Who is Susan Branch

usan Branch is the self-taught artist and author of the fourteen (so far) best-selling "Heart of the Home" lifestyle BOOKS all published by Little Brown and Company. From her studio overlooking her picket-fence garden in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, Susan writes and paints about the "home arts" of cooking, gardening, sewing, family, best friends, entertaining and the little things that make life sweet. Her books are "homemade" as in, watercolored and completely hand-written. She has a monthly newsletter she’s been sending out since 1995, called WILLARD, named after her grandfather. It goes to 42,000+ (mostly) women, sisters of the heart, all over the world, who’ve signed up to receive it. These are "the girlfriends," as Susan calls them…she walks through the studio and says "What do we have for the girlfriends today?" and we know who she’s talking about. Through LICENSING, her artwork has been used to design many products. Besides her yearly wall calendars, Susan’s art has decorated lots of stationery things, from shelf paper to greeting cards; she’s designed pajamas, teapots, hooked rugs, scrapbooks and stickers, and quilting fabrics. Her web site has been up and running for fourteen years; and it now includes her BLOG. See FAQ for more information on Susan’s products, or SHOPPING to see what what’s new from the studio today.

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486 Responses to Who is Susan Branch

  1. Maureen MacKenzie says:

    Hi Susan! You’ve inspired me to paint again. Years ago I started painting murals of animals in the forest, etc for my bulletin board in school that my students painted. I painted wood cubbies too, mostly folk art style of houses, trees, and animals, but this was still while I was living at home with my parents. I stopped painting because of a bad marriage…the opposite of you, but now that I’m happily married and have a home of my own I’ve started painting again. My tastes have changed…now I want watercolor pictures for my walls. Drawing/painting is so relaxing for me. (Wow…it’s snowing big beautiful flakes right now – on LI-I just had to take a moment and enjoy it.) Anyway, I have two questions for you. I have a .25 Koh-I-Noor rapido pencil…it seems dark…what mm do you use? As I erase on the paper the lead seems to go everywhere and it looks a bit messy. How do I remove it? Do I paint then erase it? Oh, I have a third question…Do you use a pen at all before you paint for a black outline or is the pencil the outline? Thank you so much for any help you can give me….I really appreciate it!

    • sbranch says:

      I just use Ticonderoga #2 pencils. They are soft and erase easily. I usually paint and then erase any pencil marks. Once in a while I use a pen, but mostly it’s just a pencil. If I do use a pen (I’ve done it maybe 3 times, I do the pen first, then the watercolor.) But remember, I’ve had no lessons, so there may be a better way to do all of this! :-)

      • Maureen MacKenzie says:

        Thank you so much…you’re the best! It’s funny…when I analyze too much what I’m drawing/painting it just doesn’t come out right, but when I just “let go”, enjoy it, and let the inspiration flow through me instead of me trying to force it the drawing flows better. Does that make sense? :)

  2. Debbie Christin says:

    I just love all your talent, thank you! I love reading about you through FOSB

  3. Betty Welton says:

    I purchased the black and white iron dogs, just in case I won the heart cup. Ha ha. Received the dogs, they are so cute and sweet. I have a black and blonde cairn terrier which looks like these dogs. They are so cute, I put them on my kitchen hutch so I could see them often, as I am in the kitchen a lot. They make me feel good every time I see them. Thanks hunting these items for us to enjoy.

    • sbranch says:

      I love them too . . . I have an antique pair in my kitchen . . . they are exactly the same design as these new ones, I was thrilled to find them! Fun to share. xoxo

  4. I have never joined a blog before. Here I am, in RI, very deep in snow and being creative. I googled your name after uncovering an old page of stickers with your name on them. It’s torn & ripped but could read “Licensed by Art Impressions, Inc,for Colorbok, Dexter, MI. …”these stickers come with love”. very nice.
    (#12682 Floral). Are your designs still being produced in stickers, wrap or other? I’ll continue to search…
    I took some time to read your blog and would love to join it. What a wonderful discovery
    Thank you – Melissa

    • sbranch says:

      I think we still have a few stickers in our webstore, but they aren’t being made anymore, unfortunately. Happy to meet you Melissa!

  5. Kim Smith says:

    Hello Ms. Branch,

    Just a quick note to tell you how much I love reading your ‘very words’ in my Cocktails book that I purchased from a Marshall’s store years ago. I forgot that I had this book, until one of friend’s ask me to make a special fruity drink. Then I remembered that I had your book. I love the inspirational thoughts throughout the book, they are memorized keepers for me to pass on. Thank you for your art, I look forward to purchasing additional items from you from this day forward.

