Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Win Free Art

It's Open Studios again at Western Avenue this Saturday, May 1, noon to five. To celebrate Spring, the women at Lowell Fiber Studio have joined the Spring Art Thing.

Come visit, pick up a card, and start collecting punches - we'll give you six. Collect 4 more, and you're eligible for the $25 gift certificate. Collect even more, and you might win $50 or even $75, good at any participating artist's studio.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Spring Break at schools throughout the US this week. My daughter, lucky girl, was booked to fly through Zurich to Istanbul and beyond. The best-laid plans don't hold a candle to reality.

I was supposed to drive south to visit my mom and four other wonderful old ladies in my life. Instead we are home, sleeping in, cooking, and catching up. Strange unexpected rest.

It's an education in connectedness. When my sister canceled her reservations to meet us in Lancaster PA, the receptionist said, "But Iceland, that's nowhere near Europe." Then, apparently, she went on-line. "OH! I see the pictures!" And she gave my sister a full refund.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My YouTube Debut

Back at the beginning of April, Quilting Arts' Pokey Bolton and her crew came to visit Lowell Fiber Studio. Here's the video they made: me, doing gelatin printing:

Want to play along? I'm leading a class in thermofax printing at the studio on June 13, and one on gelatin printing later this year. Email me: lbranchd (at) for more information and to reserve a spot.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

TV cameras come to the Studio

The TV spotlight swung to Western Avenue Studios this week. We were featured in the series, Art Colonies, of the local TV magazine, Chronicle. The segment includes footage about the sculptor David Barton, BostonHandmade colleague Liz Smith (did you catch her making Easter eggs on Martha Stewart?) and Ashlee Welz-Smith, a painter down the hall from me.

Today I got to MFA. I look at paintings so differently after a few short weeks of thinking about depth, color, layering. I need to go back by myself and just sit, for a long time.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tea, Swords, and Stitches

I went to the opening of Tea, Swords, and Stitches yesterday at the Brush Gallery. A breath-taking show of contemporary fabric art, reflecting an ancient tradition. They will have several lectures and events during the coming month, including a demonstration of embroidery and a traditional tea ceremony.

Contributing artists are Marlene Housner, Beth Anderson, Christine Cellozzi, Lynne Chantler, Deirdre Grunwald, Cynthia Hughes, Susan Krantz, Ann Lee and Sonja Lee-Austin, Diane Montenegro, Sarah Saulson, Diane Zacaroli Spera, Margot Stage, and Glenn Szegedy.

Worth the trip from anywhere.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Quilt Art Class Coming Up

The artists of Lowell Fiber Studio are offering classes again. First will be Cathy Granese, teaching how to make a miniature wall art quilt. The class will meet at Lowell Fiber Studio on Saturday, April 24, 122 Western Avenue in Lowell, MA. A master quilter, Cathy is an easy-going, generous teacher. She's fun to work with and a fountain of information. All levels are welcome. Bring your curiosity and a sense of play.

We'll start around 10 am and go until 2pm. You can pack a lunch or buy one downstairs at the new Space Cafe.

The class costs $30. Your wall quilt will reflect you. Bring your own materials or buy a kit from Cathy for $5. You would probably like to bring a sharp pair of scissors and a thimble if you use one. We have irons, sewing machine, and a cutting table to share, plus plenty of room to spread out. If you ask nicely, you might even get a crack at our secret supply of beads!

To register, or for more information, contact me at info (at sign) lowellfiberstudio [dot] org.

Please note - unfortunately at this time we are not handicap-accessible. As always, parking is ample and free.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

TV Spotlight

The Chronicle, a local news show, came to film at Western Avenue Studios the other week. Look for us on Wednesday April 14, during their spotlight on Art Colonies.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Paint all day

Week four of 6. Painting is hard, challenging, wonderful, exhausting. "Did you ever make a mess?" the teacher said today. "You know how to draw. Let yourself make a mess."

So I came home, studied an old photo, got out the big brushes, and painted.

What do you want to say? Why do you want to say it? What marks support your message? What color is it? What temperature? How does it taste? Sketch, learn, explore, then put away the drawing, she says.

After dinner, more painting, I hope.