October 16, 2016

Late Summer Roses - update 5

Late Summer Roses by Sue Reno, WIP18

I finished the felting and the stitching on the center panel..I clean-finished the edges by adding a backing.  I could have called it done at the point, but I decided to add beadwork to the panel.  I like the way beads add texture and detail, and I enjoy the meditative quality of sewing on the beads one at a time.  It's slow work, but that's ok.  I've begun by stitching tiny glass seed beads to each rose.

I like my for my work to grab your attention from a distance, then reward you for coming in to take a closer look.

Late Summer Roses by Sue Reno, WIP19

I also made good progress on designing and piecing the background quilt that the panel will eventually be mounted onto, using the patchwork strips I put together earlier.
Late Summer Roses by Sue Reno, WIP20
I don't like measuring things.  I can do it well if required, if the finished work needs to be a certain size or there are other considerations.  But the act of measuring and turning the dimensions into numbers, and then working with those numbers instead of directly with the materials, feels unnecessary and intrusive.  I've been doing this a long time.  I started out as a semi-traditional quilter (I never had the patience to follow a pattern), so I have a good innate sense of what's needed and how it will all fit together.  I square up and measure it all at the end.

And I am approaching the end of the design work, I'm soon ready to layer it and begin quilting.  I'm having a lot of fun with this one.

You can track this work back by clicking on Late Summer Roses in the right sidebar, or go here.

October 9, 2016

Late Summer Roses - update 4

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP15

I'm making steady progress on Late Summer Roses.  I've just added the roses.  They are little balls of wool roving, felted into place.  I may add beadwork or more detailing to them, I'm still contemplating my next move, but for now I am very happy with how things look.

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP16
I've also pieced the strips of silk and cotton into long strip sets, that will be sliced up and pieced further for the background quilt.  

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP17
There's a lot of work that goes into the preparatory part of quilt assembly.  Soon it will all be all fun and games as I put these elements together.  Stay tuned!

October 5, 2016

Late Summer Roses - update 3

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP11
My plan for Late Summer Roses is to mount the needlefelted and quilted panel onto a supporting quilt. I use this technique often. I feel it's very effective in framing and highlighting the panel, and adding context to the imagery. Examples include Magnolia:
Magnolia, by Sue Reno
 Ice Jam:
Ice Jam, by Sue Reno
Ice Jam

If I Woke at Dawn
If I Woke at Dawn

Towards that end, I've pulled fabrics in two colorways and cut strips as a first step towards strip piecing.  The strips will then be cut and reassembled. 
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP12

Work continues on the center panel. I've added in the background for the rosebushes:
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP13
And thread painted them. Now all it needs is the roses. I've carefully built up the background and am excited to finally add them.
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP14

October 2, 2016

Late Summer Roses - update 2

 I'm working on a new project, Late Summer Roses, that I began plein air in the garden of the PA Governor's Residence.  (Read the first installment here.) Back in the studio, I started with a good hard look at what I had made on site.
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP7
I was pleased with it, but there were some obvious corrections to be made, so I made them.
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP8

I then began building on the foundation, detailing the mulch beds and the brickwork, with needlefelting and with stitching. I also added the clouds in the sky.
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP9
Next, I added the first layer of foliage to the trees.

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP10

Stay tuned! Lots more to come, including the rosebushes.

October 1, 2016

Late Summer Roses - New Work in Progress

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP1
A few weeks ago I was one of the plein air artists working at the PA Governor's Residence, as detailed in my previous blog post here.  The weather was on the warm side but otherwise lovely, and I set up my workstation in the shade of the arches near the rose garden. 

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP2
I was particularly intrigued by the contrast between the hard geometric shapes of the brick pathways, and the roses enjoying one last full flush of bloom. 

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP3
Here's a panorama view showing more of the roses, and the side entrance to the Residence.  On the left is the large magnolia tree that was the focus of my plein air work there last year, resulting in the eponymous Magnolia art quilt:
Magnolia, by Sue Reno
Magnolia, by Sue Reno
(You can track back blog post about the creation of Magnolia here.)

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP4
This time around I knew where to set my expectations.  A lot of the pleasure of working in this kind of setting is talking to and interacting with the public, so my focus was on that and on getting the basics of the scene blocked out.
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP5
I talked a lot about fiber art, and needlefelting, and had my needlefelting flip book there to show how my typical work-in-progress proceeds.  I gave out samples of roving to children, and let interested visitors take a stab at using the needlefelting tool.  
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP6
By the end of the afternoon I had blocked out the path and the large trees, and had a firm vision in my head of where I wanted to take this piece when I got back into the studio.  It was a good day.

