July 24, 2014

Today’s Inspiration: Photography

I am posting each day of the Quilting Arts TV blog hop with a personal message about inspiration and creativity.  When you’re done reading here, pop on over to the featured artists of the day to enjoy their blogposts.  Today’s bloggers are: Cheryl Sleboda (muppin.com/wordpress/) AND Jane Sassaman (janesassaman.com/weblog) AND Julie Creus (http://todera.blogspot.com)
Sue Reno, Japanese Anemone, macro
Today’s Inspiration is Photography.  In this, as in most things, I am an autodidact. My training consists of taking lots of lots of photos, in a multitude of situations, using varying degrees of technology, and learning from them all.  I do a lot of editing, separating the wheat from the chaff, and it’s safe to say that easily accessible digital technology has been a game changer for myself and myriad other artists.
Sue Reno, Hyacinth with raindrops, macro
I practice photography several different ways.  I have a Canon DSL camera and some good lenses that I use to take the studio portraits of my finished work.  It was a steep learning curve, but I now produce photos I can use for my website, exhibit entries, and magazine submissions.
Sue Reno, Bamboo Emerging
I also have a Sony cyber-shot that I use to take a lot of the in-progress photos of my work that find their way into my blogposts.
Sue Reno, Kousa Dogwood, work in progress
But by far the camera I use the most is the one in my iPhone.  It’s always handy, and takes very good pictures.  There are a wealth of apps you can use to customize the way you take photos—I currently favor Camera+ and ProCamera—and how you edit them—Snapseed is my favorite.
Sue Reno, Daffodil pistils and stamen, macro
A few years ago I began experimenting with attachable lenses for my phone, first a Diffcase set, and currently an Olloclip.  They have allowed me to explore the intricacies of the macro world, and the distortions of the fisheye view.
Sue Reno, winter landscape, fisheye
I take my (almost) daily photos with my phone to train my eye.  Some of the imagery may show up in my work, but I mainly use it to remind myself to be present in the moment and look around at the world. I also enjoying sharing them on my Flickr feed, as well as Twitter and Facebook.  I can’t solve all the problems of the world, but I can put a spot of beauty out there each day.
Sue Reno, Pokeberry sepals, macroAt the other end of the photo technology scale is my work with cyanotype.  It is one of the oldest forms of imagery, discovered in 1842.  You can read the history here on Blueprints on Fabric, where I order my pre-treated fabric (no affiliation, except as a satisfied customer). Despite, or perhaps because of, its simplicity and direct application, I find it to be a fresh and exciting art form, and I use it extensively in my work.
Sue Reno, Groundhog and Green Bean, detail
I discuss using photos as inspiration with Susan Brubaker Knapp in a one of the episodes on the Quilting Arts TV DVD  Susan also uses photography in her artistic life and in her work, with beautiful results.
Quilting Arts TV DVD Cover Image
Read more about it, including the PBS schedule, on the Quilting Arts TV Website

Tomorrow’s featured blogger: July 25: Susan Brubaker Knapp (bluemoonriver.blogspot.com)

Up next: Travel

July 23, 2014

Today’s Inspiration: The River

I am posting each day of the Quilting Arts TV blog hop with a personal message about inspiration and creativity.  When you’re done reading here, pop on over to the featured artists of the day to enjoy their blogposts.  Today’s bloggers are: Lyric Kinard (lyrickinard.com/blog) AND Margie Ullery (ribboncandyquilts.blogspot.com)

Today’s Inspiration is The River.  I’ve lived near the Susquehanna River for most of my life.
  Sue Reno, In Dreams I Flew Over the River, detail
As a child I had an uncle who owned an island in the river.  One year when the river was very low, he drove a old Farmall tractor across to the island, and did some hobby farming there.  It seemed like a magical place to me.
Sue Reno, In Dreams I Saw the Colors Change
I was in college, working a summer job in Harrisburg, PA, when Hurricane Agnes dropped torrential rains that turned the normally placid river into a raging force of destruction.  I saw firsthand the power that the river possessed.
Sue Reno, In Dreams I Climbed the Cliffs
The Susquehanna still seems magical to me.  I never tire of visiting it, in its many moods.  
Sue Reno, If I Woke at Dawn
Some time ago I began dreaming about the river, and started a series of quilts that incorporate needlefelting with wool and silk fibers.
Sue Reno, In Dreams I Flew Over the River
I demonstrate my technique for needlefelting on the Quilting Arts TV DVD.  I hope you will try it and adapt it as your own, reflecting your own environment.
SueReno, RiverThemed Needlefelting, QATV
Read more about series 1400, including the schedule, on the Quilting Arts TV Website
Quilting Arts TV DVD Cover Image
Tomorrow’s featured bloggers:  Cheryl Sleboda (muppin.com/wordpress/) / Jane Sassaman (janesassaman.com/weblog) / Julie Creus (http://todera.blogspot.com)

