October 31, 2014

Ice Jam – New Work in Progress

Last winter was an extraordinary one.  There was a long hard freeze, punctuated by partial warming, that transformed the Susquehanna River in bizarre and magical ways.  Thick chunks of ice piled up on the river and the shores in surreal formations. 
I took a lot of pictures and shared them previously here and here.
I have been very driven to work in my series on The River lately.  The Susquehanna has been a constant in my life experience, and I feel it is sometimes underappreciated in the world at large.  I wanted to document this amazing ice jam experience.
Sue Reno, Ice Jam Collagraphy plates I started with the same collagraphy plates I used for If I Woke at Dawn, and made positive and negative prints with textile paints on cotton sateen.
Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt
This is good place to mention that there’s a chapter on collagraphy  in my recently released Quilting Arts Workshop Video, Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt.
 Sue Reno, Ice Jam, Work In Progress, Image 1 As I was working on making and selecting the prints, I also started on a needlefelted centerpiece.  The background is brown wool/rayon felt, and I built up the river texture with wool roving and slivers of wool and silk fabric.  Above is the first mockup on the design wall.  There’s a lot more to go, to reach the icy texture and feeling I am aiming for.

I demonstrate my needlefelting technique on Quilting Arts TV Episode 1408.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

October 29, 2014

Surface Design Essentials Blog Tour -- Coming Soon

I’m excited about the recent release of my Quilting Arts TV instructional video, Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt.  Whether you are new to the possibilities of surface design, or an experienced artist looking to expand your repertoire, you will find lots to inspire you, and clear and concise instructions to guide you.
Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt
To celebrate the release, I’m hosting a blog tour with some of my favorite artists and bloggers.  I am thrilled—and this is not hyperbole—that all of these women agreed to view and review my DVD. 

The tour starts November 5th, with this schedule:
11/5/14: Sue Reno http://suereno.blogspot.com/
11/6/14: Susan Brubaker Knapp http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/
11/7/14: Allie Aller http://alliesinstitches.blogspot.com/
11/8/14: Diane Doran http://www.oohprettycolors.blogspot.com/
11/9/14: Vivien Zepf http://sevenpinesdesigns.blogspot.com/
11/10/14: Virginia Spiegel http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/blog/
11/11/14: Cynthia St. Charles http://cynthia-stcharles.blogspot.com/
11/12/14: Natalya Aikens http://artbynatalya.blogspot.com/
11/13/14: Lyric Kinard http://lyrickinard.com/blog/

I so admire and trust these professional artists that I kept my request to them very simple.  I didn't ask for a particular type of review, or for them to make a project according to specifications.  I just asked them to write about whatever aspects of Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt appealed to them, in their own style and with their own unique perspective.

Solomon's Seal print by Sue Reno
I know it will be a very interesting blog tour and I am looking forward to it!  I hope you will join us.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

October 28, 2014

Making leaf prints, and other good news.

The printmaking season is winding down here. I enjoy the immediacy of working with natural materials, and I took advantage of this mild autumn to make a few more leaf prints while I could.
Sue Reno, Catalpa, Work in Progress Image 5
I got all excited about catalpa trees in 2008, and made some wonderful cyanotype and heliographic prints. Then I got sidetracked by something more urgent, or some kind of deadline, and set them aside. 
Sue Reno, Catalpa, Work in Progress Image 6
I was walking a woodsy trail recently and a catalpa leaf literally fell from a tree and onto me, so I took it as a sign and gathered a few more.  They are satisfyingly big leaves.
 Sue Reno, Catalpa, Work in Progress Image 7 I used my large Gelli plate and made both direct and “ghost” prints.  I got a bit exuberant with the colors.  They are up on the design wall, taunting me to ignore all the other projects in the queue, so we shall see. 
Sue Reno, Sycamore print 1
While I was at it, I made some sycamore leaf prints.   They are also a substantial leaf.  I have the beginnings of an idea on how I will use them—I have some new animal skulls that I want to work with, to add to my Flora and Fauna series. 
 Sue Reno, Sycamore print 2
In other news:
Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt
My DVD, Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt, is available for a limited time as a printmaking kit.  You receive the DVD, a copy of Quilting Arts Magazine with my how-to article on cyanotype printing, and a pack of treated cotton cyanotype fabric, so you can jump right in and start creating.  Get it while you can at the Interweave Store!  The DVD also has complete and concise instructions on heliographic printing, themofax printing, and collagraphy, so it is a very good deal.  The kit would make a lovely birthday or holiday gift. 
Silk Mill #1 by Sue Reno
For my friends attending The International Quilt Festival in Houston this week, be sure to look for my “Silk Mill #1” in the Tactile Architecture Exhibit.
100 Quilt Inspirations Book And last but not least, I’ve received word that my work will be included in Sandra Sider’s compilation book, 1000 Quilt Inspirations, to be released in February 2015.  I’ve seen lots of other acceptance notices from artists I admire, so I know it’s going to be an excellent volume.  It’s available on preorder from the publisher and from Amazon.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

