‘Joy’ original textile artwork



When I think of the squirrel and the hawthorn tree the word ‘joy’ comes to my mind, and this is why I have combined the two in this textile artwork. They are both native to Ireland and represent the wild untameable spirit of our beautiful country. Both the red squirrel and the hawthorn bring joy and happiness to our lives. The squirrel is so lively and bright and is a joy to watch, and the hawthorn puts on an amazing show twice a year – once in the Spring with her beautiful white flowers, and again in the Autumn with a mass of shiny red berries.  Remind yourself of the joy in your life with this beautiful piece of art!  They are part of a collection of four artworks each including a native wild animal and tree; badger, hare, squirrel and stag. The squirrel also features in my christmas card collection this year.


This piece of textile art is created using a technique called ‘free motion embroidery’, or ‘thread painting’. I create an underpainting in acrylics of the animal onto cotton fabric, which I then stitch over using my sewing machine and lots of coloured threads. The textile artwork is then built up through layers of thread, using lights and darks, to create a realistic portrait of the animal. As with all my textile art, I am particularly drawn to the eyes as this is where I feel the animal comes to life. To do this I use many tiny stitches. I then carefully cut around the animal and applique / stitch it to my chosen background. I do the same thing with the trees.


  • Picture size: 8 inch x 8 inch
    Picture with frame: 13 inch x 13 inch
  • Materials: fabric, cotton thread, wooden frame handmade in Ireland

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Dimensions 33.5 × 33.5 cm

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