September 13, 2020

Second place award for In Dreams I Saw the Rift

In Dreams I Saw the Rift by Sue Reno
In Dreams I Saw the Rift by Sue Reno
I am thrilled and honored to announce that In Dreams I Saw the Rift was awarded Second Place in the Craft division in The Art of the State PA 2020 at the State Museum in Pennsylvania.
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, by Sue Reno, detail 1
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, by Sue Reno, detail 1

This is a very competitive exhibit, and I am always thrilled to be included; to win an award is very special and I am grateful. 
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, by Sue Reno, detail 5
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, by Sue Reno, detail 5

 Due to the pandemic, the Museum is currently closed to the public, but there's a great virtual tour available, my work is best seen in Area 9:

 https://www.exhibitstudios.com/media/tours/21338_art_of_the_state/

Here's the catalogue:

http://statemuseumpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/CatalogWeb.pdf

and here's the Awards Ceremony:

https://youtu.be/feoV_j5XHKE

Many thanks to the Museum for putting this all together in a very challenging environment. 


September 10, 2020

Circular Logic for the SAQA Auction

 

I contributed a 12" x 12" quilt to the SAQA Benefit Auction, which begins tomorrow, September 11. You can read all the details about how the auction works, and preview the works, here: https://www.saqa.com/auction
This piece began with a print I made of a plume poppy leaf from my garden. At the time I was experimenting heavily with combining cyanotype, Solarfast, and textile paints, and I thought this one turned out particularly well. For a while it was my "go" project; I carried it around and embroidered on the outline with variegated thread at the odd moment. 

I enjoyed turning the embroidered print into a very intricate small quilt. Here's my statement about the work:

Looking for valid information in the time of pandemic on which to base my decisions, I often run across circular reasoning, where the writer begins with the conclusion they are trying to end with. Searching for scientific accuracy keeps my wits sharp, and making art keeps my sanity intact. This piece began as an experiment using cyanotype and solar dye chemicals to print from a plume poppy leaf. I defined the edges of the image with hand embroidery. The patchwork on the side has heliographic print images of teeny plume poppy leaves. I quilted the main image using a multitude of circles. 


As often happens with fiberart, the picture cannot fully convey the way the silk shimmers, or the depth of texture and line that the quilting adds. It's a little gem, and I hope you are inspired to bid on it!

May 30, 2020

Luminosity accepted for On The Edge


I am happy and honored to share that Luminosity has been selected for On the Edge, a virtual SAQA exhibit. It will be on the newly revamped SAQA website from July 1 - August 31. The juror is Petra Fallaux.
From the juror's statement: “Art affords room for contemplation. It is my favorite way to lose myself and escape from reality. In the unfortunate and harsher reality of COVID times, I often find myself on edge. Seeking out breathing space is more important than ever. My hope is that this online exhibit offers its visitors a few moments of respite and of feeling connected. Most of all, I hope that the work provides a surge of inspiration: keep pushing that envelope!”

My submission statement: I was one of 22 artists selected nationwide to attend the James Webb Space Telescope Artist Event at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. I was able to meet engineers, technicians and other team members from the project, tour Goddard's Integration & Test facility, see the world's largest clean room facility, and view the James Webb Space Telescope, the world’s next-generation space observatory.  I had time to sit in front of the mirror and create, which I spent hand stitching silk hexagons. Back in the studio, I made cyanotype and solar dye prints from my photographs. Cyanotype dates from the 1840s as a pioneering photography process; these and the dye prints were developed outdoors using UV rays from the sun. The border image is from the other end of the photo technology spectrum, taken with a fisheye lens on an iPhone and digitally printed. The center panel is my depiction of the early luminosity, going back 13.5 billion years, which the telescope will be able to detect.

One of the stated goals for this virtual exhibit was to showcase works that might be problematic to place in more traditional exhibit formats. Luminosity is a very large quilt, with a very specific theme and imagery, so I am doubly grateful to have this opportunity to share it. I am in very good company with the group of artists chosen, and I look forward to posting the link when the exhibit goes live.