Up next: Photography

July 22, 2014

Today’s Inspiration: The Garden


Hello and welcome!  Today is my turn to be featured on the Quilting Arts TV blog hop. The theme of Series 1400 is all about finding creativity and inspiration, so I have been posting each day with images and prompts about my personal inspirations.  Today’s inspiration is The Garden.Sue Reno, Plume Poppy
My earliest memory is of helping to plant a vegetable garden, poking pea seeds into the ground.
Sue Reno, The Organic Garden
Gardening has been a lifelong priority, both for the food and flowers, and for the sheer delight and satisfaction of watching things grow.  So it’s only natural that my garden has been a recurring theme in my art quilts.
Sue Reno, Columbine
I use a variety of surface design methods to put imagery onto fabric, including cyanotype;
Sue Reno, Bleeding Heart, detail
heliographic prints:
Sue Reno, Jack in the Pulpit, detail
and digital prints:
Sue Reno, Fireball, detail
While I’m outside, digging and pruning and weeding, I keep a sharp eye out for the native wildlife that visits my garden from time to time, which led to the creation of my Flora and Fauna series.
Sue Reno, Vole and Viburnum
I collect animal skulls, photograph them, make cyanotype prints of the images, and incorporate them with vintage textiles and heliographic prints.
Sue Reno, Skunk and Garlic Mustard
They are quite cheerful works for the most part, celebrating the lives of the creatures that share my environment.
Sue Reno, Squirrel and Locust
Part of my artistic practice involves taking (almost) daily pictures of my environment and posting them to social media.  Most are taken using my iPhone with a clip on macro lens.  I love the different perspective that is revealed in the macro world.
Sue Reno, columbine bud, macro
You can find my photos on Flickr, my Twitter account, and Facebook.
Sue Reno, white zinnia flower, macro
I hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of my work, and will check back often to see what I am creating. 
Sue Reno, wood poppy bud, macro
As always, thanks for reading and commenting, and be sure to hop over to the other featured blog for today,  Rebekah Meier (rebekahmeier.com).  You can see my episodes and the work of all the talented artists by purchasing the Quilting Arts TV DVD
Quilting Arts TV DVD Cover Image
Read more about the series, and the PBS schedule, at the  Quilting Arts TV Website

I shared the experience of filming my episodes for Quilting Arts TV on my blog back in March—see it here. There are links to previews of my episodes here.  And I’ve added a QATV tab on the blog header to make it easy to read back through all the QATV related blogs.  Enjoy!
Sue Reno, on the set of Quilting Arts TV


Tomorrow’s featured bloggers:  Lyric Kinard (lyrickinard.com/blog) / Margie Ullery (ribboncandyquilts.blogspot.com)

Up next: The River

July 21, 2014

Today’s Inspiration: The Woods

I am posting each day of the Quilting Arts TV blog hop with a personal message about inspiration and creativity.  When you’re done reading here, pop on over to the featured artists of the day to enjoy their blogposts.  Today’s bloggers are: Carrie Bloomston (suchitysuch.blogspot.com) AND Catherine Redford (catherineredford.com)
 
Sue Reno, Jack in the Pulpit
Today’s inspiration is The Woods. As a child I spent a good bit of time roaming around and playing in the woods, and basically, I just never stopped.
Sue Reno, House Rock Overlook
I go hiking whenever I get the chance, and the woodlands and wild places of Pennsylvania are a never ending wellspring of inspiration for me.Sue Reno, White Mulberry My work is not overtly political, but it has an environmental subtext. I am doing my part for the preservation movement by quilting paeans to the large and small wonders I find in the wild.
Sue Reno, Mystery FernThe woodlands filter our water and our air. They provide habitat for the flora and fauna that comprise our biome.
Sue Reno, November Pawpaw And who isn’t improved and inspired by a walk in the woods?  It gives us time to slow down, to observe, to be still.
Sue Reno, Sumac When you are back from your walk, keep that happy vibe going by watching your Quilting Arts TV DVD
Quilting Arts TV DVD Cover Image
Get more information and check the PBS schedule on the Quilting Arts TV Website

