My recent search for a botanical print led to my discovery
of a favorite new watercolor artist . . .
. . . Lucile Prache, about whom I blogged yesterday:
. . . + whose work reminded me
of another favorite watercolor artist + author,
Susan Branch . . .
. . . whose books I used to sell in my old shop, Heart-in-Hand.
I just love her sweet illustrations
+ charming, hand-painted fonts:
How adorable is the plaid border she’s painted on this page!
She’s written all sorts of books + publishes an annual calendar,
available on her blog.
She’s also written a series of 3 memoirs,
2 of which I’ve read + highly recommend.
The middle book, Martha’s Vineyard, Isle Of Dreams,
which I read first,
is about her moving from California to Nantucket island:
Since I’ve always wished to visit Nantucket,
it was wonderful to read her description of her life there
+ her renovation of a charming cottage for herself.
Look at her darling diagram of said cottage:
As you can see, each page is just a visual treat:
As this book comes to an end,
Susan had met, fallen in love with + married Joe Hall:
Okay, everybody: awwwww!
Isn’t that sweet? Relationship goals!
Joe is the proprietor of Nantucket’s famous Black Dog Tavern,
from which one can purchase all sorts of home goods + apparel
with the Black Dog logo:
Her third book,
A Fine Romance / Falling In Love With The English Countryside,
is a diary of the couple’s car trip in England:
Once again, she’s in a place I’ve longed to visit,
+ her vivid descriptions allowed me
to travel vicariously with her.
They toured many beautiful English gardens,
including the one surrounding Beatrix Potter’s** cottage.
** Yes, that Beatrix Potter,
of Peter Rabbit fame,
yet another author/illustrator whose watercolors
I’ve always admired.
Soon enough I found myself watching
the Renee Zellweger biopic,
which was just as charming as all get-out
+ for which I give an enthusiastic THUMBS UP!
Here’s Renee now, on location:
I don’t know if that’s the actual Beatrix Potter cottage,
but isn’t it swoon-worthy?
Anyway, in conclusion,
while there are 3 volumes in Susan Branch’s memoirs,
+ I have read only the 2nd + 3rd books.
In fact, I just discovered the existence of her first
while I was writing this blog post
— it’s called The Fairy Tale Girl —
+ is about her early life in California.
The above photo is from Jama’s Alphabet Soup (cute name!)
which is a very interesting read (trust me — check it out!)
In conclusion, I shall request The Fairy Tale Girl
from our inter-library loan system, TODAY.
You can buy signed copies of all 3 books on her blog,
so if anyone’s wishing to send me an early birthday gift . . .
. . . hint!
February 5th, 2019 at 3:48 pm
I have always loved Susan Branch! She inspired me to draw, paint in my own journals.
February 5th, 2019 at 7:58 pm
Nancy, that’s really cool! What sort of painting do you do? Watercolors, perchance? I do love it but, like I said, I’m afraid of them! When I was in college, I painted with oils. 😉
February 5th, 2019 at 4:12 pm
I used to be a fan of Susan Branch, but when my computer crashed, I lost most of the addresses, including yours, Kay. Thanks for getting me up to date. I was glad to read that Susan Branch has found true love, and is thriving! I like her style of drawing, and still have some stickers she designed, but you’re no slouch your self!When we had the place near Oregon, I’d visit your store every Saturday. I loved its atmosphere, and usually bought at least one great ‘find’ every time I went. My husband and I are both in our 80’s, but still don’t need walkers or canes to get around. (Knock on wood.)
February 5th, 2019 at 7:57 pm
Oh, Dolores, I love you so! If you enjoy reading, I recommend you see if you can’t get her memoirs from the library! You won’t be disappointed! I remember your coming into my store, AND going even further back, I remember your wonderful parents! Did I not send you my snail mail addy? I shall have to do that, stat! Take care!
February 23rd, 2019 at 10:00 pm
I am a fan also! We seem to be of like mind on a variety of things!
February 24th, 2019 at 12:56 am
Pat, I think she is writing another book, so maybe she will go on a tour so we can see her!