now live in and enjoy the beautiful city of Brisbane, Australia. I trust you will enjoy my designs as much as I have enjoyed digitizing them for you. Please follow us on social media, join our mailing list where we advise on specials and sales, post your successes and share your comments in REVIEWS.
Upload photos of your successes that have featured a Dawn Johnson Design, and you will receive a discount code to be used on your next order. Do this each time and you will never need to pay full price for a design again.