Passionate about Watercolor

When I first moved to Martha’s Vineyard, Norman Rockwell was alive and well and living in his beloved Stockbridge, Massachusetts home. It occurred to me that I should probably try and go see him; I could picture myself walking up his driveway to shake his hand so clearly that it still seems it might have really happened.  The sensibilities behind his art were so wonderful, and exactly how I felt.  His paintings made me fall in love with his understanding and view of the human heart.  But of course, I never went there, I didn’t want to bother him.   Joe and I have now been to Stockbridge many times, have visited his museum and studio; I picked this stick up from the front yard of his studio to save.  One of my prized possessions.  My Norman Rockwell Stick.  I photographed it where it lives, on my art table, hopefully osmosing genius out into my studio like gamma rays. The paper it’s sitting on is one of the throw-away scraps I use to check colors on my brush and test my pen to make sure it isn’t going to drop a clump of ink on the watercolor I’m working on.  I like to think Norman Rockwell had one of these too. 

So I thought today, I might give you a tour of my watercolor world.  And you don’t have to come all the way to Martha’s Vineyard to do it, I’m only as far away as your computer!   Above, is a photo I took when I was working on the page I did to honor Tasha Tudor — this sweet corgi (hopefully like one of hers) and one of her lovely quotes . . . you’ll find the finished product when you turn your November calendar page over to December in a few months. ♥ I’d never painted a corgi before, but now I would like to stop everything and ONLY paint corgi’s, he was so fun to do; his colors are beautiful, but my favorite is his nose!  Have you noticed that Corgis are like little tea tables?  They have such wide flat backs, they could be like a hassock or an end table. 

After I finish doing a page for a book or calendar, it gets scanned into the computer, which allows me future access to it (another miracle), and the original art goes into these acid-free boxes, and then into this huge old bank safe Joe found for me.  All the original pages for my books, along with everything I’ve ever painted, is stored here.

You know I only started doing watercolors just after I turned thirty?  (You must, by now :-))  Even though I paint almost every day, it’s still a surprise to see my art table covered with paintboxes and brushes and know they’re mine.  I think it’s because I didn’t grow up with them.  Needles, thread, and embroidery hoops make more sense to me than brushes and paint!  Sometimes I walk into the studio early in the morning, before the sun has come up…all quiet, birds singing in the rhododendren outside the window, or in the winter, when I paint to the hum of the furnace, with Girl Kitty on her pillow keeping me company, and a blank piece of paper in front of me, waiting for my brush and that first drop of color, and wonder how this all came about.

This was my first painting.  It was a plant sitting on my kitchen table; I filled a little pot with water, squeezed some watercolors from tubes into a plastic dish I’d bought, sharpened a pencil, sat down in front of it and started drawing.  I really didn’t know what I was doing. I just looked at the plant and tried to put what I saw on the paper.  Everyone was shocked that it looked like a geranium!  I was shocked!  Because it was a geranium!  This was one of those life-changing moments that are sometimes only visible in the rear-view mirror.  One of the reasons I want to encourage people to “just try it” when it comes to watercolor is because I’m sure that this must have been inside me my whole life, and I had no idea.  I doodled just like anyone else, random squiggles; drawings of stick people; not the slightest inclination that there could be more. If this ability could be hiding inside me, it might be inside you. 

My mother put this crayon drawing in my baby book.  I was a star to her no matter what I drew.  Would you have looked at this and thought you should start saving to send the child to art school?  No.  I don’t think so.

What really matters is practice!  In my 7th grade art class, we spent the entire semester drawing our thumbs!  Seriously, that’s what we did, left thumb stuck up in front of me, pencil in right hand; the teacher went over and over it, showing us how to really look at things, the curve, the edge, the shadows, the lines.  I can still draw a good thumb if I want to. That’s what I mean about practice.  If you look at the art in my first book, Heart of the Home, and compare it to later work, like the calendar or the Autumn book, you can see what a big help practice can be.

I’ve always painted the things around me.  Before I moved to the island and began to write books, I did little scenes of flower pots, baskets with apples, bowls of fruit, quilts, straw hats, my old stove, and my kitty; I hung them all over my kitchen, called them “kitchen art,” and gave them away as Christmas presents.  Soon my friends were asking to buy them, giving me confidence to do more and more.  My first painting sold to the outside world in a gallery on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and after that I began to have local art shows.  I took Polaroid’s of the paintings as I did them, which is a good thing, because they’re almost all gone.  I still have a few of my favorites.  These framed apples came with me from California to Martha’s Vineyard and hang in my kitchen now.

I still love using the things around me as my subjects, although you might not know it to look at this — probably a little hard to believe that these “birds” might be “around me.” (BTW, see that real feather lying on the paper? Inspiration!  And I know he’s not a real partridge, I just called him that, he’s actually a made-up bird!)  Here’s a 20 second video I took that explains . . . (they aren’t really my children :-))

I have worked a little from old photos too, especially for my mom.

This one became a greeting card, which I framed for her along with the original photo.

I’m often asked what kind of art supplies I use, so I thought I’d tell you.  These are my brushes, but I almost always use the smallest one, there in the middle.  It’s a # 1 Windsor Newton University Series 233. I was shocked the first time my brush wore out — who knew paintbrushes wore out?! Now I buy them by the fistfuls.

The paint comes from everywhere, including children’s paint boxes.  Actually I love any kind of paint box; Prang and Pelikan have been my favorites. I use watercolor paint tubes, like Holbein, Rowney or Grumbacher, I’m not particular about the brand, I just want as many colors as possible.  This is my collection of reds  and pinks. . . I never met a red paint I didn’t love.  I keep them in separate baskets, by color. To use them, you just squeeze out a little paint, mix it with water and voila!  So easy.

The jar is Daler Rowney Pro White which I use when I make a mistake with the pen; I get it and lots of my other supplies at Blick.  I use two sizes of Rapidograph India ink pens to write with, a refillable Koh-i-noor drafting pencil to draw with, and then, the most important item in my arsenal, the eraser!  A soft white Staedtler.  A metal ruler is important too.

I hope this helps someone out there who might be thinking of giving it a try. Watercolors are one of my dearest passions.  Rarely a day goes by that I don’t paint.  When I heard that song, Raven hair, ruby lips, sparks fly from her fingertips, I said, hey, that’s me.  (Except for the hair and lips and the witchy woman part :-))

I’ve loved lettering forever, always got perfect marks for handwriting!  This quote, one of my favorites, is for the new book I’m working on.

And now, a gift for you, just a reminder . . . This is a painting I did originally for my grandmother; it hung in her kitchen for years. We are giving away a signed and numbered fine-art print we made from the original.  I hope you’re entered for the drawing . . . if you haven’t yet, and you’d like to be, you can read about it by scrolling down a few posts to “Brownie, Quilts and Shutters”  all the information is at the bottom of the post.

