January 30, 2013

In Dreams I Flew Over the River - Work in Progress, Update 2

After completing the main body of this piece, I auditioned fabrics that I could use to extend and visually frame it.  To emphasize the effect of sunlight sparkling on the water, I chose lustrous silks.  To evoke the landscape of woods and fields, I used an earthy silk tweed.
I am usually very controlled in my use of silk.  Because one of my objectives in this piece was to experiment with a looser style, I allowed the silk more latitude, letting it pleat and fold as I arranged and stitched it. 
With the borders stitched onto the felted work, I layered the piece, added thread embellishment, and quilted it heavily. The interplay of all the textures--the wools, the silks, the lines of the quilting, the layered stitching--is pretty wonderful. 

See the previous post about this work here.

And as always, thanks for reading and commenting.

January 17, 2013

Silk Mill #3 - Work in Progress, Update 3

The design work and construction is my absolute favorite part of the  artquilt-making process.  When I can, I like to set aside an entire day without distractions or other obligations, and really get into the flow of creating something out of nothing.  For Silk Mill #3 I had such a day.  I also had ready my six screen printed panels, which had undergone a preliminary round of stitching.  I had some digitally custom printed silk yardage with imagery from the same source photo.  I had my pieced strips in three different colorways, ready to cut down and re-assemble.  It was time to start pinning it up on the design wall and let it evolve.
I find that if I am honest and open and clear minded as I do the first arrangement of elements, it’s usually a keeper.  From there it needs minor tweaking as I build it out.  I started by stitching patchwork onto each panel, then pieced the panels together.  I sewed, pressed, and trimmed, but I didn’t measure much.  At this stage measuring is an intrusive interface in the visual flow.  Once the center portion was completed, I worked on fabricating and fitting the borders onto it.    It was a very good day, and I was really pleased with how I was able to manage the flow of colors and the movement across the piece.

Coming soon: the reveal!
To read more about the Silk Mill Series, click the tab at the top to track it back and see the original photos of the building, or go here. Silk Mill #1 and Silk Mill #2 are on my website, as part of my series The Structures.

And as always, thanks for reading and commenting.

January 15, 2013

“Ginger” acceptance into AQS Lancaster

More excellent exhibition news --Ginger has been accepted into the AQS Lancaster show, to be held March 13-16, 2013 at the Lancaster County Convention Center, Lancaster, PA.
This work features a silk cyantotype of an ornamental ginger leaf in the center panel.  The patchwork is pieced entirely of silks, brought back from several epic journeys to India.  It really must be seen in person to appreciate it fully, as all the high-quality silks have a luster and depth that is hard to capture photographically.  I am delighted to have this opportunity to exhibit it in my hometown.
The Lancaster County Convention Center is the former Watt & Shand building, near and dear to my creative soul as the subject of my 10 quilt series.  See it as part of my Structures set on my website, or track it back here on my blog.

And as always, thanks for reading and commenting.  Maybe I'll see you at the show!

January 14, 2013

Neversink Mountain Preserve Hike

Once again we took advantage of the incredibly mild January weather to get outside and ramble about.  The Neversink Mountain Preserve is a large tract of land abutting the City of Reading, in Berks County, PA.  It has a wealth of well maintained and blazed trails--the first time I’ve seen blazes in bright orange and purple--over varied terrain.  In times past it was a summer resort destination for Philadelphians, and some of the structures from that era are still evident.  The Witch Hat Pavilion is a carefully crafted folly perched on an overlook.SueReno_WitchHatPavilionInterior
The round portals were great subjects for my fisheye iPhone lens.
From the overlook, a cloudy day view of the city of Reading.
Nearby someone had left paper cranes suspended in a small evergreen.
As we walked away, I turned and caught an inverse reflection of the pavilion in a raindrop on a twig.
A hike along the ridge led to a descent into a pretty valley, where tan leaves still clinging to the beech trees lent a bit of variety to the monochromatic environs.
A trail along a gurgling creek led to the ruins of a former railroad trestle.
The soil was gravelly, wet and slippery, and the climb turned into a clamber.
It was a good spot for a victory pose.
It was a lovely view down into the valley from the ledge.
I hope you have the chance to get outside and explore the world around you.  Thanks as always for reading and commenting.

January 13, 2013

Seasonal Palette at The Texas Quilt Museum

I am thrilled and honored that The Organic Landscape, as part of the Seasonal Palette exhibit, is currently on display at the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange, TX.  The exhibit runs until March 31st.  Because of space constraints, the full exhibit of 37 quilts needed to be edited down to a selection of 23.  I don’t envy the curators their task, as the works are all unique and amazing, but I am very grateful to have my work included. Vicki Mangum shared these photos from the installation; above is a general view, with The Organic Landscape on the right.  Below it is flanked by Fervor by Maya Chaimovich on the left, and Delicate Ambiguity by Judith Larzelere on the right.
Here’s another installation view, showing how gorgeous the works looks against that warm brick wall. 
For installation photos by photographer Gregory Case from the premier exhibit at the International Quilt Festival this past fall, including a video, and links for more information, go to the SAQA site
I also want to recommend the wonderful hardcover catalogue of the exhibition, with works by 37 artists celebrating the four seasons, including materials and techniques, and introductory essays by the juror, curator and sponsors. It includes special section of studio/inspiration photos.
It’s a bargain at only $20, with a 6 x 10-inch format and 103 pages. Here’s my work, shown held up before the decidedly wintery version of the landscape that inspired the work. SueReno_SeasonalPaletteBook_TheOrganicLandscape
To track back my blog posts of the work in progress, click the Seasonal Palette tab at the top, or go here.
As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

January 5, 2013

Winter Rambles in York County

Despite the cold and wind and weak slanting sunshine, or perhaps to glory in it, we ventured out lately just across the Susquehanna River to explore some trails in York County, PA.  The treacherous dusting of snow and ice precluded clambering about on rocky overlooks as is our usual practice, but we found much to admire and appreciate on the tamer terrain.  These cattails were surrounded by a thin sheen of ice, and were captured perfectly by my trusty fisheye lens.
Above are some saplings, again surrounded by diaphanous ice, along a path in Rocky Ridge Park.  Below, a view of the trail that  beckoned.
Portions of the park were seasonally decorated and lit, to be toured at night for a fundraiser. I loved the surreal look of these gingerbread men cutouts:
Another day found us at the Heritage Rail Trail.  This well maintained trail borders a set of tracks that still sees occasional traffic.  A highlight for architectural aficionados is the Howard Tunnel, completed in 1840, and the oldest railroad tunnel in continuous use in the U.S.  It’s listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  Here I am, all happy about discovering it:
The interior of the tunnel is a textural marvel, with the patina of old bricks and patches of repair:
A bit further along the trail is a footbridge that crosses the Codorus Creek. 
It’s been damaged by recent high water.
Discretion being the better part of valor, I didn’t attempt a crossing.
As much as I’m enjoying photographically exploring form and line, and the contrasts and textures of this mostly monochromatic world, I am starting to hunger for color.  I was glad to spot of bit of green in a patch of mulleins growing on a cliff face.
Mullein is a biennial, forming these big fuzzy rosettes of leaves in its first year from seed.  Next summer they will send up  seed stalks, as high as 6 feet, covered in small yellow flowers.
I hope that wherever find yourself in the world, and whatever the weather, you have a chance to go outside and explore. 
As always, thanks for reading and commenting.