October 6, 2014

Visions of the Susquehanna River Art Collection

In Dreams I Flew Over the River, by Sue Reno
My fiber artwork In Dreams I Flew Over the River is joining the Visions of the Susquehanna River Art Collection.  Housed in the historic Dritt Mansion at the Zimmerman Center for Heritage in York County, PA, the collection is curated by artist Rob Evans, and is the first-ever permanent collection of Susquehanna River art.  My work is on loan while funds are being raised to complete the purchase.
In Dreams I Flew Over the River, by Sue Reno, Installation View I can’t imagine a more perfect setting for this piece.  I’ve written before about how the idea and imagery for it literally came to me in a dream, and I felt compelled to make it.  I've lived near the Susquehanna  most of my life, and this work is a distillation of my experiences and observations of the river in its many moods.  To have is hanging with other river art by artists I deeply admire is something of a  dream come true.
The Dritt Mansion at the Zimmerman Center for Heritage
The Dritt Mansion was built circa 1740 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places  It has been extensively and beautifully restored, along with the grounds. There’s a wealth of information about it in this Visitor’s Guide. It’s a fabulous setting for the artwork, and well worth a visit if you find yourself in the area.  There are guided tours available.
Zimmerman Center for Heritage Center Sign, and view of Susquehanna River The view from the mansion is of the river and the newly built marina.
Susquehanna River View from the Zimmerman Center Dock I took some fisheye photos when I visited; the skies were cloudy and dramatically lit (the purple tones are a photographic distortion, a combination of the lens on my iPhone and the light and reflections off of the clouds).
Distant View of Susquehanna River from Native Lands Park
Behind the mansion, a trail leads up through the woods into the Native Lands park, which was once the home of the Susquehannock tribe.  The 4 acre cleared area at the top of the rise, with a distant view of the river, is the site of their last known village.  A stockade wall once enclosed 16 ninety-foot longhouses and was home to about 900 people.  Today it is a serene and reflective place.View from Native Lands Park The greens and golds of the surrounding fields are echoed in my work, along with the myriad blues of the river. 
Sue Reno, In Dreams I Flew Over the River, detail
I am very happy that my work has found such an appropriate and prestigious home.
Sue Reno with In Dreams I Flew Over the River installatio

October 1, 2014

Presenting at the SAQA Fiberlandia Conference

I’m honored to announce that I will be a Breakout Session Presenter at the upcoming Studio Art Quilt Associates Fiberlandia Conference.  The Conference will be held in Portland, OR on April 30 – May 3, 2015.
SAQA Fiberlandia Conference
Develop and Sustain Your Daily Artistic Practice

Creating the time, space and mindset to carry out a consistent artistic practice in our daily lives can be challenging, but pays tremendous dividends. I break the process down into easily achieved steps that bring results.

Learn how to:
· Be fearless in acknowledging the value of your individual viewpoint and talents.
· Identify realistic short and long term goals.
· Find a daily practice that trains your eye, feeds your creative spirit, and keeps your work fresh.
· Work towards a balance of quiet, cognitive time and social time, including social media.
· Even out the flow of work between intensely creative periods and dry spells.
· Be inspired by the strategies other artists use to manage their time and artistic output.

Whether you are a novice or experienced artist, you will come away from this session with strategies that will help you take your artistic practice to the next level.
Information on the keynote speakers and other presenters is here.   Registration information is here; there’s a early bird discount.

I’m a long time member of SAQA and have benefited tremendously from my involvement.  A SAQA conference is a great setting to learn industry specific information and meet like-minded artists and quilters.  I’m thrilled that I will be a part of the Fiberlandia Conference, and am very excited about the lineup of speakers.   I’m equally delighted that it will be in Portland, one of my favorite cities.  I will be extending my trip to fit in lots of hiking time in the area.

Hope to see you there!

As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

September 26, 2014

Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt

It’s here!  My Quilting Arts Workshop Video, Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt, is available for pre-order. 
Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt
You can see a quick intro clip, read all about it, and pre-order a DVD and download bundle here.

This special package is available for a limited time only.

In this Workshop I give very clear and complete demonstrations of four of my favorite surface design techniques: cyanotype, collagraph, heliographic, and Thermofax printing.  I also show you how to incorporate your printed fabrics into art quilt designs, and it’s all illustrated with examples of my award-winning work.

To give you a feel for it, check out these 5 tips on my collagraph process as featured on the Quilting Daily Blog.
Sue Reno, QATV Workshop,  collagraph process
My goal as a teacher is to empower artists and quiltmakers to find their unique voice and follow their vision.  I want to help you make work that is relevant to your life and your worldview, and have a grand time doing it!  With this video I bring my knowledge and experience right to you, where you can learn, and review, at your own pace. 

I’ll have more to share about Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt in the weeks to come, so stayed tuned.

