January 21, 2020

For Your Consideration, exhibit acceptances

Rabbit and Maple, by Sue Reno
Rabbit and Maple
 I am delighted to share that I have two works juried into For Your Consideration, an exhibit sponsored by the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh.

Included are Rabbit and Maple, a large (71" x 86"), complex work, featuring cyanotype images of rabbit skulls. It's part of my ongoing series Flora and Fauna, where I explore the theme of wildlife integration into our everyday environment. It also includes red maple cyanotypes, vintage embroidery blocks, and improvisational patchwork.
Rabbit and Maple, by Sue Reno, detail
Rabbit and Maple, detail


 Also juried into the exhibit is In Dreams I Drifted Away, part of my ongoing series on The River.
In Dreams I Drifted Away, by Sue Reno
In Dreams I Drifted Away
It too is complex, with a center panel, representing the river, made with needlefelting and lots of hand embroidery. The supporting quilt has a panel of hand-pieced hexagons, along with Mysore silks and hand printed and painted cottons. Size is 60" x 45".
In Dreams I Drifted Away, by Sue Reno, detail
In Dreams I Drifted Away, detail
 The exhibit was juried by Merill Comeau. It will hang at the Gallery of the Brew House Association, running from February 21st through March 21st. There is an opening reception on 2/21 from 6 - 9, and artist talks on 3/21 from 2 - 4. I hope to see some of you there!


Here's the exhibit postcard with the list of included artists. I am in very good company! Since moving the the Pittsburgh area I've been able to attend several Guild meetings and events and it is already enriching my artist life. I'm very happy to be here.

January 13, 2020

Experiments in wet cyanotype - part 47

Wet Cyanotype_Sue Reno_Image 708
The solstices, summer and winter, are important milestones in my year, and I like to engage in art-making on them if at all possible. This year there was a bit of sunshine on the winter solstice, so while conditions for printmaking were far from ideal, I wanted to have a bit of fun and try making a wet cyanotype print. I used a large cotton sateen panel and coated it with my last leftover dribs of cyanotype chemicals. I didn't wait for the chemicals to dry, which is always an interesting experiment. I used leaves I had pressed and dried in the fall, including catalpa, green ash, red oak, sassafrass, white oak, Joe Pye weed, and an unspecified maple. I covered the works with plastic and took it outside to expose.
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 Conditions were definitely not ideal! But I moved it around a few times to catch the sunniest spots available.
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 At sunset I decided it could use more exposure time, so I left it out overnight. It froze up and created lots of lovely crystal patterns. Here you can see a sassafrass leaf among the frozen patterning.
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 I brought it in at the close of the second day, and it was still quite wet. I removed the leaves and left the panel to dry in the dark overnight.
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 Here is the rinsed, finished panel. I'm so happy with how beautifully it turned out. Solstice art is significant art. It's up on the design wall right now while I think about how best to proceed with it. 
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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 47, 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/

January 6, 2020

Experiments in wet cyanotype - part 46

Wet cyanotype -Sue Reno_Image 696
There were a few days last October with warm temperatures, bright afternoons, and some bits of foliage here and there that were damaged but still whole, so I fit in one last fresh foliage printmaking session. I again combined the wet cyanotype process with solar dyes. Above is a panel of American elm leaves, before exposure, and below are some pokeweed stems.
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I also found some tendrils of fox grape that were suitable.
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And finished out with one last honey locust print.
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Here they are after exposure and before rinsing out. I was using up my available stock of chemicals, so applied everything somewhat whimically.
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They are looking very promising at this stage.
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I like the way the two processes bleed into each other.
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Here are the finished prints. I like the color transitions on this elm print.
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These two, the pokeweed and the fox grape, really draw your attention inward.
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And the locust print is fairly straightforward. Sometimes that's what's needed in a larger composition, and stitching will further enhance it.
Wet cyanotype -Sue Reno_Image 707
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 46, 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/

