Barbara please tell us about yourself:

I am Barbara Holt, and I don’t really classify myself as an artist.  I say that because I have never taken a formal art class, and the things I can draw are very simple.

I am a native of North Carolina, USA, and a lifelong educator.  I have an Ed.D. from Duke University.  I retired in 1998 after 12 years of teaching math and 18 years as a college administrator.  I live in Bristol, Tennessee with my husband of 52 years.  We have one son, a beautiful daughter-in-law, and three beautiful granddaughters.  My husband coached high school football for 43 years, and my son is a college football coach. In the fall my time used to be dominated by juggling three schedules: my husband’s, my son’s and the Carolina Panthers. Now it is my son’s team and the Panthers, as my husband is now retired. Occasionally we get to a Duke basketball game.

How do you use Brusho in your art:

A coach’s wife has to be independent and unafraid to tackle (pardon the pun) new things.  I learned much more crafty rather than artistic things over the years, but basketry has been the craft that I have continued.  My mother was a basket maker.  When she got older and began to make fewer baskets, I took non-credit basketry classes at my college starting in the 1990’s.  I felt that someone in the family needed to continue basket making.  A few years ago I learned how to make watercolor paper baskets.  Then I took three classes to perfect my work.

Can you explain how you use Brusho in the creation of your baskets:

I usually use reed, seagrass, wooden parts and cane to make baskets.  A couple of years ago I discovered Brusho online when I saw some photos there.  I was probably searching for examples of Zentangle.  I am in a small group of friends who meet weekly to do Zentangle-type art.  I have not mastered Brusho in the artist sense of creating a painting.  I have mastered how to make beautiful paper with Brusho to weave into my baskets, and that has been very easy.
For paper baskets I use 140 lb cold pressed watercolor paper; and one of or a combination of acrylic paint, Brusho, watercolors, and markers.  I cut strips with a pasta cutter or a straight cut paper shredder. I secure the rims with waxed linen.  I spray or brush on Polycrylic after baskets are completed to give strength.  For Brusho, I spray the Polycrylic.

These baskets use the same Brusho painted paper as weavers as well as identical buttons. The one on the right has an orange/red rim and orange/red stakes. The left has a dark red rim and dark red stakes. The stake and rim colors bring out shades in the Brusho.
These baskets used every color of Brusho that I have. Rims painted with acrylic and different embellishments bring out Brusho colors.
Brusho weavers are about the same colors in each basket but the stakes and rims change the look as the colors blend.

What advice would you give to other artists:

The advice I would give to a budding artist is to spend as much time as you can doing art that you enjoy.  Try not to let life get in the way of fun.  Free online videos really help to make art easier. 

Cobalt blue stakes and rim bring out the blue in the Brusho weavers.
The Brusho stakes, rim, and weavers are woven around an oak handle to make a wall basket.
Here are baskets made with strips cut from pages of Zentangle. The rims are painted with acrylics. The red has some red/black acrylic painted weavers. Zentangle is the other art I am doing these days.
Thank you Barbara Holt, for sharing a little about yourself and your art!
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