To get a glimpse of what it was like to film the video, see my previous blog post here, or click on the QATV tab above.
Sue Reno, QATV Workshop,  filming set up
As always, thanks for reading and commenting.  And if you have a friend who would enjoy this Workshop, please pass along the news. Thanks!

September 24, 2014

The Garden at the Autumnal Equinox

Sue Reno, Locust Sapling
I posted in the spring about the big changes in my garden—taking down a huge locust tree, and revamping the vegetable plot.  The autumnal equinox is a good time to report in on how things evolved from there.  In a word—fantastic!  The tree, and the shade it provided, were missed, but opening up the garden to the full sun, and removing the competition from the tree roots, gave me my best garden success in many years. It also helped that I rototilled in a lot of compost, and that the weather was cooperative, with plenty of sun and rain.   As an aside, the locust did not give up the fight readily, sprouting small saplings from the root structure all over the yard. 
Sue Reno, Cherry Tomatoes The tomatoes were excellent.  No blight or disease, and a big crop of 6 different varieties for snacking and cooking.  They are still going strong.
Sue Reno, Japanese Eggplant The eggplants exploded.  I had several varieties, the round Italian types and the long Japanese, and they were both abundant, tender, and sweet without bitterness.Sue Reno, Eggplant Flowers They are still covered with blossoms, although at this point they have little chance of maturing into fruits.
Sue Reno, Eggplants Art Quilt Years ago I made a small art quilt with a cyanotype print of eggplants from that year’s garden.
Sue Reno, Rainbow Swiss Chard I planted two long rows of rainbow swiss chard and have been overwhelmed by it, in a good way.  I put it in (almost) everything I cook, and eat the small leaves raw.  It will last until hard frost and then I will miss it terribly. 
Sue Reno, Kentucky Wonder Beans I had both bush beans and Kentucky wonder pole beans.  The pole beans grew so enthusiastically that I fell behind in picking them, and quite frankly I grew a bit tired of beans.  So there are a lot of them there to shell out as soup beans, if I find the time and make the effort.
Sue Reno, The Organic Garden, Detail Kentucky wonder bean vines are a cyanotype feature on my art quilt The Organic Garden.
Sue Reno, Marigolds In the spring I randomly planted marigolds here and there in with the veggies, and they have flourished as well.
Sue Reno, Black Swallowtail Caterpillars
The fennel still has a few Black Swallowtail caterpillars feasting on it.  These latecomers to the party will go into chrysalis form to spend the winter.
Sue Reno, Canna Lily Flower Each year I plant tall red cannas.  The rhizomes are not hardy here in Pennsylvania, so I dig them and store them indoors over the winter.  This year I had a bunch of them crop up unexpectedly in a bed some distance away; my assumption is that squirrels buried some seed pods.  This is very unusual in my experience.  Their blooms are all different shades of reds and soft oranges, proof that genetics is a wonderful thing.
Sue Reno, Black Eyed Susan Flowers
In the landscape beds, the black eyed Susan flowers had a good year. They are starting to fade out in a blowsy, lovely manner.
Sue Reno, Pink Japanese anemone flowers The ever reliable Japanese anemones are putting on their fall show.
Sue Reno, The Organic Landscape, Detail They are a cyanotype feature on my art quilt The Organic Landscape.
Sue Reno, Sedum Autumn Joy
Equally reliable and beautiful are the stonecrops; this one is Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.
Sue Reno, Goldenrod with Bee And last but not least, here is some goldenrod.  It is NOT responsible for hay fever allergies, its pollen is heavy and not windblown.  (The culprit is ragweed, which blooms at the same time.)  It is covered with bees and wasps of all sorts during the day.  As the sun sets, and the air cools quickly, some of the bees just stop and stay put until morning.

I am not showing you the weeds that got away from me, and the various few things that did not do well this year. That is the gardener’s privilege, to focus on the beauty and the joy and the satisfaction of a job well done.  Those will keep me fulfilled through the long winter, dreaming of next year’s glories.

For ongoing, macro image coverage of the local flora and fauna, check out my Flickr page.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting!

September 4, 2014

The White Cliffs of Conoy

Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 1 The White Cliffs of Conoy are the remnants of old limestone and dolomite mines in the area near Bainbridge, PA. The mine tailings were piled up in mounds 60 ft. high.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 2
The formations are next to the Susquehanna River.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 3  There’s a full, and fascinating, story about the formations in the local newspaper.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 4
It was closed to the public until just a few weeks ago, so we jumped on the chance to go see it. 
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 5 Along with the odd beauty of the cliffs, the main attraction is the view of the Susquehanna from the top.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 6
Looking down, you can see and hear the Haldeman Riffles in the water.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 7
There are deep chasms between the formations.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 8
Parking is at the boat launch in Bainbridge, and there’s a newly paved 1.5 mile trail to the site. Along the way there are ruins of the once-thriving village and factories that accompanied the mines.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 9 All of these images were taken with a fisheye lens on my iPhone.  I did break out the macro lens for this image of mullien flowers,Verbascum thapsus.
Sue Reno, mullien buds, macro image
I’ve made a series of quilts about the Susquehanna River, including In Dreams I Climbed the Cliffs.  Now I’m thinking about the imagery and possibilities of these white cliffs. 
In Dreams I Climbed the Cliffs, by Sue Reno
As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