October 6, 2014

Visions of the Susquehanna River Art Collection

In Dreams I Flew Over the River, by Sue Reno
My fiber artwork In Dreams I Flew Over the River is joining the Visions of the Susquehanna River Art Collection.  Housed in the historic Dritt Mansion at the Zimmerman Center for Heritage in York County, PA, the collection is curated by artist Rob Evans, and is the first-ever permanent collection of Susquehanna River art.  My work is on loan while funds are being raised to complete the purchase.
In Dreams I Flew Over the River, by Sue Reno, Installation View I can’t imagine a more perfect setting for this piece.  I’ve written before about how the idea and imagery for it literally came to me in a dream, and I felt compelled to make it.  I've lived near the Susquehanna  most of my life, and this work is a distillation of my experiences and observations of the river in its many moods.  To have is hanging with other river art by artists I deeply admire is something of a  dream come true.
The Dritt Mansion at the Zimmerman Center for Heritage
The Dritt Mansion was built circa 1740 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places  It has been extensively and beautifully restored, along with the grounds. There’s a wealth of information about it in this Visitor’s Guide. It’s a fabulous setting for the artwork, and well worth a visit if you find yourself in the area.  There are guided tours available.
Zimmerman Center for Heritage Center Sign, and view of Susquehanna River The view from the mansion is of the river and the newly built marina.
Susquehanna River View from the Zimmerman Center Dock I took some fisheye photos when I visited; the skies were cloudy and dramatically lit (the purple tones are a photographic distortion, a combination of the lens on my iPhone and the light and reflections off of the clouds).
Distant View of Susquehanna River from Native Lands Park
Behind the mansion, a trail leads up through the woods into the Native Lands park, which was once the home of the Susquehannock tribe.  The 4 acre cleared area at the top of the rise, with a distant view of the river, is the site of their last known village.  A stockade wall once enclosed 16 ninety-foot longhouses and was home to about 900 people.  Today it is a serene and reflective place.View from Native Lands Park The greens and golds of the surrounding fields are echoed in my work, along with the myriad blues of the river. 
Sue Reno, In Dreams I Flew Over the River, detail
I am very happy that my work has found such an appropriate and prestigious home.
Sue Reno with In Dreams I Flew Over the River installatio

October 1, 2014

Presenting at the SAQA Fiberlandia Conference

I’m honored to announce that I will be a Breakout Session Presenter at the upcoming Studio Art Quilt Associates Fiberlandia Conference.  The Conference will be held in Portland, OR on April 30 – May 3, 2015.
SAQA Fiberlandia Conference
Develop and Sustain Your Daily Artistic Practice

Creating the time, space and mindset to carry out a consistent artistic practice in our daily lives can be challenging, but pays tremendous dividends. I break the process down into easily achieved steps that bring results.

Learn how to:
· Be fearless in acknowledging the value of your individual viewpoint and talents.
· Identify realistic short and long term goals.
· Find a daily practice that trains your eye, feeds your creative spirit, and keeps your work fresh.
· Work towards a balance of quiet, cognitive time and social time, including social media.
· Even out the flow of work between intensely creative periods and dry spells.
· Be inspired by the strategies other artists use to manage their time and artistic output.

Whether you are a novice or experienced artist, you will come away from this session with strategies that will help you take your artistic practice to the next level.
Information on the keynote speakers and other presenters is here.   Registration information is here; there’s a early bird discount.

I’m a long time member of SAQA and have benefited tremendously from my involvement.  A SAQA conference is a great setting to learn industry specific information and meet like-minded artists and quilters.  I’m thrilled that I will be a part of the Fiberlandia Conference, and am very excited about the lineup of speakers.   I’m equally delighted that it will be in Portland, one of my favorite cities.  I will be extending my trip to fit in lots of hiking time in the area.

Hope to see you there!

As always, thanks for reading and commenting.