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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.  804.837.3296

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

Prudence Never Shied Away from Outdazzling the Hostess. Needle and wet felted. 20x32

Rose knew when to keep her thoughts to herself. With 3-D nose and moveable hair, mounted on cotton fabric. People's Choice award, Florida CraftArt Members' Show, 2022

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

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

Underestimated. The story of most women over 50. Invisible and underestimated. 21"wx27"h

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

Badass woman with kickin' fro. SOLD.

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

A felted beauty on gorgeous cotton fabric, with 3-D flower. I call her Alice. Those eyes...


But you've asked the same question three times. Live edge. Close-up. No paint. 19"wx28"h. SOLD

An experiment with color on a made up face. SOLD.

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

Laurel Laments Nothing. 15"x15". SOLD.

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

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

Portrait of an adorable bridal couple.

The real them. The felted them.

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

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

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

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

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

Dominica is adorned with a leafy crown. SOLD.

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.