Sunday, March 27, 2022

“Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2022
36" x 46.5"

I started this piece just as Putin began his war against Ukraine, and it helped me stay busy while I watched the horror unfold on the TV. I had begun the section with the orange strips about 3 years ago, and it was in my "to-do" pile. 

When I posted a photo of it in progress on social media and asked for names, it was interesting how many people linked the war to what they saw in this piece. I got lots of suggestions with things like “Incursion,” “Escape Routes,” and “Before the Seige.” 

I decided to call it “Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” which is a nod to the Mister Rogers song that he used to open his children's TV show. (I grew up in Pittsburgh, and actually met Mister Rogers when I was four years old.) The title refers to an idealistic view of the world, in which people want to be good neighbors, and is in direct contrast to what Putin is doing to Ukraine. I believe that the good people of Ukraine and the good people of Russia want to be good neighbors. It is a dictator, his cronies, and his war machine that make it impossible. Bombs have destroyed beautiful neighborhoods where people lived, loved, and played with their children. 

Here are the lyrics to Fred Roger's song: 

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood
A beautiful day for a neighbor
Could you be mine?
Would you be mine?

It’s a neighborly day in this beauty wood
A neighborly day for a beauty
Could you be mine?
Would you be mine?

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you

Let’s make the most of this beautiful day
Since we’re together, might as well say
Would you be my, could you be my
Won’t you be my neighbor?

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Let's raise funds for World Central Kitchen!


Let’s raise funds to feed those fleeing Ukraine! 
While watching the news and worrying, I felt I had to find some way to help. World Central Kitchen is providing hot meals to thousands fleeing Ukraine, and to those still in Ukraine. In past years, it has provided critical nutrition services in countries facing war and natural disasters, including Brazil, Afghanistan, Tonga, Venezuela, and the U.S. It has a 4-star rating on Charity Navigator, so you can donate with confidence.
I created this little sunflower pin, and am offering the pattern for free on my website here:

In return, please consider a contribution to World Central Kitchen @wck here: (You can also access this link on my website when you download the pattern.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Blue Water Film Festival

I’m pleased to have been chosen as the 2022 Featured Artist for the 2022 Blue Water Film Festival. They are using my piece, “Net of Wonder,” on their poster. The festival, held June 2-8, 2022, “encourages attendees to think broadly about how climate change affects planet Earth and think deeply about the universal concerns and actions needed to bring us into balance.” 

For more information about Blue Water Film Festival, visit

“Net of Wonder” is a piece I made for the exhibition “A Better World: Heroes Working for the Greater Good,” and celebrates the work of Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910-1997), an explorer and environmentalist passionate about the sea and everything that swam or crawled in it. He helped develop the first scuba equipment, which enabled researchers to more closely study underwater environs. Cousteau warned us about the dangers of coastal development, pollution, exploitation, and over-fishing. His life was one of extraordinary passion and purpose. “The sea,” Cousteau said, “once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”

As a child, I loved watching “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau,” a TV show that aired in the U.S. from 1966 to 1976. In the Calypso, a former French naval vessel, and in his little yellow submarine, Cousteau took me to places I will never be able to visit. He opened my eyes to the diversity and splendor of the ocean, and the need to protect it.

Here are some photos of the piece in progress:

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

“Native Beauties in Fabric and Thread”

Hooray! My exhibition, “Native Beauties in Fabric and Thread,” at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill is up! 

In lieu of a reception, I’ll meet with visitors and demonstrate techniques I used to create these 15 pieces on April 2. Please come; I’d love to meet you!

Arthur S. DeBerry Gallery for Botanical Art & Illustration
in the Allen Education Center
North Carolina Botanical Garden – Chapel Hill
Exhibit open March 1 – April 24, 2022
Demonstrations April 2, 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. 

If you’ve never visited this Botanical Garden, it is a real gem. In every season, there is something glorious to see. From fabulous carnivorous plants to rare wildflowers, the 1,100 acres offer visitors a way to explore North Carolina’s wide range of native plants in one location.