I did something new I just finished yesterday, called Home Sweet Home, you’ll find it up in the top Menu if you haven’t already. I hope you enjoyed our walk in watercolor world.  I can’t keep you here all day, I know, but I sure like to try!  xoxo

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203 Responses to Passionate about Watercolor

  1. Nellie says:

    Thank you, Susan, for sharing your creativity with us. My life is much richer because of it. xoxo

  2. Sandi S says:

    Thank you for the inspiration! I want to learn to watercolour paint and your style and story make it seem possible even for me! I’m 51 and am hoping it’s not too late to start! It’s lovely to meet an artist who is open and generous about her work. Thank you!

    Glad you made it through the storm okay. You and your neighbours were in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Sandra Gillanders says:

    Oh thank you, thank you for the information. When I’m not making jewelry I love to get out my watercolors and paper and create something ( not always great, but it’s so relaxing and satisfying). The only thing you left out was the paper type. I’ve read that artists have their favorites, what is yours? Love the Norman Rockwell stick for inspiration. Happy painting! Oh and I think your paintings are masterpieces and very magical. Love the Corgi! Had to jump up and go look at December.

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Sandy! I knew I was forgetting something! I use Bristol Board and D’Arches. Have a great day!

  4. Coni says:

    Hi Susan!

    So glad you’re safe & back to blogging! I’ve been checking in every day to see how you fared.

    I loved this post. It resonated with me for so many reasons:

    My favorite was the little Corgi. I just love them ~ they’re my favorite dog breed.

    Stockbridge is absolutely charming. I visited Norman Rockwell’s home & studio several years ago. So peaceful & beautiful!

    The safe that holds all of your originals … what a treasure trove that is! I’d love to raid it, but I promise not to. Better keep it locked just to be safe (pun intended).

    The picture you drew as a child is so sweet. I save every little drawing, scribble, etc. that my neices and nephews send me in a special little ‘treasure’ box. It’s one of the things I’d be sure to grab if my house were on fire or I had to evacuate for some reason. Pure preciousness!!!

    Thanks for sharing your little corner of the world with us!

    Hope everyone has a great day!

    • Karen P says:

      Coni, my sentiments exactly about the safe! I’m so glad they are safe under lock and key (sort of!)

  5. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Thanks for encouraging the creativity in all of us–whether it be painting, writing, quilting, embroidering, gardening, cooking, etc. ! 🙂

  6. Tara says:

    So inspiring! Just what I needed to get back to my own studio!

  7. Denise says:

    So glad to see that you weathered the storm!

  8. Victoria Miller says:

    So happy and relieved to see your blog today! Every day I visit The Hunger Site (help feed the world and do other good just a click a day!), Expecting Rain, Martha Stewart’s Blog, and your blog. Also Carl Safina, although he doesn’t blog everyday. He’s written a remarkable book, The View from Lazy Point. About nature and what’s happening in the world. I probably rely a bit too much on habit in this, but if any of it goes awry, it just really brings a little cloud. Since you, Martha’s farm, and Carl’s Long Island home are all on the east coast, I was concerned. Today’s blog is an extra-special treat: first, because it’s there, so you folks are alright. Second, because I have watercolors, brushes, paper and other supplies just waiting for me to stop saying, “I think I can” and get on with it. So, your blog today is a great nudge. Also, for Sandi S., I’m 65. It’s still true: Today is the first day of the rest of your life. True at any age.
    Best to you and yours and I’m so glad you all came through unscathed, and my heart goes out to all those who didn’t fare so well. (And all those poor trees!)

    • Jacquelyn W. says:

      Well said Victoria. I’m 64 and retired…getting out my old “stash” of watercolors, etc. All this inspiration is contageous! I’m a work-in-progress but working at it…lol. Susan, thanks so much for the peek at your studio and supplies. A wonderful day to you all.J.

    • Sandi S says:

      Thank you for the lovely encouragement! You girls are just what I need to get started! Look out watercolour world, here I come!

  9. Ann says:

    Thank you so much Susan for this tutorial. I’m going to print it out and put it on my craft table for reference. Many years ago we were stranded in Stockbridge with car trouble and had to spend the day there. Our boys were too small then to appreciate the museum and it would have cost us a fortune to enter anyway, but we said we’d go back some day when they were older. Haven’t done it yet, but it’s going on the bucket list.

  10. Donna Hamilton says:

    Isn’t it a miracle that God-given talents that we didn’t know was in us come to the surface when we least expect it. When we use our talents to brighten humanity, as you do, I think it also honors God. Thanks Susan for brightening our days with your art, and passion for home & family.

  11. Jacqui G says:

    I love lettering too! I am always doing “calligraphy” learned years ago when I was in high school. I still have a large collection of pens and ink cartridges, and I am always addressing envelopes and doing little projects for myself, friends and family members. Sometimes it seems like a lost art with all the computer fonts at everyone’s finger tips. But I think there is nothing more charming then a bit of calligraphy done the old-fashioned way. I would someday like to try my hand at painting. You are so inspiring…and you take me miles away from my desk at work at lunchtime.
    Your Girlfriend,

  12. Joy Hall says:

    What a delight to read this post. Susan, you have been such an inspiration to me in my own artistic career. Your attention to the tiniest details, the way you bring everyday objects to life (my favorite being your baskets and apples…love LOVE them), your AMAZING hand lettering and the talent you have for bringing all of this elements together to make a page come to life.

    You indeed have been blessed with talent and you in turn, have blessed us by sharing it.

  13. Dana B says:

    Hi Susan,
    It’s a little ironic that moments ago, I rec’d my Autumn Book and Girlfriends Forever on my front doorstep….I have been waiting patiently and today they arrived! Anyway, I anxiously opened the box and gasped, I’m serious! I am a relatively new Susan Branch “groupie” and up until this point the only book I have had was the LOVE Book that my oldest sister and late Brother-in-law gave me for Christmas in 1994, a couple years before I was married.:) I have cherished my sweet little SB book over the years and several months ago when I was looking through it I thought to myself, ” I wonder if SB has a website?” Needless to say you had more than I ever expected and once the blog got rolling, I along with my Mom and 4 sisters are a giddy group of SB “groupies” at every family get together talking all about wonderful, talented , AMAZING you! Well, I know this post is running long but, back to the opening of the box….I gasped because how beautiful the books are and I thought at that moment how did SB become so talented with watercolor, conveying her thoughts to paper, and being REAL. Well, I come down to check FOSB and you had already answered my questions with todays post….I gasped again, lol! I can’t wait to get my sweet girls tucked in tonight so I can completely absorb and enjoy each page of my new books cover to cover during my nightly quiet time….I can’t wait!!!!! Take Care!

  14. Karen says:

    Thank you for sharing your encouraging words today. I love your blog and am constantly inspired by your creativity. You never cease to put a smile on my face. Hope that your day is filled with joy!

  15. Gigi says:

    I love reading your blog Susan — it’s always pretty, always positive, and always encouraging. I just got a book in the mail about the power of words — truly mightier than the sword, arent’ they ;). And I love that you use yours to put so much goodness and loveliness out into the world — heaven knows, we need it!


