Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The new OKIDO Body Book (I have two poems in it - here's a bit of FEELINGS below...)
Out April 16th 2012

FEELINGS p.2 by Gabby, illustrations by Alex

Check out Alex's blogspot for more info...
Today's song: Grateful Dead - Unbroken Chain

"Fogiveness is the key to every door"

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Yayoi Kusama exhibition at TateModern
We went to this at the weekend with the middle and youngest. Youngest volunteered to be covered in stickers, a request enthusiastically fulfilled by middle one (although I have to confess to some shamefully conrolling stage-management ..) All very strange and strangely moving. It was art as self-medication, really, by someone obsessively driven to self-express via a whole range of OCD-friendly art forms. But I found it very interesting for all that, and some of it very beautiful indeed. The light installation at the end was mesmerising; sausage furniture not so. Large net paintings exquisite. Youngest really enjoyed it all; middle raced round and went in search of the cafe...Made me think that doing something methodical, repetitive and concentrated was indeed a good balm for the mind (cf tapestry enthusiasm).
Go to Tate  for details...

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

King Creosote and Jon Hopkins - BUBBLE...

 ...and a bumble. Because the colouring seemed right. And becasue so many people like them. Mid-week dipping..

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Wildflowers from a London park in winter
No iron Pride
But soft Humility
& rich veined Hope
Cleft from a
sunny slope.

(from "A Bell" by Clinton Scollard)

This fragment of a poem was on a hand-printed Christmas card from some dear friends. It sits in our kitchen and is read from time to time as a gentle reminder. It seemed right to post it today.

Monday, 20 February 2012

LOVE tapestry

I've only done a little more on the tapestry - it's been half term. I also spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to "embed" music in the images on this site. I just CAN'T do it - my brain simply doesn't get it - can't process the jargon. I was listening to a programme on the radio this morning talking about the "beautiful symetry of equations" - and I DO get that. (I'd also like to add how wonderfully neat and perfect the 9 times table is.)

Thought for the Day: Never send the cakes in first...I believe we've all experienced this at some point in our lives.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Holocene by Bon Iver

HOLOCENE (from the Greek, meaning "entirely recent") by Bon Iver

PS I had forgotten to mention that I bought the Emily Peacock LOVE tapestry kit 4 years ago but I couldn't get my head around it all. Inspired by the utterly fabulous Grayson Perry exhibition at the British Museum, and the purchase of a small Alan Measles tapestry which I hoped would set me on my way (it did) and a firm New Years resolution, I've overcome my fear. And I'm now addicted. And btw, Emily Peacock has been brilliant at answering my emailed questions; her enthusiasm is infectious. 

Friday, 17 February 2012

Gentlemen, we can rebuild him...
Needlwork by Kate.
Words by Oscar Goldman (in character)
Tune of the Day...
Postcards from Italy by Beirut

...and a bit more work on the tapestry.
Once this is finished I'll be designing my own one. Ha-haa!
Noticed that Gavin Turk is doing it..

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Girl with a cat

Girl with a cat
This picture is a mystery. It had been dumped outside a semi-crackhouse on our street (about 5 years ago) and after walking past it a couple of times, I rescued it. There is something Scandanavian and '70s about it - I wish I had some idea of its old art school study..?

Friday, 10 February 2012

LOVE this so much I'm posting it again...

See it -
It's a life-affirming, inspirational and beautiful film.
I'm adding to the earlier post as I don't think I made enough fuss of it before. If you can see it please do - it's magical and extraordinary.

"Back past the pub across the street,
the dog on wheels, the boy on feet"
llustration by Alex Barrow from A Possum's Tail by Gabby Dawnay and Alex Barrow

"What place is best
For a bird to take rest?
A nest in a tree
Is the best place to be..."
(Fragment from HABITATS) 

Friday before half term

Snow outside, battle with oldest about going to school "It's snowing, do I have to go? Come on. Oh you're SO mean, I thought you were nice I can't believe it no one else is going eurgh.." etc etc
It's not even that cold, he admitted as he set off.
Middle one driving me nuts as I receive all the facetime messages from his friends - phone in almost continuous state of bonging. And it's generally from bobajob saying smilyface symbol so not even anything interesting.
Youngest is just heartbreakingly adorable - but she's young. Soon she'll hate me too, soon...

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Long neglected

Back again after about 2 years.
1. inspired by awesome film called Bombay Beach.
2. Battling with new story
3. Still waiting for news on next job...

BACKGROUND information...

My first picture book - called A Possum's Tail - is a collaboration with brilliant illustrator Alex Barrow and came out 6th February 2014. A second book called London Calls! is a whistle-stop tour of London, led by a Pearly grandma and her granddaughter. London Calls! came out on 4th September 2014 and is my second book with Alex Barrow. A Possum's Tail was nominated for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal.
Both books are by Tate Publishing.

Please see my CURRICULUM VITAE for more details & updates.

As well as writing children's books, for children's television and two award-winning children's magazines, I do both private and commercial art commissions, a selection of which you can see here.

The children's shoes are part of an ongoing series of "first shoes", including several cards commissioned by the Almanac Gallery.

Hand-drawn, bespoke invitations, announcements, portraits and menus, such as the examples here are also available upon request..

Any enquiries please email:


I've been a regular contributor to children's art and science magazine OKIDO since 2007. HAPPY 10th BIRTHDAY (WOW) beautiful Okido!

An Okido animated kids tv show, based on characters from the magazine is currently in production with Doodle/Squintopera The original adaptation of the show (co-created/adapted by myself, producer Ceri Barnes and Doodle Productions) was acquired by CBeebies. 52 x 11 minute episodes will be coming to a screen near you soon in 2015.......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .............................
N E W S F L A S H! MESSY GOES TO OKIDO Series TWO is now in production, following a super-successful 52 episode first series!



Cartoon Forum 2011 Okido booklet

Cartoon Forum 2011 Okido booklet
Okido Cartoon Forum 2011

Happy Birthday OKIDO!

Happy Birthday OKIDO!
Okido was 5 years old this issue...the wonderful art and science magazine for kids I've been lucky enough to have worked on for the past - 8 - years now