Tomorrow’s featured bloggers:  Me! (suereno.blogspot.com) AND Rebekah Meier (rebekahmeier.com)

Up next: The Garden

July 20, 2014

Today’s Inspiration: Process and Technique

I am posting each day of the Quilting Arts TV blog hop with a personal message about inspiration and creativity.  When you’re done reading here, pop on over to the featured artists of the day to enjoy their blogposts.  Today’s bloggers are:  Sarah Ann Smith(sarahannsmith.com/weblog) AND Karen Gloeggler (thejaneaustenquilt.com)
Sue Reno, Jack in the Pulpit, detail
Todays Insipration is Process and Technique.  I make art that’s meant to be displayed on the wall, so in theory I could use any medium for my surface design work and get my message across with oil paints or watercolors or other types of works on paper.
Sue Reno, Wood Poppy, detail But I work with fabric  because I love its materiality, its flexibility, and its propensity to evoke emotional responses.  I like the way fabric feels and responds to manipulation. I find that my favorite technique, cyanotype printing, is much richer and vibrant on cotton or silk than on paper.  I feel the same way about screenprints and the other types of monoprinting I use to put imagery on fabric.
Sue Reno, Plume Poppy, detail  I like cutting textiles up and then sewing them together in new arrangements.  I like layering them, and stitching on them by hand or machine, and seeing how the texture changes and enhances the designs.
Sue Reno, Silk Mill #3, detail  It just never gets old for me.  In the rare cases where I am feeling creatively blocked, working with fabric, cutting and sewing simple shapes, is always a springboard to breaking out of the rut.  For me the craftsmanship and the design go hand in hand, with each elevating the other.
Sue Reno, Watt & Shand #9, detail And what better way to learn some new and exciting techniques than to watch talented artists demonstrate their favorite processes?  Check out the Quilting Arts TV DVD
Quilting Arts TV DVD Cover Image
And visit the Quilting Arts TV Website for information on when it airs on PBS stations.

Tomorrow’s featured bloggers:  Carrie Bloomston (suchitysuch.blogspot.com) AND Catherine Redford (http://www.seminarandsew.com/)

Up next: The Woods

July 19, 2014

Today’s Inspiration: Vintage Textiles

I am posting on each day of the Quilting Arts TV blog hop with a personal message about inspiration and creativity.  When you’re done reading here, pop on over to the featured artists of the day to enjoy their blogposts.  Today’s bloggers are: Luana Rubin (luanarubin.typepad.com) AND Linda Friedman (lindasartquilts.blogspot.com)
Sue Reno, Daylilies at Dawn, detail
Today’s inspiration is Vintage Textiles.  When I tell someone I am a quilter, they often respond with a story about a grandma or aunt who made quilts. 
 Sue Reno, Lavender in a Lightning Storm
This opens up a wonderful dialogue about the type of work women in past generations did, and the types of contemporary/modern/art quilting that are popular now.
Sue Reno, Deer and Mayapple, detail
Personally, I don’t see a lot of difference.  Vintage and modern textiles are all points along a continuum.
Sue Reno, November Pawpaw, detail
Women have always used the technologies and materials that were available to them.  Imagine the thrill of obtaining a treadle machine, when you've previously done all your sewing by hand.  Machine sewing changed family dynamics and changed society.
Sue Reno, Squirrel and Locust, detail
And women have always done both practical sewing and fancier sewing, if they had the time and resources.  Embroidering a table runner or appliquéing a quilt top was an acceptable creative outlet when there were few available.
Sue Reno, Vole and Viburnum, detail
I like to honor the work of the stitchers of previous generations and incorporate vintage textiles into my work when I can.
Sue Reno, Fox and Hackberry, detail
Why not create something now that will be a treasure to future generations?  Find a project that appeals to you on the Quilting Arts TV DVD
Quilting Arts TV DVD Cover Image
Learn more on the Quilting Arts TV Website

Tomorrow’s featured bloggers: Sarah Ann Smith (sarahannsmith.com/weblog) AND Karen Gloeggler (thejaneaustenquilt.com)

Up next: Process and Technique