January 2, 2020

The Susquehanna in December

Susquehanna River, Breezywood overlook, image 1
I was back in Lancaster County, PA, for several days over the holidays, and I squeezed a few hours to visit some of my favorite spots along the River. I am here to say that although I have moved away, my love affair with the Susquehanna continues unabated. It's just so very beautiful, as are the woodlands surrounding it. I was there on a very mild and misty morning, with my fisheye lens handy.
Susquehanna River, Breezywood overlook, image 2
These first three shots are from the Breezyview Overlook.
Susquehanna River, Breezywood overlook, image 3
This one is from a section of the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail, near Marietta, that I've ridden countless times.
Susquehanna River, Northwest Lancaster County River Trail, Image 1
Here's a boat launch site near Marietta:
Susquehanna River, Northwest Lancaster County River Trail, Image 2
This is another section of the trail, looking at a bridge over the Chiques Creek where it enters the Susquehanna.
Susquehanna River, Northwest Lancaster County River Trail, Image 3
Here I am at the base of Chiques Rock, looking wonderfully insignificant by comparison.
Chiques Rock, Northwest Lancaster County  River Trail, Image 1
Here's the fisheye view of the rock. I've been here below it, and up on the peak of it, many many times.
Chiques Rock, Northwest Lancaster County  River Trail, Image 2
I'm currently at such an interesting place, art-inspiration wise. I am very happy I made the move to the Pittsburgh area, but naturally I miss the people and the landscapes I now see only intermittently. Part of my current vibe stems from the fact that I (understandably) haven't yet found the time to really explore the new rivers and landscapes that await me here. One of my goals for the coming year is to rectify that situation. But I am coming to the realization that there will be room for both sets of inspiration, it's not an either/or situation, and I will be the richer for it.

January 1, 2020

Experiments in wet cyanotype - part 45

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I'm welcoming in the new year by continuing to catch up on prints I made towards the end of last year. Making prints from plants growing around my new home was a good way to familiarize myself with my new environment and fine tune my new studio setup.

First up in this batch is a stem of milkweed, Asclepias syriaca. Ordinarily I would let it be, as a food source for invertebrates, but it was positioned in a portion of the garden that needed to be renovated so I sacrificed it to the printmaking gods.

For these prints I once again worked in a process I had experimented with last year, combining wet cyanotype with solar dye printing, specifically Jacquard's Solarfast. Above is the fabric before exposure, and below after a short stint in the sun under plastic. 
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Here is a section of wild grape/fox grape, Vitis labrusca, also in progress.
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Next I did some leaflets of honey locust, Gleditsia triacanthos.
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And two panels of American elm, Ulmus americana, which I have never worked with before.
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Here are the prints after exposure but before being rinsed out.
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Sometimes if I do everything just right, I can retain brushstroke marks from the Solarfast.
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These looked very promising!
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Here are the final prints. The milkweed is fairly straightforward, red and blue.
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This grape leaf print turned out beautifully, and is currently on my design wall awaiting my further attentions.
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I'm also very pleased with the locust print.
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And ditto for the elms. Aside from the milkweed, which is about 12" x 16", these are all larger panels, 20ish by 40ish. I'm enjoying the larger format.
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And there you have it! I feel like combining the two processes is moving from "experimental" to "getting a handle on it".

If you are new here, 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 45, 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/

December 17, 2019

Experiments in wet cyanotype - part 44

Wet cyanotype -Sue Reno_Image 667
More wet cyanotype antics from back in September, as I continued to explore my new environment and break in my new studio space. The subject in these first two, however, is an old friend. Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana, was the subject of the first cyanotype print I ever made, back in 2002. I turned it into an art quilt that I am as happy with today as the day I finished it. It's bordered in Mysore silks. 

Wet cyanotype -Sue Reno_Image 668
One of the lovely things about this plant is the beautiful color that the berries give off. You can see it starting to spread as this print was exposing under glass in full sunlight. Unfortunately, the color is fugitive, so I appreciate its fleeting glory.
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I also did a few prints from a peony plant  that came with the landscaping.
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Here are the exposed, unrinsed prints.
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These give me a thrill every time, both for their dark beauty and for the preview of the final prints.
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That lovely green color is from the unexposed cyanotype chemicals and will rinse out.
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Here are the finished prints.
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Lots of fun swirly stuff happening here.
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These will look great in their ultimate form with stitched leaf veining.
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If you are new here, 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 44, 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/