    Life is good~

  6. Mary C. says:

    Susan, love your blogs , and now I am very excited about your new book Fairy Tales, which I have already ordered. Your drawings and art work are just so sweet and memorable, please keep up your beautiful creative works. Many thanks . Mary

  7. Bev Morris says:

    You’ve inspired me to take up drawing. I love the art in your books. My last encounter with creating art included a Crayola crayon. I’ve bought a sketchbook, erasers (probably going to need plenty more of these) some pencils and located classes provided by artist in my locale. I’m so excited I can barely stand it! So happy I found your books thru a FB friend! Wish me luck!

  8. Patricia Nicotra says:

    Susan, Thank you for the gift of “A fine Romance”. I have now read it four times! This book allowed me to travel a journey I may never take in the real world!!! I would sooooo love to travel to England on the Queen Mary but my husband refuses to take a trip on any body of water!! This book let me escape into another world….one of which I was grateful to experience!! Thank you Susan!!! Ps…..Thank you for your blog today, it reminds us all to see the beauty in nature and in life…..we must to grateful for the small things and to keep that as our focus!!! So looking forward to your next book!! Thank you again, Patty

  9. As a new follower of “you’ I find your content and the visuals intriquing..
    First thought is “I wanna be like her” then self responds:” But you are not her.”

    True, so I won’t allow your talent to discourage me but to motivate me to remain confident in what I am presenting to my followers b/c truly I trust my initial motivation, goals and determined to stay true to those.

    I must write a note to self to order several of your 2016 wall calendars!! mmm they must be gifted to special people who will truly adore what you do.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, you are so right, There’s no one alive who’s youer than you, as the good Dr. Seuss would say . . .I’m just glad to have you here! Nice to meet you Jonell!

  10. Dorothea McMahon says:

    Hi Susan,
    Your beautiful paintings and inspirational quotes always make me smile. You make the world a prettier place so thank you. I remember seeing your work in Country Living magazine years ago, and just rediscovered what I found so appealing back then. I’ll be trying my hand at painting again, after a long, unproductive period, and checking into your blog for much needed inspiration.

  11. Kim Venegas says:

    Susan, I’ve been collecting your books since the 1980s. In 1990,while we were stationed in Italy, my grandmother ordered a book from you and you signed it, With Love from Mamoo. Many years have passed, now I’m a grandma three times over, and we’ve just moved to Fort Collins, Colorado to be near our grown sons. I was happy to find the recipe for tomato soup here because we haven’t finished unpacking yet. Just wanted to say hi and how much I’ve enjoyed your books over many years.

  12. Lisa Fladung says:

    I am almost finished reading A Fine Romance. I plan to be quite sad when I am done. I really don’t want it to end! You are my Beatrix Potter. I feel like I need to collect every piece you have done! You are so very talented, and I enjoy your wit. Thank you for an amazing book and I look forward to the next one.

    Many Blessings,

  13. Tanya says:

    Ah, England, you have so many lovely artists… There’s so much to learn from you. Love and Blessings from Ukraine

  14. Denise Stock says:

    Got one of your cookbooks years ago as a gift & got hooked……. Love all your recipes and antidotes!
    Looking to make your linguine & clams,when I realized I left that book at the beach.
    Hoping to find the recipe on line & discovered your website!
    Happy Day for me…..

  15. You certainly have made the world—my world a better place!
    ——Restored my faith in fairy tales and real love + joy.

    I don’t need any more self help books; just yours: cookbooks, calendars, etc.

    (apple crisps + pear tarts)
    teri x x x x x x x

  16. Barisca Menting says:

    A few days ago I saw your work for the first time. It is fantastic! Full of inspiration. Thank you from the Netherlands.

  17. Deb says:

    I love everything you have published!!! Have you done an adult coloring book? They are so popular right now. Or…..what about things to do/make after a family is grown? (Places to travel, things to do)

  18. Holly says:

    Oh Susan! Your calendar was like the diary of my year! I am working on a children’s book. Since there are no beaches in Kansas per say, I took my little 9 year old friend, her mother and we went to North Carolina Kitty Hawk. I photographed her on the beach and filled up every page! The story is ofa little girl who goes through the day on a beach and draws all she sees. I have taught children and adults to draw from Real Life and Pictures for over 20 years, and now I am taking time to renew and see a dream come true: writing and illustrating a children’s story. I have been like Bob Ross-I draw and they draw with me. We use watercolor pencils, pastels and now I get to share it in a book……so the picture of the girl on the beach with the poem this month(Aug 2015) by Nancy Walker is so me!! I must carry the “..the song of the sea in (my) heart evermore!” Thankyou for your inspiring pictures, it is so exactly the friend I need right now and for this blog-I hope to continue putting the book together and looking for a publisher/art direction. Have some ideas, but always looking for advice from experienced published artists….. I hope you are enjoying your fall. I planted basil and am growing a garden too. Hugs from Kansas.