August 28, 2014

The Organic Landscape exhibited in Brazil

Sue Reno, The Organic Landscape
The Organic Landscape, as part of the SAQA exhibit Seasonal Palette, is on exhibit at the Festival Internacional de Patchwork e Arts Afins, Curitiba, Brazil, August 27 - 30, 2014.
Sue Reno, The Organic Landscape, Detail 3
The exhibit is a juried invitational, with artists creating work specifically for the theme and addressing one of the four seasons.  My work, The Organic Landscape, references summer, and depicts some of the ornamental plants I grow in my organic gardens.  Each artist was also asked to keep an artist journal of their inspirations and working process, and the journals are exhibited along with the works.  You can see the works online here, and the journals here.  If you are at all interested in process the journals are well worth your time to read. There is also an excellent hardcover catalog of the works available here
Sue Reno, The Organic Landscape, Detail 1  SAQA—Studio Art Quilt Associates—continues to improve their exhibition process and is consistently mounting great shows and marketing them extensively.  I am very grateful to the organization at large and the the curators of Seasonal Palette, Vicki Mangum and Kathleen McCabe, for the work they have done.  It is complicated and can be difficult to exhibit work overseas, and this is providing me with opportunities I would be hard pressed to duplicate on my own.  Below is the list of all the venues, past and future, for Seasonal Palette; if any of them are near to you, I hope you have the chance to view it.

Premiere at International Quilt Festival - Houston, November 1-4, 2012
Texas Quilt Museum, La Grange, Texas, January 10 - March 31, 2013
International Quilt Festival - Cincinnati, Ohio, April 2013
International Quilt Festival - Long Beach, California, July 2013
National Quilt Museum, Paducah, Kentucky, September 12 - December 2, 2013
The Original Creative Festival at the Sharonville Convention Center, Sharonville (Cincinnati), Ohio, June 12-14, 2014
Festival Internacional de Patchwork e Arts Afins, Curitiba, Brazil, August 27 - 30, 2014
New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, Massachusetts, April 5 – July 6, 2015
Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork, Alsace, France, September 16-19, 2015
Vicenza Festival, Vicenza, Italy, October 2015
Taiwan International Quilt Exhibition 2016, National Tainan Living Art Center, Tainan City, Taiwan, April 30-May 29, 2016

As always, thanks for reading and commenting!

July 25, 2014

Today’s Inspiration: Travel

I am posting each day of the Quilting Arts TV blog hop with a personal message about inspiration and creativity.  Today is the last day in the series, and today’s blogger is Susan Brubaker Knapp (bluemoonriver.blogspot.com), the new host of Quilting Arts TV

Sue Reno, vintage photo of Ladies Hostel, Mysore, India

Today’s Inspiration is Travel.  I was born with a wanderlust.  I’ve been fortunate that I get to indulge in travel from time to time, while still being a responsible adult and fulfilling the responsibilities of home and hearth.
Sue Reno, vintage photo of Bombay, India
I can say that travel literally changed my life.  When I was in college, I signed up, more or less on a whim, to spend a semester in India. To the best of my knowledge, our group was the only American student group officially in the subcontinent at that time, and to say we had adventures would be an understatement.
Sue Reno, Mysore India, street scene
I fell in love with the country, the beautiful and gracious people I met everywhere, and the gorgeous silks and handwoven khadi cottons I discovered and brought back home.
Sue Reno, Ginger Merged with the Pennsylvania Dutch aesthetic I grew up  with, the experience formed the basis for my initial and ongoing artistic practice. SueReno_Mysore23
I had the opportunity to return to India a few years ago, revisit some of my old haunts, and have some new adventures.  I did a series of blog posts you can access at the tab at the top, or by clicking here.  When you have a bit of free time, why not sit down with a beverage of choice and explore the country with me?
 Sue Reno, Shivanasamudra Falls, India
I’m certain you have enjoyed your travels around the blog-o-sphere with all the artists featured on the Series 1400 Quilting Arts TV DVD
Quilting Arts TV DVD Cover Image
You can learn more about it on the Quilting Arts TV Website.

I hope you will tag my blog by whatever method works for you—there’s options on the right, under my profile-- and revisit my site often.  I don’t post by a regular schedule, but I do post when I feel I have something worth saying and sharing, and I would love to have you along to share the journey.

And as always, thanks for reading and posting.