  16. karen saunders says:

    Hi Susan. I have to say, (for me), this is the most FAVORITE thing you’ve ever done….. since I am an artist too. I’ve already told you, as I’ve followed your books and everything you’ve done, what a wonderful artist you have become. I must add that even tho you encourage practice, you have within you that special something that sets you apart. A real talent, sense of style, not to mention what a gifted writer you are. Do you know that? Anyway, I see it. Good job in your life.

    • sbranch says:

      Still learning! Thank you!

      • dottie says:

        And in that seemingly slight phrase lies your best talent and biggest inspiration for us all — keep learning. Keep learning enfolds all the best and most positvie things which you p ut forth — look within for your talents and do those you love to do, seek the positive in all, explore life and the world — small to large, look and pay attention to the details. This blog post is the icing on what has been an unfolding “recipe” urging me to pull out my paints and get busy again. And my pens. I’m almost there — I have things all in one room now. Ready, set, explore! Love the blog, website, and all you have done and do. Dottie

  17. Jenny L. says:

    I just love everything you do. I am going to scroll down and see about winning that picture. I have a bowl just like the one in the painting and I love the other colors, especially all the green. Thanks for making my day every time you post.

  18. barb brodkorb says:

    Well that was fun, love your art and blog

  19. Patti says:

    thank you so much for all your inspiration. i have always been a big fan.
    i have recently discovered watercolors and am enjoying learning and practicing. i always want to know what others use for their art. thanks for sharing.
    i do have one question about your blog, i have signed up to get Willard and have only gotten it one time. i see you have sent out another. sure don’t want to miss it.
    any suggestion?

  20. Sheryle Towle says:

    Thank you for your walk today! I enjoyed every step!

  21. Martha Ellen says:

    Susan I have followed you for many years and have found you to be so inspiring and down to earth. Your blog today reminds me so much of my own sister Susan. She was a wonderful folk artist and loved to make art from whatever she gathered at the beach. Her cottage is filled with her art. She has gifted many items to her friends and loved ones. If anyone said that they wished they had her talent, she always replied with “you gots to wants it.” My dear sister passed away recently with pancreatic cancer. I miss her so much but will never forget her passion and love!

    • sbranch says:

      Martha I’m so sorry…what a loss. Thank you for the comparison, I’m touched and honored. xoxo

  22. Gert says:

    Oh Susan…thank you so much for this lovely tour through your water color world! You are just so talented…I just am always amazed by it!! Funny..I tried my hand at drawing when my kids were little. Then of course…life happened and never persued it! smile… The one water color I did of my daughter, I had framed and gave to her for her birthday one year…

    My drawings were never as lovely as yours….you are gifted!!

    xoxo Gert

  23. Jeannie M from NC says:

    Oh Susan, you are so funny! Love your little family of bird friends! The corgi is so cute. A tea table??? Love your inspiration to others. I tried watercoloring in 2007 when I was on a tidepool tour in Laguna Beach, (my home town), when I was out there visiting my Brother, I tried to do what the sweet girl was saying but it was hard! My hands shake miserably now that I am older and wear purple (pun), we traced shells and then painted them, and one page was a shore and ocean scene, what I wanted was not how it came out! It looks more like a stormy day! But now with your incouragement maybe I’ll drag out those water colores and try again! Thanks Susan, and so glad you and Joe and MV were spared the distruction that Irene caused elsewhere!
    Love, xoxo

  24. Kimi says:

    Hi Susan

    Thank you for taking us along in the world of Susan Branch. I love how you bring us in to the very room where you do your art! I almost saw it in my minds eye without looking at the picture you take us there! Yes Tasha love Corgis they were everything to her, and they are a great dog too. Susan sometimes we go threw our whole life learning new things so if you were in your 30s when started till now how wonderful it is to say I did it and I love it. Ps it was in you all along and you found it and will continue to grow!!! and I’LL watch from here just a computer away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Debbie Johnson says:

    Hi Susan! Thank you for this blog about watercoloring. Have always wanted to give it a try. Do you erase the pencil drawing after you paint or is it covered up with paint? Have you tried the kneedable eraser?
    Love, love, love you and your beautiful work.
    You are my Norman.
    Thank you!!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I erase the pencil — no, haven’t heard of kneedable. Thank you for the Norman thought!

      • Debbie Johnson says:

        I like to draw and I use this. You knead it like at little piece of clay. It works great without making any mess.

      • Jen says:

        You erase *everything*? Even all of your letters? Isn’t that tedious and time-consuming?

        • sbranch says:

          I write everything in pencil first, then I go over it in pen. I draw the lines on the paper too. There are parts of it that can be time-consuming. But for some reason, it’s my cup of tea.

          • Janie O says:

            I have a friend that watercolors and she gave me a kneadable eraser to use while she was showing me some basics. It was one of the most amazing tools I have ever used, because it did not leave shavings of rubber everywhere and it is gentle on the paper. Plus it is just fun to squish! I hope you try one!

          • Lisa Nelson-Jones says:

            Thank you for sharing your art and artistic ways with us…I was curious, how do you make your letters… I mean, do you use a flat pencil or tape two together? I am just SOOO in love with your beautiful lettering!

          • sbranch says:

            I just draw them with a regular (mechanical) pencil. Not sure what a flat pencil is. Thank you!

  26. Linda Pintarell says:

    Wonderful blog today. Thank you for sharing and for giving us inspiration!

  27. You were an artist as a child! WOW! My son is an artist and I’ve saved his little drawings, too! They mean the world to us Moms! I love your art and your lettering is so distinctive! What joy you bring to our every day lives! Thanks for sharing some of your ‘secrets’, too! ♥ I wonder if you dream in color! ♥

  28. Elizabeth says:

    Thank-you! I know it takes time out of your busy schedule to share your thoughts and photos with us but I and all your other fans enjoy your postings so very much……

  29. Sandra says:

    Thank you for such an inspirational post; it’s a keeper…to be printed off and re-read often. The only art teacher I ever had told me, “don’t bother. you have no talent whatsoever!” And, for decades I listened to her until I got tired of her in my head and gave her the ole shove off. With the help of my Very Artistic BFF Sandra, I bought watercolor pencils, eraser, little brush that has a water reservoir so it can be used on an aeroplane and a few other supplies. This little art kit travels with me to be put into use whilst keeping my personalized travel journal. Like the crayon drawing of your earlier days, my talent is still, mostly, hidden but OH! the fun I have trying. And, I’ve been told, practice makes perfect -smile-.

    Thanks for such an inspirational post; you’re a gem!

