May 29, 2016

The Susquehanna from Marietta, PA





Susquehanna River from Marietta, PA

This week the weather was still stormy, but with interludes of sunshine. I made a quick trip to the Susquehanna at the boat launch just off of Furnace Road, near Marietta PA. I'd been in the area previously, but this time I was  armed with the telephoto lens.  In the distance downriver, I could see both the modern Rt.30 span and the Veterans Memorial Bridge.  A bit to the left, and I could just spot the gazebo on the top of the hill at the Breezyview Overlook:
Breezyview Overlook, Susquehanna River
 I'd been to Breezyview. looking down, back in Week 13:

52 Ways to Look at the River,  Week 13 panel, by Sue Reno
52 Ways to Look at the River,  Week 13 panel
And also in Week 30, when a snow squall popped up:
52 Ways to Look at the River,  Week 30 panel, by Sue Reno
52 Ways to Look at the River,  Week 30 panel
A bit further to the left is Chickies Rock.
Chickies Rock, Susquehanna River
 I was at the Chickies Overlook just recently, in Week 45:
52 Ways to Look at the River,  Week 45 panel, by Sue Reno
52 Ways to Look at the River,  Week 45 panel
This week I pushed the lens to its limit to capture both bridges and the Turkey Hill windmills (as seen last week). I chose this picture for my week 48 Image:
52 Ways to Look at the River,  Week 48 image, by Sue Reno
52 Ways to Look at the River,  Week 48 image
 I made this panel in response.  The panel is 6" x 12", wool, silk, and mylar, needlefelted and stitched.
52 Ways to Look at the River,  Week 48 panel, by Sue Reno
52 Ways to Look at the River,  Week 48 panel
Only 4 more weeks to go in this self-directed project, 52 Ways to Look at the River.

You can follow along on your platform of choice:
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/people/suereno/
Instagram: sue_reno_studio

I've added a "52 Weeks" tab at the top header so you can track the project back to the beginning.

As always, thank you for reading and commenting.



May 23, 2016

River Dreams for SAQA Benefit Auction

River Dreams by Sue Reno
River Dreams 
I've made an art quilt for this year's SAQA Benefit Auction.  I've named it River Dreams, as it is a distillation and continuation of the work I've been doing in my 52 Ways to Look at the River Project and in my ongoing series the River   It's 12" x 12", needlefelted with wool and silk, stitched and quilted, and hand beaded.  The texture on this piece is incredible; here's a detail shot of the tree:

River Dreams, detail,  by Sue Reno
River Dreams, detail
 The SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Associates) Benefit Action Fundraiser  begins on September 16, and I will be sure to update you as it approaches.  I seldom make work in this format, so this is an unique opportunity to make my work a part of your collection!

The funds from the Auction go towards the exhibition program.  I am very, very grateful for the amazing journey The Organic Landscape has been on as part of the Seasonal Palette exhibit-it's currently in Taiwan!-- so I am happy to be able to contribute to the cause.

Just for fun, here's a GIF of River Dreams as a work in progress:
River Dreams GIF by Sue Reno
River Dreams, Work in Progress

As always thanks for reading and commenting.

May 22, 2016

Turkey Hill and the Susquehanna

Railroad tracks, Blue Rock Road
There was a rare spot of sunshine during another cold rainy week, so I took advantage of it with a quick trip down to the boat launch/river access off of Blue Rock Road in Lancaster County, PA.  It's just a short walk down to the Susquehanna, across the railroad tracks.  On the way I paused to admire the Dame's Rocket, Hesperis matronalis, in full bloom:

Dame's Rocket, Hesperis natronalis, in bloom


Dame's Rocket, Hesperis natronalis, in bloom, detail
 The milkweed is budding up and getting ready to bloom.  I'm always glad to see it, as it's a vital food source for monarch caterpillars:
common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, with buds
 And the pokeweed is growing by leaps and bounds. I admire its vigor in the wild, but not so much in my garden:
pokeweed, Phytolacca americana
Here's what I came for, the view of the Susquehanna, looking downriver towards Turkey Hill.  You can just make out the Enola Low Grade Trail, last week's photo site, at the base of the hill:
Turkey Hill and the Susquehanna

I was at this spot early last fall, but looking upriver, for my week 20 fisheye image:
52 Ways to Look at the River, week 20 image, by Sue Reno
52 Ways to Look at the River, week 20 image
 And the resultant week 20 panel:
52 Ways to Look at the River, week 20 panel, by Sue Reno
52 Ways to Look at the River, week 20 panel
Here's the dock this week, sans boat:
dock on the Susquehanna, Blue Rock Road

To get even more meta, remember that view of the islands from the trail, from last week?
View of the Susquehanna from the Enola Low Grade Trail

Here's one of them full on, with a telephoto lens, revealing what I'm assuming is a duck blind in front of it:
islands in the Susquehanna near Turkey Hill
And surely you remember that red caboose on the trail?

