July 2020 – Flower Month. Beaded Blooms and Dawn Stringer-Ruff.

July 2020 was Flower Month at Window Gallery.

Beaded Blooms

We kicked off Flower Month with the exquisite beaded flowers of Beaded Blooms.

When did you start making art?

Five years ago although I only started to consider it my job 9 months ago when I joined the Hylands Estate Artist Studios.

What inspires you?


What do you do if you’re not inspired?

Go for a walk. Visit a beautiful garden. Spend time in nature.

Where do you practice art?

In my studio at Hylands.

Do you have any connections with the art community in Chelmsford?

I am part of Hyland’s Estate Artist Studios collective. I also have made some lovely artist friends through my eldest son’s school and have created some beautiful collaborative pieces with them.

How often do you create?


What’s the best thing about being an artist?

Helping help others feel better.

Where have you exhibited before?

This will be my first physical exhibition, I am part of Explore Essex virtual Summer of Art.

Do you sell your work? If so, is it difficult to part with it?

I do sell my work. I sold my first commission during lockdown and it was sad to say goodbye because I loved working on it, but it made me so happy to know I had helped someone feel better in these challenging times.


Dawn Stringer-Ruff

We continued Flower Month with the detailed botanical paintings of Dawn Stringer-Ruff.

When did you start making art?

As cliched as this sounds, I have been creating Artwork for as long as I can remember. When I was in school, I always aspired for a career within the Art industry and this led me to study Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Bath Spa University. After my degree, I started to work in Art Education but have kept my practice running alongside this which is something my pupils love to see and hear about!

What sort of art do you create? Has this changed over time?

I create mixed media drawings and paintings that depict the beauty of flowers. Working with liquid acrylics and coloured pencils, I love using bold and metallic pigments. I am inspired by traditional Botanical Art however, I add a contemporary touch through using backgrounds, geometric patterns and sometimes gold leaf.

I adore flowers and this is my main inspiration, however my practice has dramatically changed in recent years. When I was studying at University, I created large scale sculptures and installations using a wide variety of techniques and although I still love this medium my interests have developed over time.

What inspires you?

The natural world inspires my Art. I love visiting Kew Gardens and I even attempt to grow flowers in my garden and use these sources as reference points for my own artwork. I am particularly interested in flowers when they are at various stages of their life cycle, I love drawing them in a state of decay highlighting beauty within things we tend to ignore.

What do you do if you’re not inspired?

When I find myself struggling for inspiration, I always take myself to various Art exhibitions around London and I will often find myself at Kew Gardens. Photography is also a great medium to use to help re-inspire creativity. I will play with composition and lighting to help me push my work forward. Despite this sometimes you just need to take a short break from your practice to be re-inspired or just start to ‘play’ with new art mediums.

Where do you practice art?

I create my work at my home in my studio with my cat who often sits on my lap keeping me company. Sometimes I will draw on site and have been known to take my Art equipment on holiday to the Lake District.

How often do you create?

I create my artwork whenever I can! Colour pencil is a very time-consuming medium, but I always have an artwork on the go. Being in lock-down has allowed me to explore new composition ideas and turn my focus to concentrating on the small details of a flower.

What’s the best thing about being an artist?

I love being an artist and having the ability to express myself and my passions through a visual medium. It is more a way of life rather than something I ‘just do’ however, being an artist does make you an annoying perfectionist, but it gives you creative thinking skills which have become invaluable for my job in education!


You can see more of our past exhibtions here.