  30. Shelia says:

    Hi Susan! I only discovered yesterday that you had a blog! How exciting! I’ve been a fan for many years! I remember many years ago when you had a lovely painted page with a recipe in a country decorating magazine – can’t remember the name now. I’ve used your line of scrapbooking embellishments, have some of your sweet little books and even have the recipe keeper notebook in my kitchen!
    You’re so talented and your art and lettering has such heart! I’m so glad I’ve found your lovely blog. God bless you.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  31. Karen P says:

    Susan, I am sooooo impressed by your very first watercolor artwork, the geranium! My goodness, girl, that “gift” must have been just inside you waiting to explode out! So talented you are. Of all painting, I love watercolor the best. Have wished I had the talent but really can’t say I’ve ever given it a try (fear of failure, I guess). That painting of the Corgi is beyond precious! Tasha would have loved it! Thank you for being so generous and sharing your tips and techniques!

  32. Lin says:

    What a lovely look into your life and loves, Susan! It truly brought tears to my eyes!

  33. Jennie says:

    It’s a good thing that you can never know the real extent of what your encouragement can do for others- it would probably knock you sideways and give you a concussion! 😉
    I started to watercolor (at thirty) when I read about you starting in your Summer book. I had assumed that you had always painted, gone to art school, all that. You changed my perspective! My first picture was not nearly as good as yours, but when I framed it for my Grammie, she loved it any way and it sits proudly in her livingroom. (family is good like that) That was a few years ago and I still enjoy it, but with homeschooling two kids the time has been rare. The peace and satisfaction I feel painting is like nothing else- I dream of having the time and space some day to play, play away!
    Thanks for sharing your materials with us. Seeing them gives me the same ‘excitment shakes’ I get whenever I walk in to an art store. With all those possibilities crowded in around me, I get so wound up, that I have to go back out and remind myself to BREATHE!

  34. Amy Woods says:

    I think there is something magical about painting geraniums. They are still and red and very patient flowers – I painted one many years that hooked me into watercolors and I think it’s so fabulous to know that you were enticed by the geranium too. Yippy!!!

  35. Sarah says:


    I love the painting of the little Corgi! A “tea table,” indeed. How veddy, veddy English. 🙂 They are one of my daughter’s favorite dogs. You may already know this, but since you love Corgis AND fairies, did you know that some Pembroke Corgis have a “fairy saddle” on their backs? It’s that little patch of white fur that wraps around their shoulders. It looks EXACTLY like where a tiny fairy would saddle up and go for a ride, setting up scenery ahead of you to discover! 🙂


  36. Carolyn Ann says:

    I have always loved your beautiful hand-painted cook books. They are amazing and are just too special for words. I never knew you had local art shows or sold a painting on Rodeo Drive…and yet are not above speaking to us…just teasing!This was a very interesting blog. One of my dreams is to visit Stockbridge to see the Norman Rockwell Museum. I really, truly love his art and how it captures our American culture and our everyday living. I would also love to drive around the Berkshires. I suppose you have. Are there lots of little shops, galleries, restaurants to visit? Thanks once again for a great blog.

    • sbranch says:

      We’ve explored this area quite a bit . . . all so charming and historical. Stockbridge is beautiful, but crowded these days because of Norman Rockwell.

  37. Mary S. says:

    Thank you soooo much for sharing this with us!! I love watercolor paintings – your’s are my favorites!! And, as usual, you make me LOL!!

  38. tina says:

    Thank you so much for the peek into your watercolor world! I was bitten this summer by the watercolor bug and absolutely love the process, well everything about it. I paint at least a little something daily and wonder why I have missed out on this joy before now!!! I enjoyed seeing your paints and brushes and etcetera-etceteras, I love to enjoy the toys of others!

  39. Sherrill Kerbaugh says:

    Susan…ideas are flying around inside my head as always. 🙂 Since I am a
    genealogist, my creative thoughts intertwine with all the names, dates and places
    of my family, my husband’s family, and all the many families of people I’ve gotten
    started on their own genealogy. I love my creative gene as much as my active
    sleuth gene! I am NEVER bored being retired! HA! Your Willards and this blog
    help me focus on the creative gene…well, at least they make a great attempt at it!

  40. gerri michaels says:

    I loved your watercolor page Susan. I just started taking watercolor painting classes 5 weeks ago at age 62! I LOVE drawing and painting and wish I’d tried it many years ago. Keep up the beautiful, inspiring work.

  41. Hi Susan, I loved this post, so thanks for taking me to your studio and showing me how you do what you do, and the supplies that you use. I like to sketch and then I use colored pencil to add color. I also like to paint, but I rarely do, although I had always planned on being an art teacher since I was in first grade and had the most wonderful art teacher in the world. Art was so much fun, and that is what I thought I would grow up to be. Since that didn’t happen in the strict sense, I plan to get more into creating with a paint brush, and have already bought canvases that are sitting waiting on me. And I know what I want to paint too…so I just will have to get to it. You are inspiration, simply put.

  42. dawn says:

    By far my favorite blog post!!!
    Thank you so much for a look into your creative world.
    I love seeing how you work!
    Your corgi is so wonderful, Tasha would have LOVED it.
    I’m always wondering when you and Joe will finally get a dog…….?? You’d be such perfect doggy parents!

    Glad you are faring well after the storm!

    Happy September!!!! (The golden month is finally here!)


    • sbranch says:

      I would love to have a dog, but feel too guilty about the time I’m away . . . hard enough to leave Kitty, would probably kill me to leave a dog! The eyes get me every time. But I keep a box of dog biscuits here and my friends know they shouldn’t come without their dog.

      • Sarah says:

        Leaving a dog is a KILLER. Our dogs get all sad if we even pull out a suitcase. They pout the entire time we are packing. They were so funny when my daughter and I were packing to go to the beach in Delaware a couple of weeks ago. We had to keep laughing at them sulking, because WE knew they were coming WITH us! 🙂 They were so silly and funny the next morning when we motioned for them to get into the car!

        Besides, cats are way more self-sufficient when you leave them. Potty facilities and food, and they’re good. Dogs have to have that “human component.” I know you love cats so I won’t make any disparaging remarks, but have you heard that saying that “Dogs have a family, but cats have a staff?” 🙂 I don’t have anything against cats, I just love my doggies. 🙂

  43. Kelly J. says:

    Hi Susan, I’ve been a fan of your books for years and was thrilled to find two of your out-of-print titles on Amazon this morning….they are on their way 🙂 I was especially happy to find another copy of Christmas Memories. My current copy has only one year left in it, and I really look forward to putting that all together during Christmas week. Your blog is a great way to start my day; I’ve made it part of my ‘morning readings’ before the rest of the day takes over and gets away from me! Any chance you will be making an Autumn bookmark to download? I think that adorable little owl would look perfect peeking out of the top of a favorite book…..Thanks for sharing your work & heart & home. It really makes my day!~Kelly

  44. Lori March says:

    Thank you for your kind words about Norman Rockwell. I too visited the museum in the late 1980’s. What is memorable for me about that visit was seeing his painting, “The Problem we all Live with.” The pictures of it do not do it justice and I was lucky to see it in person while on display during my visit. The emotion he stirred with that painting and the historical content associated with it moved me to tears. Now the painting is on display in the White House. His work speaks to the human heart….as does your Susan. Thank you for sharing. See:

  45. Andi M says:

    Every artist has a certain identifiable style, that’s a good thing. I love it when I am book shopping and I can identify the illustrator without reading the name on the cover. However, when I started your blog and the Corgi came up my eyes popped open a little wider, wow! That is also a good thing. I think you must feel it too, when you look at the Corgi, something more is going on there in your work. All good! I have my own little artist story too, but it won’t matter if I don’t do something about it. Thank you for all the information. I don’t have the funds to be buying the wrong materials. Please stay positive and enjoy your upcoming train trip out west.

