Learn about Downing, Brownie
Viola Edith (Brownie) Downing, author, artist, illustrator and ceramics decorator was born at Manly, Sydney in 1924, and grew up in a home surrounded by bushland, which inspired her to take an interest in drawing from a young age.
She drew children, small animals flowers and trees from her surrounds, and developed an interest in Aboriginal culture from her father.
After leaving school she studied at Sydney Technical Art School and then worked as a commercial artist, drawing children's fashion in the early 1940s.
After World War II she studied at Julian Ashton's art school and became a full time artist selling both originals and prints throughout Australia. Her work extended to designs for Christmas cards, and pottery decoration. One of her enduring legacies is the compelling naïve charm of the Aboriginal characters decorating ceramic items ranging from porcelain dishes and wall plaques to miniature tea sets.
In the 1960s she turned her hand to writing for children, and her first book "Tinka and His Friends", sold 60,000 copies and won The Daily Telegraph Children's Book of the Year Award. more...