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Barbara Olson Browne

Frannie Martin, Cindy Siemens, Barbara Olson Browne

Frannie Martin employs a process called ecoprinting, the technique of using natural objects, such as flowers and leaves to create images on a surface—in this case, silk scarves. “The process begins with mordanting (preparing the scarf to hold color) and dyeing with natural materials (such as flowers or wood chips). Next, I layer the scarf with fresh and dried plant materials, then “blankets” soaked in mordants (like tannins or iron) or concentrated natural dyes (like logwood). I then roll the bundles and steam. It’s a multilayered process and takes time, but I truly enjoy the endless variations that can be produced from a handful of materials.  I’m often surprised by the natural offerings I find when simply walking on local trails or in neighborhoods.  Weeds like ivy, dock, and stinging nettle, and trees such as eucalyptus or acacia are very useful for ecoprinting, as are Autumn leaves and fern fronds.  With so many possible combinations, it’s easy to maintain interest in this medium.  I hope others enjoy it as well.” Cindy Siemens describes her work as follows: “my years as a psychotherapist have taught me to look and listen carefully. I understand expression, motivation and how we make meaning of our world. I know the importance of gratitude, relationship, and adventure. The characters in my work understand this. By providing therapy I help others see themselves and situations in a new way. In creating art, I get to see my world in new ways. This allows me to place subjects in a variety of situations and share that experience alternately through their eyes and mine. Interestingly, the critters in my work help me to paint them, essentially a collaborative relationship. I figured being a self taught beginner, I could put aside my inner critic to make room for the many decisions involved in creating a piece. For me, art is about perspective.” Barbara Olson Browne is a life-long artist. One of her fondest childhood memories is sitting at the dining room table with her siblings, all drawing pictures. Over the years, Barb has worked in many media... oils, watercolor, collage, acrylic, fiber, metals, printmaking and clay. Her favorite medium at any moment is the one she is currently using. Barb finds inspiration from many sources...images for several of her paintings have come to her in dreams. She graduated with a BA degree in Fine Art from Eastern Washington University. One thing remains constant: she is happiest when she has an art project underway. Preferring to work in a non-realistic style, she finds more joy in creating the whimsical. If her artwork brings joy to the viewer, that’s a special bonus. Barb lives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Old Town Art Gallery, which has been in operation since 1974, is a cooperative art gallery sustained by local artists who work in many media. The gallery is currently accepting applications for guest artists and for new members. Visit the website at: The gallery is located at 417 Second Street in Old Town Eureka, near the Gazebo.

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