About The Artist

Jennifer Mcbrien • Baltimore, MD

Jennifer McBrien is a Baltimore textile artist who uses her sewing machine as a drawing tool to honor her fragile subjects. Trained as a painter, with only one sewing class from Junior High under her belt, she has relied on her experimentation and creative thinking skills to make her original designs for the past15 years. Her process begins with her ink drawings that are then translated through the eloquence of the stitched line. She utilizes fabrics to play with pattern, depth and transparency.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

My process begins with ink drawings from observation and photographic resources. I incorporate my drawing with the stitch line that so eloquently imitates ink marks. I am drawn to pattern fabrics that remind me of historical trends that I can interplay with my images. I am drawn to overlay and transparency leading me to experiment with a variety of fabrics from felt to organza.I am challenged by layering colors of thread to create realistic effects.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

I want to honor the fragile subjects that I use to tell the narrative of our planet. My bird women are the warriors and watchers to protect. 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. I make ecological choices to keep my work sustainable with small batch, high quality and eco-friendly production

What is something unique about you or your practice?

I use my sewing machines as drawing tools as well as to construct my products. I have only had one sewing class in junior high and have pretty much self taught my process. I rely on my creative thinking skills from my painter, artist beginnings to pull me through my latest adventure of fiber artist.