  46. Deb says:

    Susan, todays Blog touched my heart. Just the other day my Mom, now almost 91 was telling me how she still looks at the painting I did at a very young age, of an old fishing village in new England. The fishing shacks and seagulls…..and a beached fishing boat. The painting hangs on the wall in Mom and Dads bedroom, signed with the signature of a child……. and I always loved that Mom and Dad cherished it. For me having the painting in their bedroom was like a part of me was with them, no matter where I was over the years.

    I have loved “color” and everything art…all my life. I have a ladder shelf in my office, filled with art books and sketch pads, kohl and colored pencils, my paints and tools. But,it has been a very long time since I took any of them off my shelf. Life has been so busy……and there has not been alot of time….for the creative me. But sitting on that shelf like old friends are my supplies; and I have always felt a sense of comfort knowing they were there……waiting for me to pick them up………and begin again.

    I have followed your work for many years, and have enjoyed your website and love your Blog. It is a treat to click on….and read the next Susan adventure.
    I have always wondered if you hand lettered and painted every object on each page of your books. Today, I got the answer……a peek into the creative process you use…….and it really inspired me…….to look at things a bit differently… start with one treasured item…and begin to sketch again.
    Thank you so much for lighting that spark for me again.

    Next week, I go to visit my Mom…..and I will tell her about your Blog, and especially this one…… I will take my sketch pad and my drawing pencils with me. I think my first project will be an updated version of that old fishing village, hanging on her bedroom wall. Mom will be excited……..and I am inspired.
    Many thanks……Susan… touched a heart today!

  47. deezie says:

    Susan, that was so much fun. Almost seemed like I was there in your studio on that wonderful tour of your watercolors
    I love watercolors, I am intimadated by shadowing. I am most certain I couldn’t do it. I wish I could paint as beautiful as you do
    OH and how I love Tasha Tudor!! and her corgi’s.
    Thanks for sharing such an important part of your life. We all so enjoy it
    happy day Susan

  48. Carrie P. says:

    I so enjoyed seeing your watercolors. I have always wanted to learn how to paint with watercolors. I have tried a little on my own but that is as far as it goes.

  49. Teresa Nance says:

    Susan, you have out done yourself again. I am a new follower of your blog, and I am so happy I found you! I love reading your blogs and learning about your life at Martha’s Vineyard. I love your home and the picture of the harbor you posted earlier. I am so thankful you and your family are okay and hope you didn’t have any damage from Irene. You are such a talented, gifted woman. God has really blessed you with talent. I have always wanted to paint, but I can not. I have tried, bought books, have taken a short-lived class, but to no avail. I have started quilting hoping I can create works of art eventually with cloth.

    May God richly bless you,

  50. Rosemary Etrych says:

    Your “first painting” makes a most lovely desktop picture!!

  51. CarolK says:

    You just keep on inspiring me with each blog you write. I’ve been buying your older books as quick as I’m finding them and reading them from front to back. First for the artwork then the inspiring words and then for the recipes. I’m thinking, I’ve GOT to make the time to try my hand at watercolors. I used to oil paint a lot in my younger days because I had an art teacher in high school who got me all fired up about oil painting. Now you are getting me all fired up about watercolors and I have to dig through my craft drawers and pull out that tin of water colors and my brushes to see what happens. If you keep that up, I would have enough time left in the day to do all the other things this house of mine cries out to be done. LOL Love you kiddo, keep the inspiration flames fanned.

  52. Country Gal says:

    Beautiful work you do ! The only paint I do is paint by numbers, I used to sketch when I was younger but now my hands shake to much ! I love your art and colors ! A true talent you have ! Cant wait to see more ! Have a wonderful eve !

  53. Laura Croyle says:

    It’s so great of you to offer encouragement to anyone who’s ever thought about drawing or painting. I have a dear friend who loves to draw and dabble in watercolors, but doesn’t think she’s that good. I passed on your Willards to her and recommended your website. Now she is signed up too. Hopefully she’ll read this blogpost and get lots more encouragement! As for me, I can hardly draw a stick figure, but I love photography and scrapbooking, so I’ll stick to those.

  54. Tracu says:

    This was such an inspiring post. I love all of your books and you have long been an inspiration to me. Thanks for encouraging all of us to be creative!

  55. Patsy says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful experience with watercolors. I’ve always thought I’d love to take a watercolor class, but just don’t seem to get around to it. I’ve been wondering how you, Joe, and your neighbors fared from Irene’s wrath. Are all dry and doing well? Certainly hope so.

  56. joan says:

    I about died when I saw your picture with the corgi! I have two footstools, I mean corgis, and I would totally support you if you wander off into the world of only painting corgis. It’s a wonderful world, full of floppy tongues and wiggly bottoms.

  57. Susan, I enjoyed reading your watercolor journey! I am obsessively creative, myself And that of others! I really loved learning what you like using to create your artwork and how you store your originals. So interesting. I am so thankful you made it through the hurricane! Enjoy your day! Twyla

  58. Jen says:

    How cool that you discovered your gift later in life. So inspiring! Sometimes I feel like if you didn’t start young, you’ll never be any good and therefore why bother. Horrible, isn’t it?! But you are living proof of the opposite. I’m excited to read this because I’m getting ready to embark on a new school year with my two young girls (we homeschool) and have no artistic talents and never know where to begin when I go to gather art supplies for them. I’m not a fan of cheap supplies for kids – I think it sends an undesirable message to them that they can’t handle and don’t deserve nice things. Off to the art supply store! You’re so talented, Susan!

  59. I especially love the rabbit with the 3 children. Are you the baby, by chance, in the rabbit’s lap? I cut your recipe pages out of Country Living magazine back in the 1980’s and created my own “cookbook” before I even knew anything about you. I just loved the beautiful watercolors so collected them in a 3-ring binder. Imagine my surprise when I later discovered your first cookbook and I realized I already had a collection of your recipes! Which came first? The magazine recipes or your book? My oldest clippings aren’t dated.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m the girl on the right (hair in braids). First came my book and then came Country Living! Nice to talk to you Cathy!

  60. Dee Van Ingen says:

    You’re a TRUE blessing in disguise!!! Do you believe a 60+ year old could learn to do water color?!?!?! Used to oil paint then the oil, turpentine, etc. smells began to give me fits! Gave that up and went to acrylic – NOT the same as the fluidity of oils!