Red caboose on the Enola Low Grade Trail

The caboose is just visible, with the telephoto lens, in the image I chose for this week's inspiration photo. At the top of Turkey Hill are the windmills, standing 262 feet high, that help power the dairy.  Just beyond the windmills is the Frey Farm Landfill.
52 Ways to Look at the River, week 47 image, by Sue Reno
 The panel is wool and silk, 6" x 12", needlefelted, stitched, and painted.
52 Ways to Look at the River, week 47 panel, by Sue Reno
52 Ways to Look at the River, week 47 panel

You can follow along with the 52 Ways to Look at the River project on your platform of choice:
Tumblr: http://suerenostudio.tumblr.com
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/people/suereno/
Instagram: sue_reno_studio

I've added a "52 Weeks" tab at the top header so you can track the project back to the beginning.

As always, thank you for reading and commenting.


May 15, 2016

The Susquehanna and the Enola Low Grade Trail

It was another cool, gray, rainy week. Despite the weather, I'm trying to get the garden in, so I made just a quick trip for my 52 Ways to Look at the River photo shoot.  I went to the Enola Low Grade Trail:

Enola Low Grade Trail
This section of the trail flanks the railroad tracks along the Susquehanna from Turkey Hill to the Safe Harbor Dam.  I go there from time to time to get in a bike ride, as the trail bed is excellent, and I've been there before for this project.  Way back in week 8 I took this fisheye picture on a hot, sunny day:
Week 8 Image, 52 Ways to Look at the River, by Sue Reno
Week 8 Image, 52 Ways to Look at the River
I used it as inspiration for this panel:
Week 8 Panel, 52 Ways to Look at the River, by Sue Reno
Week 8 Panel, 52 Ways to Look at the River
And on week 11 I was back to climb the adjacent trail up to Turkey Hill and take another fisheye picture.
Week 11 Image, 52 Ways to Look at the River, by Sue Reno
Week 11 Image, 52 Ways to Look at the River
 Which I turned into this panel:
Week 11 Panel, 52 Ways to Look at the River, by Sue Reno
Week 11 Panel, 52 Ways to Look at the River
This same vantage point was the subject of this small art quilt, View From Turkey Hill, which I sold years ago.  Before the current trail version of the trail opened, it was a more rustic hike, as I reported back in 2012.
View From Turkey Hill, by Sue Reno
View From Turkey Hill
And way back in 2009, the old trail was the site of my paw paw extravaganza:
Sue Reno holding a pawpaw


This time around nature's palette was much more subdued:
Susquehanna River by the Enola Low Grade Trail
With the only pop of color coming from the caboose on display:
Red Caboose on the Enola Low Grade Trail
So I decided to embrace the gray, and turned my telephoto lens towards that group of islands.  Here's the week 46 inspiration image:


And the resultant panel, 6" x 12", wool and silk, needlefelted and stitched:


You can follow along with the 52 Ways to Look at the River project on your platform of choice:
Tumblr: http://suerenostudio.tumblr.com
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/people/suereno/
Instagram: sue_reno_studio

I've added a "52 Weeks" tab at the top header so you can track the project back to the beginning.

As always, thank you for reading and commenting.

May 8, 2016

Chickies Rock Hike

Chickies Rock trail
In the midst of a very rainy and dreary week, I took the short hike up to Chickies Rock to take pictures. I've been there countless times, but I never take it for granted, or tire of it, because this is the view:

Chickies Rock Panorama
I took a telephoto lens this time, and focused on the bridges downriver.  Here's the modern Rt. 30 span, with the Veterans Memorial Bridge that has often been the focus of my artwork in the background:

View from Chickies Rock
 The lens also let me capture this hawk in flight:

Hawk over Susquehanna River
In May the woods along the trail are bursting with new growth, like this Royal Paulownia tree, Paulownia tomentosa, in full bloom.

