Donkeys in Algarve, and other pets

Art Gallery

Handsome felt-art paintings by Supriya.

My love for needle felting started when I was given a small angel, made in a Tibetan workshop, as a Christmas gift from my sister. I had never even heard of needle felting. I loved it so much that I wanted to make something so cute myself – and out of wool, a material I like very much.

I bought a book, a set of felting needles and wool – and started off. From angels, I went on to simple animals and then to animal sculptures.

About a year ago, I found two wooden frames covered with linen beside a garbage bin and brought them home. They looked like you could make something out of them. I asked a colleague online if she thought you could felt in these frames – and she absolutely agreed.

This is how I started to create my first wool painting. It’s a painting of typical rock formations and a beach. I just loved it. I liked to draw already as a teen and now I got totally taken by the idea that you could also ‘paint’ in wool.

Supriya Algarve beach

After my Algarve beach scene I went on to donkey portraits. I have a soft spot for donkeys. It was fascinating to start working their features and creating their eyes just by using different shades of grey, brown, white and black.

I do work after photos because this gives me a better idea of the shades and little details. This brought up the idea that you could felt people’s pets, from photos. It was actually a friend who asked me if I could make a wool portrait of her cat!

Supriya Portrait of cat

What I especially like about pet portraits is that wool gives that extra furry texture.
Supriya Dog portraitSupriya Dog portrait

I use felt, canvas and linen as a base for the felting.

Supriya Elephant

The Tuscan hills have a special place in my heart. So at a certain point, for sure I also needed to create a Tuscan scene. This wool painting came to life out of a deep longing and love for this landscape.

Supriya Tuscany

And this is one of my favourites. Did I mention, I adore donkeys?

Supriya Donkey in front of house

Often I take scenes from daily life and just modify them a bit. You won’t see such a scene very often anymore in Portugal, but you still do. Once in a while I see this old man with his mule drawing a cart full of hay. If you watch them carefully, you can see that the mule knows exactly what to do in any situation: how not to lose its load, for example – and that both have been a good team since quite a while. Here is my version of it.

Donkey with cart

After a client requested a picture of edelweiss – and seeing a colleague using pearls that looked like stones – I liked the idea – I integrated a stone in the left lower corner of my felting.

Supriya Edelweiss

And often I let myself be inspired by nature around me.

Supriya Seagull

It’s so much fun to try out new things. Here is my first-time felting on a cushion cover.

Supriya Cushion with cat

Or creating Christmas stockings…

A greeting card with a felted painting.

Supriya Squirrel

Or the lid of a wooden box.

Supriya Horse on wood box

Sometimes felting is also therapeutic. This piece was created on a rainy Sunday, when I was feeling quite low. I started to felt, immersing myself in the colours – different shades of red, orange, yellow, blue – and then the dark pine trees in front. I loved every minute of it and came out feeling so much better.

Supriya Evening landscape

This is one of my more recent wool paintings and most probably the most detailed one. We started this online art show with an Algarve scene, and we finish with one. And yes, with donkeys…
Supriya Man on donkey


Deva Supriya is an artist working with wool, and a bodyworker trained in different techniques.

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