June 30, 2016

52 Ways to Look at the River, update 8

52 Ways to Look at the River, weeks 1 - 52, by Sue Reno
52 Ways to Look at the River, weeks 1 - 52
I've made it to the finish line!  Here are all 52 panels for my self-directed project, 52 Ways to Look at the River.  Every week for a year, without fail, I've made a trip to the Susquehanna River, taken a photo, then created a fiber panel based on the image. The panels are 6" x 12", wool and silk with a few other materials, needlefelted and stitched. The project ran from the summer solstice 2015 to solstice 2016.

The are shown here pinned up on a design board in sequential order, left to right, top to bottom.  My next step is to assemble them permanently into a quilt or quilts. I am currently experimenting with placement and attachment methods.

I started out with a commitment to the basic format and the weekly adventure, but left the rest to develop as time went along.  As you can see, the first pieces were loose and abstract, but they quickly evolved into increasingly realistic representations.  This is very evident in the final four:
52 Ways to Look at the River, week 49, by Sue Reno
52 Ways to Look at the River, week 49

52 Ways to Look at the River, week 50, by Sue Reno
52 Ways to Look at the River, week 50

52 Ways to Look at the River, week 51, by Sue Reno
52 Ways to Look at the River, week 51

52 Ways to Look at the River, week 52, by Sue Reno
52 Ways to Look at the River, week 52
So, what have I learned from this adventure?

* A project of this size and scope is a very worthwhile endeavor.  I underestimated how much time and mental energy this project would take, but it was still worth it.

* I have a strong work ethic (I already knew this!)

* My initial premise, that the Susquehanna is beautiful in every season and from all different vantage points, proved to be true. I visited a few spots more than once, and saw something new every time.

* I benefited personally from building an improved mental map of how all the overlooks, bridges, dams, and etc, in and around Lancaster and York counties fit together.

* I also built up mad needlefelting skills.  Many weeks I picked my inspiration photo, then completely panicked on how to proceed.....the key was to just dive in and and try things. There were no do-overs.

* Once again I am very grateful to the Lancaster County Conservancy, the Susquehanna Gateway Heritage organization, and everyone else who works to procure and preserve access to the river.

What's next?

* First and foremost, I want to permanently assemble the panels.

* I want to investigate what it would take to turn the project into a book.  I am also considering making prints of the panels available.  Both of these ventures are new for me, and will require exploration.

* I have several large quilts that have languished while my attention was on the river, and I'm going to take the time to finish them.

* I have a complete website re-build in the works, and want to finish that up as well.

* I have two or three excellent ideas for another long-term project.  I'm going to take the time to wrap up the loose ends mentioned above, and to do some experimenting with the new concepts, before committing. I knew going into 52 Ways to Look at the River that I was facing a relatively quiet year, but the year ahead is more complex and I want to plan realistically.

You can track back the project to date by clicking on the "52 Ways" tab in the top header, or by clicking here.

You can continue to follow all my fiberart and art quilt adventures on your platform of choice:
Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/suerenostudio
Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/suereno
Tumblr: http://suerenostudio.tumblr.com
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/people/suereno/
Instagram: sue_reno_studio

As always, thanks for reading and commenting. 


flspirit said...

What an inspirational adventure, Sue. Thanks for sharing the details of your thought processes. Surely the finished creation(s) will be wonderfully you.

Want to go to each of the blog entries to be with you again & again during this process.

Blessings through your continuation.
Sheilana Massey

Sue Reno said...

Thanks for the kind words, Sheilana!

mckittycat said...

Very inspirational. I have loved what you have done and following your journey. Mary Ann

Clara Nartey said...

Congrats on making it to the finish line. Very admirable. I'm in week 27 of my self-directed year long project. So I understand when you say "it's been harder and more rewarding than you anticipated going in"

Sue Reno said...

Thanks for following along and for the kind words, Ann!

Sue Reno said...

Very happy to discover your work and your project, Clara. I love that you are documenting it on video.

Martha Ginn said...

Sue, this is a beautiful piece--so glad it will be in its permanent home. Your 52-piece series is fascinating and inspiring; thanks for all the details on your journey. This gives me good thinking material at the beginning of another year. Even at my age I can have more purpose!