  61. Regina says:

    So glad to see your blog today. I’ve been checking it everyday, like so many others, hoping you were okay. Like everyone else, we have so much in common and just the other day I was wondering if you enjoyed Norman Rockwell’s painting because it just seemed fitting that you would. I have a collection of his mugs and some of his plates and have always enjoyed his paintings. Then, lo and behold, you write about him today! What a coincidence! Really enjoyed today’s blog, remindind us that it’s never to late to follow our dreams.

  62. glynys says:

    loved your corgi painting – they really are the best dogs ever. i’ve had two – annie and now hazel and they are completely charming and sooo british (which i know you love). if you ever decide to get a dog this breed would be the one for you. thanks for sharing your life with us – the blog is what i need at the end of a crazy day:)

  63. Barbara says:

    I love all of your watercolor paintings! I recently took a watercolor class and even though I had never painted anything before I loved it. I don’t think I did too badly either. I know it’s going to be something special to me.

  64. Linda Ishmael says:

    Love your watercolor of the corgi!! It is a spitting image of my corgi, Tee Tucker. We absolutely love him to death and I would share a photo if I was computer savvy. I love the blog and am now able to keep up with all your island excitement. Enjoy your train ride! I am truly jealous as this is something I have always wanted to do. It is on the bucket list.

  65. Paula B. says:

    Lovely, such words of wisdom. I may never take up painting with watercolors but I think all the words in today’s post could be easily exchanged for encouragement in any venture one may embark on. I go back to restart my teaching career tomorrow, my lifelong dream, and your words tonight have been “heaven sent”. Thank you, as always, for the inspiring thoughts.

  66. Pat says:

    I love your blogs. Maybe it is time for me to buy some watercolors again. I haven’t painted in years.

  67. Funny thing ~ I have been thinking about trying watercolor for some time now. I have great admiration for your work and have collected all your books. They’re like visiting a good friend each time you open one. Anyway, I actually purchased some watercolor paints, brushes, and paper this last week. And… you post this tutorial ~ perfect timing. Thank you!

  68. CAROL O. says:

    Hello Susan….

    Wow..I also love Norman Rockwell…and your stuff…your prints, your watercolor..all of it has always reminded me of Him….I have been to the Museum…and to Stockbridge….2 times…both times…could not come across to Marthas Vineyard….unfortunately….thank you for this blog…and you have such talent…from the minute I discovered you….many years ago…and have met you 2 times…and so far you have signed all my books…again this was a fascinating blog today…loved it….
    Susan…I have had trouble, and so far have not been able to enter into the drawing…even with all your info….I would love to be entered….and not sure why..
    thanks so much….
    Carol O in California…..

  69. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Hello Sweet Sue….I’m Glad You Made it throught that Horrible Hurriccane IRENE.(I kept You In My Prayers)..ok…guess what Happened to Herbster & Me???? This Past Saturday…as The Storm was Destroying The East Coast….We Ended Up with 5 Hours of Insane Rain & Winds & Lightening!!!! & around 3:00 pm BAM POW BANG our House was Struck By a Huge Lightening Bolt…the Power went OUT!….then Came On…& Guess what? it took out The DSL Box to the Internet & Fried MY COMPUTER!!! :*( omgggggggggggggggggggggggggg Gone ……Over 5 Years of My Life On that Thing!!!! Poof! GONE….(WE also got 7 INCHES of Rain!)….it was Crazy…anyway….Herbster & I waited the last 4 days for a New DSL Box…& Poof! we are Back Online Hooray…alas not on My Computer….:*( lol Poor Me….Herbster has His Very Own Laptop set up in his little office & I had Mine A Desk Top set up in My Little office & Now I don’t have a Computer But Herbster also had a very old laptop…that is a bit Tempermental but I am Using it now until I can Get a New Computer….ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh I am Wiped out…lol…so Sweet Sue I need to catch up on all Your Blogs….fly to tTwitterville & Facebook….& let all my Friends Know I’m OK…let me know Your Read this Sweet Sue…ok?….& Hello to Everyone….Yikes! there’s always Something…lol…I Love You Sweet Sue Hugzzz to You & Joe & Kitty My Wings are still drying out from that crazy Irene! lol Bye Bye August & We Welcome in Sweet September! Yay! xoxo Angie(Tink!) Poof!

    • Lesley says:

      Angie, I can tell that you are a fun person. I love reading what you write too.

      • Victoria Miller says:

        How terrible for you to have to go through that horrible storm and have your home hit by lightening. But losing everything on your computer — you so have my sympathy. My computer crashed a few weeks ago, and I was desolate. Fortunately, I had a backup, but right now everything is floating in cyberspace and a friend has given me a loaner until I figure out what to do next. Remember, the important thing is you are here and you are fine and once you’ve built an empire, you can build it again! But it is a terrible loss, and I hope you recover and get a new computer soon.

        • Angie(Tink!) says:

          Hello Victoria… Love that about “Building an Empire” On Our Computers…it’s so very True…I Think I’m still in Shock & the last few nights as I Drift Off I Remember all the things that I had in that Computer Photos…Art-work…all kinds of Cyber-Space Treasures…..C’est La Vie….Eventually when I do get another Computer…it will be a New Blank “Page” to Begin again & Create! Like Susan Beginning a New Page in Her New Book!( A Clean Canvas….all those Possibilites!) We Must Always Count Our Blessings! Thank You for Your very Kind Words! xoxo Poof!

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        Thanks so Much Lesley…Our Beloved Susan’s Blog Keeps all us “Kindred-Spirits” Truly Connected….Amen! xoxo Poof!

  70. Pat K says:

    Have been an admirer of your work for many years. My sister-in-law gave me
    your book Heart of the Home as a Christmas present, and I was hooked.
    Being a Cape Cod vacationer I can so relate thanks for so many wonderful
    watercolors and recipes.

  71. Susan, this might be my favorite post of yours (and that’s saying something!) I started painting with watercolors when I was 40. I’d never painted anything before. Another mom and I asked if we could sit in on the 8th grade watercolor elective class at our kid’s school. Who knew it would change my life? I now do custom pet portraits and every time I look at something I painted I think, “Who knew I could do that?????” Thanks for the inspiration. You’re lovely!

  72. Shirley Poe says:

    I love your artwork and have most of your books. I adopted my first corgi (Tasha) in 1996 and lost her in 2008. I adopted Meggie in 2009 so I had bought Corgi calendars for many years – but decided to purchase your 2011 calendar as all of the corgi calendars were beginning to look alike. When your calendar arrived I felt kind of sad that it wasn’t a corgi calendar – until I turned to the December page and there was the most beautiful picture of a corgi!! I will frame it later. I collect Tasha Tudor books and prints so the page was very special!

  73. Heather says:

    Your Corgi painting is SO adorable and just made me smile!! I wish I had your gift!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful paintings!!