Royal Paulownia tree in bloom
The blooms are high in the tree, but heavy rains had knocked some of them down, and I was able to get a macro shot of a bud:
Royal Paulownia bud macro
And a macro image of the interior of a flower:

Royal Paulownia flower, macro
Royal Paulownia is a non-native, fast growing "trash" tree, but I've got a soft spot for them, mostly because of their gigantic leaves.  I used the leaves in a mono print and a cyanotype print in my artquilt Royal Paulownia.  In 2006 this work was shown in the Museum of Fine Art in Bishkek, Kyrgzstan.
Royal Paulownia, by Sue Reno
Royal Paulownia
Still looking up, I saw several gypsy moth caterpillar nests, although it didn't seem to be a heavy infestation this year.

Gypsy moth caterpillar nest
The caterpillars are very destructive, but in a macro view they have their own beauty.

Gypsy moth caterpillar macro

The fresh green leaves of a chestnut oak are very appealing:
Chestnut oak leaves
And I suppose there's some beauty to be found in devil's tear thumb, Persicaria perfoliata, even though it is the bane of my gardening existence: 

Devil's tearthumb

 The fox grapes, Vitus labrusca, are just starting to leaf out:
Fox grape leaves
And the heucheras are setting buds:

Heuchera leaves

 Mayapples are an attractive native ground cover, especially appealing when dotted with raindrops:
Mayapple leaves

 I used mayapple leaves for cyanotype prints in Deer and Mayapple, part of my Flora and Fauna series:
Deer and Mayapple, by Sue Reno
Deer and Mayapple
The fuzzy leaves of common mullien, Verbascum Thapsus, also catch the rain.  It's a biennial, so this specimen will shoot up a tall flowering stalk later in the summer.
Common mullein leaves
Here's some small pink daisies or fleabane flowers--I haven't tracked down the exact ID, but that doesn't abate my appreciation:

Pink daisies

 And surely there's some beauty in the reddish color of these new poison leaves, if only in its effectiveness in warning me to stay away:
Poison ivy leaves

Poke, or pokeweed, Phytollaca americana, is also emerging right now.  These shoots are just a bit past the stage where there are edible.  It's one of those deals where you have to catch them young and boil them in several changes of water to avoid toxicity--the mature plants are definitely inedible.  I've eaten them a few times and enjoyed them with no ill effects.  Sometimes old-timers have them for sale at the local farmer's market.
Poke leaves emerging
This is another favorite plant/garden weed, partly because of the purple berries I used to make "ink" as a child, and partly from admiration of it's persistence.  The seeds can lay dormant for decades if need be.  I used the leaves in one of my first artquilts, Poke Salad:
And also in the Cul-de-Sac, where they grew in abundance after a bit of woods was clear-cut:
The Cul-de-Sac, by Sue Reno
The Cul-de-Sac

Part of the premise for my ongoing, self-directed project, 52 Ways to Look at the River, is that every viewing of Susquehanna River is unique.  I visited Chickies Rock last fall, when the leaves were just starting to turn:
Week 17 image, 52 Ways to Look at the River
Week 17 Image, 52 Ways to Look at the River
I used that imagery to make my week 17 panel:

Week 17 panel, 52 Ways to Look at the River
Week 17 panel, 52 Ways to Look at the River
This week I focused on the view downriver, and chose this perspective as my inspiration image:

Week 45 image, 52 Ways to Look at the River
Week 45 image, 52 Ways to Look at the River
 Here's my week 45 panel, 6" x 12", wool and silk, needlefelted and stitched:
Week 45 panel, 52 Ways to Look at the River
Week 45 panel, 52 Ways to Look at the River
I'm coming down the homestretch on this project. While on the one hand I'm considering making road trips to view the Susquehanna in far-away locales, this week's outing proves that adventure is a function of attention and observation.

You can follow along with the 52 Ways to Look at the River project on your platform of choice:
Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/suereno
Tumblr: http://suerenostudio.tumblr.com
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/people/suereno/
Instagram: sue_reno_studio

I've added a "52 Weeks" tab at the top header so you can track the project back to the beginning.

And as always, thanks for reading and commenting.  I always try to reply to comments personally and individually, provided there is contact information available.