Think sugar coated bundles of detail and slight oddness combined to make unpainted paintings that are arresting and uncanny.


I'm Dawn Waters and I paint with fiber. In 2014, a friend taught me the basics of wet felting and I began making wearables. Soon after, I was introduced to the felting needle. I wondered if I could make a fiber portrait with one of these barbed needles. I had never seen a fiber painting, and had not created a portrait in any medium. Needle felting is relatively new, unlike wet felting - it’s like tattooing, but with wool. I kept at it, and finally the likenesses were recognizable and the intended emotions emerged. 


I often include an unexpected element like James Brown’s face as Edvard Munch’s The Scream; my political slant, as in Ruth Bader Ginsburg as Wonder Woman; or a poignant subject, such as the iconic National Geographic Afghan Girl. I used to communicate as a writer, but now I do this through these paintings, making statements or eliciting emotions, whether it’s evoking comments about a political statement, a discussion or mere reflection from an emotive piece, or simply a good laugh. When I started creating these paintings, I made famous faces, but am progressing into a more emotionally-focused direction and creating pieces that combine methods and materials. Much of my work incorporates 3-D wet felted objects such as flowers, a nod to where I began. 


I relish the challenge of bringing a subject to life through fiber and creating work that begs to be touched. I have recently begun painting with paint and mixed media and it’s clear that each medium is informing the other, and I see the possibilities are endless.

Please contact me for commission and exhibition inquiries.  dawnwatersart@gmail.com  804.837.3296

For prints, canvas prints, tote bags, pillows & other products that feature my art, click              CV is here.

This is the Other Fiber Paintings page. To view the Famous Faces paintings, click here.

Felted portrait with kinetic hair (blows in the wind) and 3-D nose, mounted on cotton fabric. At Brenda McMahon Gallery, Gulfport, FL.

Again he said he preferred long hair, so Zoe found the scissors. 21"w x 36"h with 3-D nose.

Is she sad? Pensive? Hard to say. But she's got some mighty blue eyes.

An experiment with color on a made up face. At Brenda McMahon Gallery in Gulfport, FL.

Waiting for the new normal. Felted portrait on fabric background. SOLD.

Florence Wasn't Sold on the Whole Salon Thing. All needle-felted. 17.5"w x 21"h.

Portrait of an adorable bridal couple.

The real them. The felted them.

Needle-felted wool on cotton with hand-stitched silk. 15"x15". At Brenda McMahon Gallery, Gulfport FL. SOLD.

Marina Has No Mailing Address. She's smaller than the other flower ladies but she still packs a punch. 15" x 15"

I don't know who she is. But I dig her. Those chin whiskers are my favorite part.

Olga Was Never a Wallflower. Silken braids and a headdress of wet-felted flowers. 22"w x 30"h. She graced the cover of the Summer 2019 Fiber Art Now magazine. SOLD

Badass woman with kickin' fro.

Olive is Not Amused. Wet-felted flowers adorn the head of this needle-felted beauty. 23"w x 30"h. SOLD

Laurel Laments Nothing. 15"x15".

Vivica Rarely Has to Ask Twice. Felted on cotton fabric. 15" x 15".

Natasha, Not Frida. Felted & hand-stitched on metallic fabric 22" x 30". SOLD.

My first commissioned portrait. Given as a wedding gift. SOLD.

These Shells Would Look Good in the Bathroom. 21"w x 17.5"h.

Dominica is adorned with a leafy crown.

Felted portrait of a friend and her beloved Puffy.

Chico Rodriguez Blevins Waters made of fiber. Not for sale.

This is the Other Fiber Paintings page. To view the Famous Faces paintings, click here.