  74. Barb :0) says:

    I am SO happy to have found your blog :0)
    I can hardly wait to make the chocolate sauce …. and neither can my husband !!!
    I LOVED the Easter picture and your card frame together …. what a lovely gift !!!!
    Thank You so much for being you :0)

  75. Kirsten Wichert says:

    Oh, Susan! You certainly could keep me here all day. Your blog is so great! I can’t wait to read it……..I also can’t wait for the new book. Meanwhile, I’ll just reread what I’ve got. I haven’t painted in years. I thought I was finished until this blog. So, when I leave my paints out I’ll just blame you! O.K.?

  76. Karen P. says:

    I keep coming back to this blog today. So much rich inspiration. I forgot to mention how much I adore the paintings of your “children.” Do you plan to have them in anything upcoming or are they already in a book someplace?

  77. Beth says:

    I love Tasha Tudor. Did you ever watch her films “Take Joy” and “Take Peace”. They are just wonderful. She live an amazing life.

  78. Jeanette says:

    Susan, Thanks so much for the vicarious trip into your watercolor world! It is most inspiring, just like everything you post and create. I have a little mantra, the quote: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been”. Amen to that! I’m always willing to experiment and play while creating, why not? Sometimes your “oops” are the best experiences to compel us forward. Thanks for giving us the courage to put one foot in front of the other and simply, do it! Hugs, Jeanette

  79. Ginny says:

    I agree with so many that this has been your best blog yet!!! Insightful, encouraging, we all love you so much, and will really be printing this one too. I still cherish the time I got to meet you when you were sharing your Autumn book. My personal favorite. Tomorrow is September 1st…time to get my Fall decorations out!!!

  80. jennifer says:

    You have sooooo many wonderful and lovely comments here, I hope you will read one more. 🙂
    Thank you for your work. You have inspired me for years. I’m 50 now and still drawing and painting and sketching, and making things. Can’t seem to help myself.
    There are three of your little books on my computer desk here, your cookbooks in my kitchen of course and all my important phone numbers and addresses are in my Susan Branch address book…the one with the apples in the basket. 🙂
    I’m delighted that you have a blog now so we can all peek into the life of the charming woman that we have all come to know and love.
    Again, thank you so much for how much you lift our spirits and how very much you have inspired little ole me.

  81. Susan, this is the best post yet. I have been hoping you’d do something like this! I have started painting – actually, I’ve always drawn and painted, but now I am doing it with an eye toward sharing it with others. Not just through the birthday cards and Christmas cards I’ve made, but maybe to sell. Seeing your techniques, seeing your supplies, reading the stories… It’s one of my favorite things. So often I look at my favorite books and paintings and wonder, “How did they do that?” So, thank you so much. This post means a lot.

    All the best,


  82. K. Ross says:

    So beautiful! This is so interesting — thank you for sharing your many talents with us. Oh — and please paint more Corgis!! My Corgi was very pleased to see an “almost” portrait of himself done by you. You know that Corgis can smile, and you have put a smile on both my face and little Cardy’s. 🙂

  83. Sarah says:

    I think so many of us may have creativity inside of us, but don’t tap into it, or are afraid to because someone along the way may have told us we weren’t any good. I make it my life’s work to NEVER tell anyone that! 🙂 I had a mean art teacher in school who only favored one boy in our class, and was always asking the rest of us why we couldn’t be as good as he was. Can you imagine doing that to children? Later in life, I worked with a wonderfully creative lady who taught me how to paint, and she was a big, “fluffy” lady who just enveloped you in her love and appreciation. The meanest thing she ever said to me when I showed her a Thanksgiving turkey I was trying to paint was, “Oh, dear. Let me see if I can help you a little.” 🙂 I loved her dearly, and she sadly passed away a few years ago, but I will always be grateful to her for believing that I had all kinds of wonderful things in me, and for showing me how to bring them out. YOU do that for all of us with your sweetness and ability to always encourage. I remember a quote from one of your books or calendars a long time ago that was something like “Draw deep from the well of sweetness.” You are that well for a lot of us! Thank you.

  84. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Me again…Hey Sweet Sue I Flew back to re read this Beautiful Blog & I was covered in Goosebumps…on Saturday before our part of Hurricane Irene Pounced…Herbster & I were talking about You & Your Art-Work & He told me that Your Art reminded him of that Famous Artist…but could not think of His Name He even described the Art…so I put on My Thinking Cap & Poof! Norman Rockwell Popped into My head so I ran back out to the Porch & said Norman Rockwell & Herbster Smiled & said…”Yes! That’s it!” lol…& Now here I am reading Your Magical Words &Your Love for Norman Rockwell…I guess That Magic Stick has been working all these Years Sue….omgggggggggggggg! I just shared Your Blog with Herbster since I am Using His Computer,,,lol….Sweet Magic…I Love Your video with those Birdies!….Love & Hugzzzz xoxo Angie(Tink!) & The Herbster! 🙂 🙂 Poof!

    • sbranch says:

      Amaazing Angie!

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        it Really is Sweetest Sue…I Opened Yor Book Today…”Autumn”….& Began to Breathe in Your Magic…it’s September 1st! Tomorrow I Begin Turning Our Home into an Enchanted-Cottage…(Yay! How’s You Pumpkin-Patch doing?) I’ve always wanted to have a Pumpkin-Patch Farm Stand & Spend the next two Months selling Pumpkins…I Know One Day I actually Will! Hugzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz t You & Joe & Kitty! xoxo Poof!:-)

  85. Janie Phillips says:

    It’s no wonder I’ve loved your artwork all these years. You paint the world the way my heart wants it to be. You’re my inspiration as I try to capture some of my own world on paper. I don’t know how to thank you for this post, or for your generosity and encouragement, but imagine how much you’d have loved a post like this from Norman Rockwell and that will give you an idea how much I love this one. xoxo dear Sue

    • Coni says:


      You put it so well …

      Susan really does paint the world the way our hearts want it to be!

      LOVE that!

  86. Virginia says:

    What a wonderful blog today! I love the little behind the scenes glimpses of your art – the supplies, the partially done paintings (especially!), the storage. All very interesting to see.

    Watercolor is my favorite medium and I have a great deal of admiration for those who can dip their brushes into paint and create something beautiful. Outside of school art classes, I have never attempted to paint on paper. At the moment, my canvas is gingerbread cookies 🙂 I’m much better at crafts, but perhaps I should add watercolor to my bucket list.

    Loved the corgi nod to Tasha Tudor. I began collecting her books back in the late 70’s and was fortunate to meet her at a rare book signing in the mid-80’s. A dear friend had corgis when I was growing up. Terrific dogs.

    Maybe sometime in the future you could share with us a bit about your calligraphy. It’s so beautiful. I’d love to see some progressive pictures of the writing of words, how you came up with the design of the letters, etc. I took a calligraphy class many years ago so that I could design my wedding invitations. Never got beyond basic bookhand, hand cramps and flubbing the last word in a quote!

    Just turned the calendar page. Decorating for Autumn. September…yes!