  19. Angela Milazzo says:

    I have not seen any new videos on youtube. will you be creating any more? I really loved following along – entertaining in your beautiful home, scenes from Martha’s Vineyard of course and especially the videos of the cats.

    • sbranch says:

      I will, it’s just the time thing as usual! Posting them to youtube takes a few minutes, then getting them onto the blog takes some more!

  20. Jana says:

    Dear Susan,
    I used some of your adorable Christmas stickers — along with saved Christmas cards and postage stamps — to decorate a large unfinished wooden trunk that I painted green and filled with Christmas magic! Your snowmen peek up above the brass handles on each end, too! Very cute. I tuck gifts away in it throughout the year.

    I love all that you create, Susan, but most of all I love your spirit. You are such an uplifter! You are one of the brightest stars in my life. My girlfriend and I use your recipes for our tea parties. New blog posts or Willards wait for the afternoon until I have a cup of tea in hand. And you are so kind to share not only your books, but your daily round. For me, you embody comfort and joy. With much appreciation and blessings! Jana

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t know how to thank you and everyone for these delightful, funny, and touching comments . . . I feel very blessed. Thank you Jana!! XOXO

  21. Sharon says:

    Hi Susan,
    My friend of 40 yrs just sent me a Willard newsletter. Although I’m sure I have purchased a few items(stamps from the 80s or 90s), I think I will purchase a few of your books too! I’m a “new” fan of yours at 64yrs 8months 11days, born and raised in California(without talent..lol)! Looking forward to “fairy tale” dreaming again!!

  22. Kathleen Trepp says:

    Dear Susan………..

    To my very favorite happy person………You are just going to have to jump on the wagon and publish a coloring book for adults (all us fans) and featuring Jack and Girl who we might have great fun with our colors with (is that a sentence?).

    Thank you always,

  23. Chris Miller says:

    Dear Susan,
    I have never cherished a book as much as your “A Fine Romance”. I treasured every page, illustration, quote and photograph. As much as I longed to be there with you, I was continually grateful to experience everything through your wonderful writing. I felt so many emotions while taking this journey with you, but none were as strong as when I came to the last pages of the book. I cried with the realization it was ending and I would not have your uplifting narrative and joyful appreciation of life to embrace. Thank you Susan, from the bottom of my heart. You have warmed my heart, delighted my imagination and enriched my soul. Words do not do justice for what you have given me. Many blessings to you!

    • sbranch says:

      If you watched me while I was reading what you wrote, when you got to the part “it was ending” my hands came together and folded under my chin and tears popped in my eyes. It’s because I loved it too. Thank you. Such a gift you are. xoxo

  24. Patricia Ruehle says:

    I just received notice that your new book is on it’s way to my door. I cannot wait.
    I could not put “A Fine Romance” down.
    Poor Henry! There will be very little cooking and cleaning done once “The Fairy Tale Girl” arrives. Love to y”all from Houston, Texas.

  25. Chris Miller says:

    Greetings Susan,
    In your recent blog you mention going to the Innisfree Bookshop. I wanted to share that I am singing a song about Innisfree with the CA State University Chorus for our concert in November. The name of the piece is “The Lake Isle”, music by Ojeilo and words by William Butler Yeats. Although this song is about an isle in Ireland, when I sing it, I still think of you and your travels to Innisfree. Perhaps you are already familiar with the poem, but here is the first stanza in case you are not: “I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made. Nine bean-rows will I have there,a hive for the honey-bee. And live alone in the bee-loud glade.”
    There are 2 more verses which are ever so lovely too!
    May your travels to Innisfree be lighthearted and unfold seamlessly!

    • sbranch says:

      I LOVE that song…Isle of Innisfree, one of my favorites I learned by watching the old movie The Quiet Man — “I’ve met some folks who say that I’m a dreamer . . . and I’ve no doubt there’s truth in what they say . . .” not sure that’s the same one you’re talking about . . . but you can hear it on Youtube . . . it’s also very beautiful.

