January 22, 2015

Susquehanna River Ice Tour, part 1

Susquehanna River Ice at Wrightsville, by Sue Reno
The Susquehanna River has partially frozen over, and we went out to take a look.  Veterans Memorial Bridge at Wrightsville, by Sue Reno
We visited some old favorites and some new photo op sites, all on the York County, Pennsylvania side of the river.Ice slabs on the Susquehanna riverbank at Wrightsville, by Sue Reno
The Veterans Memorial Bridge, crossing from Columbia to Wrightsville, is definitely a continuing theme.  I've photographed it countless times, and made artwork featuring it.Sue Reno, The Old Bridge, detail We made a side trip to another favorite site, the Codorus Forge Furnace, on the Codorus Creek that feeds into the river.
Codorus Forge, York County, PA, Image 1, by Sue Reno
It was especially beautiful this day, partially covered with ice and glistening in the weak winter sun.
Codorus Forge, York County, PA, Image 2, by Sue RenoThe moss and lichen coating the stonework was in high relief.Codorus Forge, York County, PA, Image 3, by Sue Reno
The brick superstructure , with ice, and a backdrop of bare trees:Codorus Forge, York County, PA, Image 4, by Sue Reno Veering back towards the river, we passed the Brunner Island Steam Electric Station.
Brunner Island Power Plant, by Sue Reno
It’s a coal fired plant built in the 1960s.  Brunner Island smoke stack, by Sue Reno
The politics of its continued operation are complicated, as per this article in the local paper.Brunner Island ash pile, by Sue Reno
It’s surrounded by giant heaps of coal, brought in by rail, and large piles of ash.

Up next: a lot more ice.

January 3, 2015

Jack in the Pulpit acceptance for Lancaster AQS

Sue Reno, Jack in the Pulpit
What a great way to start a new year!  I’m pleased to announce that Jack in the Pulpit has been accepted for the American Quilter’s Society show, March 11-14,  at the Lancaster County Convention, Lancaster, PA.
Sue Reno, Jack in the Pulpit, detail 1This is my hometown show, so I will look forward to attending it.  It’s a great opportunity to visit and catch up with many of my friends in the quilt world, and to admire the quilts in the exhibits.
Sue Reno, Jack in the Pulpit, detail 3 Jack in the Pulpit is a large quilt, 5 feet high by 6 feet wide, so it will hold its own in the expo center.  It’s a tour-de-force of my printmaking skills, with cyanotypes, heliographic monoprints, and digital prints from my original photographs.  It has complex free form piecing of hand-painted and commercial silks and cottons, and is intensively stitched.  Like most fiberart, it really needs to be seen in person to enjoy all the subtleties of texture and color.

Jack in the Pulpit is an interesting and striking native plant; this specimen volunteered in my garden, in my currant bed, and it took me two years to make the prints because I didn't want to weaken it by harvesting too many leaves at one time.  I worked on the quilt, off and on, for a few more years….making art is not always a linear process! 

January 2, 2015

Spring Thaw for The 100

Sue Reno, Spring Thaw
Spring Thaw is finished and ready to go to a new home.  It’s my contribution to Virginia Spiegel’s ACS Fundraiser The 100. This brilliantly conceived event opens on February 4th.  The first 100 patrons to sign up and contribute $100 will receive a randomly selected original artwork, made and donated by invited artists.  The money raised will put the total for Fiberart for a Cause at a cool quarter million dollars.  For a preview of the outstanding work made to date, check the Pinterest page graciously curated by Deborah Boschert here.
Sue Reno, Spring Thaw, detail 1 
Spring Thaw is 9” high x 11”wide.  The river in the center is needlefelted with layers and layers of roving, silk and wool scraps, and threads.  The river banks are needlefelted and stitched, and I added hand beadwork to the banks.  It’s signed on the back, and I’ve included a rod pocket to make hanging it easy; it would also look great framed.  (All pictures enlarge when clicked.)
Sue Reno, Spring Thaw, detail 2
This piece began as part of my demonstration when filming for Quilting Arts TV last spring.  You can read more about it, and see examples of my other river-themed work, in my previous post here.  I don’t usually work in this size format, so it’s a very nice opportunity for a lucky collector to own a smaller piece. 

Great art, a great price, and a great cause—it’s a win all around!  Mark your calendar and join in on the fun.