    • Cindy Neal says:

      Yes, please share about your lettering . . . I LOVE to do lettering!!

      • Jen says:

        I agree – some lettering tutorials would be wonderful! I can never seem to come up with anything but the same boring letters, or they just turn sloppy. Go, lettering!

  87. Margie from Lavender Cottage says:

    Susan, what inspiring words. I’ve always said the only thing I can draw is a straight line and I really can but lately I’ve felt a pull to take a class in beginning painting. Not sure why. I’m going to print out your blog from today and pin it up in my workshop and see what direction it leads me. Thanks to much. Have a great Thursday!!!

    • sbranch says:

      You know what’s funny? I can parallel park pretty well, kind of almost perfect every time. Odd thing. But I always thought it had something to do with being able to do the art! Your being able to draw a straight line makes me think of that.

  88. Francine says:

    I am so-o-o-o jealous of your drawing skills! I’m a grandma, and the people I draw still look like the ones I made in kindergarten….sort of like the stick person that you made when you were little! Ha! Guess it’s a talent I’ll never have. I love, love, love your artwork! And I enjoy your blog so much!

  89. Cindy Neal says:

    I went to Commercial Art School years ago. I drew everyday, as much as possible and then one day I stopped and I haven’t painted in years. Not sure why. You made tears come to my eyes as I see your paints and brushes. I think it is time to begin again. I have lost all confidence that I can do this . . . but I am praying what I learned and loved will come back to me a little at at time. Thank you so much for putting this hope back in my heart!!

  90. Jean G says:

    I started keeping a Nature Journal in 2005 – would draw (with colored pencils) something I collected in the park while walking my dog, Bailey. It was really fun! It was something new to try, and I did discover that with practice, I could actually produce something half decent! Life got really busy, however, and I gradually stopped.

    Missed it! There is something about it that made me feel connected – to nature and to myself. So last week, even with the busy-ness of babysitting grandbabies and looking after my 94 year old Mom, I decided to resume my drawing and journaling. I collected “green nuts/fruits of late summer” in the park – this time while walking Quincy this past Monday (God rest Bailey’s soul!) – LOTS of items on the ground because of Hurricane Irene. I came home and set them aside.

    Alas, they are still sitting. Then I read your blog this morning! Inspiration has resumed. And I thought, if you can do it in your own busy life, then I can do it! And why not set up my own little studio corner? Colored pencils, water colors, paper, etc. – all in plain view, calling to me whenever I pass by.

    Thanks for your inspirations!

    Jean G

  91. Coni says:


    This is a bit off-topic, but I was hoping that you might provide a list (perhaps in a future post) of all of the books you’ve written. I didn’t realize that some of them are out of print, and I’d love to try to track them down.


    • sbranch says:

      I can do it here, in order of publication…Heart of the Home, Vineyard Seasons, Christmas from the Heart of the Home, Days, Baby Love, Sweets to the Sweet, The Summer Book, Christmas Joy, Love, Girlfriends Forever, Christmas Memories, and Autumn from the Heart of the Home.

  92. Lesley says:

    Susan, thank you for your words of encouragement. I have fooled around with watercolors in the past. I’ve never thought that I might get better. I’m about to go on a trip and I’ve now decided to take a small watercolor set and give it a try in a journal. Thanks to you—I’m going to give it my best shot—-practice, practice, and more practice.

  93. Rachel says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this- I love peeking into your world of art 🙂 It is certainly inspirational to this amateur artist 🙂

  94. Fiddlesticks says:

    Love it , love it, love it…..thank you so much for the tour…..wonderful…walking on clouds to know someone loves painting as much as I…

  95. Lee Ann G. says:

    Oh I just drooled over this post and how you watercolor and the art items you use. I now have a list named “What Susan Branch Uses For Her ARt” and underneath I’ve written those items I now want to try too. I have loved your watercolor and lettering for years! It is so beautiful and without seeing your name, I would recognize your art and style right away! And attached to everything you create is your beautiful spriit and love of life. Thank you so much for sharing this. I would love to see another video of you actually painting in action.

    Another reason I think that anything you create has been a magnet to my eyes, is because I have always been in love with handwriting ever since I watched my mother write out in cursive her beautiful signature and words. She was very ill most of my growing up years ( died when I was 39), but her ruby red lipstick with her beautiful smile, soft heart and beautiful handwriting became treasures in my heart for as long as I can remember. Your love of handwriting and beautiful lettering grab not only at my eyes but at the treasures in my heart.
    Thank Y♥U again Susan for sharing yourself with us today,
    ♥Lee Ann

  96. bj says:

    I wanted to tell you that several years ago, maybe 6 or 8, I cut a recipe out of Country Living (or Home), thinking not just the recipe sounded so good but the drawings around the recipe made it suitable for framing. So so cute. Well, I taped it to the inside of a cabinet door and just never got around to framing it. Every time I’ve opened that door, I’ve smiled at the cute recipe.
    Just last night, I noticed, for the first time, that it is one of your drawings.
    I nearly fainted right then and there. I didn’t know about you when I fell in love with the recipe but…I surely know about you now.:))

  97. Lori C. says:

    Susan, I have always loved your hand-calligraphy – it’s what makes your art so unique and precious! But even more, I adore the words you paint – how the different and wonderful colors would bleed into each other like a sunset – and often wondered how you did it. Now I know! What a time-intensive labor of love of penciling out each word and then painting it in! What a precious gift you give us! I am soooo looking forward to your new Pancakes Book to come out. Any hints on when we can start haunting our bookstores?

    • sbranch says:

      So much going on, I need to do what amoeba’s do and split! Off I go, in 12 days, to the Creative Connection Event in St Paul and then to Remnants of the Past Event in CA — if there was another half of me, I would leave her home to finish the book! I get to go out and see the people! Slows things down, but it’s coming!

      • Lori C. says:

        Treasure yourself a little! DO slow down, if you can, because we NEED you! We can wait, because however long, we know it will be well worth it!!!

  98. Gail Eastmond says:

    I just found your blog and am loving it! You inspired me to drag out the watercolors today and paint a little something. While I’m not as great as you, it came out well enough to frame, I can’t wait to start on the next one. I might even do a few up for Christmas presents. Thanks so much for sharing your tips.

  99. Peg says:

    What a treat for you to share your paints and brushes and stories. How lucky you are to be able to draw and paint. I love paintings but can’t draw a circle without a pattern. Beautiful work and great blog! Thank you for sharing!

  100. Sharon from Maine says:

    I agree Susan, I think this was one of your best blogs and want to thank you so much for sharing all your information about your watercoloring and your encouragement to all of us to try it. Have you ever thought of writing an instruction book on how to watercolor? I think you would be great at it and I would be first in line! You inspire all of us so much. By the way, after your blog on the Peter Rabbit room, I decided I needed a little companion on my desk while I work, too, and we were lucky enough to find little Tom Kitten in a shop. My husband got him for my birthday and now he keeps me company all day while I work! Glad you and Joe made it safely through the hurricane!

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