You can read all about my visit to NASA Goddard and the making of this quilt (in reverse chronological order) by clicking on the James Webb Space Telescope tab at the top, or click here.

And you can follow my work in progress on your social media of choice:

Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/suerenostudio
Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/suereno
Tumblr: http://suerenostudio.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sue_reno_studio/

April 21, 2020

Drawing on the Susquehanna - Online Exhibition

52 Ways to Look at the River, by Sue Reno
52 Ways to Look at the River
 Drawing on the Susquehanna, Four Centuries of Artistic Inspiration and Commerce,  was scheduled to open at Lore Degenstein Gallery, Susquehanna University, this April. In the current shutdown situation, the physical exhibit has been postponed. However, the good news is that curator and artist Rob Evans has put together an outstanding online exhibit available here.
In Dreams I Found Utopia, by Sue Reno
In Dreams I Found Utopia
Rob states: "Pulling together this exhibit has been a two year journey and labor of love: researching, tracking down and purchasing prints, books, magazines, maps, ceramics and other works of art by scouring Ebay, obscure book and print shops, and various online marketplaces around the globe. Not only has this exploration been a treasure hunt of sorts, but it has deepened my sense of connection to this valley, and to my roots as an artist following in the footsteps of those who have lived and worked here before me, and who, like me, have been taken in and transformed by the sublime beauty and rich human history this river embodies."

As you may have noticed, I am also enamored of the Susquehanna, and have a series of works portraying it in its many moods. I am honored that two of them, 52 Ways to Look at the River, and In Dreams I Found Utopia, are included in this exhibit.

The artwork in the exhibit is truly amazing, and Rob is very eloquent in his descriptions and in placing the works in their larger context.  Please find a few quiet moments to treat yourself to this wonderful journey through time and space; again, available here.

April 11, 2020

In Dreams I Saw the Rift acceptance into Art of the State

In Dreams I Saw the Rift, by Sue Reno
In Dreams I Saw the Rift
I am thrilled and honored to announce that my latest work, In Dreams I Saw the Rift, has been accepted into Art of the State Pennsylvania 2020.
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, by Sue Reno, detail 1
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, detail 1
Once again the submission process was very competitive, with over 2000 entries from which jurors Lauren Frances AdamsClara Lieu and Ron Tarver chose 109 works. Within that group, my work is part of the fine craft category; the exhibit also comprises painting, photography and digital media, sculpture, and works on paper. The exhibit is always of the highest quality, and the gallery space in the State Museum is fantastic. I am delighted to have a place to display this large work, where I can count on the lighting and staging to be excellent.

In Dreams I Saw the Rift, by Sue Reno, detail 3
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, detail 3
This year obviously poses some serious challenges for art exhibits. The museum is currently closed, at least until the end of April, and staff is working from home. This opening date has been postponed from June until (hopefully) September. I'll post updates as I get them.

I am acutely aware of how fortunate I am to be currently sheltering safely, to have my basic needs met, and to have studio space in my home. I share this good news with the knowledge that life is difficult for many right now. As I look for ways to help, I'm sending out positive thoughts and love to all my friends.

New work - In Dreams I Saw the Rift

In Dreams I Saw the Rift, by Sue Reno
In Dreams I Saw the Rift
 I am pleased to share my new work, In Dreams I Saw the Rift. It's the latest in my series The River, which to date has been focused on my decades of experience living near the Susquehanna in Pennsylvania.
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, by Sue Reno, detail 1
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, detail 1

 I've been working on this piece, off and on, for several years, and as I progressed the theme became clearer and clearer. I finished it just before the corona virus crisis became acute. To me it represents chaotic neutral--whatever comes next could be positive, or negative, or most likely a mixture of both.
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, by Sue Reno, detail 2
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, detail 2
 But as always, I try and leave it up to you, the viewer, to draw your own interpretations of the imagery.
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, by Sue Reno, detail 3
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, detail 3
 The top portion is made from handstitched hexagons of fabric, done in the English paper piecing method. The middle portion is needlefelted and quilted, with lots of hand embroidery on the wool borders. I had a lovely time with all that time consuming hand stitching.
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, by Sue Reno, detail 4
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, detail 4
 The borders are cyanotypes of bamboo, with a wet process cyanotype fern print anchoring it at the bottom. The quilt measures 66"h x 59" w.
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, by Sue Reno, detail 5
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, detail5
You can track it back as a work in progress by clicking here.