December 17, 2014

Silver Maple Embroidery

Sue Reno, Silver Maple embroidery
It’s a hectic time of year, and my studio time is fractured.  I like having a hand embroidery project available so that when I have a few spare minutes I can busy my hands, clear my head, and feel like I've accomplished something non-seasonal.  This silver maple heliographic print is serving that purpose right now.  I printed it on a hemp/silk blend fabric that has a slight texture and a crisp feel to it.  It’s wonderful to work on.  I”m using three strands of DMC cotton embroidery thread.
Sue Reno, Silver Maple embroidery, back view  And since I’m old-school when it comes to embroidery, the back is (almost) as neat as the front.  There are no knots in the thread and all the ends are woven into the work. This will eventually get layered and quilted, and then no one will ever see the back again, but it brings me pleasure to work this way.

December 9, 2014

My work for “The 100” Fundraiser, in progress

SueReno, felted river
Early this year I was honored to film for Quilting Arts TV series 1400, with Susan Brubaker Knapp as the host.  For one my segments, I demonstrated my method of combining needlefelting with other techniques to create a river landscape.  I’ve used this method on several of my latest works in The River series, including If I Woke at Dawn:
Sue Reno, If I Woke at Dawn and In Dreams I Climbed the Cliffs:
Sue Reno, In Dreams I Climbed the Cliffs
I prepared a lot of “step-outs” for the shoot, showing the progression of steps needed to achieve the result.  Most of these I was able to recycle back into my stash or works in progress, but the final example, shown above, deserved a higher purpose. 

I will be adding more stitching, texture, and embellishment, and donating it to one lucky (randomly selected) bidder in Virginia Spiegel’s excellent fundraiser for the ACS, The 100.  Details on how it all works, and the list of the other 99 amazing contributing artists, can be found here.

Mark your calendars for February 4 for your chance to contribute to a good cause and own a unique work of fiber art.

December 4, 2014

Work in Progress – Ice Jam, Update 3

Sue Reno, Ice Jam, Work in Progress, Image 4
Work has progressed on the center panel of this piece.  I layered it with batting and lined the back, then began on the quilting.  I always get excited about the texture and detail that develops with all the stitching.  Fabric is such a responsive medium.  Look at how this has been transformed since the last update:
Sue Reno, Ice Jam, Work in Progress, Image 4 I enjoyed combining a lot of techniques in this piece—needlefelting, patchwork, surface design, quilting, couching and embellishment. .  When I teach about techniques, I always emphasize that “technique should be the servant of intent”.  This work is a good example of how the various ways of manipulating fibers and fabrics are not there just to showcase the methods, but to convey mood and meaning.

As always, thanks for following along.

December 1, 2014

The 100 – a Fiberart For a Cause Fundraiser

I am honored to be an invited artist for "The 100" to be held on Wednesday, February 4, 2015. The goal for this fiberart fundraiser for the American Cancer Society is to raise $10,000 in one day.

I wrote recently about my esteem for Virginia Spiegel, and how she is one of the few people for whom I will give an immediate and enthusiastic “Yes!” when asked to participate in an event.  I have proudly contributed to past fundraisers Virginia has held, and Fiberart For A Cause has already raised $240,000 through the generosity of fiber artists and patrons. With this event, we will bring the dollar amount up to cool quarter of a million dollars.

How? All the details are here: http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/FFACThe100Fundraiser.html

The setup is simple and brilliant.  100 artists are contributing work—and it’s an amazing line up!  The first 100 patrons to sign up and donate $100 when the event opens on February 4 will receive a randomly selected artwork. Knowing many of the artists, and knowing the generosity of fiber artists in general, it’s entirely possible that many of the artworks will exceed the $100 valuation.  I know the one I’m working on will—I’ll share some pictures soon.

So mark your calendars, and join us in this worthwhile cause.

November 14, 2014

Work in Progress – Ice Jam, Update 2

Sue Reno, Ice Jam, Work In Progress, Image 2
The center portion of this piece, the needlefelted river, changed a lot since the start as shown in my previous post.  I continued building up the water with layers of wool roving, wool scraps, and silk slivers.  I scrunched up pale silk and needlefelted it into place to represent the ice on the river banks.  I added the banks with more scrunched silks in earth tones.

Around the felted portion, I built the piece up further with more strips of silk and wool.  Even this early on, the textures I was achieving were very exciting to me.  (The pictures enlarge when you click on them so you can see more detail.)
Sue Reno, Ice Jam, Work In Progress, Image 3
As I worked on the center piece, I started arranging and rearranging the collagraph prints and some pieced strips on the design wall.  I left them up for a while and contemplated them daily in case I needed to make adjustments before starting the actual piecing. 

Thanks for following along, and as always, thanks for reading and commenting.