Wednesday, January 26, 2022


43" x 41"
Copyright 2022 Susan Brubaker Knapp

Whew! I just finished “Oaks,” the final piece for my exhibition at the N.C. Botanical Garden coming up soon (it will be on display March-April 2022). Last summer, I collected oak leaves I found on my morning walks around my neighborhood, and I was amazed at the diversity of species I found. Some oak trees have leaves that can be pretty variable in shape, so it can be a little tricky to identify them. 

North Carolina’s capital city is Raleigh, known as the City of Oaks. 

I’m not an expert at leaf identification. But I think I have included pin oak, post oak, willow oak, white oak, shumard oak, and black oak leaves in my piece. 

I used a stencil of tree branches when I layered the paint on this piece, and I love how they give the leaves a feeling of transparency or shadowing of surrounding trees. I positioned them to give a feeling that the leaves were blowing through the wind. 

Cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton batting, cotton backing, cotton thread. Wholecloth painted, stenciled, free-motion machine quilted. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Turkey Tail Fungus

“Turkey Tail Fungus” 

Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2022

20.75 x 25.5"

White cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton batting, interfacing, cotton backing, cotton thread. Wholecloth painted, free-motion quilted.

This piece is part of my Botanical Series, and will be exhibited – and for sale – through the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill March-April 2022. 

It is based on a photo I took on our property (I hesitate to call it a yard, because it is so heavily wooded, and “yard” conjures images of a carefully groomed lawn and shrubs.) We have been trying to leave the dead branches and leaves, as they are good for the birds and insects and other living creatures, and removing the invasive species (we have a ton of English ivy, and my husband has been tearing it down off the trees bit by bit). 

Right after we moved in to this house, in early 2020, I put on my boots and tromped down the hill and discovered this amazing Turkey Tail fungus growing on a dead log. Turkey Tail can grow in many color combinations, and this one had greens and yellows. I’ve seen photos of them growing in shades of browns and even blue-violets.