Jennifer McBrien

Drawing, Fiber, Painting, Visual / Media

Painter turned Fiber artist from Baltimore, who uses her sewing machine as her drawing tool, not a programmer. A passion for birds and our environment comes through in her rich narratives being told through thread and fabric!

About the Artist

McBrien is a Baltimore native who began her artistic career as a painter, exhibiting her work throughout the East Coast from the mid 80’s to mid 2000’s. As a painter, she showed her work in numerous group and one person shows throughout the Mid-Atlantic US region.McBrien began her fiber direction about a decade ago, feeling that pool painting was too toxic for what she wanted to communicate. She currently has her studio in a historic mill building in the Hampden area of Baltimore where they use to produce cotton duck canvas which has become one of McBrien’s main materials she uses. Throughout her career, McBrien taught for 30 years in Baltimore County when she ran a high school art program for the last half of her teaching career. Now retired, she is a full time artist who enjoys likes to travel. In 2023, McBrien will be participating for  three weeks in October at the Atelier Artist Residency program at Chateau Bouthonvilliers, a beautiful, sprawling French estate, classified as a historic monument outside of Chartres, France. She was awards the 2023 American Craft Council Award of Excellence in 2023.

Jennifer McBrien website Baker Award Portfolio Jennifer McBrien website shop

Artist's Statement

“My stitches tell a narrative about the fragility of our world using birds, plants and figures as my subjects. I choose a fragile medium of embroidery to emphasize its delicateness, as well as a medium in which the connection of hand and material are constant. Whether freehand machine or hand stitching, my hands are guiding and manipulating thread and fabric. My process begins with my ink drawings from observation or photographic references. I translate      the ink with the stitched line. Color and form are added with overlaying threads, either by hand or by freehand machine stitching. I get very excited about finding vintage and up-cycled fabrics that have scenes that my subjects can interact with to tell a story. I am drawn to overlay and transparency leading me to experiment with a variety of fabrics from felt to organza.”

Featured Work