Arts Spotlight: Dawn Leadbitter

Inspiration strikes artists in very different ways. Their past can take hold and influence what they create while the current surroundings can also be an impact. This all rings true for Doncaster artist Dawn Leadbitter who quite possibly wouldn’t have a love for art today if her ties to pen and paper hadn’t been forged.

Picture an artist who was disruptive at school, who’s teachers gave her pen and paper at school to draw on to keep her occupied. Admits that her grandad used to take her to the betting shop and gave her betting slips to colour in. Who as loved art since an early age and the fact she is dyslexic as only made her art stronger. These are some traits that belong to Dawn Leadbitter and they make her a fantastic woman and a great artist.

574542_340229269414728_1212401716_nDawn likes to find inspiration from every avenue and this is something noticeable in all her work. “Time is a big factor past, present and future.” She has some great paintings and drawings of past icons like Audrey Hepburn, James Dean and Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain. Her present work really hits home in that she draws her, very much loved and cherished, family. “My family have changed how I think and they’re a great impact in my work.” She loves to draw her partner Fran and admits every drawing of her gets better and better. Her work on the future appears to stem from teaching workshops to children, our future. During school holidays Dawn and Fran put on art workshops for children to come and learn something new, and has Dawn pointed out they help her too “the kids actually give me ideas.” At these workshops it’s not just the art that matters. Dawn explained that once the kids made puppets themselves then they put on a show about bullying. “Each kid took a puppet away and had learnt something more.”

551856_211906558913667_703586852_nLeadbitter’s art work itself is quite a broad range and this is great in that she’s created something to please everyone. She has sold a few pieces and done commissions but she gives a few pieces away because of the enjoyment that piece will give the new owner. Just what art should do. She does have an art degree and enjoyed doing it even though she had a clash with a lecturer in her final year. She seems to have learnt from that and does what she wants rather than what someone else thinks she should. Her favourite medium now is plain old pen and paper or pen on canvas (this has quite an amazing effect.) “I like to create pieces that people look at and it triggers memories, makes them think oh I remember that.” Hence why time plays a 269304_326659274105061_1718506565_nvital part in her work. She’s been known to have quite a few sketches and pieces of work on the go, all being extremely different to the rest. “Doing this helps give me a new perspective when I return to them.” Like most artists Dawn has her own unique way of working. She says her style can become obsessive. Each pen drawing can take hours to complete and she sometimes gets that engrossed she can finish a drawing in one sitting. Drawing with ballpoint pens means she’s become a master in experimenting with pens finding cheap ones work the best for her work. By sheer accident Dawn found that the drawings she’s done on canvas have a pretty cool weathered effect when left in the sun… I’ll call it the Dawn effect.

581392_354318184672503_814178327_nEven though pen is her preferred medium she does paint quite a lot and this brings out a different effect, one which is still beautiful, detailed and interesting to look at.

She shows all types of her work at the many exhibitions and is a regular at Pride events, where she gets lots of interest in her work, throughout South Yorkshire. For more details on her upcoming exhibitions, commissions and work please do visit her site at or Facebook:


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