  26. marti says:

    hello Susan & Joe, I just love to read of all your adventures – my other half is also named Joe. we have been married for some 57 years now – you make me feel so young (there is a song coming on) when you talk of your travels. I will be going to Barnes&Noble tomorrow looking for “Fairy Tale Girl”. Your calendar hangs on my kitchen wall looking forward to each month with love. thank you

  27. Denise Watson says:

    Hi Susan, I just got Fairy Tale Girl in the mail the other day and I started reading it this afternoon and I can’t put it down! I’ve laughed and cried and reminisced!! I want to thank you for sharing this with all of us! As usual you have out done yourself!!! I can real ate to many things you talk about. I’m going to stop reading cause I don’t want it to end!!! So looking forward to “Martha’s Vineyard Usle if Dreams” !!! Keep up the great work my dear!!!!! Denise Watsin

  28. Rita Zwicker says:

    Just read that you will be at the Titcomb Bookstore in Sandwich …. A few miles down the road! Can’t wait to meet you. Your blog is o refreshing znd uplifting!

  29. Susie Brey says:

    Yay!! I received your book from Amazon and I was so thrilled to have it in my hands…I finished all my chores so that I could start your book..I knew that I would not be able to put it down. Well it was wonderful!! I cried, I laughed, I loved and breathed this book for 1 day..yep I could not put it down..The lovliest book of all. Sigh, deep breath, close eyes, hug book to chest, ahhhhhh.. sound familiar…Anxiously awaiting your next book.. Thanks for all you do for your fans..love and hugs….

  30. Hi Susan!

    I’m a writer and my protagonist loves old movies–so I was googling for inspiration and found your blog. What a lucky find! You reminded me of so many wonderful films.
    I bookmarked the page and sent a link to my best friend of fifty-something years–we always watched old movies when we were kids. The photo of you and your friend reminded me of us. Right down to the hairstyles.

    Even though my series is called “The Murder Blog Mysteries,” I don’t actually follow any blogs. Until now. I’m looking forward to reading all your past posts.

    And tonight I’m watching “The Enchanted Cottage”. Thanks for reminding me!


  31. Connie says:

    Hi Susan
    I have a couple of questions for you…what watercolor paints and brushes do you use? Would this ever be something you would sell at your store? Also, is your font available to purchase for scrap booking. It would be great to add to my scrapbooks
    Loved your new book so much. Can’t wait for the next one.

    • sbranch says:

      You can read about my watercolors at the top of the page if you click on “About Me” ~ or just go HERE ~ So far, I don’t have a cursive font, and my printing font is just sort of an in-house thing. Thank you Connie!

  32. Vicki Gibbs says:

    Hi Susan,

    I have been a fan of your work ever since I bought my first book for a Christmas present. I was in the grocery store (a VERY nice grocery store!) and needed a nice gift for my then very best friend, Jane. I saw your “Christmas from the Heart of the Home,” and decided I would buy one for her and one for me also. Well, after that, I was hooked!!! I have several of your books and love all your products. You have such a wonderful way of “taking the reader” back to a kinder and gentler time. I always feel better after reading “Willard,” or browsing through your website. Please keep up the good work!

    With Admiration and Affection,

    Vicki Gibbs

    (P.S. I notice you have gift certificates available, will have to “leave hints for my husband for Christmastime.”

  33. Kat Fry says:

    Oh my Dear Sweet Susan….I sat up until after midnight reading The Fairytale Girl. With many cups of pumpkin coffee ( some laced with Baileys). I laughed, I cried, I wept buckets! I texted my best friend of over 30 years & shared parts…she’s getting her copy now. And when I got to the End I was crushed! However could I wait until May!!! It was a sleepless night, but an epiphany! I am now rereading A Fine Romance…skipping ahead 6 years will have to do until May arrives. I am definitely preordering! I remember going into the Book Store to look for A Fine Romance when it came out, everyone got a laugh when I was paged with” will the lady looking for a fine romance come to the front counter.” quite the conversation starter!
    My shelves are filled with your beautiful & fun filled books. As are so many book shelves of friends all over the world! Heartwarming to think, out here in beautiful deep East Texas on our little Farm where we raise goats & chickens that the same pages I love & reread over & over are being read by millions of others that I’ve never met. What a lovely small world you have created! You are so near & dear to my heart.
    Many thanks, ever Kat on Rose Creek Farm

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, that is a keeper, “will the lady looking for a fine romance . . .” Cute! You are wonderful dear Kat, thank you from the bottom of my heart. xoxo

  34. Carol says:

    Susan, your art and your books make me happy. Whether I read them or just look at them they make me smile and feel better. Thank You!!! :)

  35. BARBARA CHANE says:


  36. sbranch says:

    Train through snow country is so pretty! You’re all cozy inside, while the snow and cold are on the other side of the window, very beautiful! Yes, just take a little package of those hand wipes and you’ll be fine!

  37. Candice Hill says:

    Thank you, Susan :)

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