As always, thank you for reading, and special thanks to everyone who has shown interest in the progress posts and photos.

You can follow my work in progress on your social media of choice:
Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/suerenostudio
Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/suereno
Tumblr: http://suerenostudio.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sue_reno_studio/

April 10, 2020

Experiments in wet cyanotype - part 48

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 714
There were a few sunny and warm days in March where I had the impetus to do some botanical printing. I pulled out my collection of autumn leaves I had pressed for just such an occasion and fiddled around with their layout. I am using my favorite cloth, a medium weight cotton sateen. 
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 715
Once I decided on the arrangement, I removed the leaves and treated the fabric with a combination of cyanotype chemicals in the center, and Jacquard Solarfast around the edges. I then added the leaves back on and pressed them down firmly. I covered the arrangement with some sheet plastic (I don't have any glass this large) and set them in the sun for a nice long exposure. I no longer worry about the crease lines in the plastic, as it adds another layer of design.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 716
Over the course of several days I did two more panels, with slightly different arrangements of leaves.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 717

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 718
Pressed leaves lose their integrity after a while, so I was invested in using them all up as creatively as I could.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 719
The colors of the chemicals change dramatically after exposure.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 720
Here are the three panels after exposure, but before rinse out. The areas where the leaves acted as resists, that have some lovely green and blue tones, will mostly rinse out.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 721

Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 722
This phase is very fleeting, so I enjoy capturing these images.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 723
Here are the finished prints! I am very happy with how they turned out.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 724
They are up on my design wall now, where I can enjoy them and contemplate my next move.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 725

I am very fortunate to be in a place where I can putter about like this right now. I hope  everyone is sheltering as safely as possible.
Wet cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 726

I've been working with cyanotype since 2002, and with the wet cyanotype process since the summer of 2017. All the wet cyan posts, of which this is number 48, where I document my experiments in detail, are available in reverse chronological order by clicking the "Wet Cyanotype" tab in the header bar, or by going here.

And a reminder that you can also follow along on your social media of choice:
Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/suerenostudio
Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/suereno
Tumblr: http://suerenostudio.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sue_reno_studio/

April 1, 2020

In Dreams I Saw the Rift, part 4

In Dreams I Saw the Rift, Sue Reno, WIP Image 18
With the river, the bamboo, and the hexies well under way, and work progressing on sewing all the elements together into a quilt top, it was time to think about the backing. Ordinarily, as my work is meant to be displayed on a wall, the backing is not seen, but I am particular about it nonetheless. It needs to be the right weight to support the quilt, yet still be easy to stitch through. And it needs to look good! I spend many hours with it as I am doing the quilting, and I want it to please and/or amuse me.

My procedure in the past has been to hand paint the backs on my driveway, and let it dry in the sun with the cracks in the driveway providing textural lines. For this first effort in my new house, I wasn't quite ready to paint up the driveway (what will the neighbors think!) and there wasn't much in the way of sun, so I retreated to the back deck with a tarp and a good deal of optimism.

The picture above is from the first dripping of the paint. I let that sit a while. Without sun it was not spreading very rapidly, so I got in there with a clean broom and moved some paint around.
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, Sue Reno, WIP Image 19

While I was waiting on all of that, I used up the bits of paint left in the cups for some improvisational faux-shibori dyeing. I like having a stash of random handpainted fabrics I can pull from for future projects.
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, Sue Reno, WIP Image 20
The big panel dried enough by sunset that I was able to bring it in and drape it on a table to finish up overnight. After rinsing, drying, and ironing, I had this beauty ready for layering up the quilt.
In Dreams I Saw the Rift, Sue Reno, WIP Image 21
Big reveal to come! Stay tuned.

You can also follow along on your social media of choice:
Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/suerenostudio
Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/suereno
Tumblr: http://suerenostudio.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sue_reno_studio/