September 15, 2016

SAQA Benefit Auction kickoff

River Dreams, by Sue Reno
River Dreams
 It's time!  The SAQA Benefit auction begins tomorrow, 9/16/16, with Diamond Day bidding, an early bird opportunity to purchase any quilt for $1000.  Starting Monday at 2pm EDT, bidding on section 1 quilts starts, with prices at $750 and further reduced throughout the week until a final price of $100.  All proceeds benefit SAQA's exibitions, publications, and educational outreach.

River Dreams, which I made specifically for the auction, in included in the section 1 quilts.  It's a unique opportunity to own work of mine in a size format that I seldom visit.  It incorporates a lot of the elements I've been using in my ongoing series The River.

There's over 400 works available in the Benefit Auction, so there's sure to be something that catches your eye and speaks to you.  Details are on the SAQA site here, with lots of easily navigatible information.  The individual link to River Dreams is here.

River Dreams, detail, by Sue Reno
River Dreams, detail
You can read my original blog post about making this artwork here.

Have fun bidding, and good luck!

September 5, 2016

Plein Air at the Govenor's Residence, redux

Magnolia, by Sue Reno
 Remember Magnolia? I began the center panel of this artquilt working plein air at the PA Governor's Residence last September. You can read all about it in my previous blog posts here.

I had such a great experience the first time, I jumped at the chance to do it again.  I'll be at the Art in the Garden event, part of the Second Sunday series at the Governor's Residence, this coming Sunday, September 11, from 1 - 6 pm. The Residence is at 2035 N. Front St., Harrisburg, PA.  Weather permitting, I'll be outside near the Rose Garden.

I learned a lot from my from my extemporaneous creative involvement last year, and this time I will be well prepared.  I pre-made a couple of background panels, with wool, machine needlefelted on wool/rayon felt.  That way I can get right to laying out whateve scene I chose to work on.

felting backgrounds

Part of the joy of an event like this is talking and interacting with visitors.  Fiber art is still a novel artistic media to many people, so education and outreach are always part of my goals.  In the "never throw anything out" department, I remembered I had some step-outs I had made for my felting demo on Quilting Arts TV.

felting flip book pages
 With a bit of tweaking I was able to repurpose them into a flip book, showing the steps I use to built up a typical felted and stitched panel.  Textile work is very tactile and tempting to touch, so this way interested visitors can see and handle the work
felting flip book by Sue Reno

It's like magic!
felting flip book gif by Sue Reno
If you are in the area, I would love to see you in the garden on Sunday.  If all goes according to plan, I will be live tweeting and Instagraming and Facebook-ing, so check in 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: sue_reno_studio 

As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

August 15, 2016

Work accepted for SPUN exhibit

Skunk and Garlic Mustard, by Sue Reno
Skunk and Garlic Mustard

 I'm excited to share that two of my art quilts have been accepted for SPUN, an innovative all fiber exhibit at the NEST Arts Factory in Bridgeport, CT. Both Skunk and Garlic Mustard, above, and Silk Mill #1, below, will be included.

Silk Mill #1, by Sue Reno
Silk Mill #1
The juror is Dr Linda Wolk-Simon, director and chief curator, University Galleries, Fairfield University.  The show opens on 9/10/16 and runs through 10/3/16.  

Skunk and Garlic Mustard, detail, by Sue Reno
Skunk and Garlic Mustard, detail
Skunk and Garlic Mustard is part of my ongoing Flora and Fauna series.  It features cyanotypes on cotton, a heliographic print on silk, artist-painted and commercial silk and cotton fabrics, vintage embroidery,and machine stitching.
Silk Mill #1, detail, by Sue Reno
Silk Mill #1, detail
Silk Mill #1 is part of my series The StructuresIt's based on the historic Ashley and Bailey Silk Mill, circa 1899, in Columbia, PA. It was abandoned in the 1970's, and had become a magnificent ruin, The images are from photographs I took at the beginning stages of a renovation that has turned a portion of the building into a tourist attraction. It features screen prints on cotton, digital images on silk, artist-painted and commercial silk and cotton fabrics, and machine stitching.